Thu
Apr 11 2013 9:00am
You Take Your Star Wars—I’ll Keep Mine

Star Wars, A New Hope, Episode IV, Han Luke Leia

Being a Star Wars fan is confusing. It’s confusing because we have the original trilogy, the tie-in media, the prequels, also cartoons and video games, and now more movies are coming that will (hopefully) have some or all of the original cast in them, but that still does not explain to us what the state of Star Wars is right now. What the state of Star Wars will be in fifty years.

Star Wars is a victim of the position it occupies in pop culture. What I mean by that is—every generation of Star Wars fans has a completely unique experience with it. And that phenomenon is not going to go away any time soon.

Plenty of stories in every medium have their time in the sun, complete their tales, and retire. In this day and age, many more are revived or refit for the current culture, especially if they enjoyed popularity way back when. The phrase “not your daddy’s fill-in-the-blanky-blank” has become the ubiquitous hallmark of something beloved by the masses getting a sharp new suit. But it’s not for everyone, and different works have chosen to tackle this complex in their own manner. So we have Firefly, which ended on television and was continued with canonical comic books that many fans of the show have not read. We also have Battlestar Galatica, which enjoyed a certain niche popularity that was exploited expertly in Ron Moore’s modern re-imagining, though the shows were opposing animals, spiritually speaking. We have Star Trek, which reinvented itself in the form of new crews and new dilemmas until it was rebooted in an alternate universe. We have Peter Pan, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and Lord of the Rings, which may be redrawn over and over, but will always be confined to the framework of the books they hail from.

And how has Star Wars fared in those waters? Well, to begin there were three films. There were also some odd spin-off films that most fans will not speak of. (Whatever, man, the Ewok Adventures were super cool.) And then in the wake of astounding demand, novels, video games, and comics were produced. The novels in particular made it their business to pick up with our intrepid heroes of the Rebellion and decide how toppling the evil Galactic Empire would actually affect their lives in the long run. The Special Edition was released, a reintroduction of sorts for those who had missed out.

Star Wars, Sy Snoodles, Return of the Jedi

Then the prequels came onto the scene. Certain elements introduced in the novels were recognized as canon within the new films. (I remember shrieking when I saw Coruscant for the first time at the end of the Special Edition version of Return of the Jedi. My parents were boggled, and my delirious explanations about how incredible this alteration was did not land as well as I’d hoped.) Serious retcon bandages were applied to the tie-in media to keep it in step with the canon. A cartoon was produced, and suddenly small children everywhere thought of The Clone Wars as Star Wars. Fans lamented an entire generation that would grow up idolizing Anakin Skywalker as a hero.

Now there are more films coming, a whole new trilogy and who-knows-how-many standalones. What will be done with the Expanded Universe, as it is now, remains to be seen. It could be scrapped altogether, it could be drawn from as inspiration, it could be rebooted itself. How the prequels will be thought of in twenty years, once these new films have been received, is also a mystery. People might forget all about them if there are new movies with Luke, Leia, and Han to enjoy. The young Solo film in the works is poised to become an adolescent touchstone for many kids growing up right now.

And there’s nothing wrong with any of it, but it does make for a fascinating quandary: Star Wars, as a piece of cultural media, has not remained consistent entity from generation to generation. And that truth is something that is written into its very genetic makeup.

Star Wars, Knights of the Old Republic

Star Wars is designed to be the perfect pop culture franchise, with its mishmash of influences and lovely mythic arcs. It is, in effect, Arthurian legend or some equivalent for a modern age, with modern corporations to back it. George Lucas is often at odds with fans for precisely that reason—Star Wars is supposed to be popular, but he clearly never realized how seriously people would take it as a result. What he, and now Disney since they have the reigns on the Falcon these days, have always known above all is that Star Wars makes money. And something that makes money should remain fresh and viable so that it can continue to make money.

As a result, different generations of fans know the galaxy far, far away on completely different terms. Those who saw it first in the theater will often remark how its title was initially just Star Wars—the “Episode IV: A New Hope” was added later, after the second film was released and one more was on its way. Children of the 90s had the Expanded Universe novels, which arrived just before the Special Edition was released. Those who were born in the 90s might have skipped the the original trilogy altogether, or watched the prequels first and then tracked back. And now that new films are coming, there is no telling how the new generation will see Star Wars, what it will mean to them, whether its history will be worth delving into. The various tie-in media will become colorful background noise, the prequels might get lost. Even those kids who were raised on The Clone Wars cartoon will have a rude awakening in a few years, when the television show they adored is ignored in favor of fresher, younger Star Wars.

