Arm Yourself with Facts for the Conflict between Expanded Universe fans and the new Disney Empire
“Canon refers to an authoritative list of books that the Lucas Licensing editors consider an authentic part of the official Star Wars history. Our goal is to present a continuous and unified history of the Star Wars galaxy, insofar as that history does not conflict with, or undermine the meaning of Mr. Lucas’s Star Wars saga of films and screenplays.” ~ Sue Rostoni, Lucas Licensing Editor, Star Wars Gamer #6
“We’ve stuck to a very clear branding strategy for the past decade. This is Star Wars. Individual movies come and go, as do TV shows, video games, books. They all contribute to the lore of Star Wars, but in the end it is one saga and that saga is called Star Wars. We’ve wanted to send a clear message to our fans that everything we do is part of that overall saga.” ~Howard Roffman, Executive Vice President, Franchise Management. quote from Star Wars.com regarding The Clone Wars. Original Article is no longer available but the archive file is here.
“After Star Wars was released, it became apparent that my story—however many films it took to tell—was only one of thousands that could be told about the characters who inhabit its galaxy. But these were not stories I was destined to tell. Instead they would spring from the imagination of other writers, inspired by the glimpse of a galaxy that Star Wars provided. Today it is an amazing, if unexpected, legacy of Star Wars that so many gifted writers are contributing new stories to the Saga.” ~ George Lucas, foreward in rerelease of Splinter of the Mind’s Eye
“Over the years, many artists and designers have contributed to the articulation of the various universes of Lucasfilm. Taking their cues from the minimal words of description on a script page, these talented men and women have sketched, drawn and/or modeled creatures of magnificent breadth, unimaginable terror, and mind-boggling eccentricity. Some of these creatures have made it into film, while others, because of the way stories unravel, have not (so far). But this does not mean they do not exist. For once something is created, no matter what the context, it takes on a life of its own.”
―Foreword written by George Lucas in Monsters and Aliens from George Lucas
Unlike other franchises that reboot with most every incarnation, Star Wars had proven itself over the years to be a singular universe. Everything outside of the films was collectively known as the Expanded Universe serving as an extension of the same universe as the films. If something happened in a book or a comic, it could potentially affect everything else happening in the universe. Any discrepancies that resulted would be resolved or retconned (short for retro active continuity, ie changes from previously established continuity) across the board to try and create some consistency. ~ Leeland Chee, Star Wars.com: what is the holocron, Original page here. Backup archive is here.
“We have a tremendous amount of reference material including the original screen plays, the films, the West End Games books, the Guide to the Star Wars Universe and our in house timeline which includes, titles and synopses of all published material. As new works our published we update an in house extension of the guide, adding new characters, terms and events. We also have access to the memory banks of other Star Wars professionals for those rare occasions when we are stumped.” – Sue Rostoni, Lucas Books and Lucas Licensing Managing Editor and Allan Kausch Continuity Editor for Lucasfilm, Star Wars Insider 23 Fall of 1994
“Gospel or Canon, as we refer to it, includes the screenplays, the films, the radio dramas and the novelizations. These works spin out of George Lucas’ original stories, the rest are created by other writers. However between us, we’ve read everything and much of it is taken into account in the overall continuity.”- Sue Rostoni, Lucas Books and Lucas Licensing Managing Editor and Allan Kausch Continuity Editor for Lucasfilm, Star Wars Insider 23 Fall of 1994
“A great deal of attention and care has been put into fleshing out the star wars universe because fans are sophisticated and demand a cohesive approach. Star Wars universe is unique in each story builds upon the last and leads into the next.”- Sue Rostoni, Lucas Books and Lucas Licensing Managing Editor and Allan Kausch Continuity Editor for Lucasfilm, Star Wars Insider 23 Fall of 1994
“Basically, everything except those items marked with an “Infinity” logo (i.e. the Star Wars Tales comics) is considered canon.”-Sue Rostoni, Lucas Books and Lucas Licensing Managing Editor, Starwars.com May 30, 2003
“”Lucasfilm canon” refers to anything produced by any of the Lucas companies, whether it be movies, books games or internet. “Movie canon” is only what you see and hear in the Star Wars films”- Leland Chee, Continuity Database administrator aka Keeper of the Holocron for Lucas Licensing, Starwars.com May 30, 2003
“When asked if the G and C-levels formed separate and independent canon, Chee responded by stating that both were part of a single canon: “There is one overall continuity.””-Leland Chee, Continuity Database administrator aka Keeper of the Holocron for Lucas Licensing, August 4, 2004
“The concept of an expanded universe certainly isn’t unique to star wars. Many popular genre properties from Star Trek to Alien, release spinoff tales that shed light on events not seen in the official narrative. But Star Wars EU is unique both in its size and its care which is in the narrative which is shepherd and organized and Star Wars the Expanded universe is official.” –Star wars insider 101 May 2008
