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Lawrence Kasdan Wants to “Start Fresh” For His Star Wars Spinoff, Won’t Pull from the Expanded Universe

The Empire Strikes Back scribe Lawrence Kasdan is one of the writers assigned to those recently confirmed Star Wars spinoffs. We don’t yet know who Kasdan’s movie will be about—Boba Fett, Han Solo, and Yoda have all been rumored, though it could be someone else—but whoever it is, he’s kissing anything from their Expanded Universe storyline goodbye.

Via the L.A. Times:

Kasdan would not confirm reports that the spinoff films would center on iconic characters Han Solo, Boba Fett or Yoda, but said he wasn’t focusing on his previous scripts or on the extended “Star Wars” universe in his approach to writing the new film.

“I’m trying to start fresh,” he said. “There are certain pleasures that we think the saga can bring to people that they’ve been missing, and we’re hoping to bring them that, and at the same time, have them feel that it’s all new.”

That makes sense to me. The EU is a large, unwieldy beast, and as much as I love certain aspects of it (*cough*RogueSquadron*cough*) starting with a clean slate is probably for the best. Sure, Kasdan could, if the situation called for it, pick and choose aspects of the EU to include. But it’s so interconnected that doing that you’d likely have to A) overload on exposition, which does not a good movie make, or B) change/omit things from the story so much that you might as well start from scratch anyways.

(Granted, that might not be the case if Kasdan’s doing a Han Solo backstory movie, as that takes place and was written before stuff started getting super-complex in the EU… so he could still pull from that if he were doing a Han Solo backstory movie. But. Moot point.)

Granted, Kasdan was only commenting on his movie, not the future of Star Wars in general. The other films could still pull from the EU. But I don’t think they will, or maaaybe they’ll keep some characters and ditch the plotlines. Going with brand new stories for a brand new era of Star Wars would keep things accessible to fans who haven’t read the EU and, even more importantly, it’d also keep the writers from being restricted by other peoples’ storylines.

This might be blasphemous of me, but I’d be fine with Disney/LucasFilm ditching the EU completely. As long as the movies are good, I genuinely do not care. I love Mara Jade, Rogue and Wraith Squadrons, the Thrawn trilogy. (Not the Jedi Academy trilogy, though. That can go away.) But even if they’re “written over” by other movies, we’ll always have the books.

What do you think? Would you be OK with LucasFilm abandoning the EU? Or would that cause you to reach Kyp Durron levels of outrage?

(via: /Film)

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  • Hannele Kormano

    Kyp Durron, I can let go. My inner fangirl, though, can’t let go of an eventual Rogue/Wraith television series directed by Joss Whedon that crosses over with Firefly somehow.

  • Gavin

    I was kinda hoping to see chewie get hit with a moon in a movie.

  • Lex

    I love the Thrawn trilogy too much to accept it being ignored! It gave so much more complexity and sympathy to the Empire. I also think it’d be a bit of a shame for the Han Solo Trilogy (*not* to be confused with the Han Solo Adventures which suck) to be overwritten, it was an interesting backstory and Togorians are great, I love Muuurgh. I think they shouldn’t really limit themselves to strictly following EU since a lot of it is a mess, but there is some really great stuff in there and it seems a shame to abandon it since I’m not sure they can make anything much better than Thrawn.

  • Rebecca Pahle


  • Rebecca Pahle

    I’m not sure I could handle the beauty of such a show.

  • Mel Phistopheles

    I believe that I have heard that there are something like twenty thousand characters in the expanded universe, each with a huge fanbase, so it’s probably a good idea to not go near that ticking time bomb. Any character wasn’t chosen for the new series would cause a huge fan backlash. It’s a bit ridiculous.

  • Angry And Yellow

    They can abandon the EU and the prequels (the world would be a better place if Jar-Jar never existed). As long as there is good, coherent story telling, I’m a happy camper.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    I WISH they’d retcon the prequels out of existence. Not that they will, but I can dream.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    I agree. I’d rather they focus on writing a good story than try to cater to fan preferences.

  • jaclynhyde

    I’m even more fannish about the EU than the movies, so I’m clinging to the hope that the films will at least grab some characters, aliens, whatever from the EU. (I don’t care how long he’s been dead *I just want more Thrawn novels.*) I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy the new movies and new EU even if they explicitly jettison everything and stop the old EU–which I’m kind of expecting–but I don’t know if I’ll love it as much as the old.

  • Anonymous

    What prequels? There were no prequels. [/denial]

  • Matt Graham

    I’m cool with it. Perhaps because I read comics and this sort of continuity juggling and shifting of events and characters happens all the time, but it’s not a big deal.

    They can’t take Jaina away.

  • Matt Graham

    Now THIS is pod racing.

  • Matt Graham

    Have you read the new Zahn book? I’m not sure how new, I just saw it yesterday afternoon, but it looked interesting.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I’m expecting them to completely disregard the novels, which is damnable in my opinion. Especially on the heels of Avengers proving that continuity and franchise go hand in hand to bring in mucho dinero. …except for a moon falling on Chewbacca. That was…I mean, seriously? A whole moon? Poor Chewbacca.

  • Shoshana B MINE

    As much as I agree, I’m still a bit sad that there will probably never be Thrawn Trilogy movies. Still, no matter what they do officially, they can never take away my multiple-continuity head-canon. The alternate timeline in my head with all the X-wing and Thrawn books ain’t goin’ nowhere, and any contradictions between the EU stories I like and the new films makes no difference.

  • Rebecca Pahle


  • Lee Forday

    No way don’t mess with my EU I will go full Kyp Durron!

