Lucasfilm on Past, Present & Future of 'Star Wars' Expanded Universe
by Ethan Anderton
April 25, 2014
With official news about Star Wars: Episode VII hopefully just around the corner, likely on the makeshift Star Wars Day on May 4th, Lucasfilm has made a statement regarding how the new trilogy will proceed, with special attention paid to how the elements of Expanded Universe will be regarded and handled as the Star Wars universe expands. It's been made clear that this new part of the classic sci-fi saga will not be translating stories from the comic books, video games, novels and more that George Lucas allowed to be create within his sci-fi world, but a new statement lets fans know what will happen with that sector of Star Wars culture, and how it may or may not come into play sometime in the future. More below!
Here's the Lucasfilm video addressing the past, present and future of the Star Wars Expanded Universe:
As for Lucasfilm's stance on the Expanded Universe, the good news is that fans of everything that has happened with the various stories that have made George Lucas' galaxy far, far away so rich and expansive aren't going anywhere. Well, at least those that are still in demand will be sticking around. A press release from Lucasfilm says:
"Demand for past tales of the Expanded Universe will keep them in print, presented under the new Legends banner."
That basically means that everything that has been labeled as being part of the Expanded Universe will now fall under this newly created "Legends" banner. However, that means that all stories that unfolded in the Expanded Universe will not be considered canon in the Star Wars universe as the film saga (and more) expands at Disney. And just as Marvel has done with all of their Marvel Studios productions, from now on, all aspects of Star Wars will be unified and connected. As the press release explains:
"While Lucasfilm always strived to keep the stories created for the EU consistent with our film and television content as well as internally consistent, Lucas always made it clear that he was not beholden to the EU. He set the films he created as the canon. This includes the six 'Star Wars' episodes, and the many hours of content he developed and produced in 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars.' These stories are the immovable objects of 'Star Wars' history, the characters and events to which all other tales must align.
Now, with an exciting future filled with new cinematic installments of Star Wars, all aspects of 'Star Wars' storytelling moving forward will be connected. Under Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy's direction, the company for the first time ever has formed a story group to oversee and coordinate all 'Star Wars' creative development."
So anything related to Star Wars will now be officially approved by Lucasfilm, and it will all be beholden to whatever is being created in the new Star Wars universe from here on out. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy elaborates:
"We have an unprecedented slate of new 'Star Wars' entertainment on the horizon. We're set to bring 'Star Wars' back to the big screen, and continue the adventure through games, books, comics, and new formats that are just emerging. This future of interconnected storytelling will allow fans to explore this galaxy in deeper ways than ever before."
But despite this movement towards a unified Star Wars universe that is not a slave to the Expanded Universe stories that have been created, that doesn't mean parts of the Expanded Universe can't inform what happens as the saga continues. For example, there's a new animated series coming called "Star Wars Rebels," the first Star Wars TV series being created under Disney, and there are elements of the Expanded Universe that will be included (such as The Inquisitor, the Imperial Security Bureau, and Sienar Fleet Systems). While we don't cover TV shows normally, this one is important to mention, because this will be the first piece of entertainment that will be part of the new Star Wars canon.
Basically, this is Lucasfilm simultaneously distancing themselves from the Expanded Universe as far as acknowledging it as being a guide for the new film trilogy that will kick off in 2015, but also not entirely discarding it. If anything, maybe fans of the Expanded Universe can take solace in knowing that some things from that world will make it into the new Star Wars canon. Perhaps characters like Mara Jade and Grand Admiral Thrawn will find a place in the newly created and officially sanctioned Star Wars universe. Only time will tell, but it's nice to have this officially cleared up for the hardcore Star Wars fans. Thoughts?