“Lucasfilm and Bantam decided that future novels in the series would be interconnected: that is, events in one novel would have consequences in the others. You might say that each Bantam Star Wars novel, enjoyable on its own, is also a part of a larger tale.”- Statement in the original prints of the Bantam Star Wars books 1990s
“A great deal of attention and care has been put into fleshing out the star wars universe because fans are sophisticated and demand a cohesive approach. Star Wars universe is unique in each story builds upon the last and leads into the next.”-Star Wars Insider 23 Fall of 1994
“Other writers besides myself and Timothy Zahn are writing further adventures in the Star Wars universe, all of which will begin regularly appearing in your bookstore [. . .]Each installment changes the characters and the galactic situation in the overall saga. The Star Wars universe is complex and vast, and internally consistent–and we authors have to keep it that way. [. . .] The details established in the films are clear-cut and obvious to follow. A bigger problem comes when we authors need to be consistent with each other. Since we are writing most of these novels concurrently, we have to be fully aware of the other developing stories even though our novels are set in different time frames. Lucy Wilson at Lucasfilm has been our primary contact and conduit for information, offering her own suggestions and helping keep the stories unified. She has told us that we don’t necessarily have to refer to everything that happens in the other writers’ adventures, but we must make certain that we just don’t contradict anything.”-Kevin J. Anderson, EU author, introduction to the “Dark Empire” collection 1995
“Lucas’s day-to-day activities in the main house include the management of the Star Wars story, which is probably the most carefully tended secular story on Earth. Unlike Star Trek, which is a series of episodes connected by no central narrative, Star Wars is a single story–“a finite, expanding universe,” in the words of Tom Dupree, who edits Bantam’s Star Wars novels in New York. Everyone in the content-creating galaxy of Star Wars has a copy of “The Bible,” a burgeoning canonical document(currently a hundred and seventy pages long) that is maintained by “continuity editors” Allan Kausch and Sue Rostoni.It is a chronology of all the events that have ever occurred in the Star Wars universe, in all the films, books, CD-roms, Nintendo games, comic books, and role-playing guides, and each medium is seamlessly coordinated with the others.” – John Seabrook, Writer for the New Yorker, article from the New Yorker, Why the force is still with us, January 6, 1997
“New developments in even the remotest corners of the Star Wars universe are always approved by Lucas himself. The continuity editors send him checklists of potential events, and Lucas checks yes or no. “When Bantam wanted to do the back story on Yoda,” Dupree said, “George said that was off limits, because he wanted him to remain a mysterious character. But George has made available some time between the start of Episode Four, when Han Solo is a young pilot on the planet Corellia, and the end of the prequel, so we’re working with that now.””-John Seabrook, Writer for the New Yorker, Why the force is still with us article from the New Yorker January 6, 1997
“Be assured that nothing Star Wars related that Dark Horse publishes escapes the scrutiny of Mr. Lucas” – Bob Cooper, editor for Dark Horse Comics Classic, letter to the editor section of Classic Star Wars 8, Dark Horse Comics, April 1993
“LucasBooks has always checked with the boss to make sure that none of its projects interferes in any way with anything that he is planning. And while plans can change, rest assured that the wonderful expanded fictional universe enjoyed by so many fans has in no way stomped or trampled on any of George Lucas’s prerogatives or options.”-Steve Sansweet, Director of content management and had of fan relations at Lucasfilm, Starwars.com November, 2000
“The idea (licensing deal with Bantam) was passed to George Lucas who agreed that licensing could expand upon the films with original fiction set after Return of the Jedi. In the early days of the publishing department Wilson worked closely with her administrative assistant Sue Rostoni (Now managing editor of the department as well as adult fiction) on editorial projects. The two of them decided that to maintain quality it would be crucial to monitor the storylines of all projects to ensure that none of their books contradicted one another. This continuity decision became one of the department’s biggest challenges and greatens successes.” Star Wars Insider 59 June, 2002
“The thing about Star Wars is that there’s one universe,” Chee says. “Everyone wants to know stuff, like, where did Mace Windu get that purple lightsaber? We want to establish that there’s one and only one answer.”-Leland Chee, Continuity Database administrator aka Keeper of the Holocron for Lucas Licensing, Interview with thewire.com August 2008
“’We set parameters,’ Roffman says. “It had to be an important extension of the continuity, and it had to have an internal integrity with the events portrayed in the films.” Closely tending the canon was paying off with fans. Essentially, all the new comic books, novels, and games were prequels and sequels of one another”-Howard Roffman, President of Lucas Licensing, Interview with thewire.com August 2008
“[HolocronKeeper] does not support the notion of parallel SW universes.”-Leland Chee, Continuity Database administrator aka Keeper of the Holocron for Lucas Licensing, Tweet August 2009 (observation: then they should not have created one, assuming fans would ABANDON decades of lore willingly.)
