Big Moon Rising: Why I don’t mind if the Star Wars sequels mean the end of the Expanded Universe

The Death of Chewbacca

I’ve been a Star Wars fan since I was barely 13, and became an Expanded Universe fan only days later. My entire experience of falling in love with Star Wars was prompted and is because of the Expanded Universe; I ‘first’ saw the movies on VHS over Christmas break in 1991. And we wouldn’t have even had those copies in the house if not for the release of Heir to the Empire in the spring of that year.

I owe my entire fandom to Heir to the Empire and the Thrawn trilogy. The Expanded Universe, which was pretty much all there was back in those days, formed the nucleus of my fandom. They hooked me, and they hooked me well enough that I sit here, 22 years later, running a fairly popular blog devoted to the franchise, with those same worn copies of Heir, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command not four feet away.

I love the Expanded Universe. It’s a weird kind of love that you get with this sort of fandom; I kept with it through some of the absolute worst fiction I have ever read, and many books that could I barely bring myself to call mediocre and, yes, even those rare gems that make it all worth it.

But I’m also okay with letting it go.

Yesterday, we got a report that Peter Mayhew would be returning in Episode VII. It’s not a sure thing by any means, it’s not confirmed, but it’s from one of the trades – as solid as rumors get – and, yeah, it looks pretty likely.

The EU end of fandom exploded.

See, in 1999, there was a book called Vector Prime, by R.A. Salvatore. It was the first of a brand-new series, the New Jedi Order, with a (mostly) brand-new publisher, Del Rey. It ended with the death of Chewbacca, a shot across the bow of the readers that no one in the EU was safe.

The Wookiee was hit by a moon saving the life of Han Solo and Princess Leia’s youngest child, Anakin Solo. It was, depending on your point of view, either heart-wrenching or hilarious. (A MOON. I, and most of CJ, found it hilarious. There was filk.)

It wasn’t even his idea, but poor R.A. Salvatore took a lot of shit from fans over the death. It made the mainstream news, something events in Star Wars books almost never do. Chewbacca is still the biggest movie character to die in a Star Wars book by far. It was a Big Deal.

And the return of Peter Mayhew and Chewbacca? Almost certainly means that none of that happened in the galaxy we’ll be seeing in Episode VII.

Lucasfilm folks have been fairly tight-lipped on what the new movies mean for 20+ years of novels, which cover periods up to 45 years after Return of the Jedi. (The new movies will begin about 30 years after.) Some EU fans cling to hopes that this means we’ll see some version of the book storylines adapted; Some hope this means the EU will be dead and buried for good. Still others think a comics-style multiverse is in the cards.

And me? Despite my 22 years in it, I’m hoping for a clean slate, and that’s what I’ve been reading between the lines of statements from folks in the know as well.

As I said the day after the Episode VI announcement:

Disney didn’t pay $4B for Lucasfilm just to dance around some books and comics that only make up a (comparative) sliver of the Star Wars profit margin. They’re a major part of the franchise for us, but they are far from a major part of it as a whole. Disney is absolutely going to want to make movies that don’t require fans to have 20 years of background reading – they want a movie that’s going to be accessible to the vast, mainstream audience.

I would be the absolute last person to tell you the EU is perfect; It’s a mismatched, patchworked mess of story lines and characterizations. Too many cooks in the kitchen is an understatement. I love it, but I also have no problem seeing it for what it is: A ponderous hodgepodge, beloved by us rare few, but old and worn. It served a purpose, but that time is past, and there’s very little I would give to a newcomer in any case.

The movies deserve a better foundation. And no, none of the existing Star Wars movies are perfect, but they’re nowhere near as lumbering as the EU is these days. And the books will still be there for us to revisit whenever we like. A good Star Wars story is still a good Star Wars story, no matter what the canon ends up being.

There are good things in the novels which I hope get saved, something there’s precedent for in both the prequel films and The Clone Wars. But I’m not expecting a whole lot of that, and who knows what exactly the new Powers That Be will deem saving?

I want to see Luke, Leia and Han (and Chewie and Lando and Artoo and etc.) again, but I want something new for them. Not simply adaptions of books that, with a few notable exceptions, weren’t all that great to begin with. There are so many ways to go, so many things to do that the EU neglected or did poorly or didn’t do at all. This is a chance for a fresh start, a second chance, for all the mistakes made in the name of one lumbering series or another to be washed away. Isn’t that at least a little exciting?

If you believe the report about Mayhew, it means that nothing in the EU is safe, but nothing in the EU has ever been safe in this screen-centric franchise. Not now, and not in 1999, not in 1991. And you know what? That’s okay. Don’t you want to be surprised?

UPDATE 4/25/14: We now have an official announcement on the Expanded Universe’s status.

68 thoughts on “Big Moon Rising: Why I don’t mind if the Star Wars sequels mean the end of the Expanded Universe

  1. Werpudel

    I still don’t get, why people would feel “burdened” with 20-30 years of backstory established in the EU. There HAS TO BE a backstory to EP VII. It’s not like nothing will have happened since EP VI. The filmmakers will have to get that across. So why not keep the existing EU at least up until EP VII?

    Reply
    1. Dunc Post author

      The problem isn’t that there’s backstory. It’s that most of the EU’s backstory isn’t very good and adds far too many needless complications. IMO, natch.

      Reply
      1. Dom

        I think the real problem for EU fans is that we don’t know if the movie will be good or not. Who’s to say the movie won’t be worse than the EU? If the movie’s excellent then I’m sure it’ll be easier to say goodbye to the EU, but if not then I can’t blame EU Fans for being miffed. At least with “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” JJ Abrams found a way to avoid rewriting Star Trek continuity, but that’s not possible here – we’re stuck with whatever movie we get, good or bad.

        Reply
        1. Nanci

          Same here. I would be perfectly fine jettisoning everything from NJO onward. Of course, who’s to say they won’t make Luke an unmarried hermit and create a new army of Sith villains or do yet another Skywalker falls to the dark side storyline?

          Only time will tell, I guess.

    2. LadyFerry Truthsayer (@ladyferry)

      I agree with you Werpudel, and not just that, what about ALL the money I spent over the last 20 or so years on EU novels, graphic novels, comics and figures? How about we all get a refund if Lucasfilm/Disney are scrapping the EU altogether. Those were hard-earned pennies spent on nothing if that is the case!

      Reply
  2. Mr. Tom Dickinson (@NowWeAreAllTom)

    I think Clone Wars gave us a nice dose of how Lucasfilm makes use of the EU: it grabs and adapts things it likes, but transforms and contradicts whatever it wants to, in service of making (what it thinks will be) the best story possible. I went through all my fretting about canon back when Clone Wars rewrote the book on Mandalore and Dathomir and all that other stuff. I kind of got it all out of my system, so when Episode VII was announced I had a sort of “Que Sera, Sera” attitude.

