Since the purchase of Lucasfilm by Disney, and the announcement of new films, one of the big questions Star Wars fans had concerned what would become of the Expanded Universe of books, comics, and video games. Yesterday, that question was answered.
Earlier in the year we learned that a new group had been formed called the Lucasfilm Story Group and that they would be responsible for Star Wars canon going forward. Up until now the only canon were the six Saga films and Star Wars: The Clone Wars or, what George Lucas had produced. The existing Expanded Universe will now be know as Star Wars Legends and will remain in print. Starting this year, all new books and comics will be considered part of the new canon that will be created with Star Wars Rebels and the new films beginning with Star Wars Episode VII.
StarWars.com posted an article titled “The Legendary Star Wars Expanded Universe Turn a New Page” which explains the fate of the existing EU and includes an excellent video from Dave Filoni and other writers on what the EU has meant to fans.
A companion article, “Disney Publishing Worldwide and Random House Announce Relaunch of Star Wars Adult Fiction Line” lays out the new path. Beginning on September 2, 2014, “Star Wars: A New Dawn,” by John Jackson Miller, will be released. This adult novel will introduce Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla, two stars of Star Wars Rebels. This first book will be the first step in the new canon and part of this new collaboration between the writers, artists and producers of the TV and film projects.
Three additional titles will be released over the following months with “Star Wars: Tarkin” coming from James Luceno in November, “Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi” by Kevin Hearne in January 2015 and “Star Wars: Lords of the Sith” by Paul Kemp in March 2015. The photos and descriptions below were first posted on the Del Rey Star Wars Books Facebook page.
Fans of the current EU shouldn’t feel alienated by this new path for the Star Wars Universe. The stories already out there still exist and the books will remain in print under the Legends banner for new fans looking for new stories. Even though there was a certain amount of cohesiveness in the current EU, it isn’t as mapped out as the new path appears to be. It was always a longshot that any of the existing storylines would be directly adapted to the new films and by leaving them as-is, and allowing new writers freedom to create, it could lead to all-new stories that will be as loved as the current stories are.
Even though the existing EU will no longer be part of the Universe going forward, that doesn’t mean that fan favorite characters, planets or aliens are out. According to Jennifer Heddle, Senior Editor LucasBooks, posting to Twitter, the Expanded Universe is available to writers to draw from and the Story Group will have final say on whether things can be brought into the new canon.
One things is for sure, newer fans of Star Wars who have had trouble finding a starting point to reading books or comics will have a friendly jumping-on point.