UPDATE: RIP Star Wars Expanded Universe?

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For those of you like me who have read almost every book that has been printed of what has happened after the events of The Return of the Jedi will be disappointed about what is to come. It has been suspected from the time that Lucasfilm was bought by Disney that things would be changing and we have seen many of those changes already. Although it has not been officially confirmed by Disney/Lucasfilm, tweets from the Lucasfilm Story Group are suggesting that the Expanded Universe will be “disposed” to make room for a more cohesive canon. So this means that the movies and any other media can and will override the EU if necessary. According to Leland Chee, who is a member of the Story Group, says this:

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As much as I have loved the old timeline, there was a lot of work that needed to be done to clean it up. We’ve heard that JJ Abrams won’t be using the EU as part of the films, so it is giving us something new to look forward to in the new films and new opportunity for the story to develop into something that we’ll all love again. So the Lucasfilm Story Group will be deciding what’s canon and what’s not. So will the EU be disposed of completely? Not all of it, it just seems they are trying to get rid of the G/T/C canon and make one official cohesive canon.

Keep checking back as we get more updates!

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35 thoughts on “UPDATE: RIP Star Wars Expanded Universe?

  1. Don’t worry. The Millennium Falcon will go through a black hole and older Han Solo will cross paths with his younger (new actor) self, and they’ll learn the timeline has been altered. The Death Star will now blow up Yavin 4, thrusting the rebels into a new timeline where Darth Vader and the Emperor didn’t die and the rebels are losing.

    1. 1. That plot line was because Paramount insisted on rebooting Star Trek. And that plot is the brainchild of Orci and Kurtzman, nor Abrams. Neither Orci nor Kurtzman are working on Star Wars.

      2. Star Wars isn’t being rebooted. They’re cleaning up lazy conflicting canon, such as the movies contradicting novels on Boba Fett’s back story. That’s a good thing.

      3. Episode VII is based off Lucas’ core idea for the story for the new trilogy, which was in place well before Abrams got involved.

      4. Abrams has said countless times he sees Trek and Wars as being very different beasts. People still insisting that he will make Episode VII just like Star Trek are being ridiculous. This is a tired and foolish argument.

      1. Anything with Lucas name should be dropped immediately, as the Prequels trilogy makes clear he’s lost any sense of the Star Wars setting. Honest to god, start with Timothy’s Zahn’s books and work from there. They don’t need to use everything in the EU, but cutting it out wholesale is a serious slap in the face to the dedicated SW’s community.

  2. As it stands today, there is a hierarchy where certain things are more canon than others. But that means fantastic video games like KOTOR aren’t really canon because of how low video games are on the totem pole. Removing the hierarchy and establishing one official canon for everything Star Wars is a good thing.

    That doesn’t mean all of the previous EU gets thrown out the window necessarily.

    If somewhere else they have said that all the EU is going away, I’m curious to see it.

    1. KotOR was a great game, but did horrible things to already established Canon. I don’t trust Disney to create a Hierarchy that acknowledges the time, money and love that fans have put into the EU. There are certain core novels and graphic novels that must be included in any official canon, because they provide a baseline for the rest of the EU. I don’t mind cutting some of the dead weight, but fear too much of established canon being removed.

      It’s bad enough Lucas has sold out so completely, especially after the travesty the Prequels were. Having the setting butchered even further by Disney just makes it worse.

  3. Wow this is such a non-issue. The EU under lucas was always considered to not be cannon. The only items of cannon were movies and official tv shows. Books and video games were not.

    If they are cleaning up the EU to make it more cohesive. Then what Disney is doing is getting rid of EU and making it cannon. Which is a good thing. Quit complaining.

    1. That’s inaccurate. Lucas has a bad habit of acknowledging Novels and other sources as Canon, until he decided they weren’t anymore. His statements have been pretty random over the years. Before the Prequels, there were several novel lines that LucasFilm held as canon.

      The Original Trilogy is absolute canon (and even that changes with his meddling), and then the material licensed through the President of Lucas Licensing. Then the games and certain comics are ‘semi-canon’, where they don’t conflict with above sources.

      When the Prequels were added, it invalidated quite a bit of already licensed material, as did the Cartoons based off them, because Lucas held them as hard Canon. With the sale to Disney, all bets are off of course, which means a large chunk of what fans consider SW’s, suddenly are not.