    The EU is dead, long live the EU. There may well be a Jacen and a Jaina and a Mara Jade, but even if those names are used, they almost certainly won’t be our Jacen or Jaina or Mara Jade. And that’s sad, but it’s okay. I just hope the movie is cool.

    Reply
    1. Dunc Post author

      Yeah. Particularly in the case of Mara, she was so often miswritten that I really won’t mind if they did something new with her – as long as she comes out of it something like Zahn’s Mara. (Though who knows – if there’s an all-new Mara I might like her, too!) But any Mara at all is a longshot – I can hope for her, but I’m not counting on her.

      Reply
        1. Joy

          I love Mara, but many times I hated how they’d portray her and Luke’s relationship. Sometimes it was just so… juvenile. Or non-existent.

          I’m like, “Are any of you authors in a decent relationship, at all?”

          So much wasted potential. I’ve mentally put Mara in my mental “Women superheroes are really hard”/”Let’s put Leia in a slave bikini” file. Not counting on her showing up.

  3. John

    I agree entirely. The movies are gonna do what the movies are gonna do, and that’s fine. The original EU isn’t going anywhere – I can always pick up one of the books and read it again, if I’d like, and no film can change that.

    We’ll always have Adumar. But it’s time for something new.

    Reply
  4. Alex Johnson

    Well written, Dunc. This pretty much sums up my thoughts on the whole thing. And yeah, I agree with Tom, I think The Clone Wars was a great representation of how we’ll see the EU handled in the movies.

    Honestly, I grew up reading EU stories, and it was those stories that really defined my Star Wars fandom/obsession, but, I think I’m ready for a clean slate. Time to refresh and rewrite the muddled back-stories, uneven plots, rehashed plot points and villains and of course the Crystal Stars of our favorite space opera…

    Reply
  5. Nanci

    Good article, and generally I agree. But honestly the excitement of new Star Wars movies wore out about six months ago for me. Star Trek Into Darkness and all the script changes made me really hesitant about Episode VII. Then again, I loved the first Star Trek and Super 8, so who knows. Hopefully Episode VII will follow in their footsteps.

    I’m guess I’m just waiting for some sort of indication of what the movie will actually be about. It’s not like the prequels where we were all waiting for Anakin to become Darth Vader. Like Dom said above, it’d be a lot easier if we had some indication of what to expect. Not to mention what status the EU will have going forward.

    Reply
    1. Alex Johnson

      That whole script rewrite really had (has) me worried too. I liked Super 8 and Star Trek 2009 also, but yeah, Into Darkness really, really, wasn’t necessary. It felt like a not-up-to-par Star Wars rip off with the name Star Trek stamped over it and a deus ex machina around every corner.

      I’m really hoping that the script rewrite will end up turning out to be a good thing, otherwise, if that original script ever finds its way onto the internet, we very well may have a fandom meltdown over how great Episode VII COULD have been haha

      Reply
  6. Dom

    Well, sure, I can’t imagine ANY movie/book/comic being worse than Crucible. That’d take some real talent given that it’s probably the worse post-Ballantine post-ROTJ book. But I also had a hard time imagining a new Trek movie would be worse than Star Trek V. I also have a hard time imagining a movie as good as the Heir to the Empire Trilogy. Only time will tell. Of course, I definitely agree with your main point that there is a lot of garbage in the EU that could be safely jettisoned (I’d certainly be OK with all post ROTJ books post-1999 being wiped clean).

    Reply
    1. Dunc Post author

      We have threaded comments now! Please make sure you reply DIRECTLY to the comment using the reply link directly under that comment, NOT the general one at the bottom.

      (Sorry, I have a huge bug up my butt about this.)

      Reply
  7. maragorn

    I agree that Chewie’s death wasn’t the best written, but it gave a much-missing sense of actual danger to the thing that wouldn’t have been able to happen otherwise. I thought it was pretty sad that Chewie died to save Anakin and then Anakin died.

    I still haven’t come to terms with losing the EU, flawed as it was. I really am still sad about it.

    Reply
    1. Wayne

      Thank you maragorn, it seems like no one else really feels this way – glad to know I’m not alone. I too agree that Chewie’s death wasn’t the most well written, but it gave the idea that the original characters were vulnerable and was needed since everyone was getting much older – much like Harrison Ford wanted with Han dying in ROTJ. And I completely agree Dunc – I’ve known since Disney bought Star Wars, and announced E7 that they were not going to simply put a wookiee on the screen – it has to be Chewbacca because the name sells, it still just doesn’t make me feel any better having all of the EU (good and bad) that I’ve been vested in for so long wrenched from me by the Disney cherry pickers. Now I guess I should move on and prepare myself for someone to run around in a Vader suit in the sequels because that will sell too… :/

      Reply
        1. Jason

          I thought I was alone in this too. Everybody seems to be praising what they did with The Clone Wars and burning the EU. I’ve enjoyed Clone Wars, but as someone who’s read almost EVERYTHING EU, I don’t include a lot of things (Mandalorians, etc.) from Clone Wars in what I consider true canon.

          I’ll admit, I WAS fairly apprehensive about the Yuuzhan Vong stuff AND Jacen going to the Dark Side, but with the exception of the Boba Fett/Bounty Hunter trilogy set right after RotJ, there isn’t a SINGLE book I disliked in the EU. I LOVED NJO/Yuuzhan Vong war, Second Galactic Civil War (Legacy Of The Force), and even Fate Of The Jedi. I LIKE how the plots have got somewhat complicated (I don’t think it’s ridiculously complicated) because it’s interesting and actually takes some brain power to comprehend sometimes.

          I certainly hope VII is gonna be great, but the 6 current movies, bits of CW, the comics (most) and the EU books are Canon 1 as far as I’m concerned. If they toss the EU out, they might as well just say f*ck you to all us fans who’ve been with it from the beginning. Those people who don’t like the EU certainly aren’t forced to read it.

  8. Emily

    I, too, am completely fine with a new EU. And while I’m fairly vocal about wanting Mara to live on, like many of the rest of you I’m not expecting it, and would be perfectly happy with another woman in her place.

    Reply
  9. Riley

    If Lucasfilm can do what Marvel has done in picking the best elements of what they’ve created in other mediums and pulling them together for a solid film, then I say go for it. As others have noted with the PT and CW series, Lucasfilm has already done this to a degree in terms of characters and planets.

    I’ll be interested to see if some novel is eventually commissioned that “reboots” the EU by having some cataclysmic event reset history back to a certain point.

    Reply
    1. Katie A.M. (@EleganceLiberty)

      “I’ll be interested to see if some novel is eventually commissioned that “reboots” the EU by having some cataclysmic event reset history back to a certain point.”

      So… Star Wars does ‘Flashpoint’?

