The Case for the Star Wars Expanded Universe
Star Wars Continuity and Canon
Once, not so long ago, there was only one Star Wars Universe. One canon. I It began with Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire and Dark Horse Comics Dark Empire. Before then, five novels (not counting novelizations) and classic Marvel comics told the story.
But Star Wars, long dormant in the mind’s of fans, awakened with Timothy Zahns Heir to the Empire. All books, comics and video games from then on were incorporated into one story. What happened in one story could be referenced in another, no matter what media it was in. One doesn’t need to read the entire expanded universe to enjoy it. But when you read more than one comic, book or game references may grow familiar and be a pleasant surprise.
How did the Star Wars canon work?
Leeland Chee was hired as the Holocron Keeper, a database of all these stories to keep them straight, preventing and correcting contradictions.
Old stories, like the Han Solo and Lando Calrissian trilogies, the radio dramas and even some of the classic Marvel comics were gradually folded into the canon as much as possible. Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, a story told even before The Empire Strikes Back, had a graphic novel made that smoothed over the inconsistencies.
Most things were equal in canon, with the exception of stories labeled Infinities, Tales or Legos. Video Games had multiple story possibilities, but only one considered canon. The ‘levels’ of canon was set to account for things like the multiple options of video game endings.
With truly amazing creativity somehow most things were made to mesh. Reasonable, logical answers – in galaxy answers, for these contradictions were worked out and smoothed over.
What set Star wars and it’s Expanded Universe apart?
Unlike other series like Marvel, DC, Star Trek or many others, each story worked with the others. There was no multi universe, no discontinuity. When the Thrawn trilogy came out in the 1990s after a long hiatus between new content, the characters of that story didn’t end with the book. They continued on in the next story, or even previous stories set in that galaxy but were published later. Events were taken into a count to make an overall story arc.
The same held true for species, places, cultures and ships. It took astonishing creativity at times among many, many authors, as well as Lucasfilm to keep it one consistent vision.
The affect on the Movies and Vice Versa
When the prequel movies appeared, references to this expanded universe abounded, both in the novelizations and even on screen. Coruscant, the planetary capital was given its name in the novels. Quinlan Vos at Boz Pity was a story told in Dark Horse comics and mentioned in Revenge of the Sith. Aayla first appeared in comics then in Attack of the Clones. Things from the original trilogy novelizations and screenplays, even that did not make it into the movies, were used in the expanded universe as well, often smoothing out what would otherwise be contradictions. These include things like Obi-Wan claiming the Jedi served the Old Republic for a thousand generations, that is 30 years (in A New Hope) whereas Palpatine said the Old Republic only existed for 1000 years (Attack of the Clones). Minor deviations in the timeline due to changes to the date of the clone wars were smoothed out with various reasonable explanations.
There are still contradictions. But there are many more that aren’t really contradictions at all. And on this site I will prove it. Explore the realm now known as the Expanded Universe, for in spite of the journalistic slant to the contrary, it existed and was far more expanded before Disney came along. It spanned millennia, millions of alien species and cultures and adventures of far more heroes and villains than ever made the big screen. Right up until the cancellation the universe’s contradictions were being adapted and adjusted to keep it all consistent with one universe, one story.
What do fans of the first born Expanded Universe, now called Legends, want now?
We have only 2 goals:
- To have our stories continued, separately, not integrated into the Disney stories. We don’t want our beloved characters cherry picked. A person or place has a history, and if you take away that history giving them the same name doesn’t make for the same person.
- To have our stories accepted as an entirely separate canon of sorts, outside their version. Many other franchises have this much. No other storyline, not Stargate, Star Trek or Batman or any other claimed that the NEW story is all that ever happened, that the old was nothing, worthless. yet this is what was done. This is what we, the fans, would like to see rectified. These stories were guided by Lucas’ vision, authors paid to create these stories. They were not ‘fanfiction’ as some say and should not be dismissed as such. To do so is an insult to the authors, artists and many others who made the Expanded Universe worthy in the Guinness Book of World Records. There is no reason the 2 canons cannot coexist and continue side by side peacefully.
This site will give you a peek into this adventure into Star Wars history that we want continued.