‘Star Wars’ Creatives Explain Why Canon vs Expanded Universe Shouldn’t Matter

Published 8 months ago by

star wars episode 7 release date2 Star Wars Creatives Explain Why Canon vs Expanded Universe Shouldnt Matter

While movie audiences were left to wonder about the world of Star Wars that lived outside of the films, readers of the franchise’s ‘Expanded Universe’ had dozens upon dozens of novels rounding out each corner of the universe with George Lucas’ blessing. But when Episode VII executive producer Kathleen Kennedy explained that in order to give their upcoming films some freedom, they would not be following the future presented in the novels – thereby rendering the Expanded Universe non-canonical – fans were understandably upset.

As a result, the only canon stories that exist as fact in the Star Wars universe are the films, The Clone Wars animated series, the upcoming Star Wars Rebels series, and future novels. A selection of senior staff was on hand during Comic-Con 2014 to explain why fans shouldn’t see the EU as dead or meaningless – since they themselves still view it as a valuable resource.

When the decision was first made to not follow the story of Han, Leia, Luke, and their children that was laid out in the novels (and hailed as some of the better novels in the EU), many saw the move as essentially wiping the slate clean. The slight concession was made at the time to maintain the existence of the Expanded Universe under the banner of Star Wars ‘Legends,’ with writer Simon Kinberg (providing story direction for the franchise as a whole) promising that those stories could still be used as “inspiration” for canon projects.

Del Rey publisher’s Editor at Large Shelly Shapiro explained that fans shouldn’t be defensive, or see the move as an attack on the novels released under her supervision. The EU, she believes, is still important:

“Well first of all, we don’t want to just disappear stuff that everybody read and loved – including myself. Legends are things that are often told over generations so they’re not… they change constantly with the telling, so you can’t actually attribute an author to any particular one. Often it wasn’t someone who was actually there. You can go back to any of the legends… they’re pretty sure there was a ‘King Arthur,’ but most of the stories probably did not happen. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t kernels of truth in it.

star wars episode 7 casting audition Star Wars Creatives Explain Why Canon vs Expanded Universe Shouldnt Matter

“Even though they would no longer be part of a Star Wars official history, they’re still stories that mean something, and they can mean something to you, even if they didn’t ‘happen.’ That they are legends. And legends are big, and legends are exciting, and legends are special, and you can read them, and tell them, and love them. And then we also read history, and we retell that, and love it, and that gets retold until it’s a legend too.

“So that’s why we called it Legends… So it wouldn’t get shoved off too far to the side, and treated like it never happened.”

The ways in which the fate of the original trilogy’s heroes (and their children) will or will not take their cues from the EU are not yet clear, with the first new dose of canonical Star Wars fiction coming with Star Wars Rebels and its prequel tie-in novel Star Wars: A New Dawn.

star wars rebels trailer Star Wars Creatives Explain Why Canon vs Expanded Universe Shouldnt Matter

Luckily, Rebels is being crafted under the guidance of Dave Filoni, supervising director of the other canonical animated series, The Clone Wars. He’s no stranger to the pressures of adding to the core series canon, and at the panel, Filoni explained quite plainly that no matter what decisions are made by Disney or the filmmakers, the stories embraced and shared by fans won’t simply cease to exist:

“When I was making Clone Wars, I always knew we were doing the ‘canon bomb,’ or the ‘continuity bomb,’ and I’d go into the office and be like: ‘wait until you hear what the Mandalorians are like according to George.’ And I would know a year or more in advance what that was going to do. But to be honest I still work the same way I did when I worked with George, which is: there’s an amazing group of talented artists and writers creating all of this stuff, and I still mine it all the time.

“When I see stuff I like I try to figure out how to get it in there. You can’t un-know this stuff; you can’t un-know stories that you’ve read. So when we come across ideas, all of those things are considered. We worked that way on Clone Wars all the time to include what we could… I think we try to keep the heart of things alive, no matter what.”

The continuing impact of George Lucas was something Filoni repeated, also citing the fact that stories concocted with the creator for Clone Wars are already planned to be explored in future novels. The producer of Rebels went on to explain that part of the fun with his previous series was including nods to the novels for fans, even if they had little impact on the story being told.


NEXT PAGE: The Star Wars Canon Debate Continues…

« 1 2»

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Good lord! I’m all for giving the upcoming movies more freedom, but how the hell does that make it necessary for you to make the Expanded Universe non-canon? It doesn’t! And even if it did, that would only mean you have to make all Expanded Universe stories set after Return of the Jedi non-canon, and not the stuff between and before the movies as well!

    • Unless they decide to make a spin-off movie set in that time frame. The fact is, most of the stuff you will probably be able to read as if it is canon. They may overwrite some of it down the line, and then it’s up to us as the fans to decide which we prefer. It could have been said all those years ago: “How dare they not connect The Empire Strikes Back to Splinter of the Mind’s Eye!!!” But then, you step back and realize Empire is way better.
      You can still read Darth Plagueis. You can still read Cloak of Deception. You can still play The Force Unleashed. All that should still make sense come December 2015. But they have the freedom now to make a Darth Plagueis movie. A Force Unleashed movie. And maybe make it better. And if it’s not, just go back to what you like. Nothing says YOU have to consider Episode VII canon.

      (P.S. At least Jaxxon won’t be hopping around, and Chewbacca won’t bite the (moon) dust.)

