Official Lucasfilm Statement on the Canonicity of the Star Wars Expanded Universe
|Image from StarWars.com|
Ever since Disney bought Lucasfilm and announced Star Wars: Episodes VII, VIII, and IX, we've been wondering how the Star Was Expanded Universe would be handled moving forward. Today on Star Wars.com, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy is quoted as part of a feature where the past and the future of the Expanded Universe is determined. Here's the details:
*The Original Trilogy and Prequel Trilogy are obviously still considered absolute canon, but now The Clone Wars is placed alongside of the films as absolute canon. Previously these were considered as the second level of canon (T-canon for television canon) to the films' first level (G-canon for George Lucas canon), but now they're considered to be "the immovable objects of Star Wars history, the characters and events to which all other tales must align."
*Moving forward, all Star Wars media will be connected and managed by a story team. The announcement calls this "interconnected storytelling" and seems to imply that all future media releases will have the same level of canonicity as the films.
*I think most of assumed this, but it is clearly stated that "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." The article states that authors can still bring non-conflicting elements from the previous Expanded Universe into new material.
*The old Expanded Universe stories aren't going anywhere. They will be sold under the "Star Wars Legends" banner (see picture above).
I've still got some questions and more thoughts on this, though, but I'll delve into those further after the break....
Overall, this isn't anything too earth shattering. I'm actually really glad that Lucasfilm is taking hold of the property and designating everything as interconnected and canonical moving forward. I've been on far too many forums where people fight and argue about what's canon and what isn't. Honestly, some really crazy boards even mod and penalize people for bring up (or not agreeing with) Expanded Universe material. I'm also glad that The Clone Wars gets official canon designation. I like the show as it not only fleshes out the prequel films but also makes them feel a lot more connected and complete. Still, I have a few questions:
*I'm a little confused by the statement: "While the universe that readers knew is changing, it is not being discarded. I guess I should say I'd like clarification rather than say I'm confused by it. I totally get why post Return of the Jedi EU books would be troublesome, but what about all of the prequel focused books? Are people going to rewrite some of those books or something? This is an area where I think Lucasfilm might have been better off simply stating that anything post ROTJ was no longer canon or that certain books were no longer in canon. Maybe they'll bring prequel based books back into canon over time? There have been plenty of books written in the prequel era based on characters like Darth Maul, Obi-Wan, and others that are pretty self contained and tie-in with the prequels; does Lucafilm expect that some author is going to want to rewrite these stories or something? What about Old Republic based tales.
*What about character names and stuff? Obviously, most of the world building in the Star Wars universe was done through EU novels, source guides, and stuff like the old CCG. Is Ponda Baba still named Ponda Baba? Is he still an Aqualish that hung around with Dr. Cornelius Evazan? I know this sounds paranoid, but this is the little stuff that I hope Lucasfilm clarifies. Is the ice cream maker man still Willrow Hood?
*What about Shadows of the Empire? That was a massive project that Lucas seemed to have his hands all over and integrated elements of into the Special Editions.
*What about other TV shows previously released? Is the Star Wars Holiday Special now considered canonical? We'll update as we learn more!