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Book Reviews, Editorials, Movies, TV, Video Games

Star Wars EU: It Was Only Just a Dream

When Disney bought LucasFilm from George Lucas almost two years ago and announced that they would begin making additional Star Wars movies, I was cautiously optimistic. Many people were afraid of what they’d do to the universe Mr. Lucas created, to which I said they couldn’t make it any worse than Lucas already had (see Jar Jar Binks and Greedo shooting first).

But now, I admit,  my faith has been shaken.

For weeks I’ve been hearing the rumors. In talking with others I’ve heard the dark whispers. I even saw headlines that seemed to confirm the gossip. Now, it has been officially confirmed.

The Expanded Universe is being cast aside so that future Star Wars movies and television series can be made without being beholden to it. 34 years of artists and authors pouring their hearts into a universe they love has just been erased like chalk from a blackboard.

The book that launched the EU into its modernized form, and the first part of the best trilogy in the EU.

The Expanded Universe (or EU for short) got its start shortly after the first Star Wars film was released. The Expanded Universe is the story of Star Wars told outside the realm of the movies. It consists of video games, comic books, and novels. I was ignorant of its existence until 1996 when the Shadows of the Empire multimedia project descended upon the ranks of fanboys everywhere, sparking instant nerdgasms in us all. I was a gamer, not a reader, so I was stoked about the game. When I heard there was a book to accompany the game I decided to check it out, and that was when I found out everything I had been missing.

I bought and read Shadows of the Empire, then began collecting all of the books in chronological order and devouring them. The Truce at Bakura. The X-Wing Series. The Thrawn Trilogy. The Jedi Academy Trilogy. I finally caught up with the story arc as The New Jedi Order series was released and I’ve bought each new book as it’s been released.

I’ve also kept up with the EU through video games. After Shadows of the Empire came Rogue Squadron. Then a sequel. Then another. Then came The Phantom Menace and Jedi Power Battles. Then Bounty Hunter which, despite its dismal reviews is one of my favorite Star Wars games. Knights of the Old Republic and its sequel, The Sith Lords, are two of the best games I’ve ever played. I continued to play them all up to and including The Force Unleashed II.

I never did get into the comic books, however. Comics are a medium I just cannot make myself enjoy.

It’s plainly evident that I’ve dedicated a lot of time and money to the EU. I have over 100 Star Wars novels sitting on my book shelf. Many of the novels I’ve read multiple times. I have 15-20 Star Wars video games ranging from my N64 all the way to my Xbox 360. Many of the video games I’ve played through numerous times. So it comes as a huge slap in the face to me that the Expanded Universe, in which I’ve immersed myself for the last 18 years despite its flaws (Boba Fett died in the Sarlacc Pit. He should never have been brought back.), is being struck down and declared null and void.

The EU is gone, but this guy’s resurrection will stand as part of canon simply because it happened in The Clone Wars animated series. Sigh…

Yes, I do realize that St. George himself once affirmed the EU was not canon, but I know that he approved all (or most) of the story lines prior to selling his franchise to that company who ruins all of its young stars. It seems to me that, even if he would later want to discard a part of the EU (such as the Jaster Mereel story line for Boba Fett which he abolished by revealing Fett is really a clone in Episode II), he wouldn’t dispose of it entirely. Of course, it’s no longer his call.

While reading the announcement from LucasFilm, I couldn’t help but feel like I had just awoken from a dream in which I had spent the day with the most beautiful woman on the planet. It was the greatest day ever, but as I rub the sleep from my eyes it dawns on me that none of it was real. It was all just a manifestation of my subconscious. Well, it seems to me the last 18 years haven’t been real. It seems LucasFilm doesn’t think much of the time and money I invested (nor that of the millions of others who also invested their time and money) into the EU, and that is upsetting.

I’m not going to mount some high horse and tell you I’m going to boycott the new movies because we all know that’s not going to happen, but I’m very disappointed that Kathleen Kennedy and her team decided to go this route when there are many worthy novels and comic book story lines in the EU from which they could have crafted new movies (Thrawn trilogy, helloooo??). The good news (or silver lining, if you prefer) is that all movies, novels, video games, and comics will go forward as a cohesive story, united across all media. That’s something, at least, to know that this will never happen again.

