Reboot to the Head

There’s been talk lately about what’s going to happen to Star Wars Expanded Universe lore when Disney’s new movies come out. With the closing of LucasArts and the cancellation of some projects, many fans are worried that the Disney is going to dismiss and rewrite  the entire EU with the new movies.

I have mixed feelings. On one hand, trying to work a new story into an already saturated environment would be a hell of a task for any writer. There’s just so much stuff out there. Despite the best efforts by the people responsible for continuity, there’s also a lot of contradiction between various books, video games and comic books.  Having all of that hanging over your head would really limit what the movies writers could do with their story.

And some of the material is outright terrible.  Several of the EU books that take place post ROTJ are just flat out bad. Even ones that are good were written before the prequel movies came out. They base some story elements on events that couldn’t have happened they way they are described due to the way the Clone Wars turned out on screen.

On the other hand, many of those stories are very good. I haven’t read any of the comics but those are lauded by many. I’ve read many, though far from all, of the books. The Timothy Zahn novels gave the EU its kickstart and tell an excellent follow up story to the original trilogy. Seeing that story alone get wiped away from the EU would be a tragedy.

But, in the end, it’s probably necessary.  The Thrawn trilogy takes place five years after ROTJ but it’s been 30. It’s all but confirmed that the original actors will be returning for at least cameo appearances. Whatever story gets told in Episode VII, it won’t be in the same time frame as Thrawn. And for most movie viewers, when ROTJ ended, the Rebels had won.  Which means Episode VII will probably begin from that perspective.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the stories that take place in the EU before the movies occur couldn’t have happened. But from whatever point the movie occurs, any stories that take later will be called into question. New stories will need to be written to follow up on events from the movies. That leads to the question of what stories fit in the EU and what don’t anymore.

It will be easier for Disney to just say anything post ROTJ doesn’t count anymore. Then they have a clean slate to work with. New writers of books and comics also have a clean slate. This may be annoying for the authors of works that are getting shoved under the rug but a great boon for authors who will get to write new stories in this era.

It should be interesting and allow for a lot of new and exciting stories. Just so long as none of them are the Crystal Star or the New Rebellion.

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4 Responses to Reboot to the Head

  1. In 1978 (a year after Star Wars was released) I read SPLINTER OF THE MIND’S EYE written by Alan Dean Foster. The story picked up where, what would become known as Episode IV left off. Foster was commissioned to write it before anyone knew that the film would become the mega-hit that it became, and the studio considered making ‘Splinter’ into a follow-up B Movie flick. By the time the novel was published, Star Wars had broken records in box office receipts, and the film adaptation of Splinter of the Mind’s Eye was abandoned in favor of Lucas’ vision of a big budget sequel.

    The story is okay, and ends with Vader and Luke in a lightsaber battle. Just when the Sith Lord is about to when, he falls into a bottomless pit. Had Lucas and company stayed with this, we would have missed out on THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (which I consider to be one of the top 5 sequels ever made). So I hope Disney goes for quality of story despite any literature causalities that it may cause.

  2. Tamarynn says:

    Lucas never considred anything, except the movies (and the clone wars cartoon now), to be official. Everything else was just something that somebody else created in his universe. As seen by the prequel trilogy and the clone wars cartoon, the teams involved mostly disregarded any EU material. I’m certain this trend will continue. There is a lot of good and bad stories in the EU, and as you said, it’d be hard to fit a new movie into that.

    Its not necessarily a bad thing that they’d ignore EU for the movies, though tying into some of the story arcs would be nice to see them at least acknowledge it.

    • Jedi_Rabbit says:

      Yeah it’d be interesting to see if some of the different EU elements make it into the new canon. Even if all the material is scrapped, at least some of it will carry over as story material/new plot points for the new EU and 7,8, and 9. Even if you scrap everything about Luke’s academy, there’s gonna be some carryover, as I’m sure they’ll have it that Luke trained Jedi.A great new main character could be Luke apprentice…