Apr 25 2014 3:40pm

Disney and Del Rey Announce New “Unified Canon” for Upcoming Star Wars Expanded Universe Novels

Star Wars Expanded Universe

The answer that Star Wars EU fans have been waiting for has finally arrived in the form of a press release from Disney and Del Rey. In it, they have explained their intentions with the future of Star Wars tie-in media and the future of the franchise.

From Del Rey's press release:

Going forward, Lucasfilm has begun mapping out the narrative future of Star Wars storytelling that will appear on film and television and in other media so that all projects will benefit from real-time collaboration and alignment. The future Star Wars novels from Disney Publishing Worldwide and Del Rey Books will now be part of the official Star Wars canon as reflected on upcoming TV and movie screens.

"With the establishment of the Lucasfilm Story Group and our even greater focus on unified storytelling, we expect our entire publishing program to be stronger and more meaningful than ever before,” said Jeanne Mosure, senior vice president and group publisher, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “We’re extremely excited to kick off this new strategy with Del Rey Books.”

There are four new Expanded Universe Novels, set for release in late 2014/early 2015:

John Jackson Miller

James Luceno
Kevin Hearne
January 2015
Paul Kemp
March 2015

These titles will be a part of the new publishing program that will keep in line with an Expanded Universe that plays alongside upcoming Star Wars films.

Former Expanded Universe content will remain in print and accessible under a brand new banner—Star Wars Legends.

In addition, it has been confirmed that content from the Star Wars Legends line will always be available to the writers of current Star Wars media for inspiration and usage.

According to Lucasfilm's press release on this change, the following content falls under the new unified canon:

Star Wars Episodes I-VI

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Star Wars Rebels (forthcoming)

It is unknown whether any of the Star Wars Legends tales (such as stories that occur before or during the films) will be retroactively considered canon under the unified banner.

2. Porphyrogenitus
I have to say that I really hope the Bioware KotOR contributions stay at least partly legit (any interactive story with alternate endings and paths is dicey for canon purposes, but generally the practice is to annoint a specific story path as the official one). Having the story of Revan as a canon illustration of the flaws in both the Jedi and Sith philosophies is valuable, especially in light of Anakin's journey (both Orders reject love, the Jedi in favor of dispassion couched in terms of loving all things equally, and the Sith in favor of self-indulgent passions that amount to little more than self-love, and love is what saved both Revan and Bastilla, and by extension the Jedi Order itself).

I also really hope Mandalorians stick around in a big way. The inclusion of the Clone Wars TV show in the list is encouraging for that possibility.
Ole A. Imsen
3. Weirdmage
OK... So as far as I know, everything was one universe until George Lucas wanted to make the prequels. Then they f**ked it up further with The Clone Wars (, and other post-prequel crap).
And now, they decide that the solution to this is to throw 37 years of continuity in the toilet? Wouldn't it be better to just say Lucas fucked up, and that they're sorry about that? I mean he sold the rights, so why let him continue to f**k stuff up?
B. Dowdle
4. Lancer
My guess, is that...The Thrawn Trilogy & Duology (Outbound Flight) will be Canon, The X-Wing series will be canon, and the Jedi Academy Trilogy, but NOT the Youzhong Vong series where Chewbacca & Anakin Die...I hope all are canon but I have a feeling that that series will not be.
5. Ryamano
I liked the Clone Wars, so I'm happy that they made it to canon.
Thomas DeLorenzo
6. flyingtoastr
I find the lack of Timothy Zahn and Christie Golden disturbing.
Chris Hawks
7. SaltManZ
The hilarious part is that Luceno's entire schtick is tying in as much EU references as possible in each of his novels.

Oh well, goodnight sweet EU Legends. The onus is now on the Lucasfilm Story Group® to make me care about SW novels again.
8. mutantalbinocrocodile
I'm happy enough with James Luceno writing Tarkin, but then, I'm bizarre enough that I actually liked Darth Plageuis for having the balls to be a Star Wars novel entirely about midichlorians and galactic politics with a central character who thinks lightsaber fights are boring, so that makes me really weird.

Not jazzed about the lack of Zahn, though, @6. And @2, you make a great point, but one that I'm not sure Lucas would be OK with given the opportunity to rewrite canon. He may have allowed plenty of authors to problematize the Jedi and Sith, but he clearly had his tolerance limits (like the extreme restrictions on writing Yoda), and this might be a great chance for him to, I hate to say it, throw out the nuance in favor of the way he sees the Jedi.
Jeremy Guebert
9. jeremyguebert
I. um. what? So... does this mean that Thrawn, X-Wing, NJO, FotJ, et. al. are now officially not-cannon? I has a sad.
Chris Hawks
10. SaltManZ
@9: Lucas' six films, the Clone Wars cartoon, and all future stories are canon. Everything else is non-canon.
Jeremy Guebert
11. jeremyguebert
First off: Thanks for the clarification.

But, but... but Thawn and Mara Jade and Corran Horn and the Solo kids and Ben and Talon Karrde and Kal Skirata and "family", and... I'm having an overly emotional reaction to this. These are the stories and characters I've grown up reading and caring about, and they now don't even exist officially? That's tough to process.

