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The New Star Wars Movies Will Have Nothing To Do With The Expanded Universe, Says Lucasfilm

I have a bad feeling about this.

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When news that Chewbacca would be returning to Star Wars Episode VII was first announced, the Internet went wild with speculation. So he wasn’t killed off in that one Expanded Universe novel that people don’t like? No, he wasn’t — because the EU and the new films won’t connect at all, according to a new statement by Lucasfilm.

The statement, which is unhelpfully titled “THE LEGENDARY STAR WARS EXPANDED UNIVERSE TURNS A NEW PAGE,” says that George Lucas himself was always clear that only the first six movies and Clone War television series were ever meant to be canon in the first place, and that he did not consider himself  “beholden” to the EU. So Lucasfilm has decided to follow his lead and scrap all the still-beloved EU storylines for the upcoming three films, instead giving their directors and writers free rein to create new stories.

Even more of a punch to the gut? Everything written for new Star Wars will be integrated with itself across multiple media, much in the way that the Marvel Cinematic Universe now is — and the way that Expanded Universe fans always hoped that their beloved content might be one day. The statement explains:

Now, with an exciting future filled with new cinematic installments of Star Wars, all aspects of Star Wars storytelling moving forward will be connected. Under Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy’s direction, the company for the first time ever has formed a story group to oversee and coordinate all Star Wars creative development.

“We have an unprecedented slate of new Star Wars entertainment on the horizon,” said Kennedy. “We’re set to bring Star Wars back to the big screen, and continue the adventure through games, books, comics, and new formats that are just emerging. This future of interconnected storytelling will allow fans to explore this galaxy in deeper ways than ever before.”

But don’t worry, we’re still going to have “access” to the Expanded Universe, which I guess just means that they won’t go around burning old copies of Vector Prime (though… okay, let’s be real, that one we probably should just pretend didn’t happen). Many Expanded Universe novels will be kept in print, albeit under a new “Legends” banner. Moving forward, Star Wars  content creators may also continue to incorporate aspects of the Expanded Universe into new stories, as is the case with the upcoming Star Wars Rebels. So let’s hope that J.J. Abrams always had kind of a thing for Mara Jade, maybe?

Calming down from the initial nerd rage, this might not be as bad as the angry Star Wars fans on Twitter would have you believe. After all, part of what made the prequels such a miss for many critics is that they followed a particular trajectory that needed to end with Anakin Skywalker’s turn to the Dark Side in order to line up with the original trilogy, which removed much of the surprise and suspense for a lot of theatergoers. Now that it’s been well established that the new movies don’t need to follow the path of the Expanded Universe, we won’t know what to expect as an audience anymore. This could be good for the franchise as a whole, which could possibly benefit from a bit of freshness.

Of course, I would argue that you can still create a compelling story even when your audience knows what’s going to happen at the end, considering how popular other adaptations with dense book-based histories have become (coughGAMEOFTHRONES). But I’m also one of those angry Star Wars fans on Twitter who’s currently mourning the loss of a potential live-action Mara Jade to literally anyone who will listen. So don’t mind me, Lucasfilm! You’ll probably still be getting fistfuls of money from me anyway.

(via Blastr, image via Star Wars)

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