7. The Death Star was Basically a Giant Lightsaber
For years we had no idea how the Death Star worked. They pushed some buttons and a green laser came out. Well, we now know that the Death Star actually functions like a giant lightsaber, using a focusing crystal to enhance the energy directed through it.
Lightsabers use a small crystal (called a kyber crystal) to focus their blade. In The Clone Wars episode “In Search of the Crystal” we learn that enormous kyber crystals exist, and the Sith want them for some unknown reason. Yoda later mentions that the Sith used weapons of mass destruction powered by giant kyber crystals in the distant past.
Later in the Star Wars Rebels episode, “Breaking Ranks” we learn that the Empire is mining and shipping similar giant crystals. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the Empire uses the kyber crystals to focus the Death Star’s energy into a planet-killing weapon.
6. The Inquisitors
We used to think that Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader were the only dark-side wielders during the original trilogy era. But with the unveiling of the animated show Star Wars Rebels, we found out that others existed as well.
The Inquisitors are dark side agents tasked by Palpatine and Vader to hunt down Jedi. So far we only know of three, but their existence changes what we thought we knew of the Empire. How many Inquisitors are there? Do they outlast Vader and Palpatine? And if so, how do they react? These are questions many fans have asked.
The Inquisitors originally appeared in the old expanded universe, now labeled Legends. They were adapted and redefined for their canonical appearance in Star Wars Rebels.
5. Luke’s First Lightsaber Fight with Vader
One of the biggest surprises came at the end of “Star Wars #1” from Marvel. This issue was Marvel’s first entry into the canon, and it took a bold step by pitting Luke against Vader long before they ever duel in The Empire Strikes Back.
Somehow Luke survives the encounter, but loses his lightsaber when Vader takes it from him. Vader recognizes his old blade, and assumes that Luke is a student of Obi-Wan.
We know how unprepared Luke was in Empire to face Vader at Cloud City, so it’s unexpected to see him go up against Vader without even the small training Yoda gave him.
4. Luke’s Fight With Boba Fett
In the same comic series, Vader gains an interest in Luke, and sends the infamous bounty hunter, Boba Fett, after the boy. Boba Fett is known as the greatest bounty hunter in the galaxy, eventually tracking down the Millennium Falcon on Cloud City. However, in his hunt for Luke, Fett fails.
Fett tracks Luke to Obi-Wan’s homestead on Tatooine, and they fight. Fett manages to temporarily blind Luke, but somehow Luke still manages to best Fett and escape. Of course Luke has the Force, but he must also be the luckiest son of a gun to escape both Darth Vader and Boba Fett within a matter of weeks.
The most surprising part is that Boba Fett simply abandons the chase, rather than continue on Luke’s trail. Instead, he reports back to Vader with Luke’s last name. Which brings us to the next surprise.