The genius of Star Wars' success is that from the off George Lucas never let it settle at just as a series of films. Ever since the first movie proved an unexpected hit, there's been a seemingly endless stream of books, comics, video games and other various tie-ins that jumped off from the base space opera to become a massive universe to rival Tolkien's.
But that's all it is, right? A bunch of made-up stories that simply piggy-back on the world of the movies? Well in some ways, yes, but in fact an awful lot of times it also goes the other way; the various filmmakers have looked to the reams of further material and taken the best ideas for the movies, sometimes to strengthen continuity, for others simply because the idea's too good to waste in a specialist sci-fi novel.
The Expanded Universe may have been rendered non-canon to allow for the new films, but its impact can still be felt. Here are fifteen times that the Star Wars movies looked to the massive EU and thought, "That's looks good, I'll have that."
Honourable Mention - Boba Fett And General Grievous Both First Appeared In Cartoons
OK, these guys were always intended to appear in movies from conception, but in an attempt to acclimatise fans to two purposely "cool" designs, George Lucas decided to first seed them in expanded universe material, making for some very interesting debuts.
First up, Boba Fett made his entrance in the one passable (if still not great) element of The Star Wars Holiday Special - an animated short where the bounty hunter tried to catch Luke and Han for Darth Vader. He's pretty badass and seems to do more on screen than he did in the later movies.
General Grievous had a similar honour, unveiled in the finale of Star Wars: Clone Wars Season 1 before becoming the main villain for Season 2 (which told the events leading up to Revenge Of The Sith). The Grievous in Clone Wars is a bit different to the movie version, reflecting his gradual behind-the-scenes development - his cape exterior is white instead of black, he doesn't have four arms at first and that cough is nowhere to be heard (a last minute addition had Mace Windu choke the General as he escapes with Palpatine).