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?
Reader Feedback - 19 Comments
Get ready to be drowned in Star Wars. I actually think a new trilogy would be fun, but what I just read....pretty sure I will fatigue of the brand before they tire of milking it.
Brian Sleider on Apr 25, 2014
I agree. This could be too much in too short a time. Hope it's not the case.
Guest on Apr 25, 2014
I think dumping all of the pre-existing EU out of canon is a great way to start fresh. Someone could now, in theory, own all of the 'Star Wars Canon', which before, was totally impossible. I never really got into the EU for that exact reason, there was just such a massive amount, Pre-Episode 4, Post Episode 6, Pre Episode 1...just such an absurd amount, that there was really no way to take it all in or sort good from bad. At least now it is 'back to square one' and new and dedicated fans can keep up with the Canon-EU from this point on.
Chris Groves on Apr 25, 2014
Very well said. Was quite undecided, if not a bit disappointed, until reading your comment.
avconsumer2 on Apr 28, 2014
Bring 1313 and the Earth Maul game back.
Xerxexx on Apr 25, 2014
Where is Earth Maul and how soon can I get there?
OfficialJab on Apr 26, 2014
Damn you E! Can you imagine Earth Maul...legendary yet terrifying.
Xerxexx on Apr 26, 2014
Good, it's nice for an official word "All of that stuff that came before is not canon, but moving forward, everything we produce will be canon and in line with the rest of the canon" Works for me. #1 on the list of things that should ascend from the EU and into the proper canon? - Boba Fett escaping and surviving the Sarlacc Pit.
Chris Groves on Apr 25, 2014
Does this now mean we came move on from expectations of the new films to include the Solo twins or whatever. I liked some aspects of the EU novels, but let's be honest there is a lot of crude as well. Who came up with the idea of one of Han and Leia's kids being called Anakin for example....wouldn't Bail of been a more important nod from Leia for example? Though personally I find the use of Anakin and Ben for names pretty lame.
Steven on Apr 25, 2014
I have no skin in the game because I never read any of the EU novels, but to those who have where they've invested thousands of hours in reading those novels I bet are feeling like total crap.
Alboone on Apr 25, 2014
I'm pretty sure the stance has always been "This stuff is only canon until further notice" Lucas always reserved the right to contradict the EU in any films he made. For example, Boba Fett's EU past was pretty much tossed out the window once Attack of the Clones got made.
Chris Groves on Apr 25, 2014
I think alienating all the hardcore EU fans by telling them: "We're dumping the EU. Thanks for all the millions of dollars we made off you saps! Oh, btw...by our NEW EU crap! We promise we won't reboot for a least a few years." What a great way to give them the finger for loyally buying the media tie-ins over the years. Bravo Disney. Bravo. As for me, I won't be counting how many "hidden Mickey's" they put into Episode 7. I'm done being a part of the Disney's Star Wars cash grab on all the existing fans.
Kidcardco on Apr 25, 2014
I wont be bothering with the new movies since the almost 30 years of what was canon no longer exists except as basically as fanfiction. I wont bother with any new novel and comic tie ins and any of the new toys for the movies. This is a slap in the face to any creator the Star Wars Universe has had and to any of it's fans. All of those novels, all of those comics are not no better than anything Star Trek related. They never happened. The only people who like this bullshit idea from Disney are those same people who only watched the movies and think that Episodes I to III were good and that there was nothing wrong with Jar Jar Binks.
Daniel Blank on Apr 25, 2014
There is just so much potential with the whole Star Wars franchise with movies, games, cartoons, tv series, etc.. but the potential just has not been close to being reached. For example, a full length Force Unleased film whether live action or continued CGI from the game trailers. Old Republic movies, original movies with all new timelines and characters, non-limiting force powers, just to name a few. Seems like they keep trying to rewrite the original story.
Hand Solo on Apr 26, 2014
Nielsen700 on Apr 26, 2014
I always disregarded the EU when it came to the movies--they just never felt like the same universe. It's better for everyone to start fresh. Let's face it EU fans were never going to be happy unless all of it was adapted intact from all its various sources. Just the sheer weight of the eu was going to be an anchor around the necks of most present and future SW fans, most of whom aren't EU fans. Every time I would happen across an EU argument over saber fighting styles or the true nature of mandalorians, I wanted Lucas himself from on high to bring his down his mighty hand and say, Bullshit!
JFarrar on Apr 27, 2014
There is some really good stuff in the expanded universe. I hope they don't ditch everything. That would be a real waste.
DAVIDPD on Apr 27, 2014
Star Wars would not be anywhere near as valuable a property as it is today, were it not for the EU. Unfortunately, the only way for Disney to squeeze the absolute most profit out of their new play toy was to abandon the very thing that brought so many of us into Star Wars, and kept so many more from abandoning George before, during and after the prequel catastrophe. (That admittedly made gobs and gobs of money ((because the EU had primed the pump)) but was still terrible.)
Keith Watts on Apr 28, 2014
Somewhere, there is a Wookieepedia editor tying a sturdy noose to a rafter.
avconsumer2 on Apr 28, 2014
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