Friday, April 25, 2014

Star Wars Expanded Universe Being Rebooted

LucasFilm has announced they are officially closing the Star Wars Expanded Universe of the last 35 years and opening a new sandbox to align with the Abrams additions to the universe. Anything produced from this day forward must tie into the new EU as the old Expanded Universe is officially closed for new works. The only current official canon that exists will be the 9 Star Wars movies (adding the three unreleased ones) and two cartoon series (Clone Wars and Rebels). Anything, be it books, comics, and video games, etc. no longer count for anything and will be filed under the "Legends" banner so that Disney can at least continue to make money from the old stuff. The over all plan with the reboot is to once again try to have all Star Wars properties align into a single canon (like the old EU), with only the old EU names and characters can return in new and completely different forms (as LucasFilm already owns them). Any stories from the old EU do not count.

If this sounds familiar, DC Comics did the exact same thing a few years ago creating the "New DCU" where the sales boost was temporary, most fans have not really liked the rebooted characters as much and the only consistently successful franchise after the reboot is Batman whose own history essentially carried over the new DCU virtually unchanged. To say the least, after enjoying the Expanded Universe far more than the movies themselves, this news has made me angry.

Honestly I really do not have a problem with a reboot in and of itself. I just have a problem with closing the EU entirely. It just unnecessary and pointless. The old EU has plenty of great stories still to be told, especially with the books just starting a storyline where a planet of Sith are starting to take steps to conquer the universe. Now they have closed it off. After all these years, all these threads will remain unfinished like a long time TV series suddenly cancelled. I know studios like to think their audiences are really dump but when it comes to sci-fi, that simply isn't the case. I think fans can keep up with two universes at once. Most Star Wars fans are keeping up with dozens of them at any one time be it from comics, movies, books, or video games. Adding another isn't really a big deal and just allows fans to enjoy alternate takes on characters even more.

I am betting most Star Wars fans would be fine with having an official Star Wars universe of new content AND an officially approved "Legends" Expanded Universe of new content. Closing one if favor of the other is simply punishes old fans and gains nothing. There is still time for the company to allow new content to be generated for the "Legends" EU but until they do, my money will be spent elsewhere. Below is the sales pitch, I mean press release and essentially a goodbye video.
"For over 35 years, the Expanded Universe has enriched the Star Wars experience for fans seeking to continue the adventure beyond what is seen on the screen. When he created Star Wars, George Lucas built a universe that sparked the imagination, and inspired others to create. He opened up that universe to be a creative space for other people to tell their own tales. This became the Expanded Universe, or EU, of comics, novels, videogames, and more.

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.

“We have an unprecedented slate of new Star Wars entertainment on the horizon,” said Kennedy. “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.”

In order to give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe. While the universe that readers knew is changing, it is not being discarded. Creators of new Star Wars entertainment have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe. For example, elements of the EU are included in Star Wars Rebels. The Inquisitor, the Imperial Security Bureau, and Sienar Fleet Systems are story elements in the new animated series, and all these ideas find their origins in roleplaying game material published in the 1980s.

Demand for past tales of the Expanded Universe will keep them in print, presented under the new Legends banner. On the screen, the first new canon to appear will be Star Wars Rebels. In print, the first new books to come from this creative collaboration include novels from Del Rey Books. First to be announced, John Jackson Miller is writing a novel that precedes the events of Star Wars Rebelsand offers insight into a key character’s backstory, with input directly from executive producers Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, and Greg Weisman.

And this is just the beginning of a creatively aligned program of Star Wars storytelling created by the collaboration of incredibly talented people united by their love of that galaxy far, far away."


  1. What! I read the books! Some times to my daughters. I knew they would not be based on the books, but to cut The EXPANDED UNIVERSE entirely is a saber to the back. Could you not just dance around them. I know you can. Please.

  2. What! I read the books! Some times to my daughters. I knew they would not be based on the books, but to cut The EXPANDED UNIVERSE entirely is a saber to the back. Could you not just dance around them. I know you can. Please.

  3. I did not double post that. GLITCH IN THE MATRIX.