      (That’s the whole thing that led to the DC Comics nu52, fwiw)

      Reply
  10. Jon

    Excellent article, but I will contend one thing about changing and erasing EU that will be a sore spot for a small section of fans, and unfortunately I fall into that fan group. It concerns the Season 5 finale of The Clone Wars, where a beloved character from the EU is altered to suit the changing needs of Lucas and Filoni.

    I’m talking about Barriss Offee. When I first picked up the Medstar novels around 2005, I was getting excited for the Clone Wars TV show that was announced, I wanted to get a head start on the lore and history of the Clone Wars

    I have been a fan of Jedi Barriss Offee since then. She was my first reading experience for TCW, and my Muse for Star Wars fanfiction writing.

    I was so inspired and excited at the time, I even wrote a series of stories back in 2005-2010 that became a sort of Heroine’s Journey for Barriss before there was an Ahsoka Tano. Barriss Offee and the EU had become a great source for story writing and reading, etc. They weren’t perfect stories, but it was exciting to be a part of Star Wars in that way.

    Now EU has been changed, and many of us fans of Barriss have been left in a precarious lurch after seeing her become a murderer and a traitor for the TV show. A lot of us are downright depressed and filled with despair.

    Everything I had enjoyed, all the stories I had written and became emotionally involved with, all of it has been outdated and somewhat stomped on, and my Hero has become one of the the most hated character in Star Wars.

    This is more than just a clean up or just changing a messy EU. It stings, watching a beloved character now being the most hated character in Star Wars because the EU was discarded. It’s listening to fans comment calling one of my favorite characters a “treacherous psychopath”

    Can fans let go and accept this new adjustment to EU? This is a place where it gets very hard, and it becomes harder when everyone around us accepts the change without batting an eye, especially those who would defend strong female characters for Star Wars. It becomes a heart ache when I have to hear fans say “I hope Ahsoka kills that B****”

    Who will defend my female hero?

    I often go around to various fansites and have even emailed Dave Filoni about the despair felt by some of us.

    At first, I did it out of anger and frustration. I had to be angry. That’s how much I have loved Star Wars and tolerated all the changes Lucas insisted on thrusting upon us. This one was just too much. But I have gone through my five stages of grief. All I can do is accept it.

    Now, when I see these blogs and articles about the joys and relief of cleaning up a clunky, messy EU, I try to remind people that there are casualties and emotional turmoil that goes with it.

    If you want to tell me to go back and enjoy the Medstar novels or enjoy the Star Wars that was special to me, I can do that with heavy heart. The difference between Barriss and Chewbacca, though, is that everyone can enjoy Chewbacca no matter what the canon.

    Fans of Barriss Offee endure hateful comments, and we know that no one will love this character as a heroic Jedi again. There will be no more fans of Barriss Offee when new fans watch reruns of TCW

    Barriss Offee’s fate is up in the air, and a lot of us fans still hope for maybe a redemption story. It’s the waiting on how the EU will be resolved on this that keeps us in suspense.

    Sorry for the long post, terribly sorry for pouring out my thoughts in such a dramatic way. Some changes and cleanups to the EU are simply painful. Some of us became too attached.

    On a more positive note about it, A lot of us Barriss fans still make nice art and write our Barriss Offee fictions over at Deviantart.com. It is a place for Catharsis as we wait for the final fates of many Clone wars characters.

    When the fate of Barriss Offee is finally revealed, good or bad, I told myself I can let go. I will find closure, but I will probably never love Star Wars the same way again, even as I watch episode VII.. I’m not buying anymore novels like I did in 2005, I will just take the movie for what it is.

    I do apologize again for this. I don’t mean to be depressing, just that we will always have a love for something in the EU, and that letting go is not as easy as one may think.

    Reply
    1. Dunc Post author

      I responded last time you talked about Bariss, and it all still applies:

      You realize there’s likely far worse than that waiting for post-ROTJ EU fans, right? Forget a couple of books, a character or two: Post-ROTJ is 40+ years of (in-universe) content, involving almost all the film principles in one way or another, that’s likely to be swept away into an AU at best.

      I’ve been where you’ve been. I’ve already seen the EU – within itself – treat characters badly, remold them into shadows or cardboard versions of themselves, or kill them off needlessly, for plots that can’t even pay it off. Will the movies do worse, or better? Or not at all? It’s hard to say, but I’m willing to wait and see. Could they do worse than what’s already been done? Sure. Or they could also do better. You’re welcome to feel however you like, but I’m willing to wait and see.

      But LFL is in their rights to do that, whether it involves 100+ stories or just one character. The point of this post is, was and remains that.

      And, yes: Fans will have to deal with it, just like we did back in the KJA days by channeling our angst and disappointment into fanfic and other creative endeavors. No long-running franchise is going to please fans 100% of the time, certainly not in the midst of an upheaval like this. People will be disappointed, there’s no way around it. But you have to learn how to deal, or find a way to move on.

      Reply
      1. Jon

        Terribly sorry about the repeat article. This will sound stupid, but I never had a chance to read the original reply at the first time you gave it. When I tried to look up the article to see if there was a response….I couldn’t find it again.

        I know you’re right. Terribly sorry about bringing it up again. I sometimes forget when and where I’ve commented. Every time I think I’ve moved on and gotten over it a button gets pushed, like when I read this article, and it all came flooding out of me again.

        I have never felt this way in Star wars before, never had a problem with changing EU, none of it bothered me so much….but this hit me hard. I write for fun but also as a catharsis, and I try to understand that this is how things work with LFL.

        I poured myself into writing a lot of Barriss Offee stories, and I became too attached, and now I find it to be a bit of a struggle. She was my Ahsoka Tano before there was an Ahsoka Tano.

        I’ve never been one of those bitter fans that walked out of Phantom Menace. I’m afraid this is all new to me to be this emotional that I’m now repeating myself without realizing it. But if I just sit back and not say anything and blindly accept it, it will eat at me. I had to get it out of my system.

        I know fans have to deal with it, I will move on, and I am willing to see what Episode VII presents. I just think it’s a sad loss that future fans might never see the potential of this character that I saw. That, and the hate comments. That hurts even more than LFL changing the EU.

        I know it would be a lot to add to your schedule, I’m sure you are busy, but If you should find yourself on Deviantart.com sometime, there are a group of us that make a lot of nice art for Barriss Offee, and some of us write some nice AU stories for this character,

        Thank you for explaining, and being patient

        Reply
        1. knitressnancy

          Dunc’s advice here comes from experience. ClubJade actually started from similar fannish roots — there is a reason why we are Mara focused!

          In the long run, the best way to enjoy SW fandom is to find others who share your interests. Fannish creativity creates friendships. Snark a bit with your friends and suddenly it’s much easier to sit back and enjoy whatever ride we will get with the new movies.