“For Star Wars, we decided that this was a history. Each novel would take place in a certain timeframe, what happened in previous books would have an effect on the current one.-Kevin J. Anderson, EU author, Interview: Star Wars Author Kevin J. Anderson On ‘Jedi Academy Trilogy’, ‘Darksaber’, & ‘Tales of the Jedi’ November 18, 2014
At the time, we were all a team of authors. I was in contact with Dave Wolverton, Kathy Tyers, Mike Stackpole, and Tim Zahn, along with Tom Veitch a great deal with Tales of the Jedi comics. We were like a small team exchanging ideas. Tim Zahn would plant something in The Last Command that I picked up on in Jedi Search, and we did that sort of stuff. I’ve been out of the loop for a while, I’m not sure if LucasFilm writers do the same thing now, but we had a great little team who were building the history of this universe. We were like the worker bees building a foundation. –Kevin J. Anderson, EU author, Interview: Star Wars Author Kevin J. Anderson On ‘Jedi Academy Trilogy’, ‘Darksaber’, & ‘Tales of the Jedi’ November 18, 2014
Rather than forbid each of us to get into those mysterious areas, it was decided that we should submit questionnaires to George Lucas. Basically, we would make up long lists of ideas we wanted to use and he would check “OK” or “Not OK” next to each idea. For example, I made a long list of possible powers that the ancient Jedi possessed. He vetoed most of them but okayed some rather interesting ones, such as the ability to “study the qualities of animals and acquire those qualities. He also okayed the use of Jedi Battle Meditation – the ability to influence events by interior visualization. – Tom Veitch, “Telling Tales” interview with Dan Wallace for Star Wars Galaxy Magazine. Issue 13, November 1997
The West End Games Star Wars material was all based on the movies, but additional material had to be created for the role playing game in order to fill out the Star wars universe. Lucasfilm provided assistance and retained final approval. This means that the Star Wars material produced by West End Games is as close to being official as it can be without actually coming from George Lucas himself…..
Lucasfilm is concerned with keeping the continuity and the cohesiveness of the Star Wars universe together, and the goal for A Guide to the Star Wars Universe is that it will provide other authors with the information necessary to maintain the integrity of the Star Wars universe. – Book Review by Salman A. Nensi on A Guide to the Star Wars Universe by Bill Slavicsek, Del Rey (second edition) in Lucasfilm Fan Club Issue 21, Winter ’94
“or if we are developing backstory for a character he’s created or mentioned in an interview, we can query him to get more information, his approval, or whatever. And yes, we always query him if we’re doing something drastic to a film character. I believe he does read the concepts for the games though”-Sue Rostoni, Lucas Books and Lucas Licensing Managing Editor, Starwars.com June 2004
“He knows the comics very well – after the fact. He reads the comics. George knows more about Star Wars than we do. He doesn’t see the expanded universe as ‘his’ Star Wars but as ‘ours’. I think this has been mentioned previously, maybe in other places, but it’s not new info, as far as I remember”-Sue Rostoni, Lucas Books and Lucas Licensing Managing Editor, Starwars.com June 2004
“”Parallel universe” suggests that each universe can go in separate directions which really isn’t the case with regard to the EU. The EU is bound by what is seen in the most current version of the films and by directives from George Lucas.”-Leland Chee, Continuity Database administrator aka Keeper of the Holocron for Lucas Licensing, Starwars.com January, 2005
“Continuity has been the supreme commandment at Lucasfilm for Shadows and all it’s Star Wars projects.The company had made the decision to not only expand it’s universe but have it unfold as a seamless chronicle. Whether a new star system is explored in a novel or a scene is set in ancient Jedi days from a comic series, nothing can contradict the history or logic of what has gone before.
