Jaxxon the Lepi smuggler is one of the most infamous excesses of the old Star Wars expanded universe – the rabbit in Flash Gordon cosplay that was bound to come up whenever you mentioned the weirdness of the EU. For decades, he’s been the butt of fan jokes… but now he’s officially back in the canon. He’s still kinda the butt of the joke, though.
Jaxxon recreating the kick he was introduced with four decades ago, right down to the KCHOP. Image: Mauricet and Chris Fenoglio (IDW)
Jaxxon made his debut in one of the earliest tales of Star Wars‘ sprawling expanded universe in Marvel’s Star Wars #8, as part of what would actually be the comics publisher’s first original story after Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin’s series concluded its adaptation of A New Hope across the first six issues of the book.
The story, which we recently revisited, sees Han Solo and Chewbacca hired to defend a small village on the planet Aduba-3 from a roving gang of space-bikers lead by the fabulously named Serji-X Arrogantus. To do so, they recruit their own motley crew of zany rogues to help, including the neon-green Jaxxon.
See? Told you that kick was a throwback. Image: Howard Chaykin, Tom Palmer, and John Costanza (Marvel Comics)
Jaxxon’s illustrious career in Star Wars comic stardom was short-lived – it’s long been rumoured that, allegedly, George Lucas was furious about the absurd character’s introduction into his universe, and demanded he be written out of the series.
Both Chaykin and Thomas left Star Wars after the conclusion of this story in issue #10, and incoming writer Archie Goodwin wrote Jaxxon out for good in Star Wars #16, and ever since Jaxxon has been more of a hidden joke than a popular character – a mention here, a sneaky background appearance there.
When Disney purchased Lucasfilm and restarted the Star Wars canon, the idea that Jaxxon would make it over has seemed ludicrous, if anyone bothered to consider the idea at all.
Jaxxon’s final appearance in Marvel’s Star Wars #16. Image: Walt Simonson, Bob Wiacek, and Bob Sharen (Marvel Comics)
That is, until now – because Jaxxon is officially back! Both the rabbit and his scantily clad accomplice Amaiza (who also appeared in those early Marvel comics) made their debuts in the Disney era of Star Wars with the release of last week’s Star Wars Adventures Annual, a spinoff from IDW’s range of young-reader focused Star Wars comics – which, like every modern Star Wars comic, book and web series, is as a canon as the movies.
Written by Cavan Scott, with art from Mauricet and Chris Fenoglio, “The Lost Eggs of Livorno” is set shortly after Jaxxon and Amaiza’s escapades in the original Marvel books, and tells a fun, goofy story of the two being hired by one of the last surviving remembers of an avian race to safely deliver their remaining eggs away from Imperial agents to the Rebel Alliance.
Thankfully, Amaiza got a brief costume update as well that’s a little less, err, skimpy. Image: Mauricet and Chris Fenoglio (IDW)
It’s a silly story that doesn’t really change much about what we knew of Jaxxon from his brief appearances in the past – he’s still a bit of a wannabe smuggler, he’s still a smart-mouthed wisecracker, and of course, he’s still a bright green rabbit that likes reminding basically everyone around him that he’s a bright green rabbit.
This is, completely and thoroughly, a transplant of the Jaxxon of old into the new canon, in the most delightful of ways.
Which means that, even now, Jaxxon is still kind of a joke to everyone. After a few chases and double-crossing escapades (it wouldn’t be a story about Star Wars smugglers without at least one double cross!), it’s eventually revealed that the eggs Jaxxon risked life and fluffy limb for were actually fakes all along, a distraction mission suggested by Princess Leia once the Alliance got word the Empire was after the Livorno’s hatchlings.
Han, the real hero of the day, was the one who actually smuggled the hatchlings out, while poor Jaxxon got played like a chump.
A plan that’s needlessly convoluted and also kinda mean sure as hell sounds like a plan Han would come up with. Image: Mauricet and Chris Fenoglio (IDW)
Poor Jax. Even in his proud return to officially-recognised Star Wars canon, he’s still playing second banana to Han Solo. At least, nearly four decades after he vanished, the legendary Starhopper of Aduba-3 is back where he belongs.