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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lucasfilm Officially "Reboots" Star Wars Expanded Universe



By Dave Bouressa


Star Wars fans everywhere felt a disturbance in the force this week. As if millions of books, comics and games cried out in terror....and were suddenly silenced. Well, they aren't wrong.

With the sequel trilogy on the way, along with a new Star Wars Animated television series, Star Wars Rebels, Lucasfilm has stepped up and said "That's it. We're starting fresh". After publically saying that the sequel trilogy will not be following the storylines of any of the Expanded Universe stories, Lucasfilm has decided to take it the next step and say "Aside from the movies and the Clone Wars TV show, we're starting the Expanded Universe over from this point on" to make room for the upcoming stories to follow.

Here is the official announcement from Starwars.com.

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 ofStar 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...




Things to take from this:

While the universe that readers knew is changing, it is not being discarded.

Did you catch that? I'll repeat for you.

While the universe that readers knew is changing, it is not being discarded.

So before you look at your massive book and comic collection and cry foul because of the hundreds of dollars and years wasted, you need to remember 3 things.

1) People are going to blame Disney for this. Well, frankly, you're not wrong. I'm not saying that Disney is a massive evil empire in and of itself, but it is simply a business move-and frankly, a pretty smart one. When a massive business is taken over by another massive business, you don't carry around the dead weight of the old business. You trim the fat, start fresh, and keep on rolling out great content.

2) Did you enjoy those stories? Did you enjoy reading about more adventures of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo? What about the prequel stories that took place thousands of years before the films in the time of Darth Revan? Or even hundreds of years after the films? Did you enjoy reading the stories? You did? Well then that was not wasted time or money. They brought a smile to your face and fueled your imagination-exactly what comics and books are supposed to do.

3) Before you argue that all those stories now "didn't happen", go to a mirror, stare at yourself for about twenty minutes, and slap yourself. It's Star Wars. NONE of it happened. Star Wars is a franchise. It's a movie. It's a game. It's a book. It's a comic. It's story-telling. It's a cultural phenomenon. And most importantly, it's not a real thing.

At the end of the day, we should all be grateful that we have 6 movies already, 5 and a half seasons of Star Wars: The Clone Wars (seriously, check it out), multiple Star Wars movies on the way, and an entirely new TV series coming in just a few short months. To go a bit geek on you, think of when Anakin found out Padme was pregnant. Although his entire world was about to come crashing down, he realized that it was also a joyous moment. There is good in all of this. You just need to relax, put down your pitchforks, and just enjoy, because we've got a lot to look forward to.






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