Sorry Thrawn fans, but it looks as though Lucasfilm won’t be using material from the enormous and beloved Star Wars Expanded Universe for J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII. In fact, they made the news official yesterday with a statement about their new plans for the saga going forward.
Ever since Disney bought Lucasfilm and the new trilogy was announced, fans have been wondering exactly where the EU would fit in — if at all. The stories and characters established in the books, comics, and video games of the franchise’s expanded mythos have been loved and supported by fans for decades, and have long been considered a key part of the overall Star Wars experience.
In response to this speculation, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy revealed that she wishes to keep that experience alive, but in order to give “maximum creative freedom” to the filmmakers working on the new trilogy, the EU will not be considered canon. However, Star Wars‘ Expanded Universe is not being completely discarded, and will likely serve as inspiration for upcoming entries in the cinematic franchise.
“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.”
The EU content will remain in circulation, presented under a new banner called Star Wars Legends. The “official” movie canon will continue to be explored through other forms of media, such as games, books, and comics, and in order to maintain continuity, a new story group has been created.
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.”
This news isn’t completely unexpected, due to the fact that it would have been nearly impossible for the filmmakers to create new content while also sticking to the narrative threads previously established within the EU. Without doubt, many fans will feel a great sense of loss by this all this, but it’s refreshing to hear that Lucasfilm isn’t disregarding the fictional content altogether. Instead, they will be taking the necessary steps towards allowing the upcoming films to pave their own path, ushering in a new era for the galaxy far, far away.
Tell us, are you disappointed to hear that the Extended Universe won’t share the same canon as the films? Or would you rather see the saga go in a new direction, beginning with Star Wars: Episode VII and the upcoming Star Wars Rebels TV series? Let us know in the comments section below!