When Return of the Jedi bowed in 1983, it seemed like it was the end of the Star Wars saga. That would have been a real shame, since it would've meant audiences would've never met some of the best Star Wars characters ever created. Thanks to Timothy Zahn's 1991 novel, Heir to the Empire, which kicked off an Expanded Universe of books, comics, and games, fans now have quite the list of cool Star Wars EU characters. Delve into this lore, and you'll discover Jedi heroes such as Kyle Katarn and fearsome Sith like Darth Malak.
In 2012, Disney acquired Lucasfilm and announced that a whole new trilogy of films and a series of standalone films would go into production. But in order to do this, Disney had to pretty much wipe the Expanded Universe slate clean. The old books, audiobooks, comics, and games were relegated to the "Legends" timeline, which consists of stories that are no longer in continuity. Everything Disney has released since then is considered the canon Expanded Universe.
But whether they're in the old, non-canon timeline or the new one, there are plenty of great characters that make up the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Many of them are even as good (or better) than the characters in the movies. These Star Wars characters most fans don't know might give a fan-favorite like Han Solo a run for his money!