To keep it all straight there is ‘The Canon’, a timeline of major events and lifespan of main characters prepared by the continuity editors of Lucasfilm and considered the in-house bible of the Star Wars universe.” ~ Mark Cotta Vaz, The Secrets of Shadows of the Empire 1996
To keep track of of the history of the universe, in 1992 Sue Rostoni began preparing a written chronology of events from famous battles to the life spans of characters (which as long as the universe is expanding is an ongoing process.) By 1994, Allan Kausch had begun translating the chronology into a visual reference, a taped together scroll of about 11 X 17-inch pieces of paper that unrolled to 3 feet in length and was marked with a horizontal time line drawn across and inscribed underneath with historic events. ~ Mark Cotta Vaz, Secrets of Shadows of the Empire
“We have what we call Canon, which is the screenplays, the novelizations, and other core works that are tied into the continuity, and then there are a lot of marginal things, like the old Marvel Comics Series that we don’t try to work into the continuity when we’re planning new projects,” Kaush explains. “Even the LucasArts interactive games have a premise, a backstory with player characters that we’re trying to tie into the overall continuity. It is sort of a godlike undertaking. We are creating this universe as we go along, but somebody has to keep his finger on all that has gone before. ~ Allen Kaush, interview ~ Mark Cotta Vaz, Secrets of Shadows of the Empire
Lucasfilm Licensing serves two functions. They make sure all new material is consistent with the films; consistent in it’s portrayal of the Rebels and Empire’s conflict; consistent in how it introduces characters of different races and cultures; and even consistent in design direction. Additionally, Licensing makes sure the new material from different sources is consistent. “Our aim is to have a lot of cross-fertilization between mediums. This validates the universe for fans,” continued Roffman. “We’re building an integrated team that’s producting product in this integrated universe.” The result is a universe so carefully and explicitly evolved that it begins to parallel our own Milky Way in its diversity, logic and believability.
– Lucasarts by Sue Serman, SWInsider Issue 23, 1994
‘While continuity is part of each step of a comic book’s development, and the writer, artists, and editors all need to be familiar with the source material, the mantle of “continuity expert” goes to Allan Kausch of Lucasfilm Liicensing. Allan continues to be the guy to set errors straight and make sure that all projects remain faithful to George Lucas‘ vision.’
– Classic Star Wars The Early Adventures issue 9, 1995, Dark Horse Comics, letter section.
“This is perhaps the most exciting part of working on the Journal: expanding the breadth of the Star Wars universe. Since it’s a licensed publication, all the material becomes an official part of the continuity.” – Peter Schweighofer, editor of the Star Wars Adventure Journal, Introduction to Star Wars: Tales of the Empire, 1997
“GL is certainly not bound by the EU, though he’s certainly open to using things created in it (Aayla Secura and the Coruscant name, for example). On the other hand, the quote you provide makes it sound like the EU is separate from George’s vision of the Star Wars universe. It is not. The EU must follow certain tenets set by George through the films and other guidelines that he provides outside of the films. “-Leland Chee, Continuity Database administrator aka Keeper of the Holocron for Lucas Licensing, on starwars.com December 7, 2005 (In response to the “I don’t read those books” Starlog magazine quote)
There’s quite a lot of material in the expanded universe. How did you create the Essential Chronology with so much material out there. Is everything canon? Did you have to consult the keeper of the Holocron?
“Officially everything in the Star Wars publishing universe is canon, though George Lucas retains creator privileges to override anything he wants. Lucasfilm employs a “Keeper of the Holocron,” namely Leland Chee, to keep it all straight. In this Star Wars is unique from most other franchises. DC, for example, keeps the Batman comics separate from The Dark Knight movie and Arkham Asylum the video game.”
– Interview with Daniel Wallace on writing The Jedi Path source:
Q&A With Jedi Path Author Daniel Wallace, Aug 24, 2010
“With the sponsorship of former Bantam Spectra editor Tom Dupree, I “auditioned” for the opportunity to write a Star Wars trilogy on the strength of my novels…After I was approved by Lucasfilm, both Bantam and Lucasfilm sent me cartons of background and reference material, including an extensive timeline distilling the events of the other licensed fiction…Finally, I wrote a second, shorter version of the outline (incorporating two modest changes requested or suggested by Lucasfilm) for George Lucas’s personal review and approval. When that approval came, it was time to start writing. ” ~ Michael Kube-McDowell (Author of the Black Fleet Crisis) source.
“In Vector Prime, based on a story line approved by George Lucas. New York Times bestselling author R. A. Salvatore take the Star Wars universe to previously unscaled heights of action and imagination, expanding the beloved story of a galaxy far, far away…” Preface found in the front cover of the novel Vector Prime by R. A. Salvatore, 1999“George Lucas says “There really isn’t any story to tell. It’s been covered in the books, and video games, and comic books which are things I think are incredibly creative.” ” George Lucas Interview with the LA times May 2008
One of the biggest strengths of the Star Wars expanded universe – and something that sets it apart from similar franchises – is the fact that in its 30+ years of existence there’s never been a need for a reboot. Continuity has never become so out-of-whack that writers have been forced to throw in the towel and start over” – unaccredited editor’s notes on the Starwars.com article, Introducing… Leland Chee, July 19, 2012
“ Lucas approves every important addition to the canon . The ambitious story beats contained in the new game The Force Unleashed were permitted only after he signed off—and spent hours talking to the developers about the relationship between Darth Vader and the Emperor.”- Leland Chee, Continuity Database administrator aka Keeper of the Holocron for Lucas Licensing, Interview with thewire.com August 2008
Interview Question: How closely did you work with Lucas Licensing on Darth Plagueis? How much did George get involved? What advice did he give you?
