Greetings Fandom, it is I, the Defender of the EU, Champion of the Multi-verse, and currently Bi-Polar Star Wars Fan Mark Hurliman. I come before you today after having spent yesterday and last night marinating in the new knowledge that the Fate of the EU is known. And while some may say it’s dead, or that it’s relabeled, and others still say it never counted, I say it’s reborn. Set free. No longer shackled to a universe that would deny it.
What am I talking about? Well in case you’ve been hiding from rumors and such, or been camping, or away from the internet, the sky has fallen.
Yesterday we had the long awaited news of the fate of the EU. For a while now many have speculated that the end was near. While others, myself included, held onto that last sliver of hope that Disney was going to fix the chaotic web of Continuity that Lucas left in his wake. In a sense some got what they wanted, while others felt what Ben Kenobi felt when Alderaan was destroyed, or what Yoda experienced during the first few seconds of Order 66.
The EU is no more.
Or is it?
Let’s take a minute to ponder some of this, shall we?
“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.”
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.
On the screen, the first new canon to appear will be Star Wars Rebels. In print, the first new books to come from this creative collaboration include novels from Del Rey Books. First to be announced, John Jackson Miller is writing a novel that precedes the events of Star Wars Rebels and offers insight into a key character’s backstory, with input directly from executive producers Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, and Greg Weisman.
So for a long time I’ve been saying the EU needs to be treated as its own universe as George Lucas himself called it. And while the EU had its own Official Canon, the FIlms where always the true canon, THE CANON. Then came the Clone Wars, no, not the Genndy CW series, THE CLONE WARS. Sure it rocked the boat for the EU, but only because the EU was still being shoe horned into a universe it didn’t belong.
Now we have our clean break, a universe where going forward we no longer have Lucas behind the wheel, but in his place a Story Group with people who leave me confident that what will come will not need to be retconned in a year or two from now. The EU as we know it is now Legends. A new name. And while books like the 3rd Empire and Rebellion book (EDIT: Actually we have now learned that this book will no longer be part of Empire and Rebellion; but Heir to the Jedi and part of the new continuity unlike its predecessors Razor’s Edge and Honor Among Thieves which are now Legends) or comics like the last of Star Wars Vol. 2 wrap up, they could be the last of what we will be getting from Legends for the foreseeable future, for now. But we also now know that Darth Maul: Sons of Dathomir will be the first of the new comic story, and John Jackson Miller’s A New Dawn gets the honor of first novel set in the new universe. The new cohesive tale is about to be told folks.
Call it D canon, call it Ultimate Star Wars, call it The Canon, Call it simply Star Wars, it doesn’t matter. It will stand apart. And this is a good thing. Moving forward we know this: The Films, and TCW are canon, and after SW Vol 2 and Rebellion and Empire’s last book come out as the last of the Legends banner, so too, will everything else to follow Sons of Dathomir and A New Dawn, will be Canon.
No more “The books don’t count” or “The books are not Star Wars” This will new Star Wars stand on its own, as one story.
As it stands apart, so will “Legends”. And I can tell you something, that Legends universe is… well; Legendary. As interest n the new books told in canon drive fans to the books for more, they might find themselves wondering about what came before. Similar to The Walking Dead Fans discovering how awesome the comics really are.
And the characters and stories told there in the EU “Legends” are remarkable, and epic. And a few; untold. Take for example; The fate of Delta Squadron’s sniper Sev from the Video Game Republic Commando, or from the books Clan Skirata, and Darman and Niner, Boba Fett’s struggles as Mandalore, Jag Fell becoming Emperor, and the long hoped for Sword of the Jedi series focusing on Jaina Solo! Then their if the fate of Jaden Korr, a Jedi who’s poised for either something great, or something absolutely dreadful, the founding on the Imperial Knights, and the adventures of Ben Skywalker. Their will always be tales in the Old Republic to tell, as well as ways to mesh the old Clone Wars from Dark Horse with the Genndy series (Who knew this whole time The Clone Wars was set in a separate universe?) And all this and we haven’t mentioned the 10 Knights and their quest for the Dagger of Mortis so the HUGE THREAT of Abeloth can be quelled once and for all. Oh and in the comics Hondo Karr and his mission to reclaim the honor of the Mandalorian people in the Legacy era. Or even Alpha’s fate.
So while Legends (The SWEU) may not be seeing much new in way of products set in its timeline, they have mentioned some key words that give me hope that given enough time and demand, that we might just see more of our EU someday under the Legends banner. And I am talking more than reprints. With a few projects already being in the works before the sale, it isn’t too far fetched that some might see the light of day when the timing is right. Sword of the Jedi, I’m looking at you.
Meanwhile the films can use elements of the EU at its discretion; just as Lucas did from day one. As can all the new materials coming out under this new continuity. Again no different than what Lucas was doing before. the big difference now is that the new continuity’s books and games WILL COUNT! They won’t be trivialized and overrun, retconned on a whim. This time it will be done right! As one universe.
A SEPARATE UNIVERSE.
And while I have no doubt in my mind that this new universe will rock, I know the old one will live up to its new name as Legends. For it was and always will be, legendary.
Star Wars Fan with 2 Book Shelves