When building a prequel to A New Hope, the writers and producers of the Lucasfilm top brass had a lot of possible material to work with. In the old Star Wars canon, that time period was absolutely flush with exiled Jedi, daring heroes, and villains that never made it anywhere close to the big screen.

Eventually, they went with a set of heroes and villains that were either big screen mainstays or total newcomers, but new information suggests that might not have always been the case.