James Luceno: George was involved in the early stages . When the book was first proposed, I wrote to him and asked whether there was any reason why Plagueis couldn’t be a non-human, and he wrote back that Plagueis could be a Muun and sent me some artist renderings of the character. From that point on, everything was approved, as they’re saying, “at the highest level.” I worked most closely with George’s right-hand man at Lucas licensing, Howard Roffman. It was a strange way to go about the book, because I kind of had to bypass both Del Rey and the usual editorial staff at Lucasfilm and work directly with Howard over the course of what amounted to about a year of preparation. ~ James Luceno Interview, read the rest of this here.
Though I did not personally watch him do it, I received from LFL a Word document of Revenge of the Sith with Mr Lucas’ edits, which was distinct from the edits I’d already gotten from Sue Rostoni and Howard Roffman and the rest of the LFL crew, and this document was edited in such a detailed fashion that even individual words had been struck off and his preferred replacements inserted, as well as some passages wholly excised and some dialogue replaced with the dialogue from the screenplay. If that’s not line-editing, I don’t know what is.
What’s in that book is there because Mr. Lucas wanted it to be there. What’s not in that book is not there because Mr. Lucas wanted it gone.
Period. ~ Matthew Stover on The Force.net: The Official Matthew Woodring Stover Discussion Thread, 2006. In context to the EU: References to the novel Shatterpoint were included in the novelization.
“Still, Iger wanted to make sure that Lucas, who was used to controlling every aspect of Star Wars, from set design to lunchboxes, understood that Disney, not Lucasfilm, would have final say over any future movies.”-Dave Leonard, Businessweek.com editor, in Businessweek.com article March 7, 2013
“(Starburst Magazine)SB: ‘How much involvement did LucasFilm have with the project? Did you have freedom to do as you pleased or did everything have to be vetted?’
(Aniel Erickson)AE: ‘Everything is vetted through LucasFilm but there were few issues and I can’t remember a single veto. We’re creating a love letter to Star Wars with SWTOR so it’s pretty easy to stay within the boundaries LucasFilm wants products in.’
SB: ‘So there weren’t any aspects of the Star Wars universe that were off limits?;
AE: ‘There was very little that was out of bounds. I remember we explored the idea of having Dagobah in the game and we learned you can’t explain the tree or most of the interesting parts of the planet so we decided to leave it out for now. LucasFilm is keeping a few things back for itself.’
SB: ‘Has there been any reaction from George Lucas himself?
AE: George has seen the game and given positive feedback. He obviously has final say on all the Star Wars products.'” Interview with Star Wars: The Old Republic – Writing Director Aniel Erickson by STARBURST Magazine – December 14, 2011 – full interview here
“People who alter or destroy works of art and our cultural heritage for profit or as an exercise of power are barbarians”-George Lucas Speech to congress March 3, 1988
User:Alexsau1991 How much research into the Star Wars universe, the Expanded Universe did you need to do for this game?
“We have to really know Star Wars. We respect what came beforehand, and we want to make sure that our stuff fits in. We’re not here to bust up the EU and make it into something new. We not only have to respect the EU that makes sense, but also the parts of the EU that are used within other parts of the EU, and come up with things thanks to which that this actually does make sense because of this and this.” BioWare Austin’s Daniel Erickson, Star Wars: The Old Republic lead writer.
Heaven’s Agent: ‘It’s the first time the Sith Pureblood appear in a game, isn’t it?’
“Absolutely. Actually, they haven’t really appeared outside the comic books before. And what’s interesting is that these Sith “Purebloods” are not in fact of pure Sith blood. The real purebloods are actually a much more alien race. These are Sith that still have enough Sith blood in them that they still have the red color, still have the facial tentacles. So you can see that they are Sith.”
Heaven’s Agent: ‘Can you tell us more about the Chiss in TOR?’
“…The Chiss, as we know from the EU, will eventually disappear after this for a while….”
Lucas didn’t count it as Canon
I’ll just point up at the massive number of highlighted quotes above to the contrary on this. He was consulted on every major change to the story, directly influenced Shadows of the Empire and The Force Unleashed, discussed Darth Plaguies with Luceno during writing and answered a what can Jedi do or not do list regarding the Tales of the Jedi authors. He also was involved in Ewoks and Droids cartoons and the Ewok movies, all of which have been dismissed, even though they had no bearing on the present direction.
They threw out things he clearly considered canon.
And if Lucas involvement is required for canon..well, they’ve tossed him out too. Give him an award instead of asking his input is like giving a guy who worked for a company his whole life a gold watch for his retirement.
Star Wars is for kids.
