Another influential figure from Star Wars Legends has just recently been brought into the new Star Wars canon: Prince Xizor himself!
In Charles Soule’s Crimson Reign #1, which tells the story of Crimson Dawn and the crime syndicates in-between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Qi’ra puts her plan in motion which includes pitting some of the other syndicates against each other. In doing so, Qi’ra – the leader of Crimson Dawn – meets with a representative of Black Sun, Lord Gyuti. He represented Black Sun at the Crimson Dawn auction for Han Solo, and he is the one meeting with Qi’ra here about the Empire potentially looking for a suitor to replace the Hutts (which is all a lie). But as their conversation wraps up, Qi’ra tells him, “Pass it along to Prince Xizor. With compliments from Crimson Dawn. Just remember us when the credits start rolling in.”
This is the first time that Xizor has been mentioned in any canon story. His only previous appearance in new canon material was in a cookbook, so that wasn’t a story actually being told. Here, though, he’s back! And it certainly sounds like he’s the one running Black Sun, just like in Legends. Actually, though, I think we may have seen him in a previous comic issue a few weeks earlier, in Doctor Aphra #16. In this issue, Domina Tagge receives information about Black Sun from Doctor Aphra, and as she looks at it and realizes that it confirms her suspicions about Crimson Dawn, we see images of Falleen males via hologram – one of which looks an awful lot like Xizor.
It’s not 100% clear that this is Xizor, but what is clear is that he’s fully back into canon material now, and I’m interested to see where it goes from here! I’m not sure whether he will make an actual appearance or whether the name-drop will be it, but regardless I’m glad to see him show up in this important story set in this time period.
The reason, of course, is because this is the same time period in which he was most prominent in Legends. He was a key player and a primary antagonist in the Shadows of the Empire story, which was one of the most significant and established stories in Legends, spanning books, comics, video games, soundtracks, and various other merchandise. In the story, the Rebels searched for Han Solo – just like in the War of the Bounty Hunters story that canon storytelling just wrapped up. Prince Xizor, the charismatic yet sinister leader of Black Sun, seized the opportunity and allied himself with Palpatine. Xizor was one of few beings in the galaxy who could actually rival Palpatine and Vader in terms of power and influence, and he posed a considerable threat to Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and the Rebels. But Vader also saw him as a threat, and it was ultimately at Vader’s command that Xizor was killed as his ship was destroyed.
While there are plenty of details from his Legends story that are no longer canon and won’t be, at least Xizor himself once again is. In Legends Xizor was the head of Black Sun when the Empire rose to power, but that’s not the case in canon. The crime syndicate features extensively in The Clone Wars as Maul forms his Shadow Collective, and the leader of Black Sun at that point was Xomit Grunseit. He was killed for refusing to join the Collective, and Ziton Moj took his place. Moj was allied with Maul during the War, and when Maul re-emerged toward the end of the conflict and established his operations on Mandalore, Moj was still in consultation with him. Maul ordered Moj, Pyke boss Marg Krim, and Crimson Dawn leader Dryden Voss to go into hiding. We don’t know what happened from there, but we know that Maul would come to lead Crimson Dawn rather than a Collective. And it seems that sometime in there, Prince Xizor presumably took over from Moj. Additionally, we know that Black Sun was still around and a major player after the fall of the Empire and rise of the New Republic, and that Lord Gyuti was still active as a crime boss for the syndicate. But whether Xizor was still around then (unlike in Legends) remains to be seen.
Much like when Grand Admiral Thrawn was brought into canon, there are inevitably a lot of differences between the Legends version, but I love that Star Wars is taking these characters from Legends and working them into the stories they are now telling. All along I figured that with them telling this massive story event in this time period they’d have to have some nods to Shadows of the Empire, and this is the biggest one. I’m curious to see where it goes from here!