I mean, it is just fiction, and it is somebody else's universe to do with as they please, but that kinda bites, in my humble opinion.
Emily Asher-Perrin
12. EmilyAP
@Weirdmage: Technically speaking, that's not true. George Lucas didn't give away his rights to control the Star Wars universe with the EU. He got final say on every plotline, and also held the stipulation that he could veto anything created there at any time - hence his causing major problems for the Expanded Universe when he created the prequels.

It's more accurate to say that he wanted to continue making money off of the Star Wars brand while he wasn't "making" Star Wars himself. That being said, this move was always likely to happen at some point in the future. It was just a matter of what he would choose to keep.
Chris Hawks
13. SaltManZ
@11: Yup, me too. The EU—and the post-RotJ EU in particular—are Star Wars to me. This is the move I've been expecting Lucasfilm to make, but it doesn't mean I like it. On the other hand, I don't need to worry about keeping up with all the new books anymore...
Raymond Seavey
14. RaySea
I've chosen just to see this as two timelines: the new movies are one, the "Legends" (ie the classic EU) are another. Offical stances aside, to me, neither is more "real". Of course, this does seem to mean that there won't be anymore new stories in the Legends timeline, which is a damn shame, in my opinion. New movies are great and all, but you're talking about just casting aside decades worth of storytelling.
15. MaryDell
I suspect some things that are now non-canon will become canon again after the new movies. If they plan to use any of the cooler characters in the new movies, they won't want to canonize them ahead of time and create spoilers.

The "Legends" stuff that isn't canon can be an AU. Just like episodes 1-3 are part of a different AU, while the better story in my head is the primary-universe story. Maybe people will be able to write new stuff in the Legends line, too.
Humberto Tacca
16. humberto_tacca
Does it really matter if a story is or is not canon? Who cares, for example, if “The Dark Knight Returns” is the official future for Batman?
Chuk Goodin
17. Chuk
I knew this would happen, that's why I never read any of the novels.
That said, is that the same John J. Miller that writes for the Wild Cards books? If so, awesome.
18. shiznatikus
On the one hand, if they really wanted clear the decks, they should have done so. Keep it to what George Lucas actually wrote and ignore the rest. On the other hand, the new films are 30+ years removed from RotJ, so why not leave what's come in-between alone? At least to just before the NJO. We all should've jumped ship there. (Yuck!)
Merchanter Pride
19. MerchanterPride
I will never fully accept that the prequel trilogy even happened, so I find the idea that the Thrawn Trilogy never happened but the Naboo nonsense did to be more than a little preposterous.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
20. Lisamarie
The EU was NEVER canon - I definitely remember there being discussions on canon and sub canon, etc, and the EU was always sub canon, and there was always an understanding that GL could veto and/or overrwrite it if he chose. Which is not to say I was NOT invested in it, I totally know what jeremy @11 means!

I also don't understand the comment at 3 (Weirdmage) about letting GL continue to screw stuff up - is he the one responsible for this press release? I didn't get that impression (I could be mistaken).

I actually didn't expect this to be my reaction, but I'm actually kind of excited - especially because now there is some kind of official stance and rubric. We have the Star Wars 'Legends' time line, which is still out there (and I will still love and follow), and now we have the Star Wars canon in a way, it's like we get TWO versions of Star Wars to play in/follow, that have the movies (and presumably Clone Wars, although that was always a bit iffy to fit in with the canon) in common.

I'm also really excited to see John Jackson Miller is writing one of the books because I loved Kenobi. I hope that retroactively makes it!

So, if I'm understanding this properly, we're kind of starting fresh. Right now, the Star Wars canon timeline is the first 6 movies, plus whatever movies come out, the Clone Wars TV show, the Rebels TV show, any books going forward, AND anything that future writers may choose to lift from the Legends timeline and incorporate (which I think is kind of cool). Perhaps this one will actually have a better shot at remaining consistent.

The "Legends" timeline is basically what we had before - the first 6 movies, the Bantam/Del Rey books that have been published to date, and the various shows that have come out to date, and the comics and games and whatever else people tried to fit in (anybody remember the TimeTales chronology on I loved that!) and reconcile, which never worked perfectly.

I guses the Holiday Special is not canon anymore? ;) (And I wonder about the Ewok movies and the other shows and the first Clone Wars cartoon...)
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
21. Lisamarie
lancer@4 - minor nitpick, but the Thrawn Duology was not Outbound Flight, that was a separate (isolated) novel. The Thrawn Duology was Specter of the Past/Vision of the Future.
22. jere7my
I feel like Palpatine, rubbing my hands and cackling. There is some compassion in my heart for the folks who really got into the EU, but I've spent 35 years feeling like "my" movies were hijacked by people who fundamentally misunderstood Star Wars—ever since Zahn decided he really wanted to write milSF in the Star Wars universe, downplaying the Force with his ysalmiri and introducing the heresy of sensible military tactics to a pulpy space fairy tale.

I like bits and pieces of the EU, but overall I vastly prefer the six movies and the Clone Wars. They gave me the Star Wars frisson that the books never could. I know other people feel differently, but my birthday is tomorrow, and this press release is a splendid present.
23. Halibulu
I just hope they don't completely abandon writing in the Legends timeline. I've been reading all these books with the anticipation of seeing in what glorious way they would actually be able to finally kill Luke Skywalker so that the universe can move beyond him, but now there's the threat that all of that building will never reach its climax.
Chris Hawks
24. SaltManZ
Whatever. I had a big response to #16 typed up, but I could write "Why It Matters to Lots of Fans" posts all day and not change anyone's mind.