  2. my thing is this, it was the Expanded Universe to some extent, kept the Star Wars legacy alive, unlike Star Trek, which still had movies and tv shows to keep fans sedated. So to just say it doesn;t exist because George Lucas didnt write it us absurd. Those are great stories from writers who cared and are true fans of a Galaxy far, far away. I like people who are a fans of the film but the stories go beyond, we the readers of the books, i believe are the true fans i loved follwing the adventiures of not just Luke, Han and Leia, but of Jacen, Jaina and Anakin Solo, also Ben Skywalker adn Mara Jade. Now i have to sit through movies who from the rumors are true and gving me a future where the last jedi has been a prisoner for 30 years?!?! and no one bothered to look for him, i was looking for something new from this point. These stories portrayed a richer tale from anything George could think of. i applaud his origianl concept.but i applaud the men and women who enriched it,kept it alive and made it better.

  3. Now that this topic is so strongly discussed on a lot of websites, I have to share my opinion with you. I will explain my opinion on several aspects of the subject matter.

    1.) Star Wars Universe = Multiverse?
    Why is it so hard for us to accept multiple alternate storylines while this concept seems to work fine for Marvel? The answer ist simple: Star Wars is a bit more conservative. It is reminiscent of Epics like “Lord of the Rings” which are defined by continuity. One of the most thrilling aspects of Star Wars was to dive deep into a fully-connected cosmos and explore the background of characters while they where heading through the newest story arc

    2.) Lucas’ concept of the sequel trilogy
    To be honest I didn’t read anything about Lucas handing over concepts for VII-IX when he sold Lucasfilm. But I read Michael Kaminski’s “The Secret History of Star Wars”. If you believe him, there was never a real concept for the sequel trilogy once “Jedi” was finished. The original Idea was to let Luke fail and let the “Other” Yoda mentions in Episode V fight against the Emporer in VII-IX. If you now take into accont that even the original trilogy had to be retconned once they came across the idea that Vader ist Lukes father in 1979 and that Lucas altered his original idea of Episode II and III due to the fan-reactions on Jar Jar Binks in Ep I, there is a reason to believe that Lucas’ concepts are not carved in stone.

    3.) Discrete Line between “Legends” and new canon
    As a lot here have pointed out, the idea to just make a clear cut doesn’t seem logical. It would have been a better choice to analyse the whole EU and one-by-one take books into the new canon or make them “Legends”. The only thing is, that there are slight contradictions even in the best works of the EU (eg. the account given about the Clone Wars in the Thrawn trilogy is partly incompatible with the version of the Clone Wars presented in the prequel trilogy. Maybe Lucasfilm just uses the strict separation to make sure that they can’t be blamed if they don’t take into account what was told in “The Truce at Bakura” on page 63. But maybe they will use the overall story arc of the EU anyway but will gloss over the tiny details (one can only dream). That would mean that they would take into account the Thrawn trilogy (which was tightly monitored by George Lucas), Dark Empire (which has a storyline which was partly conceptualised by George Lucas), the Jedi Academy trilogy and the New Jedi Order (the Vong Invasion). And that they will not simply throw all the characters out the window. If you look at the merchandise, i guess we should not abandon all hope that we will see eg. Mara Jade or Kyle Katarn again. Both feature in FFG’s recently published X-Wing-Boardgame and there are Action Figures of them.

    4.) Metaplots and story groups
    It is acutally past time Lucasfilm established a story group. A lot of big franchises use that (e.g. Perry Rhodan, the biggest German Pulp Sc-Fi novel series): a group of authors predefines a metaplot for a certain era and authors are invited to take certain pieces of that plot and turn them into detailed stories. All in all I think it is great that they are finally doing it. If they had done that in 1990, we wouldn’t have this “Legends”-issue. I don’t know if I will read all the new books – now, that I spent 20 years reading the old EU.

    I am sceptical but not too pessimistic that Lucasfilm will not trash the whole EU as many of us fear. Let’s wait and see

    • Couldn’t have said it better sir! They took the cheap, easy route with this, it seems, by cutting all of it this way. It really doesn’t make sense to apply this “Legends” banner to all things in the EU the way the did it. But we can still, as you say, hope that the EU is not lost forever, and will make it into the canon again, or at least that the best of it will.

  4. shadows of the empire movie a must

  5. “…they can mean something to you, even if they didn’t ‘happen.’”

    — This makes no sense at all. What’s the point in me even finishing up reading the FOTJ books if it’s not even canon. What’s the point in any of that stuff still being sold if it isn’t canon? It’s basically nothing but a bunch of fanfiction now.

    “So it wouldn’t get shoved off too far to the side, and treated like it never happened.”

    — If you’re labeling it as non-canon, then it didn’t happen, period. I just don’t see why they would have to label the entirety of the EU as non-canon, just for a single story arc.

    I honestly feel like I’ve wasted all of my time on Star Wars – virtually everything I know about it, outside of the movies and a kid’s show, isn’t even real. Didn’t even happen.

    • To rephrase your statement a bit.

      —This makes no sense at all. What’s the point in me even watching Star Wars if it’s not even history. What’s the point in all this stuff being told if it didn’t actually happen.

      If you notice, in no 8th Grade History book is it going to tell you about the gallant adventures of Luke Skywalker. Because NONE of it happened.
      Star Wars itself is fiction, and though I see what you mean by there being no point, ask yourself this: Is there a point to any fiction if it didn’t really happen. Answer: Yes. Because we, as a culture and a people, enjoy telling stories. They don’t have to actually happen. You enjoyed the book, right? Then READ it. Why wouldn’t you? Because it didn’t happen? Odd reason.

