Friday, April 25, 2014

Disney solidifies cohesive Star Wars canon with new Expanded Universe

A relaunch of the Star Wars adult fiction line published by Del Rey Books and Disney Publishing Group will begin in September.

Along with this comes the definitive ruling about the Expanded Universe, henceforth known as "Legends:"
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. While the universe that readers knew is changing, it is not being discarded. Creators of new Star Wars entertainment have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe. For example, elements of the EU are included in Star Wars Rebels. The Inquisitor, the Imperial Security Bureau, and Sienar Fleet Systems are story elements in the new animated series, and all these ideas find their origins in roleplaying game material published in the 1980s.
"Legends" books will remain in print.

Three new adult novels were announced: "A New Dawn" by John Jackson Miller, "Tarkin" by James Luceno, and "Sith Lords" by Paul S. Kemp. The existent Luke Skywalker novel, "Heir to the Jedi" by Kevin Hearne will also still be coming. Covers for all of these can be seen at the Star Wars Books facebook page.

 This explains why the "Empire and Rebellion" title was dropped from "Honor Among Thieves," the novel once supposed to be part of the now universe-spanning series. It also means that the Jaina Solo series "Sword of the Jedi," once indefinitely put on hold, has been cancelled.

I am sad, more than I want to be in a news post, but I have also been bracing for this. The novels were never "G-canon," the part of the Star Wars universe which had George Lucas' stamp of approval, even though fans often thought of them as such without question. I'm excited for "Heir to the Jedi" and "A New Dawn" particularly, as well as feeling pangs of possessiveness and a mild sort of mourning for the now-Legends. As other bloggers have said, the books are still on my shelves. Disney has not stolen them. It makes sense for the movies and books to exist in a cohesive timeline, but would have been prohibitive to try to fit the movies into rich, complicated existing timeline. I will continue to read and re-read, and look forward to whatever Del Rey and Disney has for the future.

The EU is dead. Long live the EU.


  1. When I first found out about this, I think I interpreted it in a very different way. Now reading this post, I am sharing your sadness. I was initially excited because of your comment that "Male Revan is now as canon as Female Revan", but I also do feel disheartened that the EU is being effectively dismissed. I guess it doesn't really change much in relation to headcanons and all of that. We fans are still free to pick and choose what we want to accept as canon, and what we will completely ignore. Just like that specific book that no one talks about. We make our own universes. We don't have to conform to this new canon.

    I'm glad they're keeping the "Legends" in print, because I seriously need to get into reading more Star Wars. I haven't read enough of the EU, it's quite pathetic the amount I've actually read. I would love some recs from you, Nem (I know you've recommended a few, but if you could compile a longer list that would be awesome! I need some kind of direction, otherwise I feel like I'll drown. I saw that post about the EU that you reblogged, but I'd love to know which books you would personally recommend/have read.) Only if you have time, though. :)

    Long live the EU!

    1. What book that no one talks about? ;)

      Even though they're hokey, I tend to recommend Kevin J. Anderson's Jedi Academy trilogy to new fans, because I love them. I think you'll be able to see through the hokeyness to the stuff I love as well. I also recommend either "Shatterpoint" (which is about Mace Windu) or "Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor", both by Matthew Stover, as good starting points. There are many possible good starting points but those are ones I personally recommend. :) Especially Shatterpoint is just an amazing read.

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