Star Wars, The Clones Wars, Ahsoka, Anakin

Hot new Star Wars with a three-piece suit and digitally enhanced eyes. Faster, brighter, shinier Star Wars with better pick-up lines, Star Wars who knows what music all the cool kids are listening to.

The closest analog I can find for this are the fans who have enjoyed the Abrams reboot of the Original Series and ignore all of the television shows, but that barely contends—those films are an alternate universe, not actually meant to subsume earlier Star Trek in our minds. Older Trek fans do not have to sit by as new fans invalidate their beloved shows. The world knows what Star Trek is, knows its best medium, and that’s not going to change.

Yet Star Wars has done nothing but change.

Or, to put it more personally as a matter of offering perspective, I was a kid who grew up reading Expanded Universe novels. To me and my friends, those tie-in novels were part of canon. They were the continuation of a story that we invested a large portion of our childhoods in. And in all likelihood that Star Wars, my Star Wars, will no longer be Star Wars in a few years. It will be a cute blip in its history, a great big pile of retcon that amounted to some pocket universe in the telling. Certain fans can and will keep up with all of it, but most will suffer fatigue. We’ll give up trying to know every bit of trivia, read every book, play every game. Many already have.

Star Wars, Mara Jade

It’s no wonder that Star Wars fans are confused—how can we not be? My Star Wars isn’t your Star Wars, isn’t your (potential) son or daughter’s Star Wars. We are referencing an internal encyclopedia that comprises our Star Wars experience. And this pesky little problem is only going to get worse, not better. So, to future students of the Force, I salute you—you have a winding road through hyperspace ahead.


Emily Asher-Perrin just hopes that everybody’s personal Star Wars makes them happy. You can bug her on Twitter and read more of her work here and elsewhere.

36 comments
mutantalbinocrocodile
1. mutantalbinocrocodile
Has anyone ever had my experience, of only really starting to love Star Wars THROUGH the novels, not the films? They really weren't my thing as a child (growing up in the 80's). It's really only as an adult looking at the EU that I'm starting to understand how rich the universe can be. I know, completely weird.
mutantalbinocrocodile
2. Meredith L.
Good points.

My older kid is 4 1/2, and he is already familiar with all six existing Star Wars movies, though the first one I showed him was Empire - I wanted that to be his first SW experience and the one that set the stage in his mind. For him, all six SW movies are already a complete experience, the full story of Anakin Skywalker growing up, turning evil, and finding redemption. (Or, as my son puts it, there is "Kid Anakin," "Good Anakin," and then "Bad Darth Vader, who turns good again when he takes his mask off.")

For me, as a member of Gen X whose first movie was the original "Star Wars," I see the upcoming films as a chance for my own children to have the experience of SW I had as a kid - seeing original SW movies for the first time in a movie theater.

But, as you said, it will be interesting, from a pop culture, a parenting, and even an anthropological, standpoint, to see how my children incorporate the new movies into their existing SW fandom and how that meshes or clashes with my own SW fandom.
mutantalbinocrocodile
3. Jolie Mann
For me, there is only Star Wars. Don't call it Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope - it's just Star Wars. It is a excellent movie that didn't need sequels or prequels. All the backstory you need was covered in the film, and there was no good reason to bring in Landau and Ewoks. The goofiness of Return destroyed anything good about Empire since they only work as two halves of a whole. So I'll just pretend that Lucas never made any other films after his glorious epic from 1977.

And, yes, I saw Star Wars in a beautiful single screen theater back in 1977 with my mother (the person who brought the worlds of fantasy and sci-fi to me at an early age).
Chris Nelly
4. Aeryl
I'm glad I'm not the only one who liked some of the changes to the Special Edition(though the music in the Ewok scene should have stayed the same, until they transitioned away to show the other celebrations. I miss my "Yumyump!")

I'm already terrible about being the "But in the books" nerd about Game of Thrones, I CANNOT even imagine what I'll be like once the new movies come out, as Star Wars is MY fandom more than any other.