  • Oliver Jonas Queen

    Honestly…good riddance to the EU. It served a purpose,for a time,but I cant imagine anything more boring than having to see those stories played out on the big screen. If the movies want to use certain characters or plot points then by all means do so,but the filmmakers should’nt feel beholden to what were,for the most part,very mediocre stories. Besides-I want to see old gray Chewie hanging out in the Falcon…grumpy old Harrison Solo is going to need Somebody to keep him awake!

  • Коблин

    But… but the EU has some really great stuff! It’s not all green rabbits and emperor clones and moons falling on top of wookies! Honestly!!!

    They should at least take the EU and make some animated stuff. Come on, Disney, do your thing! We know you have some free animators now that you canceled Tron Uprising.

  • James Fletcher

    I remember a couple of scenes during the prequels that contradicted the EU and getting annoyed at the time (They already had a perfectly workable origin of the Death Star, why’d they have to change it in Episode II?)

    In retrospect though, I realize that the fact they contradicted the EU didn’t bother me as much as the fact the new explanation was kinda dumb (So the Trade Federation created the blueprints the Death Star, but didn’t try and build it?)

    So I’m going to go ahead and say that I will have no problem if any of the new Star Wars films contradict the EU, so long as they are good films. No point in changing things in the new stuff is worse than what we had before.

    That said, I totally would love to see an adaptation of the Thrawn Trilogy even though I know there is no chance in hell of that happening.

  • Vian Lawson

    Oh, thank the Force. I was worried they’d try and shoehorn in far too much of that [redacted] sub-standard [redacted] [redacted] fan-fiction that we had to pay to read. Or in my case, had to run a mile to avoid after about 20 pages into the first Anderson. Ewwwww.

  • James Fletcher

    The best thing about the Star Wars EU is the worst thing about the EU: Everyone has their story to tell. EVERYONE.

  • James Fletcher

    Someone needs to develop inter dimensional travel just so we can find the universe where that actually got made.

  • Anonymous

    I can see why they’d want to star fresh though. With Avengers the continuity was just limited to the other movies and a few comic prequels. There’s a reasonable chance the audience saw Thor and Captain America before seeing Avengers, for instance.

    But sticking to a whole universe of novels and video games might harder to pull off with a franchise like Star Wars, since we’re not just talking the movies anymore.

  • Adam Wayne Santer

    They may abandon SOME parts of the EU for the benefit of making the new film stories more original, but don’t see them eradicating the EU completely.

  • Rizz Rustbolt

    If there was anybody that could do a movie about Wedge’s wedding, it would be Lawrence Kasdan.

  • Rizz Rustbolt

    Just like how Chewie is still alive.

  • Rizz Rustbolt

    They can keep Mara Jade getting gutted like a slaughtered pig, but everything else goes.

  • CyberIstari

    Though, as an entity (not specific characters in it, mind, except for Wedge), Rogue Squadron is *not* EU, it’s canon. I just don’t know if I’m hallucinating hearing more details around the time of Eps V & VI or not…

  • Lindsey Stock

    I like a few characters from stories that take place during the prequel movie era, but I’m more than happy to sacrifice them if it would mean forgetting those movies ever happened. *sigh* they’re probably going to be sticking around though. The only thing I’ll really be mourning from the EU is the Star Wars: Legacy comic book and anything that takes place during the Old Republic Era if those also get wiped out.

  • Brian

    Oh, good, now I have to look up that annoying kid from high school who obsessively insisted that the EU was canon and once punched me for saying that Boba Fett was dead. And then I RUB HIS FACE IN THIS.

  • LS

    Making new movies may be a good business move. It might make a lot of people happy. Disney may be the best people to make those movies good, and ditching the EU may be the best way for them to succeed in that goal.

    To be honest, I don’t care. As great as the original three films were, I like the EU so much more than any of them. And these films will kill the EU continuity that I’ve been following since I was a young child. Not matter how good these new films are, they cannot possibly be worth the loss of the EU.

    At least not for me.

  • Shoshana B MINE

    Scoundrels? It’s fantastic and you should read it.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I’m not saying that they should throw an asterix at the bottom of the screen (*as seen in Boba Fett #3 Super-Size Annual the Video Game), but converting the good bits of the EU to film would be stellar. There’s just so much good material available and they could kind of edit around the flops. …for example, I’d be fine never hearing about the Luke Skywalker clone…Luuke.

  • Kenneth C Pennington

    Are you an angel? XD

  • Hannele Kormano

    Also, Wes Janson & Derek ‘Hobbie’ Klivian! Although, perhaps not their actual/first names…

  • Magic Xylophone

    You’re gonna die here, you know.

    …Sorry, reflex.

  • Matt Graham

    Don’t knock that one, I used that line all the time in 99. It didn’t work.

  • Matt Graham

    I think I will, then!

  • Philip Ehlke

    I’ll feel very uneasy if currently established EU canon is blatantly steamrolled in the new films. Personally I doubt it will be, because there is so much unexplored territory that the current major plotlines will probably be left alone. Star Wars was meant to be a cohesive entity and not simply a franchise where multiple iterations would arise as time passes. Not everything is perfect, but to disregard key aspects that would certainly have an effect on potential films, like Chewbacca’s death for example, would be of far greater detriment to those who’ve spent time getting to know the story (the core fans) than they would be of benefit to those who haven’t.

  • CyberIstari

    Oops, mea culpa! I don’t know how I forgot them!

  • Philip Ehlke

    They still haven’t officially canceled it, I’m pretty sure. It just won a few Annies for Pete’s sake!

  • Liam Berkelium Bourke

    I’d love to see Mara Jade in there… but really, as long as they don’t give us another Jar-Jar… They can do whatever makes it look pretty on screen :)