Lucasfilm Confirms No Expanded Universe For Future Star Wars Media, Announces New Adult Fiction Books
There have been rumblings about this for a while, but it’s finally confirmed — the new Star Wars movies will not be drawing from the Expanded Universe. From here on out, all official Star Wars storytelling — movies, TV series, books, and games — will follow a unified canon. Some elements of the EU may be included in future Star Wars media, and the existing books will remain in print. However, if you’ve been holding out to see Mara Jade on the big screen…I’ll give you a moment to collect yourself.
Lucasfilm recently released a full statement regarding their new direction. Here’s the meat and potatoes:
While Lucasfilm always strived to keep the stories created for the EU consistent with our film and television content as well as internally consistent, Lucas always made it clear that he was not beholden to the EU. He set the films he created as the canon. This includes the six Star Wars episodes, and the many hours of content he developed and produced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. These stories are the immovable objects of Star Wars history, the characters and events to which all other tales must align.
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.
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.
Demand for past tales of the Expanded Universe will keep them in print, presented under the new Legends banner.
The upcoming animated series Star Wars Rebels will be the first on-screen addition to the new canon, followed by Episode VII next year. Disney Publishing Worldwide and Del Rey Books have also announced a new adult fiction line for the franchise. The first book in the series, Star Wars: A New Dawn, will serve as backstory for Rebels characters Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla. Written by author John Jackson Miller, A New Dawn is set to launch on September 2. This will be the start of a bi-monthly publishing schedule, which will unfold as follows:
- Star Wars: Tarkin, James Luceno, November 11, 2014
- Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi, Kevin Hearne, January 2015
- Star Wars: Lords of the Sith, Paul Kemp, March 2015
Lucasfilm also released a video about the EU, featuring creators and authors speaking warmly about its legacy, and discussing the future ahead. What do you guys think? Salt in the wound, or a new hope?