      2. Jon

        Another thing that I guess bothers me in particular about the Traitor plot twist and changing the EU is this:

        True Story. I was visiting a friend in Minneapolis about 10-12 years ago. I was staying at a Hotel that was also holding a fantasy convention. At the time it was kind of fun watching all the cosplayers and people dressing up in all sorts of costumes, etc.

        My friend and I were walking through and we came to a large room with a gathering of dozens of people, maybe a couple hundred, dressed up and holding a big event.

        In the middle of the room, there was a chair with a life size stuffed Jar Jar Binks Doll.

        Jar Jar was being put on trial. A local guy (They say he was a used car salesman) was dressed as Ming the Merciless, and he was play acting the Judge and Prosecutor, while all the costumed crowd were like a lynch mob.

        Ming presented the charges, everyone in the crowd was calling for a guilty verdict. They strung up the man size Binks doll and the crowd lined up to (literally) beat the stuffing out it with a baseball bat.

        People dressed as elves, anime, Star Trek characters, DC/Marvel characters, etc. I had witnessed something that was sort of amusing at first, but turned into a mob fantasy rage, a large scale psychological meltdown by people representing the multiverse.over one character.

        As a casual Star Wars fan, I had always heard of the anger over Episode I and changing Star Wars, and even defended it from a few disgruntled friends, but I had never known the true scope of it until then.

        I guess one of the points I had hoped to make about Barriss in these posts was not just frustration about EU changes and “George gets to do what he wants”.

        I have seen some of the psychological effects of loving the fandom too much. I admit it for myself, I came to love the whole EU concept of Barriss Offee as a very awesome Jedi healer, and she didn’t have to wear a metal bikini to be an attractive personality. The novels weren’t terribly great, but I enjoyed them, and they inspired me. If you were to read some of the stories I wrote, you might like how I took from the EU and grew the character into something wonderful. I know I get carried away when articles like this are brought up, but my irrational frustration with EU change has some part to do with knowing that somewhere out there, equally irrational fans are figuratively and literally putting my favorite character on trial, and I’m not afraid to admit it fills me with sadness that people will react like this..

        I’ve been told terrible things about the character, I’ve seen people post pics of beating up Barriss from that Clone Wars adventure game. I know, it’s all stupid and juvenile, but sometimes it makes getting over the change hard to do.

        I hope it makes sense. I do apologize again for the long response. I know I should ignore it and not be so involved. In a few years, when Rebels is going on, I’m sure the hate will die down and fans will collectively move on. I just have this sense of dread and anxiety that fans out there are doing stupid stuff now, and it breaks my heart knowing that they’re probably doing to the character of Barriss something similar to what I had witnessed.

        Reply
    2. JabbaJohnL

      Did you watch The Clone Wars, or did you just read about it? Because the truth is, she wasn’t a psychopath; she just used extreme methods and was actually right about everything:

      “I did it. Because I’ve come to realize what many people in the Republic have come to realize, that the Jedi are the ones responsible for this war. That we’ve so lost our way; that we have become villains in this conflict; that we are the ones that should be put on trial, all of us! And my attack on the Temple was an attack on what the Jedi have become: an army fighting for the dark side, fallen from the light that we once held so dear. This Republic is failing! It’s only a matter of time.”

      Despite her wanting to use red lightsabers, she’s more of a true Jedi than most of the Jedi Order is at this point. And there’s no reason to think that the Medstar novels (or your fanfiction) can’t fit between her season two and season five appearances. She might have taken a different path than you would have liked, but anyone who calls her a psychopath doesn’t understand the nuances of the story.

      Reply
  11. Oleo

    Well said Dunc. I look forward to being surprised by the new movies and perhaps seeing a few nods to the EU. As some others have said, Clone Wars was a great primer for what they will probably be doing. When I finally heard Dave Filoni explain why George changed Korriban (it sounds too similar to Coruscant) I thought, oh obviously – good call George! As for the Chewie thing, it never gave me the feeling that any character could die, it gave me the feeling that EU authors were tired of writing for a speechless character.

    Reply
  12. Joy

    I suspect that the EU may continue, as is, while a “New 52″ or some such will reflect the movie’s timeline.

    If there is a timeline to continue.

    Archetypally — and we all know George loves his archetypes — there’s really only one way to go, and that’s down. Way down… And I’ll leave off right there.

    Reply
  13. Sabrina

    I want to agree with this, I really do, but the reality is that while I’m not remotely stuck on most of the plotlines in the EU – in fact there are MANY that I would happily see disappear, there are characters that are as close to my heart as Leia, Luke, and Han. Mara Jade is the main one, but there are a few others I adore as well. To have them completely erased IS going to hurt and I’m prepping myself for it because I think that’s the direction they’re going and that if they keep anything like that character – they’ll likely carry different names and they’ll be different characters in my head even if the archtype is the same.

    This is something I don’t entirely understand. Especially when I look at what Marvel has done with the MCU versus comics. Many of the same characters exist both places – the storylines may mirror in some places, but they’re not identical & characters may have different fates, but the characters exist in both realities. I realize that it’s a little different in that the movies are coming after the comics – whereas the books have always been a ‘lesser canon’, but why, when there are characters that fans love from the books, would you completely ignore the character? Ignoring the plotlines makes total sense to me given the crazy that is the EU – Ignoring the characters just doesn’t because those characters have name recognition among a certain set of your fans. Although it’s precisely what I’m expecting at this point and it leaves me somewhat uncertain whether I’m looking forward to the films or not.

    There’s a whole secondary issue that I do not trust Abram’s ability to write female characters (so maybe it’s a good thing he’s not likely to get his hand on Mara Jade?). I wrote on my tumblr the other day if I thought Ep IIV with or without Mara Jade would have female characters with as much depth and as few underwear scenes as Natasha Romanoff had in Winter Soldier, I’d be a lot more excited about the film, but after the Star Trek reboots problematic female character portrayals (it’s SAD when a female character from the SIXTIES has more agency than they do in the twenty-first century) I’m really, really skeptical.

    What it really boils down to me is that there are characters I love – the large sweeping storylines in the EU are not what I love about the EU: It’s characters. What I’ll mourn from the EU is not the loss of the plot, what I’d mourn is the loss of a character AND the probability that as the films re-write stuff, that the new book & comic focus is going to be for those characters and not for those I’ve loved for twenty years.

    Reply
  14. Ashley

    I read the Thrawn Trilogy last year and just got into the EU. Dunc, even though I’m new, I agree with you. My favorite character is Jaina Solo and even though I’m just getting into it, I still don’t mind letting go of it all anyways when it comes to the sequels. I’m for sure excited for the new movies and I can’t wait for the future of Star Wars. I wish I got involved before now though.