There are definitely not "two versions of Star Wars to play in"; there's one version of SW now, plus an alternate history in archived status that will no longer be expanded upon and whose loose ends will never see resolution.

R.I.P. Ben Skywalker, you were just getting interesting.
25. Lektu
I've spent 35 years feeling like "my" movies were hijacked by people who fundamentally misunderstood Star Wars—ever since Zahn decided he really wanted to write milSF in the Star Wars universe, downplaying the Force with his ysalmiri and introducing the heresy of sensible military tactics to a pulpy space fairy tale.
My feelings exactly. I think the Zahn books are quite good, easily the best from the EU (or close), but I've never been able to believe they are set in the Star Wars (film-)universe. And they set the tone for the ones that followed.
Anthony Pero
26. anthonypero
This is EXACTLY what I was hoping for when I commented on Emily's last post.

This is a best case scenario. A clean break and the ability to move forward intelligently.
Fake Name
27. ThePendragon
The EU kind of felt like the DC and Marvel Universe. This behemoth of background and mythos that kept me from truly being able to dive deep into the SW universe because of how daunting it was. Kind of like the New 52, I love this idea as it opens the way for those of us who came in late to the universe to get more deeply involved. Although, I admit, I'm kind of sad to see the KotOR stuff go.
Matthew Watkins
29. oraymw
Darn. I was hoping that episodes I-III wouldn't stay canon.
Brent Longstaff
30. Brentus
Calling the EU "Legends" works well actually because then it doesn't need to be canon to be a legitimate story, and parts of it can be part of the official story while others can contradict it. Star Wars has always been ancient history ("A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away") so it makes sense that there can be conflicting accounts of history and some legends along with the latest catalogue of events officially accepted by scholars. Han Solo can be a Charlemagne, while Thrawn might be more like King Arthur. It doesn't mean the legends are not based on reality, but maybe the century or exact setting has been lost over time. We know White's Norman Arthur is not accurate, but scholars think there was an Arthur who fought back the Saxons when they were originally trying to invade. So EU things that make it into canon are the parts of legends that are historically correct, while other parts could be taken from other places or times or just be embellishments.
Michael Johnston
31. JohnstonMR
R.I.P. Ben Skywalker, you were just getting interesting.

Here, here. I quite liked Jaina, too. I know a lot of folks had problems with a lot of the EU, but as a fan since 1977, I enjoyed the vast majority of it. It will always be what the kids call head-canon for me.
Daran Grissom
32. DaranGrissom
I think that this is the best choice Disney could make. I also think it will rip Star Wars fandom apart...again. I remember the time before the first prequel when George Lucas had never really commented about canon. The first time I can remember him using the term "extended universe" was the 1999 Star Wars Insider interview. I will say that my friends and I just assumed that "officially licensed" meant more than it did, thus we were expecting a very different Episode I than we got.

Episode VII is going to be even more problematic, because it will be a lot harder for people that grew up on the Zhan books to except what will amount to a completely rewritten history of what happened from Return of the Jedi, onward. Disney will be in essence holding up the Zhan Trilogy (and the other apocrypha) in one hand, and Episodes VII, VIII, and IX in the other; and asking people to decide which one they like better. I think watching a movie with a 50+ Luke Skywalker where he never met Mara Jade will be too distracting for someone who, like me, has the comic omnibus of their wedding.
Brian Haughwout
33. bhaughwout
"Lucas always made it clear that he was not beholden to the EU. He set the films he created as the canon. This includes the six Star Wars episodes, and the many hours of content he developed and produced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. These stories are the immovable objects of Star Wars history, the characters and events to which all other tales must align."
Wait, so canon is now officially based on the films, but this statement clearly says that those INCLUDE the main films and the The Clone Wars series? You know what a legalistic parsing of that statement means, right?


Oh happy day, oh happy on, Jefferson Starship! Bea Arthur, this round's on me...
34. bearpaw
I think they might treat it the same way DC is treating their comic series. Their main story, with it's years of history and many characters, is written alongside their new 52 story, where there is a reboot of the entire universe.
Brian Haughwout
35. bhaughwout
Per what @34 is getting towards, after CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS rebooted DC Comics continuity in 1986, they would still sell reprinted material of storylines from that event (as time went by, reprinting as much as possible of the old material). Indeed, on certain occasion, new stories would even be produced that could really only be said to exist Pre-Crisis, once the readers got a full handle on the situation of continuity.

Similarly, as noted, even with the "New 52" continuity reboot in 2011, there is much reprint of previous continuity material. And, as before, there exists even some new material (especially that produced in digital comics) that fits into the old continuty, tucked away from the new material.


Part of this announcement goes out of its way to secure readers that previous EU material will remain in print in the Legends line and will indeed have its own designation. True, that reprinting will start as a "Best Of" by economic necessity and to not flood the market with material that will confuse newcomers to the SW booklist with Episode 7 approaching, but be mindful that there is a specific plan to not abandon this extant work, even if the current book line (as well as Dark Horse's comic line) is ending. Indeed, if other popular ended continuity in fiction (I could have used examples from versions of D&D adventures just as easily, given current reprint lines and the new 1st-edition adventure just released by WotC) are an example, there should be other stories of the old EU within the Legends line still to be told, whether digitally, in magazines, or via other products once Disney/Lucasfilm settles the new canon fully into place. There aren't liable to be any seven-book series, but who knows what's to come?
37. Colin R
I'm just disappointed that some great Dark Horse storylines are basically being cut off from ever developing again--no more Dark Times or Agent of the Empire.
38. Warren B.
Bhaughwout @33, thanks for the laugh! Helped a lot.

