Disney to Officially Disregard the Star Wars Expanded Universe

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For the past few decades, a vast assortment of Star Wars novels, comics and video games known as the Expanded Universe have helped flesh out the mythology behind George Lucas’ creation. A timeline of events following the original Star Wars trilogy has been gradually constructed by other writers, and while it was never considered “canon” per se, Lucasfilm has done their best to maintain some level of consistency within it. The time period prior to A New Hope was reserved for George Lucas to develop his prequel trilogy, but everything else was seen as fair game. However, when it was announced that Disney would be developing a new sequel following Return of the Jedi, this posed a bit of a problem: would they adapt or at least acknowledge some of these existing stories or would they start something new? Although we kind of already knew the answer to that question, last week Disney released an official statement on the matter. The Expanded Universe is now officially unofficial. Hit the jump for more details.

According to a post on StarWars.com on Friday, Star Wars: Episodes VII-IX will not follow the Expanded Universe because they want to “give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience.” Instead, Disney and Lucasfilm will be creating a new connected universe from here on in beginning with the new animated series Star Wars Rebels. This will be considered canon as will the new series of novels coming from Del Rey Books, starting with a Star Wars Rebels prequel written by John Jackson Miller. For the first time ever, there will be a story group within Lucasfilm that exists to “oversee and coordinate all Star Wars creative development.”

So what will become of the old Expanded Universe? Apparently the books will be re-released under a new banner called Star Wars Legends with the idea being that this all takes place in an alternate timeline. However, some elements of the EU will survive, including The Inquisitor, the Imperial Security Bureau and Sienar Fleet Systems, all of which appear in the new animated series, and they promise that more pieces of the EU may be incorporated in the future. I’m guessing they are just throwing fans a bone here and it seems unlikely that any major EU characters will show up in the new continuity. Either way, this separation needed to happen and at least they’re being somewhat transparent about it. What do you think, is this a good move or are you disappointed that the Expanded Universe is being demoted?

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  • RockJoker

    Personally, i don’t give a shit. There’s only 3 movies for me. Prequels were just some sort of a bad dream. And all this by-products (books, animated series) never meant anything for me.

  • Lior

    I never had much interest in the expanded universe. I read a couple of books and comic books but that’s about it. I didn’t even consider that the new movies would want to follow these… it seemed obvious they were their own thing and existed outside of canon, just as the vast majority of Star Trek novels are not canon.

    However, it seems like Disney is attempting to “Marvellize” the Star Wars universe, meaning you now have to do your homework – watch the animated show, read the books – to get a full picture of what’s going on. I would rather the new trilogy would just be self-contained.

  • Jameson

    I think Disney’s attempt to “Marvellize” the Star Wars franchise also means they want to crank out movie after movie every year. We’ll see how that goes.

  • woo

    Damn, I personally don’t care but I can imagine this crushing a lot of people.

  • RockJoker

    Is it just me or it is actually Udo Kiere in the very right of the picture? How weird is that.

  • Jonny Ashley

    I don’t see a difference between this and Marvel disregarding certain comic plotlines in their movies. I don’t care about this movie forging its own organic path as long as this movie has some balls. This is JJ Abrams’ only chance to do anything risky with this series.

  • Jonny Ashley

    The way they just smooth over the books by rereleasing them as an alternate universe “Star Wars Legends”. Expect JJJ Abrams JJr to direct the remakes of Star Wars Epsiode 1 2 and 3 in 2034

  • Tommy

    As soon as JJ wants to do anything in Pt7 that contradicts any major part of the EU set past the movies, it kinda has to be ditched.

  • Jr

    I’m a bit of a prequel apologist and would rather see a concise, canonized universe anyway. There is good EU stuff and bad EU stuff but there is so much of it that it would be crazy for them to have to make new movies based around books, comics, games, etc all written by dozens of different people.

  • LordAwesome

    The only EU stuff worth a shit is KOTOR II. Chris Avellone is the only person to do anything interesting with STAR WARS since EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.