      • Fans care about canon for a reason Darth Bob…

  6. The EU was canon for me. If Disney won’t respect the old fans for their ongoing support and simply declare our stories to be some fanboy apocrypha, why should we bother with them? Declaring the EU to be “legend” would at least indicate the existence of our charcters. And if it was as important as they claim Christie Golden’s Sword of the Jedi trilogy could move forward. It isn’t. Because the mouse is blowing sunshine up your exhaust port. I knew Disney would screw this up the minute they bought it. This isn’t Marvel. We don’t reboot canon just to shake things up. I watched the first movie in theaters when I was 3. I lived and breathed Star Wars. I took in the new movies and even accepted Jar Jar but I would’ve been happier to just read the EU until I died than to have them jettison it like a Star Destroyer before it goes into hyperspace. Unless they rectify this massive misstep my fandom will have to come to an end.

    • I remember giving my niece the Star Wars Character Encyclopedia for christmas. The big question she had was why the book listed Boba Fett as being still alive despite him dying in ROTJ. I told her that there are two universes. The Movie Universe and the EU universe. In the movies Boba Fett died in the belly of the Sarlacc (Lucas confirmed he died in the audio commentary saying had he known Fett would become that popular, he would have given Fett a better death) and in the EU he escaped. She was able to accept this. If all it takes for you to no longer become a fan of Star Wars is the movie universe not following the EU then perhaps you were never as big a fan as you are claiming.
      (poster Kurgan from Lucasforums.com about continuity problems)
      And this is just problems between the first six movies and the Heir trilogy. At no point did any “True” fan express their displeasure then. Why now? If the first seven movies (I II III IV V VI & Clone Wars) and the Clone Wars cartoon series went against EU canon with nobody batting an eye then why is Episode VII going against EU canon so different?

      • Try and look at what Jan Skywalker has said above. She makes a really good defense as to why a multiverse doesn’t work well in the Star Wars universe.

  7. Disney is just as bad owners as George Lucas, only less satisfying with the Star Wars universe as a whole. George Lucas admits the EU wasn’t his universe even though he managed it, so forget Lucas and acknowledge the EU for what it’s sole purpose was: To explain what wasn’t explained in the movies and expand the characters unexplained backgrounds.

    Any Star Wars-trademarked asset owned by Disney is trademarked by the greedy company Disney is. Unlike the original Expanded Universe, those were all examples of writers’ work other than George Lucas who can write better than that god-awful Phantom Menace. The Phantom Menace was a trademark of George Lucas’ greed, and so will be the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Sure the Expanded Universe is similar to fan-fiction, but at least it came from fans who prove to be great writers who CHOSE to write how they expand the Star Wars universe.

    But this time, Disney owns everything and they’re experimenting with the sequel trilogy considering how much they bought LucasFilm for and how much they paid JJ Abrams to direct the first of the trilogy. I am not saying I despide JJ Abrams, but if they Disney controls all the assets of LucasFilm now, then I officially don’t trust them.

    • Woops, I meant the sequel trilogy is trademark of Disney greed.

    • Yeah I know, right! I mean, when Disney bought Marvel, they rewrote ALL the years of Comic Book history! So awful. Just the worst thing ever done by man! Now Iron Man won’t turn into a girl for a while! How tragic. Captain America’s sidekick Bucky Barnes wasn’t a TEN YEAR OLD! How could they DO that?!?!?! And similarly, how awful it will be to see Episode VII with a fully functioning Chewbacca, not as a crater in a moon somewhere! I can’t believe that Disney won’t adhere to Jaxxon! Ugh, those greedy people. They’re so greedy, that they want MONEY! I KNOW! CRAZY to think these people actually want to make MONEY at their jobs! How greedy, cause I know for sure that YOU, sir, don’t want money from going to work everyday like THESE selfish people. Because you’re not “greedy” like these people.

      Sorry, was my sarcasm not clear enough?

      • you absolutely miss the point entirely…fact is that for the last 30 some years …the saga of star has been kept alive thru the books…not only that…but the storyline has REMAINED in line flowing from one book to another…an amazing feat in this day and age and one of the big things that made star wars special…all of that is gone now…they’ll re-write it with new stories that have NO relation to the 30 FREAKING years of a single running storyline..imagine watching breaking bad and in the 3rd season they decide to recast everyone and change the story to one about a guy who sells ice cream…..disney has ruined this franchise for millions of die hard followers of the series…period…and all of this in so unnecessary…if you never read the books …than it’s all NEW to you..if you have read the books…you are excited about seeing what happens to familiar characters…would have been a win win all around…not to mention the $$$$$$…all they had to do was include some of the characters and a little of the story line and they could have brought all the dissapointed fans back into the fold…that oppurtunity is GONE now…AND…had they included some of the EU…they could have made millions selling the entire back catalogue…but no…that’s a lost revenue stream to disney now….just stupid….you spend 4 billion on a series and start right out by eliminating a possible revenue stream…these execs at disney are braindead…

        • So, basically it seems that it may amount to: if Disney doesn’t own it, it doesn’t count?

          I obviously don’t know how all the EU stuff is managed, but I imagine that licensing, royalties, intellectual property and other legal considerations would/will impact how much the EU “Legends” will “influence” new Disney/Marvel Star Wars canon.

          I am a fan of many of the Dark Horse adaptations, but I willing to give Marvel another shot. They have been doing a pretty good job with the MCU, even with all the multitude differences from the source material

          • No, Disney owns everything. In fact, Marvel is now in process of publishing new TPBs of the Dark Horse stories.

