I got very, very excited when I saw that this week’s episode of Star Wars Rebels was called “Idiot’s Array.”
Sure enough, the episode came through for me: sabacc is now official Star Wars canon.
Sabacc is a card game where players gamble based on their hands (kind of a mix of poker and blackjack). “Pure sabacc” is when the hand cards total +/- 23; the only hand that beats this is the “Idiot’s Array.”
This is about all the detail that the episode went into about the game, so the rest of the rules (suits, randomizers, skifters, neutral field, etc. [the Han Solo trilogy by A.C. Crispin provides good detail]) may or may not be canon. Sabacc is apparently also mentioned in the Rebels tie-in novel A New Dawn, which I have not read so I don’t know what detail is provided there.
My point with all this is: the EU is not dead. There are people involved in making franchise decisions that love Star Wars as much as I do, and they actually know more about it than I do. Someone made a conscious decision to put sabacc in Rebels. That gives me hope.
I would not be surprised to see small things from the EU continuing to appear in canon, whether it’s books, TV, or movies. Now, will we see Mara Jade on the big screen? No. Will Korriban henceforth be known as Moraband? Yes. We are going to have to reconcile ourselves to this.
But let’s rejoice in the small things. For every Darth-Maul-on-robot-legs The Clone Wars gave us, we also got a Selkath named Chata Hyoki. Selkath are an aquatic species created for the Knights of the Old Republic game, and they are now canon thanks to the TCW episode titled “Pursuit of Peace” where Chata Hyoki appears as a bounty hunter (perhaps not a distinguished view of the peaceful species, but better than nothing). The series goes on to include several other Selkath.
Heck, the very name of Coruscant, the most important planet in the galaxy, was originally named by Timothy Zahn in his novel Heir to the Empire. It was made canon in The Phantom Menace.
Who knows what we’ll see next?