Tag Archives: canon

Leland Chee clears up the Star Wars timeline

Earlier this month, Lucasfilm’s Leland Chee tweeted out a timeline of the Star Wars movies and TV shows.

This was originally mistaken for the in-universe dating system as well, but Chee clarified that Lucasfilm will still continue to use A New Hope (or rather, the Battle of Yavin) as year 0, the BBY/ABY dating system we’re all resigned used to. So the timeline stands at so:

  • The Phantom Menace is 10 years before Attack of the Clones, 32 years before A New Hope.

  • Attack of the Clones is 10 years after TPM, 22 years before ANH.

  • The Clone Wars span 3 years, from 22 to 19 before ANH. (Chee has previously tweeted the cartoon’s internal timeline order.)

  • Revenge of the Sith – the beginning of the Empire, the birth of Luke and Leia – is set 13 years after TPM, 19 years before ANH.

  • The prequel trilogy spans 13 years.

  • Rebels – the only open-ended item on this list – begins 27 years after TPM, 14 years after ROTS and 5 years before ANH.

  • A New Hope begins 32 years after TPM, 19 years after ROTS.

  • The Empire Strikes Back begins 3 years after ANH. Luke, Leia and the Empire are 22.

  • Return of the Jedi begins a year after ESB, 36 years after TPM.

  • The original trilogy spans only 4 years.

Much of this we already knew – or assumed – but it’s good to have everything nailed down for our new era.

I’ve never been much a fan of the BBY/ABY dating system, as from an in-universe perspective it makes no sense. Why some random battle? Yes, it put the Rebellion on the map and made them a real threat, but as Year 0? Before the Legends hammer fell I’d have argued for ROTJ as 0, but in our current environment the best case is probably for ROTS and the founding of the Empire.

Of course, from the outside, it makes perfect sense: ANH is what actually began this whole thing. And, after all, the western world’s dating system is based on the birth of a religious figure, so maybe it’s just silly to argue the point re: fiction at all. (Okay, it’s totally silly to argue about fictional dates, which is why I’m not actually arguing.)

In any case, BBY/ABY is well established, so this does make us have to do slightly less math. (I always root for ‘less math,’ thus my previous desire to use ROTJ as 0.)

To throw another wrench in the gears, per Star Wars Underworld:

It’s also worth noting that the Star Wars Rebels Visual Guide detailed that the planet Lothal, which will be a principal location in the series, has it’s own calendar. The Invasion of Naboo is at 3245 LY (Lothal Year), the Battle of Geonosis at 3255 LY, and so on. It appears even individual planets will have their own calendars now.

So that’s going to be fun – but a very handy way to explain inaccuracies. (Would Luke and Leia ever realize they shared a birthdate if they each primarily thought of their own in Alderaan and Tatooine dates?) As for the sequel trilogy, the number we’ve heard so far is about 30 years after Return of the Jedi – which would make it 66 years after TPM, 53 years after ROTS and 34 years after ANH. But until Lucasfilm and Chee are ready to reveal the exacts – which could actually be 31, 32, 33 or even 35 years – we’ll stick with the approximation.

John Jackson Miller on canon: “The universe is the same.”

star-wars-a-new-dawnNewsarama has another interview with John Jackson Miller about A New Dawn.He does have some wise words on canon and the Legends label:

I really think it’s a mistake for people to play the canon/not-canon parlor game. What they said when they made the announcement is that the previous material wasn’t being discarded, it would be drawn from – inspirations and ideas would come from it. The planets are the same; the species are the same. You know, the Rebels series uses the same manufacturer of the TIE fighters that was introduced in the Role Playing Games years ago. My book revolves around a strategic compound that I introduced back in KOTOR years ago! The universe is the same.

The thing about “Legends,” and that’s the word on the cover of the previous material: Legends can be true, in part or in whole. They inspire, they are sort of like the King Arthur story – parts of that, little bits of that here and there are true.

He goes on to talk about A New Dawn specifically and some of the other things he’s working on. And don’t forget to check out James’ video interview!

Star Wars Insider short stories are canon… From now on

insider-canon

Lest anyone confuse the issue (reported on first by Lightsaber Rattling and, today, The Hollywood Reporter) Star Wars Insider short stories are canon from the current story, ‘Blade Squadron’ on. The first part of the story, in Insider #149, came out shortly before the official announcement regarding the Expanded Universe.

Del Rey: Movie novelizations part of the core canon (mostly)

Today on Twitter, Del Rey says the movie novelizations are part of the core canon. So thus I guess Owen Lars is Obi-Wan’s brother, Luke had a dog as a kid, and ducks exist in the GFFA. (I am partial to the ducks, because ducks.) Some doubters are waiting on word from the story group, so we’ll see. In the meantime, what other contradictions do you remember?

UPDATE: “To clarify, movie novelizations are canon where they align with what is seen on screen in the 6 films and the Clone Wars animated movie.” Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

Always in motion the future: Coming to terms with Episode VII, the Expanded Universe and canon

luke-lightsaberI don’t really have a whole lot to say on Friday’s Expanded Universe news, mainly because I pretty much wrote that post a couple weeks ago.

Naturally, I’m pretty happy with the decision. That doesn’t mean I’m not a little apprehensive about the new films, but the ‘salad bar’ mentality is something I’ve been preaching for a long time, and I think it’s for the best that Lucasfilm has the ability to pick, choose, or just entirely ignore elements of the existing EU.

But that doesn’t mean the stories themselves are dead. If you like a book or a character or a series, than they still count to you. And that is what’s important, or should be: The stories. The people. Not their canon status. Lucasfilm can dictate that, but they can’t tell you what to enjoy.

If this took you by surprise, it’s okay to mourn, but remember: This isn’t a guarantee that you won’t see your faves – or some version of your faves – ever again. They may show up in Rebels, or the new canon books, or even Episode VII or one of the standalone films. They may show up in ways you don’t expect, but Lucasfilm, like their stepsister Marvel, knows their own products. They know what they have, and I don’t think they’re going to forget it. As they mentioned in the original release, they’re using EU elements in Rebels, and I doubt that’ll be the last.

But me? Yes, I’m excited. Of course the new trilogy could still be awful, but if it is, it won’t be because they’re not following the EU. All this latest development means is that the new films are not beholden to storylines and character developments made while being half blind. The many stories that are, themselves, as imperfect as anything else in this franchise is imperfect.

But there are a lot of reactions to this out there, and head below the cut for my favorites.

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Confirmed: The Expanded Universe’s role in the future of Star Wars

heir-to-the-empire-legendsYeah, we’ve got us an alternative universe, StarWars.com has announced: “In order to give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe.” However, the EU as we know it is not going away – some of it is being re-released under the ‘Legends’ banner. And Star Wars going forward will be using many of it’s elements.

On that note, we have several adult Rebels, novels on the horizon, the first of which, A New Dawn, will be by John Jackson Miller. (On his own blog, Miller wrote about his trip to Lucasfilm to film the video.)

As an EU fan? This is more or less what I expected, and I welcome that there’s now a greater freedom for the films to explore the post-ROTJ era… And leave a lot of the EU’s less savory aspects behind.