I'm not sure where I stand on this. On one hand I enjoyed the Zahn trilogy and a few other books, but on the other the EU books really stacked up into an intimidating mountain, and inevitably a lot of it was crappy chaff and suffered from 'small world/galaxy' syndrome.

But I'm not entirely confident about the 'clean break' of the new canon. Will it be better? I dunno, I'll have to wait and see, but after the prequel nonsense I'm wary. No (or not much) George Lucas clunking around with nobody to rein him in, but will JJ Abrams be much better? How many lens flares can you fit on a Mon Cal cruiser?
39. hoopmanjh
The canon will be whichever subset of books, movies, videogames, etc., I've happened to consume and enjoy.

(And if they really want to make a new canon, I think a good start would be to not produce 200+ books all about the same half-dozen characters who seem to be involved in every single major event in the entire sprawling galaxy.)
Alan Brown
40. AlanBrown
I think this is a good way to approach it. And I have no problem with the fact that they are establishing the works where Lucas was directly involved as canon. He is, after all, the creator of the whole thing.
When they first started the EU, it was a lot of fun to see how it all connected. But after a while, canon becomes a burden, and stifles creativity. Forcing the movies to retell the stories of the EU, or worse yet, to try to fit in niches within the EU canon without overturning it, would have been horrible.
The best way to deal with the EU is to have Han reading a book in the new movie, and putting it down in disgust, and Leia saying to him, "What's wrong?" Han answers, "You wouldn't believe what lies these people are writing about us." And Leia would reply, "Han, I don't know why you read those stories they made up about us. They always get you angry." That way, the whole EU is part of canon, but we can all move on to something new.
41. Lunatic Dave
I fully understand the need to take some stories out of the timeline. I believe this story group started with trying to sort out an official clone wars timeline (& not being able to). With the new films Chewbacca needs to survive and the Skywalker/Solo kids need to go. I got the impression that most if not all EU after ROTJ (they commented on this point in time specifically) is now Legends & all new material will be canon. I believe they were vague about EU before ROTS as some will go to Legends, but I suspect most pre ROTS EU will become Canon.

My only real beef is you don't need to loose the Heir to the Empire triligy to not have Luke hook up with Mara and have kids. I think they've cut too deeply and lost too much, after all it was Heir to the Empire that resurrected a virtually dead star wars universe.
42. Michael E. Rubin
Pardon me for being a Trekkie entering a Star Wars conversation, but this whole issue and resolution feels a lot like those that have taken place in Trek fandom since JJ Abrams' first Star Trek movie in 2009.

Basically, TPTB of Trek decided that AbramsTrek would live in its own continuity. The original continuity that began with Gene Roddenberry in 1966 would be considered separate. All of the novels and non-television (or movie) content has NEVER been considered canon.

Isn't that essentially the same thing going on here with Star Wars?
Alan Brown
43. AlanBrown
In Star Trek they explained it as being an alternate timeline. Here there is no hand waving and quasi-scientific rationalizations--they are basically saying that what happened in the books that took the story into the years after ROTJ never really happened at all--it is a fresh start.
44. Lunatic Dave
Love trek, but not a trekkie.

In starwars I'd prefer to see a Trek style story that changed the timeline and put the Legends content after ROTJ in a separate "alternate timeline".

That would be a good idea, but I suspect you'd need a time travel related story to change a timeline, and starwars has never done travelling back in time (a few comics & books used tricks to send characters forward in time, but not back in a way that could change the timeline).

Star Trek on the other hand has lots of time travel and alternate reality stories.
45. Colin R
I have a feeling the line between canon and non-canon is going to be pretty squishy. Stuff outside the official canon will be folded in as other authors reference them, and as long as they don't interfere with anything going on in the movies and TV shows.
Alan Brown
46. AlanBrown
They have said that the writers of the new stuff are welcome to dip into the "Legends" stories for ideas and inspiration, so we may still see some favorites like Admiral Thrawn and Mara Jade appear.
I suspect that it might end up being similar to Marvel comics, where the print books have one continuity, while the movies have another, similar continuity (I think the movie creators call it the MCU, or Marvel Cinematic Universe).
47. Lunatic Dave
The way I see it, some EU can stand on it's own seperate to the films, but a lot of the EU only works to enhance the films by giving greater life to the surrounding world & characters.

While the former would survive Legends treatment, the latter would not, and if not canon, some of this being lost would actually take something away from the films. An example is how and why the broken C3PO ended up in the cell with Chewbacca. In the films if you think about this, it didn't make any sence, but the EU explained it.

Anyway, I'm hoping most pre ROTS EU escapes Legends treatment, and I'm excited by the idea of dead character from the EU potentially having a new start. I do hope some Post ROTS EU stories that wouldn't effect the new films, such as the x-wing series also escape Legends treatment.