    Reply
  15. Yemmy

    My thoughts, they’ll borrow & change canon. Flat out, “Geriatric Star Wars” = the original cast is… after Episode 7. Lucas didn’t want a reboot. I get that completely. But that puts them in a movie storytelling and progression bind because the “olbies” like me who did see the OT in the movie theater (but returned to fandom in 2008) do not know ANYTHING about the EU. Although I learned about the EU quickly, many of the oldbies just want to see a movie and do not desire to read novels to understand the movie. That’s sad, but business. A re-boot would have better for future story progression, but not as good as the original in terms of storytelling and fandom. Then we have to ask, what fan demographics are we looking for in terms of a business? Resoundingly, new ones with the oldbies paying for the merchandise.,, This was a business decision and it will kill the olbies’ childhood, but we’ll get over it, but then new and better stories will come out of it with the EU draw better than before. Batman, Superman, Spiderman and X-men franchises had to deal with this…

    Reply
  16. Jacob

    Good article Dunc. I agree with you on much of it. The EU has grown kind of stale over the last couple of years, with a few exceptions, and I wouldn’t mind much of the EU to get erased. I would love to have Chewie brought back to life. I can’t really see them erasing everything. They will probably leave much of the stuff set before the end of ROTJ alone to begin with, unless it contradicts Rebels.

    But for me growing up the EU was what really made me a huge fan of Star Wars and I would hate for much of it to get erased from the official canon. The Thrawn Trilogy and the X-Wing Series are the first books I read and still are my all time favorite books. I would really be disappointed if those stories get erased. I do have a little hope that some stuff won’t be touch because the story for the new movies is set 30 years after ROTJ and depending on the way the go with that story could leave much of those EU stories set a few years after ROTJ would still stand. That would include the Thrawn Trilogy and most of the X-Wing Series. Much of those stories kind of follow the logical progression of what would happen after the fall of the Empire. But I could do without most of the EU stories from the NJO and beyond.

    As soon as I heard Disney was taking over and going to make new movies, my first reaction was that this was going to completely ruin the EU, but after a while I realize that it could be a good thing for the EU. Only time will tell though.

    Reply
  17. Katie A.M. (@EleganceLiberty)

    Frankly, I say ‘good riddance’. Yes, there are some gems in the post-movies SWEU (I don’t mind anything that takes place long before them, I say as a hardcore fan of the KOTOR/TOR games), but the majority of it is pretty much professionally published fan fiction. When I learned that Jacen Solo -who I remembered being an alright kid in the Young Jedi Knights books from my youth- became a Sith Lord, my only reaction was to laugh and remind myself that crap like that was the reason why, outside of the aforementioned video games, I avoided the EU like the plague.

    As a comic book fan, I’m used to reboots, and I’ve learned to not get attached to anything for any length of time if it’s coming from Marvel or DC especially. That said, despite my personal feelings, I do feel sorry for people who are genuinely upset at the impending change, if not outright erasure that is to come in a year or so from now. Especially since it means that many non-movie characters people have come to know and love (like Mara Jade, the Solo Twins, Tenel-Ka, et al) probably will not be around for much longer.

    But -and I apologize if this comes off as too harsh-, I think some people do forget that’s part of the danger of getting invested in what is basically a ‘shared sandbox’: eventually, the owner is going to come in and want to clean things up every so often.

    At the very least, I do have to wonder if they’ll pull a ‘Star Trek’ compromise and establish a split/multi/alternate universe type deal: the old stuff isn’t completely erased from existence and is still very much around for those who want it, but anything official from here on out will focus squarely on the “new expanded universe”.

    Reply
    1. Joy

      Jacen Solo was my favorite character in the EU, until he turned into a completely different character.

      I suspect the problem with Jacen (and the EU generally, from the perspective of the powers-that-be) was that you had all these different authors’ points of view being inserted into Star Wars.

      Case in point: Traitor, by Matt Stover, which is arguably the best Star Wars novel. But it wasn’t supposed to be. And it certainly wasn’t supposed to reinterpret the light/dark Force from a Taoist/all-is-one perspective.

      So they trashed the character, to undermine the book, and label that perspective on the Force (in essence) heretical.

      Reply
  18. Gene

    Ok, I’m not sure if I can word this correctly, but maybe I can get my point across with brute force if not eloquence; I’ve spent a lot of money buying books that were sold to me as official Expanded Universe novels. The true, and official stories of what occurred in the SW universe after Jedi ended. Along with new stores that occur before, and during, and in between the movies. I bought these because I was told that they are official.

    Now, they are back tracking saying that these books are not official in any way. Well doesn’t that basically make them the equivalent of Fan Fiction?

    I wouldn’t have paid the money I did for fan fiction. The reason I paid money was for officially licensed stories of the characters of the Star Wars Universe. Hell, George Lucas was billed as making a lot of decisions about the events that occurred in the EU.

    SO now, I fell like if they are going to expunge the books of the EU, saying that they are not official, that I got ripped off. I paid for something in good faith, and now it’s not part of the universe.

    Disney can and certainly should build around what exists. They are just being lazy. I was trying to have faith that JJ would build a good story, but now I’m not so sure. He’s not taking into consideration the hard core fans.

    See, and there’s the thing; If it wasn’t for the popularity of the EU and hte hard core fans, the Prequels would never have been made. Clone Wars wouldn’t have happened. If Zahn’s trilogy hadn’t been so popular, then the Star Wars universe just wouldn’t be where it is now. The fact that the Star Wars universe is still popular today is because of the EU. I was fortunate enough to be working in a Comic Store at the time Zahn’s trilogy came out. I watched as star wars became more and more popular in the months that followed it’s release.

    So while I certainly see where they are coming from, and that they don’t’ want to be ‘burdened’ with the luggage of the EU, I do feel betrayed. And I’m not the only one.

    So Disney, cut me a check for the value of the books I read that you are expunging from the Star Wars universe, and we’ll call it even (Mostly – I’m still bitter)

    Reply
    1. Dunc Post author

      They’re still “officially licensed stories of the characters of the Star Wars Universe,” no matter what the movies do.

      Reply
    2. elizabeth davidson (@eliz_beth)

      Okay, seriously? Cut you a check for professionally written and produced literature you’ve already read and enjoyed? Think through this logic for a minute- am I entitled for every book publisher to cut me a check for every paper book I’ve ever bought and read because I buy books on my kindle now instead?

      The stories are still there- you can go back and read them anytime you wish. Maybe the movies aren’t going to pick up from them. I’ll be disappointed to miss out on some great characters from the EU that way but I know it’s going to have new characters and there will be new stories to tell.

      It’s like complaining that the kid who’s house you visit to play with their toys decided to clean house and put away their old toys to make room for new. You’re mad because you liked the old toys and want to keep playing with them and get mad at the kid- forgetting that it’s their house, their toys, and their decision. You can decide not to go back over there and quit being friends- but let’s be real, if you liked them and their toys before, you’re going to like what they get into next I bet.