Only other thing I have to say is "I can haz Mara Jade?" PLEASE!!!!
Francisco Guimaraes
5. franksands
I think that in SW specifically, and with any story in general, your title says actually the best thing you can do: you take what you like from all available SW media and create your Star Wars universe. I like the original trilogy, never read the books, read some of the comics, and really don't like the new trilogy. My wife on the other hand, had never watched the original trilogy, until I recommended it to her, hew Star Wars universe was the new trilogy. There's nothing wrong with both, and it should not stop us to discuss it and see how different and interesting it is each persons universe.
mutantalbinocrocodile
6. Ghostcrab
I grew up with the original trilogy - watched ESB in its theatrical release at an old school drive in. Obsessively watched them until we wore out the VHS tapes. Read all the EU books up to the point of burnout with the yuzhan conf or whatever.


Funny thing is, though, after watching the clone wars animated series, that is now my picture of the Star Wars universe. Even to the point of creating a new head canon where anakin doesn't fall to the dark side because that just annoys me now.

Not sure how that happened as I wasn't a huge fan of the prequels. Perhaps the medium of TV and the difference of time invested compared to the movies? Interesting thoughts.
mutantalbinocrocodile
7. Neenie
@1. I understand completely! I saw the ROTJ first, decided to do what any good ten year old bookworm would do and went to my libary to get all the SW books they had at the time, which happened to be the Young Jedi Knights series and the Heir to the Empire Trilogy. It wasn't until after I read these books that I saw ESB and ANH, so my Star Wars has always been the expanded universe. After having such rich female characters as Mara Jade and Jaina Solo, I had such high hopes for Padme when the prequels came out a few years later. I will never forgive Episode III for its appalling end to that character.

Between Episode III and everything that happened to the Solo kids I have pretty much drifted away from the Star Wars universe, but it was fundamental in shaping my young adulthood. To this day, many of my friends by middle school and high school still call me "Jaya" because of my love of the Star Wars EU.
Sol Foster
8. colomon
Some of us are old enough to remember when the wave of non-movie Star Wars spin-offs (Splinter of the Mind's Eye, the Marvel comics) got more or less totally invalidated by The Empire Strikes Back. Then the next bit of Star Wars spin-off I paid any attention to was Daniel Keys Moran's Boba the Fett stories -- which were then invalidated by Attack of the Clones. I'll be really surprised if the same does not happen to the EU when the next batch of movies comes out.

Really, though, isn't that just another sign it is a mythology? I don't think most of the ancient ones had any carefully constructed continuity -- why should a modern mythology be any different?
Mike Kelmachter
9. MikeKelm
I'm with you... I grew up reading (devouring) the EU books- The Zahn Trilogy, Truce at Bakura, the X-Wing series... all the way through NJO, which was in many ways an epic story, since for the first time since the Zahn trilogy it felt like the Star Wars Universe was in true danger. However, I've given up on the genre, mostly because it has gotten out of control. The reins kept getting looser and looser until it just became too vast. The post-NJO stories and the Clone Wars and the Old Republic and so on and so on... It simply has gotten too big to keep track of now that I'm an adult with adult responsibilities.

Furthermore though, the continuities that seemed to be in place during the pre-prequel period has gotten completely out of wack. The original trilogy of movies made it seem like people weren't really that familiar with Jedi at all- most thought them near-mythical more than anything else (see your earlier work on the Star Wars Universe being functionally illiterate on that). But the Clone Wars make it seem like Jedi are everywhere doing everything- they were the generals leading the battles, they were involved in intergalactic politics, etc. There are only 32 years between Episode 1 and Episode 4 and somehow everyone forgets the Jedi? We all learn about World War 2 Leaders and Generals and that was 70 years ago, yet somehow the galaxy has forgotten that until two generations ago there were a bunch of Jedi everywhere?

Speaking of the Clone Wars... the original trilogy and the (pre-prequel) Expanded Universe made it seem like the clones were the bad guys... suddenly we find out they're the good guys fighting against robot armies? Come again? And what happened to all those clones in the 20 years between Episode 3 and Episode 4? As far as we know, Stormtroopers are not clones (the clones occaisionally hit their targets) but 20 years doesn't seem long enough to have gotten rid of all the clones? For that matter, if the Clone Wars went on to only a generation or so before, why did Obi-Wan get so damn old so damn quick? In the original pre-quel we are led to believe he was an old man (Alec Guiness was 63 when he played Kenobi in Episode 4) but in Episode 1 (32 years before a New Hope) he is a Padawn. Either he is the oldest padawan apprentice in the galaxy, or we have a time lapse problem again. Even if he was a wopping 25 years old at the time of Episode 1, that should make him 57 by the time Episode 4 gets around, not a crazy old man and fossil.