The first Star Wars movie involves the torture of Princess Leia and the scorched remains of the Lars. Hardly Kiddie fare. The movies appealed to all ages. There have always been a variety of offerings for all ages, including TV shows (Ewoks and Droids) to the modern Clone Wars micro series. The Clone Wars TV series had stories for both (hence the fact that some people liked and others hated, certain episodes.
“The first thing we realized was that our fan base had grown a bit older…It was clear to us that simply revisiting the past would be of marginal interst. It was too early for a nostalgia play & frankly, not very stimulating. We needed to give fans something new, something that appealed to a more mature sensibility.” ~ Howard Roffman, President, Lucas Licensing.- Foreward, Heir to the Empire 20th anniversary edition by Timothy Zahn.
It would be too complicated for people who hadn’t read the books and didn’t know the story to fit the new movies in there:
The first Star Wars Movie leaps into a short opening scroll about a rebellion and straight into a firefight between 2 ships. Only the tradition of good guy / girl in white vs the bad guy in black gave away anything about the past. The prequels were the same. The last Expanded Universe novel, Crucible, is set right where the actors ages actually puts them anyway. It was not part of a series.
It limits their creative freedom, since so many stories were told after ROTJ and during the Rebellion era:
That does not explain annihilating all stories of the Old Republic prequel era, The Old Republic game era and so on.
It also assumes one is only interested in those particular original trilogy characters. Characters like Starkiller from Force Unleashed, or Biggs Darklighter and Wedge Antillies, who had adventures before Luke joined the Alliance, would be just as interesting. Provenly so, as video games, comic books and novels have featured them and been very popular.
The prequels focused on Anakin and his journey to Vader, the original trilogy on Luke and his journey to Knighthood. One would naturally expect that the events overall in the after years would continue this way: a new generation of Skywalkers (or Solos), Luke obeying Yoda’s command to pass on what he learned and re establish the Jedi, and the Alliance to Restore the Republic to literally become the New Republic. Denying this diminished the entire impact of the victory in Return of the Jedi in exchange for their ‘creative freedom’.
Also, one has to point out that the new TV show Rebels is not new at all. It steals elements from The Coruscant Nights trilogy, used the original movies soundtrack throughout the whole movie premier instead of a new one. It sticks Aladdin into Star Wars (a transplant, also not new). It takes McQuarrie’s elements, which are fantastic concept art but not meant for final versions and uses them as eye candy to replace story development. What’s more within the first season they’ve already had multiple appearances of movie characters, rather than further developing their own. Indications are similar for the new movies: the supposed new X-Wing is just a recycled design of McQuarrie’s. More on that elsewhere.
Elements taken from the Expanded Universe they are using as if they were ‘new’ in their version of canon:
- Revan. They can rename it and add a few crimps to the mask but that is definitely inspired by Revan’s mask. Revan is from Knights of the Old Republic video games.
- The so called new X Wing: it’s basically McQuarrie’s original design, which was used for the Z-95 headhunter mentioned in books, seen in comics and in video games like Jedi Knight and Mysteries of the Sith.
- Han’s wife. Call it coincidence but she looks a great deal like Salla Zend, the woman in the Han Solo Trilogy by Ann Crispin and Dark Empire that wanted to marry Han.
- Vader’s melted mask. This was originally a scene in Jedi Academy, Dark Apprentice.
- Kanaan and Hera: basically this is a much kiddified version of Coruscant Knights characters Jax Pavan and Laranth. Jax was also a Jedi padawan who tried to teach at least one apprentice. Laranth was also a twilek.
Finally, the last book, Crucible, ended at an a point where the characters would be about the same age as the actual actors. They could have picked up right afterward.
Note the reason for nitpicking: they claimed they wanted creative freedom. Using what came out of the Expanded Universe is not being creative.
It’s bound to be better than the Prequels – no more Lucas.
Without Lucas there would BE NO Star Wars. Lucas dared to be original and pushed the boundaries. However the execution turned out, the stories are deep and compelling and ORIGINAL. Not a rehash based on opinion polls.
Many people DO like the prequels, especially those who grew up with them. The difference is some of us went in with, as Yoda said, ‘the mind of a child’. We didn’t go in with expectations that Vader would be instantly evil. But no matter which trilogy you prefer, without Lucas there would be no Star Wars. And throwing out 30+ years of work that he, for the most part, respected (or at worst ignored) is not the way to a successful return to the Star Wars galaxy.