      Yes it’s sad and disappointing to never see some favorite bits of the EU on the screen. Who knows, perhaps they will incorporate things- maybe not. Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead are both two properties that originate from print materials into incredible shows while taking license with source materials.

      Why does everyone assume it will suck if it is not what they expect? Were the prequels in hindsight really that bad? Heck I’ll watch any of those anytime anyone wants to even if the OT is my favorite.

      It is not the end of the fandom by any means.

      Reply
      1. Gene

        I’m not so sure you got my point. I understand the examples you are giving , but it’s not where I’m coming from….

        I understand ‘Based on the book’ Like Walking dead, true blood, GoT, Marvel comics,etc. But that’s not the case with the SW EU.

        These books, comics, etc, were billed as official stories of the SW universe. These are the events that occurred with these characters after the movies ended. Or before they began. And I was more then willing to, and did in fact, pay to read those stories.

        Now, they are retro actively going to bill them as the ‘not official’ stories of what happened around the Movies. And I don’t know if I would have paid the money I did for that. I stuck through the EU through some bad books, some ok books, and some really good books. Paid good money to do so. But like I said, I don’t think I’d have paid the money I did if it wasn’t the official story of the characters beyond the movies.

        I know that the Star Trek novels are based on the series. And are not in any way canon to the tv shows or movies. That’s how they have been presented, I went into those books knowing that. So what I spend on those (Which isn’t much), I pick and choose.

        The Star Wars books were presented to the fans as the continuing stories of the characters form the movies. That’s what I invested time and money in. And that’s what they are taking away. The idea that these stories, good, bad, and in the middle, are the history of the SW universe. And it’s going to be relegated to official fan fiction. Or’ What If’, or and alternate story line, or whatever they decide to do.

        So I guess here is the difference for me:

        Lucas film: “OK everyone, here are the official stories of the SW universe.”
        Me: “Cool, gimmie!” *Buys books as they are printed*

        vs.

        Lucas Film: “OK everyone, here are some stories from various authors about the SW universe. They are not official, merely based on the events of the movies.”
        Me: “Ok, I’ll check some of them out. Maybe at the library. Could be I’ll buy the ones I really like.”

        Big difference in spending time and money.

        Reply
        1. elizabeth davidson (@eliz_beth)

          So the shows that were picked up in comic form after their cancellation- if tomorrow those shows were picked up again to resume in TV you expect them to be 100% in line with what was published in the comic versus where the show itself ended? There’s always a chance I guess, but don’t hold your breath. Why? Because millions watched the shows, there weren’t millions reading the comics (or in our situation here, the books). So there would be 30+ years of history to pick up where the EU left off. From a business point of view, why on earth would you do that, especially when crossovers have not done as well?

          Even in the Star Wars universe there has been issues with crossovers- people were lost when it was mentioned that Luke went to the Dark Side (Dark Empire comics). Shadows of the Empire did not succeed in crossing platforms either. So there is absolutely no reason why they would go with skipping ahead in the time line further, especially as they have the OT actors on board and new people at the helm. We’re getting Ep 7, who knows how many more we’ll get after that. Call it AU, have it be AU in your own head for the films. Accept what you can not change and appreciate the awesome ride you’ve been on and get to do all over again.

          This is not a bait and switch situation. For years it’s been what’s in the movies is cannon, the other materials have been licensed but not deemed the gospel Star Wars truth. And yes, George has provided some guidance and input along the way as have many others. Be glad we’re getting more movies, which should build on what they have done in the prior movies- if they pick up some of our favorite bits of the EU, let’s celebrate it when it happens.

          To expect LFL to conform to the EU as it is now is unfair as it is to expect everything that was written to conform to everything in the timeline and be filmable.

        2. Gene

          Well I didn’t come for an argument. This is how I feel, and how I see it. Not everyone will see it that way, I get that. But you can’t really convince me that I’m wrong to feel that way.

          In the end, Disney/Lucas is making a business decision, and in their best interest, it’s probably the best decision. It’s certainly the easiest, I’ll give them that.

          And I’ll make my decisions accordingly; I’ll not buy the books as they are published, I’ll pick and choose – after I’ve read them from the library. And I’ll not recommend them to friends and family.

          I’ll vote with my wallet. And maybe, or maybe not the next generation of fans will carry the fandom over for another set of movies. Only time will tell.

        3. Jason

          Gene, I completely agree. Maybe not about the money back thing, but I totally get it. It’s about the fact that you (and I as well) got INTO the stories because we were told that they were “carefully checked over for inconsistencies” so they would be an OFFICIAL part of ONE canon (so there wouldn’t HAVE to be an alternate canon, or multiple alternate canons. For me, it’s not so much about the money, as I DO and will still enjoy the EU books for many years to come, but I don’t want to have to sit down with a book (because you know there WILL be tie in EU books from the new trilogy) and think “is this old canon or new canon?”. It should be ONE canon, and like someone said earlier, it feels to me like a cheap, and lazy way out for the writers of VII to not have to do any research and write around and into the current and approved EU storylines. They just care about making their money and not giving a crap about the fans who’ve been with them from the beginning of the EU. I have very very little faith that the movies will be all that great from here on out (and very much agree with the commenter above who mentioned that Abram’s movies tend to lack strong female roles). They should have gotten Mark Gatiss or someone else who has written for current Doctor Who to write the new trilogy. Haha.

  19. Paula

    There’s nothing saying that they won’t go back and fill in Barriss’ fate. But the EU can also be seen as something else to explore for new fans. Give them a new perspective on the character.

    Reply
    1. Jon

      Responding to Paula,

      The thing about waiting for them to conclude the fate of Barriss is simply the waiting. It kind of fills me with anxiety.

      It’s stupid for me to say that.

      When I started writing star Wars fiction back in 2005, I wanted to take the entire Prequel Trilogy and re-imagine it by changing some of the flaws and writing extra scenes with other characters. I know it sounds contradictory for me to complain about EU changes when I rewrote the saga with a whole new perspective, but it was a pre-Clone Wars homage to the original PT with some changed details.

      Some of those details included the adventures of Barriss Offee:

      Barriss Offee discovers that her true parents are, in fact, Qui-gon Jinn and Luminara Unduli, and struggles with knowing that her dedication to the Jedi code is now complicated

      Ironically, just like TCW, my version of “Attack of the Clones” also included Barriss accusing Chancellor Palpatine of Corruption and she defies the Jedi council, though her actions in my story and TCW differed greatly

      She also had to struggle with feelings for a Separatist Senator, forced to be loyal to Dooku, who was trying to help end the war peacefully. (Sort of similar to Ahsoka and Lux characters from TCW)

      Each time she faced a temptation that would take her into darkness, and each time she pulled through to the light, each time she became greater than the sum of her parts.