  8. So basically everything that isn’t the movies or the recent CGI animations is an “alternate universe” in its own canon?

    Makes sense, if they used the expanded universe then they hadn’t even begun with Palpatine and he would be back with about a hundred clones/bodies he moved his spirit into.

    • well seeing as the film is set 30 years in the future AND the expanded universe is ALSO at about the same time period…there would be NO story involving palpatine as he was eliminated decades earlier…so your point is really a moot one….

      • wrong…one of the last series(fate of the hedi) takes place approximately 32 years after the events….

        • wrong place to put that comment…dangit…

        • Palpatine is not in fate of the Jedi..I read it..all about abeloth and the lost tribe of the sith. Don’t know why you think palpatine was in it.

  9. I want my money back from all the books I bought from Xwing series to the New Jedi Order series then. Waste of my time and money. Someone should set up a lawsuit against Disney. Lol. But I’m serious.

  10. I actually find their explanation even more off-putting. I definitely don’t like the explanation behind the tag “Legends” as though we’re getting second hand stories exaggerated over the years. I would have preferred that they just keep the Expanded Universe tagged as the Expanded Universe. Let it be a separate thing from the films (and a much BETTER thing than anything that has come out of the canon in the last decade). Still feels like a slap in the face to me.

  11. JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy have to much of a ego to use another story other than their own cause they cant take credit for it and Disney is to lazy to ready the EU. Director of the clone wars said he never read the books……then you shouldn’t direct or be apart of anything SW. the should have required all the writers of any of the cartoon series or new movies to have read all the EU. because by not doing that they just spat on the faces of the largest fan group in the world. I spent more than half of my life reading 178 EU books that now mean nothing i can not express how much of my life i feel has been thrown away in the past year!

  12. I am just glad that CBS/Paramount, did not wipe out all of the Star Trek books, animated series etc. Like J. J. wanted them to do.

    CBS/Paramount knew where their Bonanza lay, it lies in “Giving Fans what they want!”

    You can reboot into an alternate universe, take good canon movies and TOS episodes and back flip them twist them around and call it WONDERFUL and bad robots, but just don’t take away our Star Trek. And for that matter, don’t take away our Star Wars either. ;)

    • There would have been no point to it…CBS/Paramount would already have known that most (like 90%) of the Star Trek books were compeltely independent of any television series episode or film. Some were continuations on episodes or referenced some details in the series or film, but for the most part, the books were already stand-alone. Most of the episodes were too. So JJ’s influence wouldn’t have mattered against them either.
      All i know is JJ better not go to Doctor Who or the new Babylon 5 that Strazynski has been talking about…otherwise i might take it kind of personal.

  13. you absolutely miss the point entirely…fact is that for the last 30 some years …the saga of star has been kept alive thru the books…not only that…but the storyline has REMAINED in line flowing from one book to another…an amazing feat in this day and age and one of the big things that made star wars special…all of that is gone now…they’ll re-write it with new stories that have NO relation to the 30 FREAKING years of a single running storyline..imagine watching breaking bad and in the 3rd season they decide to recast everyone and change the story to one about a guy who sells ice cream…..disney has ruined this franchise for millions of die hard followers of the series…period…and all of this in so unnecessary…if you never read the books …than it’s all NEW to you..if you have read the books…you are excited about seeing what happens to familiar characters…would have been a win win all around…not to mention the $$$$$$…all they had to do was include some of the characters and a little of the story line and they could have brought all the dissapointed fans back into the fold…that oppurtunity is GONE now…AND…had they included some of the EU…they could have made millions selling the entire back catalogue…but no…that’s a lost revenue stream to disney now….just stupid….you spend 4 billion on a series and start right out by eliminating a possible revenue stream…these execs at disney are braindead…

  14. speaking about money…here’s disney with a chance to make millions off of selling the back catalogue of the EU…but no…let’s just throw that revenue stream down the toilet…disney execs are morons…..all they had to do was include some of the characters and a bit of the storyline and they would have easily been able to bring millions of EU readers into the fold…instead they choose to tell them all to go ef themselves…just brilliant..let’s suppose the film isn’t really very good…the first film will boom regardless..but if it’s NOT good…the second film will be a much tuffer sell…fairweather fans will turn away and hardcore fans will laff their asses of at the losses disney will experience…4 billion is a sht ton of money to re-coup…and throwing away revenue streams is NOT very bright….as well as throwing away millions of hardcore fans that WOULD HAVE gone to all the films and gave them mega support had they simply INCLUDED some EU in them….NOW…disney can kiss that idea GOODBYE……

  15. Only story of the EU I read was the X-Wing series and anything that tied into Wedge Antilles because, well, he’s my favorite character in the series.

    I’ll admit that some things in the EU were poor quality, but series like X-Wing were very well done. They breathed life into old characters, they made me care more about the average joe in the Star Wars universe. I find those characters fascinating and compelling.

    Now that Denis Lawson turned down the role of Wedge for VII (understandable, since he has his own career separate from Star Wars now) I’m afraid one of my favorite characters in the franchise is going to be retconned to non-existence. I don’t know why, but that makes me incredibly sad.

    EU matters because it mattered to us fans. Sure, we can accept that it’s an alternative universe now, but that doesn’t change the fact that elitism will reign rampant now and some fans will be treated as second rate because they’ve chosen to stick to what’s now fanfiction.

  16. I think it’s funny when they try to argue about “artistic freedom”, like art has anything to do with Star Wars now. SW is a brand, a product, nothing more – like Oreo[tm], or iMac[tm].