It would be better than the Clone Wars TV show, it changed too much of the EU and the quality was poor:
The quality is not poor, they improved the animation as all technology improved. Not so long ago even that much would’ve been impossible. The stories were hit or miss, but that all depends on who your favorite characters are and what your favorite story is. That variety meant there was something for everyone: kids, adults, Anakin/Obi Wan fans, Clone trooper fans, Sith fans and so on. Ahsoka Tano, while not mentioned in the movies grew into an excellent female character and her leaving the Order gave us a plausible explanation of why she would not be mentioned in ROTS. The fact is the show had a LOT of viewers. Animation and stories improved, although sometimes they treaded on the expanded universe, mostly they did not do it in ways a creative writer or team couldn’t retcon, as had been done before. While it was not a shining example of the cooperation the rest of the writers and game makers showed to the Expanded Universe, it didn’t completely destroy it either. The show only had a season or 2 left, was in mid production and the tone of the episodes indicated we were nearing ROTS. If they had planned to drop it, they wouldn’t have been producing more episodes. It didn’t drop until Disney was announced as the new owner.
They have created a new story group for consistent canon because the old one was too contradictory.;
Bloah. They already had one. Leeland Chee was keeper of the holocron database, with every creature, character, planet, ship and detail of the expanded universe and it’s place in the already established canon. Everything from book, comic, video game, TV episode and so on was in it. Considering the sheer huge number of stories already there, it was a huge job and miraculous that there were so few contradictions. Most of those originate with the altered time of the Clone Wars. Retcon had always been a normal part of the process, and they did it well. I’ve yet to find anyone who claimed this who was able to point to specific examples. The entire Star Wars galaxy before Disney bought it was a tapestry woven together from many sources, started by Lucas but enriched by other artists. You can’t just yank out so many threads without damaging the movies themselves, plot holes which had been fixed are suddenly wide open.
This may or may not be intentional misdirection on their part. There are 3 misconceptions on the contradictions:
1. The original Marvel Comics. These were not part of EU continuity and were written long before it. Over time, those stories that did fit were gradually introduced to the EU canon. But only those that fit. Contradictory ones were abandoned unless the contradictions could be explained or corrected. One of the last EU stories introduced included course correcting a Marvel comic indicating Obi-Wan had 2 padawans and one was Vader and one was Anakin. You can find it on the story page: look for Skyewalker.
2. Infinities, Visionaries and Tales by Dark Horse Comics were generally not EU canon. Infinities were ‘what if’ stories based on the movies and never considered canon (ie Luke dies and Leia trains instead). Visionaries was also non canon were similar what if, stories done by the concept artists that dreamed up certain characters. The idea for the mechanical legged Darth Maul came from there. Tales was more erratic. The early stories, especially the parody and humor ones (Tag and Bink, etc) , Easter eggs (Fett club) or what ifs (Vader vs Darth Maul) were never considered canon. The last few Tales were more serious and were more ideas and experiments they were thinking of turning into series.
My concern that Disney is intentionally trying to mislead people to believe these stories are proof of the Expanded Universe being contradictory as they include these ‘never were canon’ stories in their Marvel reprints of the general time periods with no differentiation from the other.
3 The Clone Wars – This is where continuity with the EU got a blow, as meddling began. The first clash begins when the timeline for Anakin’s knighting was altered to be earlier. Stories told during his padawan status in the era (Dark Horse comics and Del Rey both) went from extending 2 years or so into the war and were truncated into weeks. Filoni proved not to respect the EU and Lucas himself seemed to be developing a certain jealousy (possibly as a result of prequel hate)
Other big ones:
- Killing Evan Piell (who survived until after Order 66 in the Coruscant Knights)
- Dathomirian Witches were suddenly shown as magicians but not Force sensitive (at least their leader), The males were shown as zabrak. This doesn’t so much negate the books since it doesn’t say the ones from the books and comics don’t exist, it just ignores them, and the fact that travel to that world was banned.
- Mandalorians suddenly being led by pacifists and the world being a nuclear wasteland where everyone was confined to cities contrasted with the Republic Commandos series and even the classic Marvel comics that had been incorporated starring Fenn Shysa, one of the leaders. It claimed Jango and Boba Fett were not real Mandalorians (though Death Watch was). My suspicion that this was a reaction to prequel hate when the Expanded Universe got much love, and not that the Mandalorians had a different plan from the start in Lucas’s mind is due to the fact that when he had a plan to start with, he simply told people not to write in that era or about those characters. This damaged not only the books but the Republic Commando game which ended on a cliffhanger. But clearly Lucas largely had believed in the Expanded Universe, up until he realized he had an idea he wanted to run with and it would not be accepted.
The Expanded Universe was actually in the process of working this mess out. The Bounty Hunter Code book had gone to work dealing with the Mandalorians as had the Essential Guide to Warfare. The Last Jedi (starring Jax Pavan) had incorporated elements of both The Clone Wars and the book and comic based Dathomirians. Fate of the Jedi had incorporated elements of The Clone Wars in the form of the Ones from Mortis.
Also the new canon, which they created to avoid the supposed complications of the EU has already begun contradicting itself:
-A Lucasfilm representative confirmed to GameSpot that future game releases will also be canonical…This includes DICE’s Battlefront.