      Which is really sad, because some of the core Novel titles have better content and cohesiveness than what Lucas has done himself…

    2. This is a major issue. The EU is chronological. Novels at least, and should be left in place. decades of wonderful story arcs should not be wiped away, decent writers should be able to participate in the world thats been crafted, obviously their predecessors had no issue. its great youre a fan of the films, dont get me wrong, but your ignorance is rediculous.

  4. Lucas had a team of people that were there just to keep the books and comics consistent (as much as humanly possible) so that they would remain consistent with his series. Then he changed things with the prequels and naturally, some things no longer fit. But it wasn’t as haphazard as some are indicating. Most of the EU doesn’t have any conflict internally, and most of it would be easy to write around for new films, provided the writers wanted to. I’m not saying a new film would be bad. I am behind seeing the original cast return with a new generation of heroes. That’s fantastic news! But they don’t have to entirely toss out the EU to do it. Have Mara Jade and the Solo kids in there. Why not? It’s all good. Is EU perfect? No. Is anything man-made perfect? If there is, I haven’t seen it.

    1. Uhhh, they fit fine actually. It’s amazing how people say there are plot holes and all that. No, there aren’t. The EU fits fine with the movies. You’re not even listing any inconsistencies, because there aren’t any.
      You can’t toss the EU out anyways, Lucas wants to because he’s a greed cunt, and Disney just like to fuck with everything. They’re getting rid of the EU because they personally want to, even though it’s impossible to do so, they’re gonna do it anyways.

  5. @Gordon Magill – The prequels aren’t the worst films in history as some might claim. And the prequels did get progressively better. They were all flawed films because they were auteur films. Lucas wrote and directed them with no input from others, and they suffered because of it. That being said, the two best films (ESB and RotJ) were made with Lucas coming up with a core story concept and then letting someone else write the script and direct. That is the formula for the new trilogy.

    And nowhere has Disney said the EU is being thrown out wholesale. That is bloggers speculating. LUCASFILM employees (not Disney) are forming a story council so that when they approve a story for a book or a video game, it is just as canon as the movies. This is a good thing. They’re eliminating the previous hierarchy where they movies could contradict the TV shows which could contradict books which could contradict comics which could contradict games.

  6. Some really unbalanced and infuriatingly stupid comments on here regarding the EU issue. Firstly, all of those attacking Lucas for selling out to Disney should realise that he only sold the rights to new projects and, therefore, the new projects can’t adhere completely to the EU.

    Likewise, whilst Disney now have the Lucasfilm brand and rights to the many projects created by GL and his team, they do not have the rights to the two trilogies released by Fox and which are held in “perpetuity”. This means that, technically, Disney have no say in the future management of the classic and prequel trilogies.,

    And, in the UK, the ITV network has a “lifelong” TV deal regarding the originals.

    So, getting back to the Disney/Lucasfilm tie-up, what has been created since Return of the Jedi can be used as the rights and the SPECULATION by commentators and bloggers that there will be NO use of the EU material is just that. SPECULATION.

    The arrangements of the Lucasfilm/ Disney deal also heralded the departure of Dave Feloni following the cancellation of Clone Wars. This was a technicality that would allow him to continue to work for Lucas and develop the new “Rebels” series.

    Additionally, as there have been no official cast details announced, except with the conformation that R2D2 is the only returning character to date. But, there is growing SPECULATION that Ford, Fisher, Hamill, Mayhew, Daniels and McDiarmid will be reprising their original roles not in Episode 7, but in the second of the spin-off movies scheduled for 2017/2018.

  7. Anyone who feels its just fine to wipe out decades worth of effort, all the teams who have strived to build an EU for us, is obviously not a true fan. Star Wars is cohesive. The novels should, at the least, be preserved. There is more than enough points, months/years, in our universe for Disney to work with. we cant allow some mickeymouse bulls**t company to tear everything apart for simply no reason. Nerds have kept this franchise alive all this time. Lucas served the new trilogy, and we painstakingly accepted it. now this.. how many times must we be slapped around? cant we all just.. get along? Remember, Zahn gave us Coruscant… not Lucas.