Time will tell how extreme the cuts will be for what is now called Legends, but at least we know that whatever escapes Legends is official canon.
48. Tumas
I wonder where this leves Darth Maul: Son of Darthomir? It may be a comic published by Dark Horse, but it is in collaboration with Dave Filoni and practically the last episode/s of Lost Missions.
49. jere7my
@48: According to one member of the story group on Twitter, it counts as canon, since it's based on unfilmed Clone Wars scripts.
Chris Nelly
50. Aeryl
I'm liking the Legends thing, it implies to me that they are keeping most of the characters and big events, but there's this set of legends surrounding the characters of those stories, to understand why those stories may not be completely accurate.
51. Tumas
@ 49. jere7my

That's great! Thanks for your reply.
52. merpius
So, wait, does this mean that Stormtroopers can't hit anything once again? Did Order 66 increase the clones' accuracy when firing upon Jedi at the cost of decreasing their accuracy against anything else? Seems like the best (now canon) explanation!

On a more serious note: I think the NJO and beyond novels are far superior storytelling to the movies, so it is a shame to throw out their best work, just so they can have more leverage to continue some mediocre storytelling. It's their IP, though.
Liz Bourke
53. hawkwing-lb
Excluding Timothy Zahn's books from canon is RUINING MY CHILDHOOD, Lucasfilm!



Ah, well. I haven't kept up with the EU in years anyway.
54. hoopmanjh
Waitaminnit -- does this also mean that the (announced with much fanfare) Martha Wells and James S.A. Corey and Troy Denning and Timothy Zahn books are now non-canon? The Corey book just came out last month!

Well, to expand upon my earlier comment: Canon is whichever books I regard as canon unless they're explicitly contradicted by something else (and I decide I like the something else better). Realistically, canon mostly matters to people who are writing the books moreso than to readers.
Anthony Pero
55. anthonypero
@Lunatic Dave:

Actually, Jacen Solo could "force walk" as a shadowy projection into the past and the future, but the way it was written was as a closed loop, so no changing of the timeline.

Making the Legends stories into a Holo drama series in the new movies would be awesome. You could litereally have an asteroid falling on chewie on a holo monitor in the background and Chewie just huffing. That would be hilarious.
Daniel Holm
56. dholm
This is basically the worst thing ever.

The Zahn books have been Star Wars to me for the past 25 years. Excluding them from canon like this is tantamount to heretical.

Don't get it wrong: this move to calling them "Legends" is exactly that. They are being shoved out of continuity and if you think they will continue publishing books under the new banner, I have a bridge I could sell you cheaply.
Anthony Pero
57. anthonypero
Yup, its over. This makes me sad. I loved Thrawn, Mara, Anakin Solo, Boba Fett crawling out of the sarlacc pit and chasing the Solos all over the galaxy... like others have said, it is a very large part of what Star Wars has been for me. I've read every single novel.

But I've had a year to get over this. It was inevitable, as many of us realized and complained about when they announced the new movies. Too much has been written in the post-RotJ era to allow for ANY creative freedom in new movies. There was no way they would be able to attract top creative talent to do nothing but translate these books into movies. No one would touch it.

The books have become dreck, as well. At least the ones continuing the story, and not filling in niches in the timeline. While I realize not every one agrees, the Yuzahn Vong were just unpalatable for me, Jacen's descent to the Dark Side didn't work as well as it could have, Anikan's death was pointless. Centrpoint Station, which could have been awesome, was never truly developed well...

So.... while I loved those books... I still got to read them. I can still reread them anytime I want. And I can also get something new and shiny, by the best and the brightest disney can buy. Good enough for me. And Disney has had 7 years now to perfect this multimedia universe reboot thing with MCU.

All in all, I'm satisfied that this was the best thing for Star Wars, and the only reasonable choice, if we wanted to have one continuity between books, games and movies moving forward.
58. Lunatic Dave
"Legends: Holo Drama". The idea that "Legends" stories are stories created by Holo Drama authors in the star wars universe and were inspired or influenced by star wars characters and events is a cool idea. It would connect them to the canon star wars world, while not being part of the canon star wars history.
Chris Nelly
59. Aeryl
@58, Exactly. It sounds like the EU will have about as much influence on the movies, as the MU has on the MCU.

Which is the way to do it.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
60. Lisamarie
anthonypero@57 - I agree with pretty much every word. As much as I loved the EU, I think it is more important at this point to give the people working on the movies more creative freedom (including any story direction Lucas may wish to take, assuming he still has input).

And that 'world' is still there in my head. There are just two versions of Star Wars. If one of them can be 'real' (in my head), they can both be real. Star Wars and Star Trek and Lord of the Rings are all 'real' in my head (I'm using real very loosely, of course, please don't have me committed!) even though they obviously can't now there is just Star Wars A and Star Wars B. Kind of like how book Game of Thrones and TV Game of Thrones are starting to diverge into their own stories.

I am also curious about the books that are still coming out - at what point does the cutoff happen? And while it's likely they will stop publishing in the Legends timeline, has that been explicitly confirmed?
Anthony Pero
61. anthonypero
The press release said the first new canon material would be the Rebels TV show, and one would assume, the books that are being published in support of it. Also, Joshua Jackson Miller has a novel coming out in the fall that is part of Canon.
Gilmoure Gylbard
62. Gilmoure
So... no Splinter of Mind's Eye yet?