    The original movies yes, had some cutural value in bridging old cinema to new cinema. But that’s about it. Today, it is a brand, an asset, and a highly expensive and profitable one. No decision is made but with that, and that only, in mind.

  17. Sacrificing the entire Expanded Universe (the REAL universe, in my book) is dangerous and foolish, i think. How hard, really, would it have been to write films that would work with the established canon? For that matter, how terrible would it have been to take something like the Thrawn trilogy or the Champions of the Force trilogy and turn them into episodes VII-IX?
    And, as for (essentially) rebooting the universe to have some breathing room to write and develop these new movies, i have just two words for you: Star Trek. JJ Abrams rebooted Star Trek in what can only be described as an attempt to revitalize it for a new generation. But, the established fans, the ones who have loved the franchise since the 60s, 70s, 80s, or 90s absolutely hated what Abrams did to the newest films. Almost singlehandedly, Abrams has managed to ruin Star Trek for many folks. After seeing the trailer already released, i am seeing the potential for the same thing. A spherical droid? Looks silly to me. And a lightsaber with a hilt? Combat-wise, i do know a thing or two about swords…a hilted lightsaber provides no advantages to the one who wields it and even possible severe disadvantages. Somebody came up with this without consulting a bladed weapon expert. A hilted sword’s advantage over a saber (hilt-less) is that the cross-bar hilt can be used to catch and protect the wielder’s hands and forearms. The trouble with this is that, in order for the hilt to protect, properly, the user, the sword is typically braced against the wrist or forearm. A hilt that can cut like the primary blade of a lightsaber would then become a serious disadvantage to the user. This is just not very good, in my opinion. Lastly on the trailer, i noted that we still see Galactic Empire Stormtroopers and we hear the Empire theme. This suggests that the Empire is still a force to contend with. If the film is supposed to take place 20 years after episode VI, then that suggessts that the galactic civil war was over 40 years long. This is in a nation that travels at lightspeed. i just can’t see how such a war would last so long after the Emperor (whom was supposed to be using the emotions of his people to fuel the war) and Vader both died.
    i know that part of the purpose of these new films is to make it up to the fans for the failings of Episodes I-III. But, please don’t sacrifice the quality and decent story telling of the original episodes IV-VI.

  18. Star Wars EU has NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, Ever been proclaimed as canon, and the fact that Disney is saying what they are shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody; even Lucas himself doesn’t see the EU as being a real part of SW-and if he, the original mastermind behind Star Wars doesn’t see it that way, they I certainly don’t, either.

    • Ha! Well the EU’s never been referred to as canon if you don’t count the time it was in Star Wars Insider #23 and #59.

      Or how about when it was referred to as canon in Star Wars Gamer #6?

      Oh! I know! Check out the 2008 wired.com interview where both Leland Chee and Howard Roffman (CEO of Lucas Licensing) both called the EU “canon” and the official history of Star Wars?

      Or you could pull one of several quotes off the Star Wars forums where people like Steve Sansweet and Sue Rostoni (Chief Editor of Lucas Licensing) call the EU canon as well.

      Let us not forget the hierarchy of canon established on starwars.com for years that listed the EU as C-canon.

      Before making ignorant statements like the one you just made, check your facts first. The EU was considered canon until Disney redefined it. Now the EU is listed as “Legends” or non-canon but before that (according to Lucas Licensing) it was always considered canon.

      • That probably was a stupid comment to make on my part, but I tend to go with what Lucas says; he views the EU as a different universe all together, and so do I. The people you mentioned, as far as I know, were never involved in the creative processes that developed Star Wars; what they say really does not have an impact on me, or anyone else that believes the movies are the only true stories.

        Don’t get me wrong-I like my fair share of EU, but I just don’t consider it to take place in the same universe as the movies.

        • Well seeing as all the books follow the events directly after the last film..your statement seems absurd..the books ALL use films as reference..and all the stories come directly from the characters and settings from the films. Then they simply carried those stories on to new ones. Bit more importantly..they continued the saga with one ongoing narrative. And now that narrative is destroyed..30 years worth tossed into the trash by egomaniacs…I hope the films fail miserably. I really,really do.

          • The fact that you’re not getting is that Lucas never endorsed any of the EU. Sure, he may have been contacted as a consultant, but those stories never came from him.

            The fact that the books continued “the saga with one ongoing narrative,” is irrelevant here; as I previously said, those ideas were never Lucas’. That does nothing to support your argument.

            • you couldn’t be more dead wrong if you tried…..most of the early books and quite a few of the later books not only were considered canon…but HAD TO BE APPROVED BY LUCAS HIMSELF before publication…do your research…this was a narrative that george lucas declared canon….and then 4 billion dollars happened….and so ends one of the greatest ongoing story lines in print…..hell…lucas had a sticker put on the front cover of splinter’s mind declaring it official canon way back in the day…again you could not be more WRONG about if you tried….

              • I’m afraid _you’re_ dead wrong here no matter how hard you try.
                Justin counts Lucas himself as the only relevant authority here and so did Lucasfilm. Thing is, George Lucas not only never cared about the EU, he actually never read any of the novels!
                Nothing apart from the movies was ever considered canon for him and anything you read about G/T/LGBT-Canon or greenlighting any of the early stuff was made by Lucasfilm to keep track of the massive amount of material they wanted to make licensing money from.
                None of this was ever considered by Lucas to be anything but fanfiction he could make money with – he tried to ignore it into a Star Trek-like parallel universe and Lucasfilm just tried to keep it consistent.