Star Wars: Battlefront Canon Is ‘Complicated’ is the title of the IGN article. It doesn’t have a campaign, therefore it’s limited in how it can be part of the story.
So instead they are writing a novel called Battlefront. And how is that not confusing?
-Sabine Wren as a Mandalorian. While most of the old expanded universe says anyone who is willing to adopt their creed can be a Mandalorian, The Clone Wars (which they claim is now canon and the rest, not) showed them as primarily blond, pale humans, with very few exceptions like Death Watch. Okay…Sabine is not blond apparently nor pale. She really doesn’t quite fit in either canon. She doesn’t act like a Mando of the EU (which is not canon in her universe) nor look like one in the Disney canon.
The point here has nothing whether it was an enjoyable story or a dud. The point is they claimed they killed the EU for a single (more) consistent canon…and they are contradicting themselves within the first year.
The books and other media don’t matter.
The books gave name to Coruscant, gave us Aayla Secura before the movie did, gave us our first look at the Nightsisters of Dathomir. Asaaj Ventress was fully realized and fleshed out in comic books, novels and the clone wars microseries before The Clone Wars TV show launched. Many of the worlds visited in The Clone Wars were created in the Expanded universe, including places like Onderon and Malastare.
The novelizations of the prequel movies include details established in other books. The novelizations of the original trilogy give us details that show up in some of the novels, like Jedi Apprentice. Books like Plagueis, Cloak of Deception, the Jedi Apprentice and Jedi Quest books gave an all new depth to watching the prequel movies. Playing as Kyle Katarn in Dark Forces, or Dash Rendar in Shadows of the Empire, reading those comics and books give one new, fresh eyes into the original trilogy. Both Shadows of the Empire and Force Unleashed were multimedia events: including books, comics, video games, action figures and basically everything but the movie itself.
Only the Movies make Money
Again, not true. They also kicked Droids/Ewoks out of the continuity, Star Wars Clone Wars micro series and the Ewok movies out. These factored into the DVD and VHS sales before them. They all had tie in products including action figures and more.
Action figures, vehicles and lego sets were based on the novels, games and comics. In some cases the action figures were even packaged with the comic. These action figures are priced high on the secondary market and include characters like Bastila Shan (KOTOR), Kyle Katarn, Mara Jade and more. Trading cards, miniatures sets for games, other miniature sets and more were based on them as well. There were radio dramas created tying into some of the comic books, and Dark Forces the video games.
It’s done. Get over it. They wrapped it up.
No. They didn’t. They left several stories hanging and us with them. These include:
Jaden Korr and the secret of the Jedi clones. Starting with Crosscurrent and into Riptide, this book links a project by Grand Admiral Thrawn, with Jedi Clones and the One Sith revealed in the later Legacy comic book series. We never have the reveal of the purpose of the clones.
Jaina Solo: the Sword of the Jedi novel trilogy was long awaited and actually announced at conventions before Disney axed it. Jaina Solo, Jag Fel and how they relate to the Fel dynasty of Imperial Knights of the Legacy comics lost it’s lead in with this. Read the Convention announcement here.
Dawn of the Jedi Comic Series: this comic book series and era was barely begun, an intriguing look into the origins of the Jedi.
Invasion Comic Series: this comic series was set during the New Jedi Order and left unfinished. However, Crimson Empire also was left unfinished for decades. They did finish it. Invasion did not get this chance.
Republic/Imperial Commandos novel series wrap up. Fates unknown including Kal Skirata, Dar and company were left on a cliffhanger. This was stopped short when Karen Traviss and Lucas had irreconcilable differences about his sudden desire to alter the entire Mandalorean culture, which she’d already written, in The Clone Wars. but many of us wanted it finished: her way.
The Force Unleashed II Video Game, Book, Comic Series: left off with Vader a prisoner and Fett in pursuit. This was a multimedia project that ended on a cliffhanger.
Republic Commando Video Game: Ends on a cliffhanger, planned sequel was never released, possibly the aforementioned clash with the novel tie ins had something to do with that.
1313 Video Game: project in mid production to allow users to play as a bounty hunter.
Battlefront 3 video game: was also in production. Not to be mistaken for the new Battlefront, which is just a reboot with the same name. It lacks many of the features announced for the original Battlefront 3 including a story, single person player options, opportunities to play in the prequel era and space combat.
Lucas Interview with Charlie Rose (full) -note none of the articles or clips based on this show the true context of the ‘white slaver’ remark. It’s IMPORTANT. The section regarding it is toward the end. (Hulu video)
The Star Wars Expanded Universe authors/artists discuss the impact on the new movie announcement and buyout by Disney on the Expanded Universe Stories. (Hint, they expected none as current stories were millennia in the past and hundreds of years in the future.) (article)