Chris Nelly
63. Aeryl
That's all Star Wars needed was incest, yo.
Gilmoure Gylbard
64. Gilmoure
...but Thawn and Mara Jade and Corran Horn and the Solo kids and

@11. Just put goatees on everyone and it happened in an Alternate Universe.
Gilmoure Gylbard
65. Gilmoure
@63 Aeryl

They weren't bro-sis in Splinter, at least according to Alan Dean Foster. Of course, when I skipped school to see Empire opening day, yeah, Yoda's words really freaked me out (in head, was Luke Skywalker of course and now, first celeb crush is "my sister"?!!!). And then she fell for the nerf-herder? WTF?

Of course, being older, she totally should have stayed with Rick but what do I know about movie storytelling?
Chris Nelly
66. Aeryl
I know they weren't but since that is established as canon, that just makes Splinter kinda wierd.
Anthony Pero
67. anthonypero
Lots of things were weird about Splinter. Especially considering ADF claims to have been working off of notes given to him by Lucas. The sister threadline, and even Yoda, hadn't been invented yet. In fact, my understanding is that Kenobi wasn't even supposed to die in A New Hope. They decided that on set and rewrote it. So the notes ADF was working off of for the tie in novel no longer worked in a lot of ways. Yoda was invented as an outgrowth of Kenobi's death.
68. RolandeDeschaine
I've come to grips with this ever since this was tease announced a couple of months ago.

I just hope (wish) that JJ Abrahms can retcon out the idea that the force is a social disease of sorts, some people get it and some don't bah.

I understand why as it is the same reason JJ did a reboot to Star Trek. Now he doesn't have to fight an uphill battle to tell a story, they just tell stories and only worry about the movie canon.

Heck this is what Marvel did for the new movies, there is a Marvel movie universe and it is seperate from the comic world.
Anthony Pero
69. anthonypero
Heck this is what Marvel did for the new movies, there is a Marvel movie universe and it is seperate from the comic world.
But this is NOT what Disney (which also owns Marvel) is doing with Lucasfirm. Marvel is keeping the comics continuity, writing new stories, and maintaining a SEPARATE continuity for the movies (and TV shows).

Lucasfilm, however, is abandoning the old continuity (and branding it LEGENDS in future printings), there will be no new stories published in the LEGENDS continuity. We know this because the press release says that moving forward, ALL new games, movies, books, and comics will be passed through Lucasfilm Story Group and be considered canonical, and exist in the same universe. Therefore, if ALL new publications will be canonical, they can't publish anything new in the LEGENDS line, because they are not canonical.

This is in no way the same as Marvel, nor is it the same as Star Trek, which has new stories published regularly in the original timeline. This is why people are upset.
Anthony Pero
70. anthonypero
Its possible that the LSG may decide to retroactively canonize previous books... but I doubt it. Why would they do that, when that just limits them moving forward. I think they would rather borrow themes and charcters from the old EU with impunity and write (and sell) new stories.
71. Golem100
So what does this mean for all the Star Wars erotica? I suppose since most if not all of it is fan-fic it probably wasn't canon anyway.
72. Kernel Failure
If they really wanted to be fair, how about buying back all of the EU books and graphic novels we have purchased over the last several years at face value? That would prove they actually "care" about the Star Wars story.

Here's hoping the sequels are worse than the prequels were, so everybody will rally to the "Star Wars Legends" cause.
Chris Nelly
73. Aeryl
Here's hoping the sequels are worse than the prequels were, so everybody will rally to the "Star Wars Legends" cause.


I, mean really? You'd rather take away the enjoyment of millions of fans, so you can Gollum-like, hold onto your PRESHUSS? This is the worst kind of geek snobbery.

I love the EU too. If I don't get some proximation of Mara Frickin Jade, I'm gonna be a SOFA KING.

But to hope for the outright failure of a franchise, just to hold onto some stories is harsh.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
74. Lisamarie
Look, I get it, I go back and forth between being excited (about the new story possibilities and fresh start) and sad (about 'my' version of Star Wars that I have so many memories and emotions bound up in being illegitimized and no longer continued) about the whole thing too.

But still - the books are STILL THERE. They are still on my shelf. I can still read them. This doesn't negate all the enjoyment I got out of them for years. I definitely share in the frustration that it seems like these characters won't be taken any forward and there are certain things we won't definitively know. But its not like they are being erased from existence.

And sometimes I catch myself thinking about how it's sad that Mara Jade or whatever isn't part of 'real' Star Wars history anymore and then I realize how silly that is, NONE of it is real, this isn't actual history, so if I want to say that I think a different version of the canon is the 'real' one, I totally can do that. (Again, I'm not trying to demean people that are torn up about it because I totally get it, it's just something that I myself have had to come to terms with, and that's where I eventually ended up). Or, they can both be real at the same time, thanks to my ramson steel a'lar ;) (Sorry, wrong franchise).

In some ways, having to 'deal with' enjoying the Lord of the Rings movies apart from the books has probably helped me come to terms with this but...that's where I am now.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
75. Lisamarie
Aeryl, that was a really interesting article. I'm not willing to get rid of the idea of canon entirely - the one thing I do hold to still is authorial/creator intent. But I suppose that can also be a personal decision.