It's that sort of inconsistency that makes those of us who are "older" Star Wars fans get tired of the series. The original trilogy and the early expanded universe feel like one continuity. The prequels seem like an entire different beast. Consequently, fans like you and I have thrown our hands up and said- you keep your Star Wars, I'll keep mine.
Chris Nelly
10. Aeryl
@9, Yeah outside Zahn's Outward Bound book, which featured Thrawn and that friend of Karrde's from the Thrawn Duology, I've never read any of the prequel novels.

But I've read everything post ESB, with the exception of the X-Wing novels(I know!) because I didn't think they had any Jedi(I didn't know Corran was a main character in those until NJO). That has helped keep the continuity straight.

A few things, and these are mostly fanwank. My thoughts on why no one knew about the Jedi, was Imperial propaganda. Scrub the histories and be so totalitarian those that know the truth, like Bail Organa and Mon Mothma, keep their mouths shut. The Rebellion still maintained their knowledge, but those who lived under Imperial control, like Han, had been indoctrinated into disbelieving in the Jedi.

The EU states that the Force caused a mental breakdown amongst the clones, which isn't actually contradicted by the prequels(and could be considered confirmed if you look at Boba*, who grew at a natural rate). But I can't remember anything that confirms one way or another, in the movies, that the clones were the bad guys(though I imagine to a Jedi who saw the clones turn on him, they could be considered so) the war was just named after them. In addition, if all the clones are now dead, there is no one walking around telling war stories about serving with the Jedi generals.

I can also understand that Ben may have been much younger than he portrayed himself to be, to maintain his cover.

*There is this hilarious scene in the later NJO series, where Han and Leia bump into Boba Fett, unmasked, at a space station. Han starts quizzing him, cuz he swears he can recognize him. Boba makes a sarcastic comment that he just "has one of those faces". Of course, he rocks out in the Mandalorian armor later, so then Han figures it out. But I thought that was an awesome little shout out to continuity there.
mutantalbinocrocodile
11. Tesh
I was a kid of 8 or so when I saw Star Wars on VHS, and I loved the universe up until the NJO. I, Jedi is still one of my favorite novels, and the Thrawn trilogy is only second to LOTR in my book shelf.

I flat out disengaged with the EU after Star by Star, though I was pretty much just morbidly fascinated with the IP after Vector Prime, and I was already emotionally disengaged by the end of that book. The prequel trilogy was entertaining in bits, but it just wasn't all that important to me any more.

It was a good ride for a decade or so there, but Star Wars is kinda just there now, nowhere near as interesting as it once was. I wish the new films well, I really do, I've just mostly moved on.
Chris Nelly
12. Aeryl
I found the series really turned around after Star by Star. It was a relentless slog of one terrible thing after another to get that point, because obviously the fall of Coruscant was so central to what happens in that series. After that the series gets better and much more balanced, IMO. YMMV, of course.
mutantalbinocrocodile
13. mutantalbinocrocodile
@7 Glad to see someone else is still furious about Padme's kind of pathetic and stereotypically female death. Plus it creates a nasty continuity issue with ROTJ and Leia's claim to remember her real mother. I was absolutely sure that the real end of her arc would be to believe herself to be widowed, marry Bail Organa out of cold political calculation, and continue as a part of the silent resistance/raise Leia to take the public roles she no longer safely could. Huge universe, courtly culture that would allow her plenty of room for disguise and intrigue, fake names, and Anakin isn't even looking for her. . .she could have been powerful.
Christopher Bennett
14. ChristopherLBennett
In fact, Star Trek fans have been going through this same thing ever since The Next Generation came along. Before then, the novels had been building up an interlinked continuity featuring what many fans had come to see as the definitive portrayals of Klingon and Romulan culture. Then TNG came along and totally ignored it, and Roddenberry and his handpicked continuity watchdog cracked down on the tie-ins and forced them to abandon developing any ongoing characters or story threads that competed with Roddenberry's own. So years' worth of creation and continuity were completely scuttled. For a few years, even the animated series was treated as non-canonical, and to this day there are fans that still believe that's the case even though the restriction hasn't been honored since Roddenberry died 22 years ago.