                Here’s a quote from an “official” RPG Sourcebook to the Heir to the Empire novel from the early 90s that makes clear what has been Lucas’ policy ever since:
                “This and all other products that take place after the events depicted in RotJ are the author’s vision of what may have happened. The true fate of the heroes and villains of the Star Wars universe remains the exclusive province of George Lucas and Lucasfilm, Ltd.”

                But check out a few more recent quotes from Lucas himself (Wookieepedia):

                1.) “There are two worlds here,” explained Lucas. “There’s my world, which is the movies, and there’s this other world that has been created, which I say is the parallel universe—the licensing world of the books, games and comic books. They don’t intrude on my world, which is a select period of time, [but] they do intrude in between the movies. I don’t get too involved in the parallel universe.”
                2.) “I don’t read that stuff. I haven’t read any of the novels. I don’t know anything about that world. That’s a different world than my world. But I do try to keep it consistent. The way I do it now is they have a Star Wars Encyclopedia. So if I come up with a name or something else, I look it up and see if it has already been used. When I said [other people] could make their own Star Wars stories, we decided that, like Star Trek, we would have two universes”
                3.) “But there’s no story past Episode VI, there’s just no story. It’s a certain story about Anakin Skywalker and once Anakin Skywalker dies, that’s kind of the end of the story. There is no story about Luke Skywalker, I mean apart from the books. But there’s three worlds: There’s my world that I made up, there’s the licensing world that’s the books, the comics, all that kind of stuff, the games, which is their world, and then there’s the fans’ world, which is also very rich in imagination, but they don’t always mesh. All I’m in charge of is my world. I can’t be in charge of those other people’s world, because I can’t keep up with it”
                4.) “Ive left pretty explicit instructions for there not to be any more features. There will definitely be no Episodes VII-IX. That’s because there isn’t any story. I mean, I never thought of anything. And now there have been novels about the events after Episode VI, which isn’t at all what I would have done with it. The Star Wars story is really the tragedy of Darth Vader. That is the story. Once Vader dies, he doesn’t come back to life, the Emperor doesn’t get cloned and Luke doesn’t get married…”

                • I didn’t know at the time. I’m still looking into it, and I’m afraid that I can’t give you a better argument right now.

                • On a side note, if you scrolled down a little bit, you would see that I already used some of the quotations/facts you mentioned.

            • and not considering the books taking place in the same universe is also ridiculous….the books pick right up from where the films left off…in the same universe…with the same characters…on the same planets…flying the same exact crafts…not sure what the heck you are talking about with that statement…it simply makes no sense ….

              • Yeah, you’re right. I was really just using my own personal bias as evidence, which isn’t okay.

                With that said, when George Lucas spoke about the EU, he acknowledged that,’”There are two worlds here,” explained Lucas. “There’s my world, which is the movies, and there’s this other world that has been created, which I say is the parallel universe—the licensing world of the books, games and comic books. They don’t intrude on my world, which is a select period of time, [but] they do intrude in between the movies. I don’t get too involved in the parallel universe,”‘ so even he isn’t influenced greatly by the EU.

                • Hey man, it’s cool. You just didn’t know. Happens. You seem like a level headed guy though. Thanks for being so.

        • In response to your quote “but I tend to go with what Lucas says; he views the EU as a different universe all together”; for a billion dollars I am sure he will say whatever The Mouse wants him to say! Sorry, people are right, 30 years of writings where authors were required to research the “official story line” from the group at Lucas Film, to me, means it is Canon.

          I am sorry to hear that there will be no more books in the “Legends” story line (so much for my reading habits on long flights). I am also saddened that characters I got familiar with really didn’t exist.

          And I agree with others that what JJ Abrams did to Star Trek is happening with Star Wars. And I don’t like it.

          They will make billions of dollars! Disney will have a Star Wars World in their parks and you can take your picture with Darth Vader at the Darth Vader Breakfast at Snow Whites Castle, but I will be disappointed with how it all went down.

          I guess at some point in the future, after I am gone, a little boy will shake a snow globe and Han will come home from work as a construction engineer and wonder what was happening in the kids mind!

          • The fact that they’re paying him billions of dollars is irrelevant; he made the comments years before Disney bought out Lucasfilm. He said himself he doesn’t read the EU, and that he considers all of that to be a separate universe. I guess if you want to think it’s canon, that’s cool, butI concur with Lucas on this one.

            • And I have to agree with Lucas too. Since they aren’t using his ideas from the new movies nothing Disney does is canon either.

      • Well one good thing from all of this is maybe we can let Boba and the Emperor to finally rest in peace. I thought that they brought them both back was one of the stupidest things ever, and it happened sooo early in the EU. (in the first two comic series that Dark Horse put out, I believe). It really turned me off. The whole thing just didn’t sit right with me.

        I mean I love Fett as much as the next guy, but bringing him back was equivalent to Han not shooting first. Maybe Disney should clarify that too, Han shooting first is Canon.

        The Thrawn series was fantastic though. Ugh, sigh, It does make me sad none of that happened. We probably all saw this coming in our heart of hearts though, didn’t we? I mean even before the Disney purchase. Pretty sure the writing was on the wall when the prequels came out, and Lucas made a couple of comments about how people shouldn’t make this their whole lives and such… I think he stopped caring at that point, and thought people should just see Star Wars as a story and not take it so seriously, and not let our consumption of those stories consume us. (Lucas already made his billions you see, and no longer had the desire to live in a fantastic universe other than his own, and thought everyone else should do the same.) This is how franchises always end up when there is more than one creative, the universe eventually becomes a jumbled mess. It only stays nice a neat for a little bit, and then it becomes part of the culture and moves on.