But in general, I'm a lot more at peace with the idea of multiple and simultaneous continuities than I would have been a few years ago. That said, if the creator of a work seemed to prefer one over the other, or had their own ideas of what actually happened, that is what I would 'trust' more than anything else simply because I figure the stories and characters are most alive in their own head, so they would know :)
Aleshia Brandon
77. les111280
I personally think this was a stupid move on their part for the simple fact that there are some characters that are so wildly popular from the EU making them not part of the canon just angers people. When certain EU characters like Mara Jade, Thrawn and Darth Revan; who continue to make it on top 20 character lists even more than 10 years later making them no longer canon is a bad move, especially with the time gap that there will be between ROTJ and Ep VII. The NJO, LOTF and FOTJ make sense to get rid of because Chewie is dead in all of them, but those characters are so wildly popular getting rid of them doesn't make sense. Mara Jade is the whole reason I spent a boatload of money on the books and comics in the EU and Darth Revan is the only reason I bought any of the SW games in the last 10 years. Those characters got me more invested and interested in the universe than I had been since elementary school when the newness of my love for the OT started to wear off for me. As long as Mara Jade isn't canon, I will ignore anything Diseny/Lucasfilm put out with the Star Wars name and will live on in my happy place of where George's movies and the EU (the Legends) are the only things that exist.
Alan Brown
78. AlanBrown
@72 I agree with @73, hoping for failure of new episodes is pretty foolish from my vantage point. I love the past, but the thought of something new in one of my favorite fictional universes is very exciting to me.
Like Humphry Bogart said at the end of Casablanca, as he walked away from his former love, accompanied by his new pal, "...I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
79. Lunatic Dave
"why would they make some of the old EU canon going forward?"

2 reasons

1) Some time periods have been so well covered (or over saturated) that there is no interest in rewritting new stories to retell these time periods.

For example I suspect all the clone wars comics and books that can fit with the Clone Wars Movie/TV series version of events will become canon, while those that clash too much (some Dark Horse comic's Asajj Ventris stories) will become Legends.

2) Some existing EU story timeperiods don't impact the new films and present more useful storytelling opportunities to keep them. For example here is nothing to be gained by not having KOTOR and the Darth Bain stories as canon.

Wait a sec, no that's wrong! Now that I think of it, before the EU told the origin of the Sith, I always imagined the Sith's origin as totally separate from the Jedi and not just a group of Jedi gone bad, like the EU created. Maybe this might be an opportunity to better redefine the origin of the Sith.
80. Blight
I haven't gotten all the way through the comments, but I thought i would chime in. I've looked into most of what i've seen online. It sounds like Disney is going to nit pick on which characters it wants. It will of course keep Mara Jade(which i dont like, the bad girl gone good) It will keep Thrawn. The Jedi Twins may be renamed. the Vong are out( possibly but Rouge planet relates to the vong) most of the Sith are gone. Revan i am most sad to see will be gone. They will of course be filled in with cute fuzzy little bunnies to make the world feel good about themselves.

My main question to the group is going to be: "Princess Leia" will she become one of the Disney princesses? And which Leia will they use for her Barbie?
81. Carcharodon Megalodon
This is horrible. I knew they would have to throw out some of the EU stuff to make this new trilogy (which they shouldn't be making, in my opinion), but they're throwing EVERYTHING out?! There goes my childhood. Why couldn't they just let the films series end with the prequels? I've always been a huge fan of Star Wars, both the films and the EU, and now there just destroying everything! F**king Disney!
82. Sykes Jade
Here is my biggest issue. They will not continue writing in the "Legends" universe. How many authors have vested interest in these books? Were the new books the best? Probably not but I have actually enjoyed them. NJO and beyond have been staples in what I have read. I'm 26 and started reading young Jedi knights series when I was ten. This takes away a lot of the reasons I even read for enjoyment. Cause I want more of that story. I want to find out what happens to Ben and Luke in their exile and I want to know about the Hidden Sith. It leaves so many questions open for me.

im ok with two versions of canon. While the new movies won't go a long with what I "know" to be SW I will still try to enjoy them. But to stop adding to the established EU is what bothers me most. In my mind I've made it past the same old Rebellion vs Empire theme. Show me the universe from a stormtroopers perspective. Show me a struggle of life vs death from an outsider threat. Tell me more of the fate of the imperial remnant.

"Tarkin" and this Sith Lords book give me hope. But will we see more books from Timothy Zahn now that all of his books have now been made null and void? How about Stackpole? Karen Traviss already said she would no longer write anything SW again because Clone Wars overoad her mandalorian stories (which by the way I think are ten times better that the terrible facsimile of the mandalorian a portrayed in that half wit cartoon series).
83. Greg c
I agree with @82. The main issue for me is that the EU story won't continue. I can accept the idea of there being two timelines now, I personally gave up on anything new from Star Wars the moment Disney purchased it and announced a new trilogy (except for battlefront that is the only good thing to come from this) so honestly when Disney starts releasing stuff for Star Wars I can just ignore it. The problem comes into the fact that any unanswered questions from the EU will remain just that: unanswered questions. Personally, I think that the fans should take over when it comes to the EU now.
85. Starlin
JJ will simply make some kind of stupid time warp happen that erases everything after episode VI so he can start over his own way.