      Even when facing Order 66, she has the last line in the last story, “Revenge of the Sith”, and it was a beautiful tie-in to Episode IV.

      It kind of shocked me that TCW took it all in the opposite direction. Their version of Barriss fell into darkness to tell Ahsoka’s story and I was surprised it could ever happen. I worked the character so far into the direction of light I fell into despair.

      So, for me personally, waiting for Barriss’ fate to be official is kind of distressing. I knew Barriss would probably not survive the Clone wars in the TV show, but I never dreamed they would make her a murderer and a traitor for extra drama. She was as good as dead as soon as she uttered the lines about red light sabers suiting her, and I know she will die brutally one way or another. I can’t imagine anyone wanting this kind of story line. It’s alien to me to ever enjoy the perspective of a character falling into darkness. Everyone loves that last episode of season 5 and the darker Barriss and I just don’t get that. A lot of people also can’t wait to see Ahsoka smack her down and that just breaks my heart. But there you go.

      I got too deep into the writing, and when the EU changed it was a bit to sudden to soak in.

      I’m ready to accept the Fate of Barriss, however George and Dave want it to happen. I can find closure because they do have the right to change EU. I have always known that. And I can accept that people probably enjoy this new perspective of the character. It’s just the waiting that makes me anxious.

      Reply
      1. Jason

        Jon, I totally agree. It’s the same with the Mandalorians. TCW changed the entire Mandalorian culture as it was known (Republic Commando books for my money) JUST so Obi-Wan could have a former love interest? That’s crappy. Really really cheap.

        Reply
        1. Jon

          I do sympathize completely. I never went as deep into Mandalorian culture and books, but I knew it was very popular. I also sympathize with people shocked over the whole Jango Fett debate

          I suspect it happened mostly because Dave Filoni and George Lucas were probably not as enthusiastic about those novels and backgrounds, but there you go.

          We keep the Star Wars that is most meaningful to us.

  20. Paula

    How are we already erasing characters when we haven’t seen the movie, yet? We have no way of knowing who’s there and who isn’t. Whose stories get nullified. I think we just need to wait it out and look at it afterwards.

    Reply
  21. Paula

    I used to be known for my love of the Star Wars books, but I have lost that love in the past five years, plus. With the exception of a few gems, I think the EU just lost it. When I pick up a Star Wars book, it no longer jumps to the top of my teetering pile of books. And that makes me sad.

    So if we’re able to start fresh or get some better perspectives on existing EU, I’m all for it. I’d love to get that love back. But I’m also not all that worried about it. If I want to return to the stories I’ve loved, I can go to my bookshelf and reread them.

    Reply
    1. Emily

      Paula, I agree completely, only for me it’s been far longer than 5 years. I gave up about…halfway through the NJO? The only SW books I’ve picked up since about 2005 were stories taking place earlier in the timeline, and even then – like you – they don’t go to the top of my “to-read” list.

      Reply
  22. mrushing02

    I am with you completely. I like a lot of the EU, but I think the filmmakers need the freedom to create the best story and not be tied down to the EU, which as you so aptly said is good yet sometimes down-right terrible. I’ll always still love some of it and you can’t take that away, but like the Clone Wars era, I’m ready to see the official continuation.

    Reply
  23. Cynthia

    I can’t help feeling a profound sadness over the eventual fate of the EU. You’re of course correct that a fresh start is probably for the best, but it’s hard to come to terms with that when Star Wars has, at least for me, always been primarily a series of novels rather than a series of films. The EU, for all its faults, is a treasure; its intricate canon, interconnections between novels, and sheer mind-boggling scale are unique in SF. Yes, a significant portion of the stories involved are awful, but the cumulative post-ROTJ story that emerges is complex and surprisingly coherent given the number of authors involved.

    I can only hope the EU is dealt with in Ep. VII and beyond similarly to how it was treated by the Clone Wars – a source of information and inspiration without a rigid adherence to canon. There are many ways Ep. VII could be written that would leave large parts of the (at least pre-NJO) EU intact while still allowing for something fresh and unburdened. I just hope Abrams et al aren’t taking the potential elimination of 20+ years of writing and fan involvement lightly.

    Reply
  24. Jon

    Thank you for the advice, knitressnancy. I’m very new to this whole online Star Wars community and I needed to hear some of these things. I forget that this site is more focused on a different area of EU. I came into the conversation with a specific concern in the discussion.

    I have a community I have found, I’m discovering podcasts and other websites, etc., I’m afraid I’m a freshman still trying to find all my classrooms in this new school of Star Wars thinking.

    Reply
    1. Knitressnancy

      Jon,

      I should explain a little more. Club Jade isn’t just this site. CJ is was and is a club of sorts, a group of fans who became friends over our fannish interests. Back in the mid 1990s, that interest was Mara.

      The blog is our public face, thanks to Dunc and James and others who post. I didn’t mean to imply that you shouldn’t post here, because the blog is public. It could be a good place to meet people who share your perspectives. But our experience in Club Jade (the group of friends) is that venting about EU and canon with people who share your own perspective on the characters is a great way to build friendships. And you’ll build that community by building your own space.

      (And Dunc, I think I need to write that long promised history post, huh?)

      Reply
      1. Jon

        True. And I do enjoy the blogs here at CJ

        I only have the one issue, and it hit me so hard last year. It flares up once in a while and I try to not be obnoxious. I’m not one of those bitter fans, I just lived as a more isolated Star Wars fan until last year and I am slowly learning how everything works between fans and George Lucas.

        I have found a good place to go. I have met fans who are helping me with this canon issue. Like I told Dunc, I had never experienced an emotional turmoil over Star Wars until this one moment, so I don’t mind people telling me what I need to hear. I just had to express it. I usually feel better afterwards, even when the answer is I have to deal with it. So I do thank you for your advice. It has helped.

        Reply
  25. iiari

    After reading the original piece and many of the 50+ comments, I read a lot of truths from many people that can be completely contradictory…

    * It’s good for Ep VII to get something of a clean slate… Yup, sure…
    * It’s a broken promise of what the entire concept of an EU is supposed to be… Yup, also true…
    * There was a lot of poor writing, plotting, characterization, etc in the EU…. Absolutely…
    * Yet the EU was a triumph of interconnected, interwoven stories… Yes, that too…

    When I read this debate I think about the term “brand promise” that I often see in reference to other products. In this respect, I have concerns regarding the future of the EU and Star Wars in general. What powered most of us (certainly me) through the darkest of times of EU titles like the Dark Nest series and Crucible? It was that “brand promise” of a vast, interconnected, immerse universe knitted together by “continuity.”

