Is Star Wars Legends canon?
Star Wars Legends and the official Canon have been at odds ever since Disney purchased Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion (that isn’t a typo) back in 2014. Since then, the argument over Legends has become about as complicated as trying to destroy a Death Star without a targeting computer. Let’s leave the heroics to the Jedi.
So what’s the short answer? It doesn’t exist. Although Star Wars Legends is an integral part of the larger mythos of Star Wars and all that exists throughout the galaxy, no, Star Wars Legends is not canon, but undoubtedly influences the official canon set forth by Disney and Lucasfilm.
To understand the differences between Star Wars Canon and Star Wars Legends, we have to take a look at the timeline of events surrounding the evolution of Star Wars since its inception in 1977. George Lucas may have created the phenomenon, but once unleashed upon the world, Star Wars took on a life of its own that has continued to grow over the past 44 years.
What’s gone on behind the scenes almost trumps what’s taken place on the big screen — and for casual fans, it may be hard to follow all the craziness. After all, there’s an entire galaxy to keep an eye on.
With the epic finale to the original Star Wars trilogy, Return of the Jedi (1983), it seemed that Luke Skywalker’s story had finally come to an end. Soon though, fans began clamoring for more Star Wars content; more characters, more adventures, more everything. Thus, the Star Wars Expanded Universe was born.
The Expanded Universe (later being renamed Legends after Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm) included all the books, comics, video games, toys, television series, and spin-offs created in the Star Wars name before the 2014 buyout.
After Lucasfilm came to Disney, the powers that be began to pick and choose what was officially canon and what no longer existed in the eyes of the larger Star Wars narrative, to the horror of many longtime fans.
The amount of content that Legends encompasses is mind-boggling, providing fans some of the most memorable characters and storylines in the history of the Star Wars. Characters like Mara Jade, Revan, or Jacen Solo. All equally incredible, all sadly non-canon. At least, yet.
As time went on fans grew to love these characters and events, and felt directly responsible for their creation. Between trilogies, much of what Star Wars became was curated by fan responses and narratives that kept the original magic alive. Undoubtedly, the labor of love that became Legends safe-guarded Star Wars for a new generation of eager fans.
Legends material has become so iconic that some of it has eventually been brought into the Star Wars canon. Grand Admiral Thrawn, the Dark Troopers, Knights of the Old Republic, or Force Holocrons are just a few of the pieces pulled from that infinite pool of content.
Following events anywhere between 36,000 years before The Phantom Menace, to 136 years after Return of the Jedi — there’s enough Star Wars in Legends to last a lifetime. Giving the phrase, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”, a whole new meaning.
Now, all that we have is the official Star Wars Canon laid down by Lucasfilm and Disney. Although new, with time Star Wars will inevitably grow and expand into unfamiliar territory — pulling from Legends along the way, continuing to enchant and inspire for years to come.