Not to mention that as long as there were new Trek shows and movies in production, new novels and comics, even ones that strove to stay consistent with the onscreen continuity as it existed at the time of their writing, were still frequently contradicted by new screen canon, sometimes even before they got published.

It's only in the past decade or so, with the shows off the air, that the books have again been able to establish a consistent, ongoing continuity -- but the comics and computer games still have their own entirely separate continuities. Unlike SW, ST has never even had the pretense that all its tie-ins formed a common reality. There have been various tie-in continuities, but none has ever been all-inclusive.
F Shelley
15. FSS
I think Emily's right on point here: Star Wars is more about money than telling a coherent story, and as a result we can now all choose to ignore what we want. I joke and say it's too bad Lucas died in 1989 after Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade came out, but the fact is: in the pursuit of money, he allowed the franchise to spin off in whatever direction would make him the most $$. It's OK - it's his intellectual property. I just don't want to play anymore (although the occasional article can draw a response, like this one). I think Star Wars gives fans a chance now to sort of choose-your-own -story (like the choose your own adventure books in the 80s). I prefer to ignore everything post ROTJ, including prequels and EU books. I read the EU books for years (i think i quit in 1998 when the rogue squadron books started reading like the nerdy A-Team in space). I think I prefer the mystery of how Vader became Vader (especially compared to the actual prequel story). So, if you like the prequels (then you're a flaming moron), hey, whatever floats your boat. If you like EU - have at it. If you like cartoons - OK. I'll stick with the original 4 movies - the trilogy and the Holiday Special(variety shows FOREVER!).
Shelly wb
16. shellywb
Now that it's a franchise it makes me think of Batman, who has been reinvented for each generation, and in a variety of media as well.
mutantalbinocrocodile
17. TheDoctor
"I think I prefer the mystery of how Vader became Vader (especially compared to the actual prequel story)"

This is the perfect way to put it. Prequels never happened. With the mystery of how Vader became Vader, I can buy his redemtion and feel sympathy for him in Return of the Jedi. What he did in the prequels makes this impossible for me. So... prequels never happened.
Philip Wardlow
18. PhilipWardlow
When have we ever had continuity from new to old....sure it lasts for a few movies..but then it's time to update it to the "present" again for new fans... and forget continuity from books to movie or from television to movie. Any fan who actually expected there to be continuty is frankly naive...Hollywood and the entertainment industry is not that synergistic... Frankly I look at any movie as a stand alone entity and judge it on its own merit and not what came before or what will come after...(yes the pre-quels sucked as stand-alone movies) and yes the the Ewok Adventure Movies as stand alone movies were much better than any of the latest three installments thus far...but that's one person's opinion. If you say the three prequels were good I will just shake my head and say "Suuuuuuure they were buddy" ...even if your 7 yrs old or 97 yrs old...cheers
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
19. Lisamarie
Thanks for writing this, as the topic has caused me a bit of nerd-angst :)

I actually never saw Star Wars until the special editions. I was immediately obsessed upon my viewing of Empire Strikes back, and then proceeded to devour all the EU novels that I could find at my bookstore (loved the Zahn books, X-wing books, even the Jedi Academy books, since I loved reading about Jedi). There was a point where I actually had read pretty much everything out there (not counting comics or much of the YA stuff). And then NJO happened and...it just wasn't my thing.

And then the prequels happened, which I did enjoy to a point. But then of course there were tons of prequel EU to follow up on too. Mean while, the post-Jedi EU is just getting bleaker and bleaker and it bothers me to think that this is what 'really happened' to the characters. And the clone wars series, which require even more shuffling of the continuity...

And now new movies, which actually makes me a little irritated that all this canon I was so 'invested' in is probably going to be invalidated :)

At any rate, now I'm an adult with kids of my own so I just don't have the time to keep up with every little thing. So I've had to relax a bit and just accept that I can just create my own version of 'continuity', or maybe view each series as its own little bubble universe. Because I do still enjoy reading the books as books, even if I don't always agree with their interpreation of how the Star Wars universe should proceed. I still like immersing myself in that universe.

