Monday, 28 April 2014

The Death of the Star Wars Expanded Universe

Well, we all knew this was coming.

A few days ago it was announced fully that the Star Wars EU was to be rendered completely and utterly non-canon. To give freedom to new directors everything written from Return of the Jedi onwards, and anything which might link into it, is to be utterly ignored. It's a bitter pill but one many understood was soon going to happen. I accept that. What I do not accept is the sheer lack of respect shown and the disgraceful way this is being handled. 

Say what you will about JJ Abrams' Star Trek and DC Comics' rebooted New 52. Both had their flaws but they did not simply pretend everything which had come before had not taken place. A massive sendoff was given to each universe and its characters along with the establishment that the new stories were taking place in a new, alternate dimension. What people had invested themselves in for decades, the stories and characters they had cared about were not simply treated as if they had never existed. 

This is not the case here. 

Instead of giving any kind of token gesture to the universe which helped keep Star Wars alive for those many years, it is simply being swept away. It's simply being classed as non-canon and that's that.
Knights of the Old Republic? Gone. Mara Jade Skywalker? Gone. The Vong War? Gone. Kyle Katarn? Gone. Rogue Squadron? Gone. Cade Skywalker? Gone. Jango Fett's history? Gone. Shadows of the Empire? Gone. Grand Admiral Thrawn? Gone.
None of it ever happened, none of these characters ever existed, none of it ever mattered. For all the money it made Lucas and others, apparently it wasn't enough to warrant even a basic goodbye. 

Instead the closest this post ever comes to giving any kind of thanks is by saying these books will still be printed, just under the non-canon Legends brand. I guess someone still wants to earn cash off of them. More is presented through a video with authors talking about the Expanded Universe, but this means very little given how it is presented. Worse still, apparently all the new universe will be used for is as a scrapyard for new ideas. A fresh resource of concepts drawn up by authors and harvested for their new shows to be pillaged and stripped away. The rest of the announcement merely glorifies everything new to come, promoting new novels and future works.

Was the EU perfect? No. It had more of its fair share of bad stories, problems and bad authors. Yet despite that it deserved better than to simply be discarded like this now a a potentially bigger revenue is available to Disney. 

If this isn't enough for you, just keep in mind that we are losing this guy:

But keeping this guy:

And the next film is being helmed by the same director who brought us this guy:


  1. I'm torn between no longer caring about the chronology, or if I'm going to pretend that the new films are the non-canon material.
    The timeline is so screwed now with too many things just being inserted wherever they want, I cannot keep up with it.

    1. Yeah, that was the big problem once the prequel films were wheeled out and completely changed many details behind the series. It's usually better if you just accept things in broad strokes at times, generally happening within a certain time period or linking into a certain event in a character's life. Shadows of Mindor for example has a new practitioner of the Dark Side emerging, after the death of the Emperor, but is linked into something we long knew about: Luke's brief tenure as a General and eventual departure from the military.

  2. I have to agree, I'm disappointed that the stories have been completely disregarded. But it's not true to say they didn't matter. If we enjoyed reading them, and had a lot of good experiences from them, than they did still matter. Maybe not to the canon, but certainly to us. KOTOR itself holds a special place in my hurt as my first video game, and I never would've gotten to play so many others were it not for that one. That's what mattered. The fond memories, happy experiences, and new friendships the franchise formed. Maybe that sounds a bit sentimental or silly, but it's true. They can take away my canon, but they can't take away what I got out of it. And I plan to keep enjoying it as long as I can.