        Well at least I don’t feel like I have to keep wading through some of the terrible books that were put out. Some of them were great, but some of them really did feel like fan fiction.

    • ummm, not to contradict you, but if the books were “never” canon, then why did Disney SPECIFICALLY announce that the books were NO LONGER canon? in order for something to stop being canon, they have to have been canon before. so, while you might be passionate about this or just really like the word never, the argument about whether or not the books were ever canon kind of becomes pointless at that point, yes?
      not to mention, i’ve been reading Star Wars books pretty much since they were starting to come out in print. i even have an old copy of Star Wars Insider (issue 23) that quotes Sue Rostoni and Allan Kausch as saying “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 written by other writers. However, between us, we’ve read everything, and much of it is taken into account in the overall continuity.” (emphasis is mine).
      So for those that think the books were never or never meant to be canon, they were. i only wish Disney would have respected that instead of destroying an awesome story line all for the sake of a little freedom to write the new films. Personally, what pisses me off even more is that it won’t be allowed for folks to continue publishing new titles under the original timeline…all books going forward will only be in the new timeline created by the new films…if Disney really wanted to make money, they would have tried to have their cake and eat it too. Instead, i fear that they are going to choke on the JJ Abrams cake that Star Trek is still trying to recover from…

      • Oh, by the way, Sue Rostoni and Allan Kausch were with Lucas Licensing. That means they decided what was and wasn’t licensed as official Star Wars merchandise. i would think they know a little about what they were talking about…

        • I didn’t read your entire response, but I’m sure whatever you said is correct. It was probably a bad idea on my part to post my original comment.

          • It is never a bad idea to speak your mind. Just be prepared to change your view if you are presented with a better one. :)

            • Not even that. It’s just that my argument wasn’t developed well enough to be presented, at least not yet. Hopefully with some research, I can make a better claim than I did here.

  19. Screw em’ if they wanna play step on your fingers businessman, then I can play too. If they cant respect the people who put character, kept this universe alive and hell even wrote circles around lucas’s concepts then I dont NEED to pay to see their “legends”!

  20. So the Rebel Alliance was created/founded by 5 meaningless, insignificant, unimportant, nobody Mickey Mouse Club kids in some garage? How on Coruscant does that even make sense? Since Disney threw all of us fans overboard we should be extremely skeptical of VII. We should greet Disney with the same venom and vitriol they greeted the Star Wars fan. Look at how Disney has treated some of the best writers in the genre of fantasy/fiction. Terry Brooks wrote Phantom Menace and Disney burned it up. Timothy Zahn saved the idea that a Star Wars novel could be relevant, and Disney burned it up. So in the end when Disney tells us keep spending money on OUR product and ignore everything else shouldn’t we say Disney’s Star Wars is soul-less and depth-less. Shouldn’t we say Disney’s Star Wars is the path to the Dark Side?

    or have I gone off the chains?

    • I have to admit that the way which the Rebel Alliance was founded in The Force Unleashed did seem slightly more interesting.

  21. Star Wars is dead to me. Nothing post-Disney exists, as far as I’m concerned. So far I’m not impressed with Rebels, especially compared to Clone Wars, and all the wacky lightsabers make my eye twitch.

  22. My friends, I saw new hope on a beta max tape that my father had flown to japan by a pilot buddy of his in the Air Force. we showed it in our home over and over again for military members and their families as it would be almost two years before the military would air it in their base theaters there. I was 4 years old. I’ve followed it ever since. I enjoy the EU and there are very few books I haven’t read or listened to on audio book. I even have copies of the original BBC productions of the radio theater versions of the first three films. When I saw the trailer for the force awakes, the fact that the EU was no longer canon as far as the movie franchise was concerned was obvious. I was, as many of you are, upset. Having had time to consider the ramifications, I have come to this. Money moves the entertainment industry. For Disney to move forward with the franchise it is in their best interest to depart from the post Return of the Jedi EU. for the simple fact that now they don’t have to purchase licence for every book, and it allows them to boot a new expanded universe as merchandise. We must each choose for ourselves whether or not we will invest in the Disney version of the Star Wars universe. As a fan of the many great books written, a hope the new canon is as good, if not better. J.J. Abrams likes a new time line it would seem (Star Trek anyone?) and it is in the fact that he is at the helm of this new movie that I find hope. He did a fine job with Star Trek, but he is a Star Wars fan at heart. I think that even though the movie will be a new direction for we who read the EU books, for the majority of people who see it, it will feel quite natural. I read the bulk of the Star Trek EU as well, and the new movies didn’t kill that franchise for me. take a deep breath and repeat after me:

    “There is no emotion, there is peace.
    There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
    There is no passion, there is serenity.
    There is no chaos, there is harmony.
    There is no death, there is the force.”

  23. What I want to know, is if they will continue the “Legends” story line, and put those new books in legends. While making their new books as well, but keep them separate.