    1. What made you the arbiter of what a true fan is, thats like someone saying if you didn’t see SW in theaters in the 1977 and followed since then you aren’t a true fan. The funny thing is, the people who like the EU can still like it and enjoy it but it was hardly beloved by everyone was far from “cohesive”. Just as many fans find lots of the stories in the EU cringeworthy and not worthy of accepting. The overwhelming majority of people who are familiar with Star Wars could care less about the EU and if you asked them about it they would say WTF is that and that’s the truth no matter how passionate YOU are about the EU.

    2. We need a dose of realism here, there are many considerations when making a series of films. The EU filled a gap whilst there was a hiatus in Star Wars film production, some of it is excellent like the Thrawn Trilogy (partially due to being written whilst the EU was in its early days) but others are little better then fan fiction like “The Crystal Star” written by Vonda N. McIntyre that includes Werewolves!

      Even with the often talked about dedicated teams the canon of the EU is a contradictory mess that will be hard to translate to the silver screen. On a side note if anybody wants master class of the practicalities of translating a novel to TV or film then hunt out some of George RR Martins interviews on Youtube or GofT blu-rays. Compromises have to be made when translating something to film and using the EU as a basis for the sequel trilogy introduces many problems for the screen writers and director. Actually I am in no doubt that you would HATE a sequel trilogy based on the EU because of the compromises that would have to be made.

      The main reason the JJ Star Trek was an in canon reboot was to remove the problem of the narrative straight jacket of decades of Trek continuity. A difficult pill for many to swallow but something that made the process far easier for the team making that film. To slavishly follow the EU for the sequel trilogy has the effect of putting a massive straight jacket on the team making those films especially as the source material is of vastly varying quality.

      We also need to consider the audience, to tailor the films for the fans of the EU would be commercial suicide. The mainstream audience would find many aspects of an EU based trilogy baffling. How do you condense many hundreds of novels written over many years by different authors into a coherent seven and a half hours worth of film (assuming each film is about 2.5 hours long)? The success of these films will stand and fall on how well they connect with a casual mainstream audience. Also remember they want to make spin off films, how do they succeed if made within an EU universe framework?

      Another thing that has to be considered and also a major reason why these new films can not be based upon EU is rights management. The EU novels are written by hundreds of authors. To use the ip of those novels would entail paying royalty to those authors, it is highly unlikely that Disney would want to do that. Ignoring the EU means an ip that is entirely owned by Disney, that is an attractive commercial decision.

      K Roll you are clearly taking things very personally, not basing these films on the EU does not destroy it. It is still there for you to enjoy into the future. The Star Wars fandom is very wide, I personally queued for Phantom Menace and have a vast collection of memorabilia from the series including many EU novels but I am also a realist. The people making these new films include many true fans as does I am sure Disney but these films are also a commercial proposition. They need to stand on their own feet within a global market, to do that decisions have to be made beyond what a narrow field of hard core fans of the EU want. That is not a personal slight against yourself or anybody else who has grown to love the EU but if the films are to succeed the creators can not work based upon the whim of a committee of thousands.

      Enjoy the EU books but also look upon these new films as an adventure set in a different medium. Hopefully if Disney gets it right we get a renewed an refreshed Star Wars that we can enjoy for the next thirty years.

  8. Alternate History. Repeat. Alternate History. The original SW movie in 1977 laid out the basic facts for the saga. Lucas wanted to create a mythology and he did with the first movie. An argument can be made that even TESB and ROTJ are Lucas’ alternate histories, the same as every fan story ever written after 1977. The EU was another stretch of alternate history (esp. for many people who were adults when the first movie came out).

    Always remember that there are many, many, many SW fans who never liked the EU and never considered the EU anything but alternate history.

  9. Ya know, I can live with the concept that there is Gene Roddenberry “original” Star Trek universe that includes the original television series and films, and that there is also an alternate “Abrams” Star Trek universe, where things can go in a different direction. I don’t have a problem with two separate timelines in Star Wars either…….one that includes all of the Expanded Universe stuff after ROTJ, and a second one that takes the saga in a different timeline for those people who only watches movies. I’m a huge Star Wars fan, and even I’m thinking this isn’t gonna be too tough to grasp. Bring on the new trilogy!!

  10. It’s impossible to remove the EU, but Disney are going to try, lol. So… all the EU stuff we bought is trash and wasted money now? 😮
    Also it doesn’t help when people prefer the EU to the films, and it reaaaalllllyyyy doesn’t help when Expanded Universe content is mentioned a lot in the movies

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