    Pop media is chock full of loosey-goosey, kinda interwoven, kinda interconnected franchises that tantalizingly invite you to completely suspend your disbelief and immerse yourself in their universe, but Star Wars is for me the only one that has really ever made a 100% effort to deliver. I mean, how many franchises hire someone just to be a keeper of such continuity information? This is of course one of the things that has been powering Star Wars for so many decades…

    And for the die-hard fans along for the ride all this time, that has been a major “brand promise” of Star Wars. As with all successful products, however, there will always be a far larger and more lucrative “general audience” to satisfy out there that will temp brand managers to water down their offering, and thus risk offending their core fans. I think this is what is largely at stake with Ep VII for me. Will the “brand promise” emerge intact, or will Star Wars turn into something else entirely? Maybe just another loosey-goosey, kinda historically respectful, rebooted franchise? The Clone Wars was, for me, dangerously treading that line (I agree about Bariss). Time will tell… I’m not optimistic right now…

    What would be my ideal compromise? I would be OK with them wiping the slate clean from RoTJ forward in exchange for some kind of announcement of commitment to material looking backward… Maybe a new series of Old Republic books, comics continuing the Dawn of the Jedi era, or maybe some titles further exploring the master and appretices that made up the line of Bane Sith. I don’t know, just anything that shows some respect and fidelity to material that so many fans have paid money for and emotionally invested in. Just some gesture. If I get anything at all, I’ll be reassured…

    As someone from whom Star Wars has always been more about the EU than anything else, I totally understand the narrative and creative need for JJ and friends to get wiggle room in what they create. I just want the smallest of development of some of the universe I care about back in return. Is that too much to ask? We’ll see….

    Reply
  26. Sean

    The problem with the EU is that it’s just like Marvel and DC super hero comics: an unending plague of conflict. I’m sorry, but I don’t want a universe where wars never end and there’s always a darker, more ominous threat on the horizon. Return of The Jedi was all about Luke and Vader bringing peace and balance back to the galaxy. The Thrawn trilogy worked because, even though it was a whole lot more war and conflict, it felt self-contained and it made sense: the New Republic had to clean up the mess the Empire left behind. But the Yuzunn Vong thing just made me mad. Taking beloved characters who had really achieved some hard-earned respite and putting them through a hell worse than anything they faced in the original films was just in bad taste. I stopped reading the EU after that, and I’m glad Lucasfilm is trying something new. I just hope its not a “THE EMPIRE and SITH are BACK! Nothing you guys did matters!”-type thing. I’m hoping for new villains and new heroes to fight them. Maybe something on a smaller scale than the original trilogy.

    Reply
  27. Petra

    It’s the characters I love in the EU (not all, but many), and most likely those will be taken from me forever. I read EU books for twenty years now, and I have always been much more a fan of the novels than of the films (the OT is okay, the PT I can’t stand). Sure, there were horrible books and a lot of mediocre ones, but there were very good ones, as well, and with such a number of books and comics it is okay for me if I don’t enjoy all of them. It’s like a television series, with good and bad episodes, that I watch because I care about the characters, and with each new episode I hope that it will be one I enjoy.
    I’m not too rigid about canon. For example, I wouldn’t mind very much if everything beyond the NJO (or beyond 34 ABY when Ep. VII will start) became non-canon, not if Chewie had survived the NJO, and I think I could even accept if Ben were already a teenager at the time of Episode VII instead of a child. I don’t care if characters in the movies look like they are described in the books. If Mara Jade were black, for example, fine with me.
    But it looks like they will not use the EU characters at all (and I’m really disappointed that we still don’t have official information, either for political/business reasons or for not caring). Most likely, Episode VII will have nothing to do with the events and characters in the novels. As soon as e.g. Luke has never been married and has no child, or Han and Leia are not married, or have five sons or no children at all, or there is no new Jedi Order, the entire post-ROTJ-EU is dead.
    I actually hope that the movie story will be something completely new, completely different from the EU. Because if it were similar, I would always accuse the people in charge of being lazy, of not even trying to fit the EU characters in. As an example: if Han and Leia have a daughter, why not call her Jaina and make her resemble her character in the EU? They have to invent a name and personality anyway. But if they are not married at all, then of course I can see that it is not possible to keep Jaina.
    I don’t want to see any EU story on film (well, maybe Legacy, as Episode 13 to 15 ;-)), but I want to keep my characters. And I’m quite sure that I won’t get that, and I’m disappointed. In addition, I don’t have high hopes for the films. I actually enjoyed the new Star Trek movies, but they were not Star Trek, and the script wasn’t very good, either. I disliked the entire PT. I’m generally much better in getting involved with book characters than with movie characters, because a movie is so much shorter. So I never longed for new SW movies, and I’m not very exited. Currently, I mostly see what I will lose and don’t think that the gain will be worth the loss. Maybe I’m wrong. I hope I’m wrong. Maybe the new movies will tell a much better story than the EU, maybe I’ll fall in love with the new characters, maybe there will be a new EU based on the new movies that will be great, who knows. But I can’t help being pessimistic about it.

    Reply
    1. Sabrina

      I think this describes pretty well what I’m feeling.

      I’ll be honest that half of the reason I’d want to see movies set in this era IS to see characters that I love on screen. But we’ve heard no confirmation that we are going to see any of those characters so at the moment my excitement level is kind of low. I mean, I’m interested, I’ll go see them at least once, I may like them, I may even love them, but I’m not jumping up and down at this point. It’s not like with the prequel era where I was interested on the sheer fact that we knew nothing about that era. The post-RotJ era has it’s ups and downs and there’s a number of story-lines I would dearly love to erase if I had that power, but it also has a lot of characters I already love and whom I’d like to continue to see stories written about and I’m afraid that if they aren’t in the films that’s the end of any official story about them – back-story or otherwise.

      I’ve been in fandom (this and others) long enough to know that life goes on, and if the EU is completely erased in the creation of the new that I very well may enjoy bits and pieces of the new lines and who knows, I may even love them. But as long as I’m preparing myself to see none of my favorite characters from the EU because that’s easier than hoping they’ll show up when we’ve seen no real indication of that possibility, I find it sort of difficult to be really edge of my seat excited about new films. If we ever do get that indication? I may get more excited. As it is, I’ve got a casual fan level of interest with the added baggage of having spent a long time in fandom and knowing what it’s like to be disappointed when something just didn’t live up to your expectations.

      Right now there’s just a lot of deep uncertainty I feel like. I don’t know that my favourite characters aren’t going to be there, I don’t know that they will. I don’t know that the past EU will be ignored from here on out, or that it won’t. I just don’t know – so rather than getting my hopes up, I’m sitting back and saying okay, wait and see. & while I wait I’m kind of expecting my personal worst case scenarios – that I own all of the stories about my favourite characters that I’m likely to get from Lucasfilm – and if that turns out not to be the case then yay!

      Reply

Leave a Reply