  24. I haven’t been following this “news” so have to say that I’m bummed out by it. I’ve read nearly all of the official SW books and even some Dark Horse material over the years. I thoroughly enjoyed them as they filled in gaps and continued the evolution of the characters. However, saying that most of it is not conical, but legends is a cop out. (Spoilers alert) Sure, it allows them to bring back Chewy and other characters, but it also allows them to kill off different ones that will wipe out entire story/time lines. JJ Abrams was able to negate pretty much all of Star Trek by using changing the time line/history in that rebooted series and it worked. However, the fans expected that and the filmed pulled it off. He’s not doing that with SW, so they have to negate much of what has transpired since Episode VI. I’m bummed out about that because I feel that what I read is now BS. That’s a lot of time, money, and entertainment baggage wasted so that Disney can take over. It’s not the end of the world, but it is the end of a lot of what was previously read.

  25. I for one LOVE and SUPPORT this ballsy move by Disney. Star Wars is sacred to me. I remember back in high school in the early/mid 90s, a buddy of mine was telling me about the awesome stuff happening in the Star Wars books. He’d tell me all sorts of stuff that even back then, in my freshly hormone-saturated teenage mind, I recognized was pure crap. Lizard animals that can push back the Force? The Hutts are neither male or female? The Death Star was constructed in the Maw? Every bulls#!t attempt to reconcile “12 parsecs” for the Kessel Run? Han was an orphaned slave? Cloud City is a casino? Darn near everything about Mara Jade? (Oh yeah…I went there. Deal with it) Oh did you know that before Luke Skywalker had even heard of Yoda he dueled Darth Vader on Circarpous IV…AND DEFEATED HIM??????

    There wasn’t just one IG-88…there were four. And if the Empire had succeeded in completing the Death Star 2, IG-88′s uploaded intelligence would have gone on a massive galaxy wide planet destroying spree.

    Granted I would be somewhat bummed if there was never a Kyle Katarn, a Grand Admiral Thrawn, or a Prince Xizor. For every 20 books/comics/video media/video games/etc… there is a single story of EU content that is actually passable. I say farewell to the trash.

    • I agree! There’s SO MUCH GARBAGE

    • Sorry, my last post got cut short.
      But I agree! SO MUCH garbage in Star Wars!
      Let’s look at the Prequels real quick:
      1) Why doesn’t Yoda just explain miticlorians to Luke in Empire? What a stupid idea that the prequels had!
      2) R2 can fly in the PT but not in the OT? FAIL
      3) The Republic being 1000 years in PT but according to Obi-Wan in ANH it’s over 1000 generations old. PREQUEL FAIL!
      4) Don’t even get me started on the fact that Anakin is whiney brat who we shouldn’t even bother feeling bad for because he sucks as a person and doesn’t connect at all with the audience!
      But the prequels are too easy a target, let’s go into the AWFUL Clone Wars series:
      1) A Hutt named “Stinky” is now Disney Canon
      2) As is the racist character Zero the Hutt
      3) Anakin being referred to as “Skyguy” (face palm)
      4) Jar Jar being confused as a Jedi Master to an entire population too stupid to realize the truth. Disney canon
      5) The Poison Tea episodes with Padme that had nothing to do with the Clone Wars and only exist to test the toughest Star Wars fan. Disney canon
      6) We have D-Squad! All droids led by a snail! How wonderful!! This is MUCH better than what I read in the books! (insert sarcastic comment here)
      7) What about the episode where R2 and 3PO go out looking for fruit for Padme’s cake? Crap that is all canon now.
      Ok, TCW series is an easy target as well and this post has gone on way too long for me to even get in to the atrocity which is “Rebels” or the new books which are being panned by the majority of fans.
      Truth is, Disney’s fallen flat on it’s face right out the gate on how they’ve handled things and if rumors are true (Han dying in Episode 7) then killing off one of the most popular characters in the franchise is absolute GARBAGE too!
      I don’t blame people for walking away from what already is looking to be a total disaster for the franchise.
      The lesson here is to enjoy what you love about Star Wars and be accepting of any ignorant fans who don’t have the same interest as we do.
      May the Force be with us all!

    • @ Jedispy,

      So you heard of books in the 1990s huh? I’ve been to the first day showing of all six movies starting in 1977 when I was nine years old. That is 38 years invested if you were counting. For 38 years there has been this universe built, very carefully if I may add. There was a process built in order to ensure continuity. In 38 years I’ve spent thousands of dollars following the Star Wars story not to mention the time invested which is even more invaluable. I am not as willing to give up such an investment so that this one guy with apparently little imagination to continue the story line built on 38 years. This guy could have picked an empty portion of the timeline and write whatever he wanted with the characters that have been in place already but no, he needs to rewrite history. This is not Star Trek where he was successful because he started from the begging and gave it an alternate start. I will see the first movie in the hopes that it will help me accept this change but to me this is the legend.


  26. I’m glad they are cleaning the slate. There are too many stories…those poor bastards and their offspring never get a moment of peace…it becomes a laughable soap opera at some point.

  27. It’s funny. Lucas has been ignoring and contradicting the EU ever since TPM was released, and none of the EU fans ever pissed and moan over what he’s done. On the contrary, they just kissed his a** like the sycophants they are. Oh, but when anyone else follows his example — be it the TCW writers or Disney — they act like Muslim extremists seeing a drawing of Muhammed.

    Truth is, the EU wasn’t all that great and became an outright cluster of bad ideas after the PT was released, so I’m glad to see it tossed out, even if the Thrawn books and the “Tales of the Jedi” comics are no longer “real”. I only with the PT had been tossed out with it.

    • It’s also funny to see how little people knew about the EU in General. According to Pablo Hildgado’s book The Essential Readers companion, the books coincide very well with the PT.

      In fact, the only issue was with the horrible TCW series which forced the books to change the dates and times of certain events.

      Other than that he said he fits very well. But most casual fans don’t even realize it.