A Legends-to-new-canon cheat sheet

io9 rounds up some (most?) of the new canon’s Legends imports, or at least those that came up since the old Expanded Universe actually became Legends. I can’t really tell if this is complete, since most of them are fairly minor.

I would say Thrawn is about the most major, since the concepts of things like a “New Republic” and “Leia and Han’s kid going dark” are fairly broad. And in any case, this list is likely to grow with Aftermath: Empire’s End coming out in a matter of weeks.

“The next Mon Calamari” and why the old Expanded Universe needed to be separate

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Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo went on a tweetstorm this afternoon on the old Expanded Universe, reboots, and the original history of Mon Calamari. It’s not going to change anyone’s mind, but it’s a good read.

Bonus: John Jackson Miller, one of the few authors to write on both the old and new EU, on storytelling in a shared universe.

Continue reading ““The next Mon Calamari” and why the old Expanded Universe needed to be separate”

Chuck Wendig has some wise words on the concept of canon

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One of the latest writers to come into the Star Wars fold, Chuck Wendig, has a blog entry on canon this morning. (Warning: Lumpy.)

Here’s my favorite bit, which speaks to why a lot of us Expanded Universe fans aren’t up in arms over the Legends thing or calling for more.

The more strict and detailed the canon becomes, the more reverence we devote to it. And the more it restricts the future of that narrative. The more it chokes off what can be told. Doors close. Windows slam shut and are boarded over. Options are lost. The more we care about what’s “true” — in a universe that has never been true and whose power lies in its fiction — we start denigrating those things that aren’t. We view alternate timelines as somehow inconsequential. We dismiss fan-fiction as just some wish fulfillment machine instead of what it often is: a way to tell cool new stories in a pre-existing pop culture framework that aren’t beholden to the canonical straitjacket.

As someone with a lot of history in the fan fiction realm – remember, this site actually served mainly as an archive for Club Jade’s first several years – that is the perfect description of it: Another way to tell cool stories.

No, I don’t view Legends as fan fiction – it’s still professionally published and licensed, by professional authors, which most fanfic isn’t. (At all.) And the Legends authors never had the freedom your standard fic author does, to ignore or use whatever. Even in the beginning, there were guidelines and restrictions, which is why there wasn’t a crazy Obi-wan clone in the Thrawn trilogy.

But clinging to the concept of canon has, over time, done just as much harm as good, and it’s just plain unrealistic in many ways – which is Wendig’s point, really. The world doesn’t work like that.