The Legacy of Fan Submissions: ‘What’s the Story?’

From 2005 to 2008, the official Star Wars fan club Hyperspace allowed its members to submit entries detailing the backstories and specifics of background elements in the saga through a feature known as What’s the Story?, essentially giving normal fans the opportunity to have an impact on the Expanded Universe. A panel of judges marked which entries became finalists and the winners were selected by Pablo Hidalgo before being added to the official website’s Databank. A number of the winning entries influenced Star Wars lore in a way that still reverberates today, so I thought it would be fun to go over some of the ones that left the biggest mark.

  • We’ll start off with the only one I know of that has had a direct impact on an onscreen story. User “Shadowcultist” wrote an entry on the character Teckla, a handmaiden that can briefly be seen in Attack of the Clones. While her first name was preexisting, the entry gave her the new last name “Minnau,” which was drawn from the unofficial name Nathan Hamill had given his cameo character in The Phantom Menace. Teckla went on to become a significant character in several episodes of The Clone Wars and her last name from the article was used in the show.

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  • “Ello137” wrote about a background ship briefly seen in the rebel fleet during Return of the Jedi, tying it into Expanded Universe lore about the Dornean species and dubbing it the Braha’tok-class gunship, or more informally the Dornean gunship. The ship was given new life in Rebels and Rogue One, leading to the name being used in a slew of novels and reference books. Many aspects of the original submission have been retained as well, including the Dornean connection and the name of the ship’s manufacturer, the Dornean Braha’ket Fleetworks Conglomerate.
  • The Visual Encyclopedia uses a couple of details from the feature, including the name Nar Hida given to an Attack of the Clones refugee by “NarbFlick” and the name UT-AT given to a Revenge of the Sith walker by “The2ndQuest.”
  • The Ewok Leektar received his name from “Hecko Tenton” and it was later used in both editions of Absolutely Everything You Need to Know.
  • “Kast Morben” submitted an entry giving a name and backstory to Grizz Frix, a rebel pilot in Return of the Jedi. The name has been used several times, most recently and most prominently in Jason Fry’s From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back story, “Rendezvous Point.”
  • “Captain Yossarian” wrote an entry on Seib Nod, a robed background character in Attack of the Clones, that identified her as a member of the Lorrdian religious group the Sisterhood of the Beatific Countenance. Similar-looking robed extras appear on Jedha in Rogue One, and Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide confirmed they were members of the Lorrdian Brotherhood of the Beatific Countenance.

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  • “NarbFlick” also wrote an entry for the character Magaloof from Attack of the Clones that gave his species as Leffingite and his homeworld as Almak, both of which were recently used in Alien Archive.
  • A Yuzzum seen that can be seen in Jabba’s Palace in Return of the Jedi was given the name Wam Lufba by “Sompeetalay” (who might well be reading this post, hi Tim!). The name and his hobby as an exterminator were used by both editions of Ultimate Star Wars.
  • “The2ndQuest” identified an Alderaanian extra cut from Bail’s entourage in Revenge of the Sith and not visible in the final film as Chief Petty Officer Corla Metonae. Gary Whitta’s story in From a Certain Point of View, “Raymus,” includes her in that role on the Tantive IV during A New Hope.
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Numidian Prime

I like Star Wars. And Marvel too, to a lesser degree.

4 thoughts on “The Legacy of Fan Submissions: ‘What’s the Story?’”

  1. I’ve never been super familiar with these, but the idea is so cool that I’d wish they’d bring it back. There’s plenty of background characters in the newer films, TV shows, etc. that are currently backstory-free. Crazy how much some of this fan-made lore has been used!

    Liked by 1 person

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