Oh, wait. He already did that with Star Trek, so it will be a dimension slip for Star Wars.
Anthony Pero
86. anthonypero
Oiy, did you read the 30 similar comments before posting, or assume you were the first one clever enough to say something like that?
87. xion
the only true sw story is eu plus I-VI plain and simple the new films are fan fiction .
Craig Barnett
88. Ommadawn
@87, I don't even know how to respond to that statement...
Anthony Pero
89. anthonypero

I'd start with the question: How are the EU stories (pitched by the writers, by the way, with no input from Lucasfilm other than veto power) "true" , while Ep 7-9, which are based on Lucas' script treatments are "plain and simple fan fiction."
Craig Barnett
90. Ommadawn
@89, true and well said (with tongue firmly in cheek)!

I guess I was just a little incredulous at the statement. Wishful thinking doesn't make something real.
Anthony Pero
91. anthonypero
I just don't get the vitriol for movies that are not even out yet.

I, too, was pretty upset when the news slipped that the EU was going to be officially retired. But after thinking about it for 20 seconds, I was fine with it. I understand the need to not hamper the creatives they are hiring to do these films. This also allows them to tell new stories set post-Jedi with Luke and Leia and Han. And I can read them now and know for sure that they are canon, something that was NEVER the case before. So much of what was set out in the EU prior to the prequels was completely undermined byt he prequels themselves. I won't have to suffer through that again. I won't have to say--"But WAIT! That's not where clones come from, or what the clone wars were!" Or anything like that. I've had three years to digest the news, and prepare for it.

So, thank you Disney, for making the only decision that both makes sense and allows you to hire top end creative talent.
92. dandantheman
Personally, I understand why they chose to do this. If they are really going to be writing new stuff, they need to have the blank slate to work with. I get that. I know that a lot of people would hate this but if it were me I'd do the following:

Making everything Post RotJ Non-Canon

Leave everything BEFORE Phantom Menance Canon

This gives JJ the blank slate he needs with the timelines, but leaves much of the rich stories of the past several thousand years of history alone. All the KotOR and SWTOR stuff, Exar Kun, and Darth Bane, leave that. That stuff isn't going to directly affect storylines in the new movies and they are HUGE parts of the foundation of Star Wars. Get rid of the stuff you need rid of for the new set of movies, but leave the stuff that doesn't affect it at all.
93. Pissed of Star Wars fan
I want to know the name of the person who made eu non-canon, I just want to see their D.B. Cooper impression. Which is a nice way to tell them to jump off a plane
Anthony Pero
94. anthonypero
You want a name? I can give you better than a name, here's the face of Evil, a monster truly deserving of the term Nemesis:

95. A fan no more!
After being a fan for 37 years, reading and following the novel timeline, to hear the last 37 years was a farce. George Lucas and disney should not be allowed to have anything to do with Star Wars. Disney taking over Star Wars was bad news and let's face it they didn't disappoint. If you serious believe the collective genius can't come up with story lines for the next movies within the Eu timeline they need to hire a new crew. Peter Jackson developed the lord of the rings trilogy and the hobbit trilogy from Tolkens writings, that kept fans flocking to the theatres. Disney and Lucusfilms can't come up with a new story within the original EU, that's sad. I feel bad for the writers who put their heart and soul into writing these great stories, Troy Denning, Thimothy Zaun, Arron Alston, Karen Traviss, etc. To finish, I will never purchase another Star Wars novel or comic again, no longer a fan.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
96. Lisamarie
Peter Jackson is hardly the example to use, in my opinion, lol. I mean, I loved the LOTR movies, and liked the Hobbit movies, but if Luke gets the Faramir treatment, my head will explode.
Anthony Pero
97. anthonypero
Not to mention, he wasn't creating NEW material, he was adapting EXISTING material. Beloved material. The EU, while I liked it a lot, is HARDLY the Lord of the Rings.

Not to mention, there is TOO MUCH of the EU. Too much background. In order to use the original cast, the stories have to be set a certain time past ROTJ. NOT using the original cast was never going to be an option. Disney wanted that from the moment they closed the deal.

About 1000% more people are going to see these movies than ever read a single EU novel, much less ALL of the novels needed to effectively understand who the hell the people are your seeing on screen.

Better to start fresh.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
98. Lisamarie
I actually have to agree with you, anthonypero, as much as I loved and was invested in the EU.

But over the years, I've gotten more used to 'alternate continuities'; Game of Thrones TV vs. books are very different, and eve Lord of the Rings have to somewhat exist separately in my head as books and movies.

So...I try not to let it dampen my enjoyment of one set of canon. I have to keep remind myself, NONE of it is 'real'.
Anthony Pero
99. anthonypero

I think what really has people upset is the "from now on, all material is canon" part... it means the story we've invested 30 years in won't be continuing, and a new, unknown one will take its place.

This happens for all series and worlds, I guess, but we, perhaps foolishly, may have felt that The Expanded Universe would go on for ever...

But even our real expanding universe won't go on forever. All things must end.
100. J.Frosty
@93 and @94: are you daft?
Lucas made that call DECADES ago.
Don't get me wrong I love EU. To me EU is as much star wars as ep4-6. I am very upset to never see the Sword of the Jedi trilogy as well as losing anything further being written in EU.
But it was never a question of being canon or not. That was decided Long before even ep1 was rumored.

@79 idk where you got your info from but from everything I've read (and I've been reading SW for over 20 years) the original sith were never an offshoot of the jedi. Later sith were to be certain, but never the originals.

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