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Discussion

45 thoughts on “Star Wars EU: It Was Only Just a Dream

  1. Bummer!

    Like

    Posted by Elyse | April 26, 2014, 4:21 pm
  2. The EU tales make up an alternate reality now. I know how you feel but those stories still count, man. They count, damn it! New movies don’t change that, they just create a new version of the aftermath of the Rebellion. And I guess anything prior to the first Star Wars still is canon, until Disney wants to do a Sith or Old Republic movie I guess…

    Like

    Posted by Dylan Dailey | April 26, 2014, 7:07 pm
  3. That sucks. I got into some of them.

    I cried like a baby when Darth Moll was cauterized. Then I hit something. That wasn’t a good day for me.

    Like

    Posted by Eva | April 26, 2014, 7:34 pm
  4. I feel the opposite, honestly. I haven’t really much participated in the EU, though have been tempted at times. I just want to see a fresh story, something that rocks my world the way the OT did…. which is way too much to ask, I know, but I think it would diminish my experience if there were call-outs to an EU that I know nothing about. I just want a fresh, original story that honours the greatness of Star Wars. My fingers are so bloody crossed that my balls are blue. That’s right. Blue.

    Like

    Posted by Trent Lewin | April 26, 2014, 7:53 pm
    • Um, if you don’t know the EU then any movies based on those stories WOULD be fresh to you. And frankly, any of the novels by Timothy Zahn or Michael Stackpole sometimes felt more like the OT than the OT did.

      Like

      Posted by Twindaddy | April 26, 2014, 9:03 pm
      • Yeah but I’m not really excited about listening to people talk about this and that reference to the EU, or all that jazz. Isn’t it possible to just write something new?

        Like

        Posted by Trent Lewin | April 26, 2014, 9:12 pm
        • Yeah, I wouldn’t have a problem with that either, if they worked around the EU. Problem is, they’re bringing back Chewbacca in the new movie…and he died in the EU. I’m sure that’s not the only thing they’ll disregard, either.

          Like

          Posted by Twindaddy | April 26, 2014, 9:20 pm
          • They better just make em kick ass, is all I say. They got to, after the prequels. I didn’t hate hate them. But I didn’t love them. And I wanted to love them, I really did. There were parts of all three that were grand and great, but so many pieces that weren’t. ROTS came the closest… but I’m hoping the sequels bring back the magic that only Star Wars has.

            Like

            Posted by Trent Lewin | April 26, 2014, 9:24 pm
          • Despite my displeasure with having the EU flicked out the window like a cigarette butt, I still think the movies will kick ass. I love what Abrams has done with the new Star Trek movies and I think he can do the same for Star Wars.

            Like

            Posted by Twindaddy | April 26, 2014, 9:26 pm
          • Oh boy… have to disagree there. I liked the first Star Trek (liked, not loved), but the second one was rank awful and a disappointment for trying to riff off the seminal Trek movie. Failed badly in my eyes. I don’t know, Abrams has always been okay in my books, but he’s never blown me out of the water. I think he loves Star Wars, though, and has been angling for it for a while. Maybe that will bring the love. I sure hope so.

            Like

            Posted by Trent Lewin | April 26, 2014, 9:45 pm
  5. Hey, do you know yoda?

    Like

    Posted by merbear74 | April 26, 2014, 8:49 pm
  6. After the horrors that were episodes 1, 2 and 3, a fresh start isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    Like

    Posted by El Guapo | April 27, 2014, 12:03 am
  7. Everyone picks on the prequels! It’s okay, Ewan, I still love you! And both Star Wars movies sucked as does Abrams. :).

    Like

    Posted by aliceatwonderland | April 27, 2014, 2:49 am
  8. As long as Jar Jar’s role is safe, there is no reason to get upset by any of this….

    Like

    Posted by evilsquirrel13 | April 27, 2014, 11:06 am
  9. I don’t know what’s worse: Disney fucking up Star Wars or whoever let J.J. Abrams loose on Star Trek… oh, wait. Well, sorry TD. So. Very. Sorry.

    Like

    Posted by BrainRants | April 27, 2014, 12:55 pm
  10. I had no idea there was an EU!

    Like

    Posted by hastywords | April 28, 2014, 5:45 pm
  11. It’s a shame really, with the advancement in special effects they could have really gone to town on some of these story lines.

    Like

    Posted by benzeknees | April 29, 2014, 1:35 pm
  12. It does sound a bit like they’ve shot themselves in the foot with making more money out of the franchise. Like you say, they could have turned a whole load of the EU books into films. Bet someone points this out to them and they change their mind.

    Like

    Posted by faithhopechocolate | April 29, 2014, 3:48 pm
  13. sometimes it is all about the money

    Like

    Posted by pouringmyartout | May 6, 2014, 1:45 pm

We don't tolerate scum.

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