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Is Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire For Nintendo 64 Canon?

Launched in 1996 for the Nintendo 64 and a year later for the PC, "Shadows of the Empire" follows mercenary Dash Rendar as he aids the Rebel Alliance between the events of "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi." While it received lackluster reviews from the likes of IGN and GameSpot at the time, it was still celebrated for its opening level, which recreated the snow speeder section of the Battle of Hoth. Further, it introduced the community to some great new characters and factions, filling in more details of the galaxy far, far away.

Released along with a novel and other tie-ins, "Shadows of the Empire" marked an attempt by Lucas Film to reintroduce the public to "Star Wars" before the launch of the special editions of the original movies (per Thrillist). For fans who grew up after the release of the first trilogy and before the prequels, "Shadows of the Empire" was the first piece of "Star Wars" fiction that they could call their own. Those who fondly look back on their time playing "Shadows of the Empire" may wonder if the events actually slot into the official "Star Wars" story. Is any of it canon?

Shadows of the Empire lost its cannon status

What is and isn't canon has always been complicated in the "Star Wars" universe, with multiple layers and degrees of canonicity. The short and unfortunate answer for fans of "Shadows of the Empire," however, is that it used to be canon but has since lost that status. Dreamed up with direct involvement from George Lucas and meant to tie into the release of the original trilogy special editions, "Shadows of the Empire" enjoyed a place below the movies in terms of canonicity but still ranked high. This changed, however, when Disney acquired the rights to the franchise.

With Disney taking over and planning its own entries in the "Star Wars' setting, it made the decision to wipe the slate clean. Everything but the core movies and two animated series, "The Clones Wars" and "Rebels" were removed from the canon (per The Hollywood Reporter) and reclassified as part of the "Legends" alternate timeline. Sadly, this relegated "Shadows of the Empire" to the new category.

Disney has saved parts of Shadows of the Empire

While the fate of "Shadows of the Empire" might disappoint some individuals, fans need not despair. For one thing, the "Legends" setting still exists and, while not part of the official "Star Wars" timeline anymore, it can still be enjoyed and expanded on. Further, Disney has preserved and transferred some elements of "Shadows of the Empire" into its canon.

The Black Sun, a faction introduced in "Shadows of the Empire," has since emerged in the official timeline again, albeit with a slightly different backstory. Dash himself reappeared thanks to a mention in a book that ties into "Solo: A Star Wars Story" (per Screen Rant) and even his ship, The Outrider, remains canon, as viewers can spot it briefly in a pause-worthy moment from the special edition of "Episode Four."

Given this, more elements of "Shadows of the Empire" could make the jump back into Disney "Star Wars" canon in the future.