Still haven't really been able to get into the Clone Wars series. I really enjoyed the animated shorts but I really, really hate Ahsoka Tano (she is NOT a strong female character, she's a brat with really unfunny lines trying to be 'sassy' and does not at all pull it off, and do not even get me started on the descision to dress her in a skimpy little outfit while fighting a war) and was never able to get past the first season of the new one. I actually am thinking about checking out some of the later seasons because I heard it does get better, but I also hope that she dies a horrible death by the end of it, preferably at Anakin's hand when he turns. A girl can hope...

So, this actually makes me look forward to the new movies a little more, to see what the new take is. Although to me the central canon will always be the originals, the prequels and possibly the new trilogy (assuming GL actually does contribute to that story). Even if one dislikes the prequels and in their head disregards parts of it, that is apparently the authorial intent of the story.

As for my son - he's two, and he LOVES watching the original trilogy movies. He's also started getting into watching our Clone Wars DVDs. He'll watch Attack of the Clones too, isn't terribly interested in The Phantom Menace, and we haven't let him watch Revenge of the Sith yet. It will be interesting to see if he is interested in the books or not as he gets older, or what his view of the 'canon' is what with the new movies.

I also want to add that in some ways, I prefer the Robot Chicken version of the universe to some of the other versions :) I've actually found myself at times incorporating some of those characterizations into my head when thinking about the characters, heh.

Re: the clones - I don't think the movies ever really implied ANYTHING about the clones. I do think a lot of people just assumed that the war was against them though, and the Zahn books were probably written with that assumption in mind.
mutantalbinocrocodile
20. mikers123
I grew up with the original trilogy and saw them all and read the movie novels and got into the EU novels (some of them) as they came out. Much as I loathe the idea of J.J. Abrams collectively crapping on two treasured portions of my childhood, though I grew up watching the original "Trek" films, my mom was a Trekkie and she took me to all the original Star Wars movies and that experience helped make me the fan of Sci Fi and Fantasy that I am today.

I guess I'll just have to be selective now of the parts of the Franchise that I treasure.
F Shelley
21. FSS
@8 - I like your comment about this being a type of mythology. I mean, the Arthur myth is a hodge podge of English and French tales (verbal and written) covering the core of the legend (Arthur fighting off those damned Saxons), then adding the Romance aspects of it, then throwing in the Grail and Fisher King legends. So when you do an Arthur movie or book, you an pick and choose.

What I think irks most of us is that in this case, the myth has been owned by one man (until recently) who controled what is canon and what isn't. So fans have expected a coherent tale. And it's something Lucas could have done by telling everyone who wanted to write an EU book...fine...just go 1000 years before or after. And keep your Force to stuff that's been in the official canon. Instead there's way too much ret-conning going around.
Joseph Newton
22. crzydroid
@16: Yes, thank you for that. Star Wars is Batman now. That's how I will approach the new movies. Star Wars is Batman.
mutantalbinocrocodile
23. Mike Shaeffer
It's going to be a generational thing. Like Dr. Who. You'll have people who just like the originals, who grew up on the prequels, and who will grow up on these new films. Then you'll have people who love everything. It's exciting.
Alan Brown
24. AlanBrown
I don't see why everyone needs every story in the Star Wars universe to mesh together perfectly. After all, the Bible contains four strikingly different, and sometimes contradictory, versions of the life of Jesus, and we have no problem considering them all as gospel! ;-)
mutantalbinocrocodile
25. NiktheHeratik
I started off with TOS. I also read the Solo and Lando prequal novels which were both pretty cool. I liked the Zahn ones, but they didn't feel exactly like Star Wars adventures. More like normal Sci-Fi. Most of the other series seemed like Supa Fan bait and so I pretty much passed on them.

My hope with the new Star Wars movies is that they can find someone who can write an actual freakin story. The prequals could have been Arthur legend equivalent. They could have been a loosly political take on totalitarian takeovers. They could have been any number of interesting story angles. What the were was boring, meandering, and completely uneccessary movies with amazing effects.

What I hope happens, even if it takes 100 years, is for someone to bulldoze the entire prequal story line and give us a real story.
mutantalbinocrocodile
26. NeilB
Frankly I have come to the conclusion that the inconsistencies and conflicts between the original series and the prequels mean that the latter (and their offspring) are in alternative universe, just as the Abrams reboot of Star Trek is. We just havent seen the point of reboot - it effectively happened sometime in the early 1990s when Lucas reinvisioned/rewrote the prequels. It seems like Disney is trying to go back to the original movies cannon and effectively forget the prequels, but that remains to be seen.
Anthony Pero
27. anthonypero
Emily, I have to admit, I was stunned when I heard there would be more movies. I realized immediately that it was FAR too late to make movies based in the EUs continuity. I actually choked up and got misty eyed and thought to myself "I've wasted 20 years of my life."

Then reality set in. I started laughing as the next thought was "I'm a frakking 35 year old grown man..." I AM sad (and it still does piss me off a little) that an entire continuity spanning 20 years and hundreds of books and comics is about to be flushed down the toilet, but when I think about it rationally, the EU contains one classic bit of story-telling that I would have wanted my children to read: Zahn's initial trilogy. If you kept the x-wing novels documenting the reclaimation of Imperial Center, and th Heir to the Empire series, and rebooted the EU from that point, with the movies set somewhere in the future after that... I could live with that, and it will probably be better for my 4 children in the long run.
Christopher Bennett
28. ChristopherLBennett
@27: You haven't wasted anything so long as you enjoyed the stories. I'll never understand the attitude that stories lose their value if they aren't consistent with canon. After all, canon is just a different set of stories. It's not like you're studying for a history exam and have to reject the wrong answers. They're all equally made-up. Their value is in whether you enjoy them, not whether they're "right."

And there are plenty of fictional franchises that embrace multiple incompatible continuities -- Batman, Spider-Man, Godzilla, Transformers, etc. It can be fun to discover the various different directions a fictional universe can be taken in. A continuity that later canon disregards isn't "flushed," it's just an alternative view of things, a story that might have been if things had gone differently. Look at all the classic SF novels and films that have been contradicted just by the passage of time. Is 2001 any less a classic just because we didn't really go to Jupiter that year?
Alan Brown
29. AlanBrown
Like Christopher says, no story you enjoyed was a waste of your time. If I had a dime for every SF story that has been made non-canonical by actual scientific and historical events, I would be able to retire tomorrow.
As far as Star Wars goes, I imagine a scene in the new movie where a greying Han puts down a reading tablet in disgust, and Leia looks at him and says, "I wish you would stop reading those stories where blue skinned admirals with red eyes attack, Chewie gets killed, invaders come from outside the galaxy, and one of our kids goes to the dark side. You know how upset they get you."
And the EU becomes part of canon, and we move on...
Anthony Pero
30. anthonypero
Haha, as I said, the abbsurtity of the thought eventually worked its way into my mind. It was just the initial gut reaction.
Anthony Pero
31. anthonypero
I imagine its the same emotion/reaction that caused Lost fans to say they'd wasted 7 years of their life, when they had massively enjoyed the show all those years.
Christopher Bennett
32. ChristopherLBennett
And hey, there have been some Star Wars books and comics that were what-if/alternate-timeline stories. So that sets a precedent for the idea of alternate histories being part of the SW cosmos.
mutantalbinocrocodile
33. Solid Muldoon
@#3 I'm with you. I saw Star Wars in 77 on the biggest screen in town. For me, there is a brilliant film called Star Wars. Then there is a bunch of other stuff. I reacted to Yoda and Ewoks the same way people seem to have reacted to Jar Jar.

I know I'm in a tiny minority. And I know that my feelings are probably colored by the fact that the first Star Wars I saw after Star Wars was the Christmas Special.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
34. Lisamarie
@27 and 29 - agreed, and this is one of those things I have had to come to terms with myslf. I tend to be a bit neurotic and like things to be 'just so' and WANT there to be some kind of 'real' continuity (even though NONE of it is real!). But I'm now forced to just relax and enjoy each story for what it is, and if I don't like what one author does with it or what happens to a character in a certain story, well, I still have the originals to enjoy for my own reasons. Which is really quite liberating ;)
Joseph Newton
35. crzydroid
@33: Oh, interesting, you didn't like Yoda? That's the first I've heard that one. Just because he was a puppet, or because his advice is kind of hokie, or what?
Mike Marino
36. MinkyUrungus
Because it's my job whenever the subject is touched:


Has anyone seen the Plinkett reviews of the prequels? If you really give them some time, you'll find a decently informative and possibly opinion-changing little nugget of goodness.


www.redlettermedia.com/plinkett/star-wars/
Hope ya folks like it.

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