8 Reasons Why Establishing the Star Wars Canon was the Right Thing to Do

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Over 2 years ago on April 25, 2014, Lucasfilm announced its controversial decision to officially rebrand the Expanded Universe (or EU) collection under the new label of Star Wars Legends, emphasizing that all previous Star Wars stories before this date (with the exception of Episodes I through VI and the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated film and TV series) were not part of the official canonized Star Wars universe. In short, Lucasfilm created a blank slate upon which the Star Wars universe could continue to unfold in preparation for the highly anticipated new trilogy of films.

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It’s no surprise that this decision affected the varying level of Star Wars fans differently. The casual fan—the one who had only seen the movies once or twice—was generally unaffected by the news except for a slight confusion about what the European Union (EU) had to do with Star Wars. The die-hard fans were split into two factions, what I like to call the “purists” and the “unconditional” fans. The purists were already on edge, fearing that the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney and the subsequent “commercialization” of the franchise would lead to its ultimate demise. These fans became even further disillusioned at what they viewed as the “demotion” of the Expanded Universe to Legends. They weren’t happy campers. The unconditional fans, however, had matured to a point in their fanship where their love and devotion to the saga and their trust for its handlers would remain true no matter what. These fans accepted the decision with open minds and hopeful hearts.

As an unconditional fan, feasting on the new Star Wars Canon for the past 2 years has been incredibly rewarding for me. Here are 8 reasons why Lucasfilm made the right decision on that fateful day.

  1. The definition of canon is “a collection or list of sacred works accepted as genuine.” Now even Webster agrees that the Star Wars Saga is sacred.starwars-bible
  2. The Expanded Universe isn’t forgotten. The beauty of converting the Expanded Universe to Legends is that legends are often based on truth, “in part or in whole.” I believe that many of the stories and characters from Legends will find their way into the new canon.
  3. The Star Wars Universe is now manageable and consumable for all ages. The stories clearly fit into the saga as a whole, and are often repeated at different levels for the enjoyment of fans at every age.
  4. The Star Wars Universe is now much easier to track on a chronological timeline. I experienced the entire canon in chronological order in preparation for Episode VII and was rewarded with the best cinematic experience of my life.starwars_timeline
  5. While the stories are still told through the flavor and style of individual authors, the collaboration between authors has produced a tantalizing level of cohesion.
  6. The pesky contradictions in the books formerly known as the Expanded Universe can now be attributed to the fuzzy lines of truth common with legends.
  7. Die-hard fans who consume the new canon have already been and will continue to be rewarded with easter eggs in the films. My favorite so far was seeing Temmin “Snap” Wexley’s role in The Force Awakens after reading about his childhood adventure in “Star Wars: Aftermath.”snap-wexley-1_7527625d
  8. Instead of waiting on pins and needles for 1-2 years between each of the upcoming films, I am regularly able to experience more of the Star Wars story through the continual release of new books, comics, and games. It makes the weight much more bearable."Star Wars" fan Danny Fitzgerald of Staten Island, in Darth Vader costume, poses in front of Loews Astor Plaza movie theater in Times Square in New York, May 25, 1983, where fans are lined up for the premiere of "The Return of the Jedi," the third in a series of the "Star Wars" saga. (AP Photo/Dave Pickoff)

Do you have other reasons why the decision to establish a new canon was the right one? Post them in the comments below.

 

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  • Lukee

    #1/2 – those aren’t reasons really, just statements.
    #3 – it was for all ages before, and the EU also fit into the saga as a whole…
    #4 – as was the EU; there is literally a timeline at the beginning of the books. Also, the reason disney’s is easier to organize NOW is because they just started out. wait a few years.
    #5 – the EU authors did the exact same thing, do some research.
    #6 – ah, an article written by someone who clearly hasn’t read the Expanded Universe, otherwise you’d know there are barely any contradictions. In fact, I ask you to name one.
    #7 – EU fans were rewarded with easter eggs in the prequels, so again, the EU had the same thing going for it.
    #8 – again, literally the same thing the EU accomplished.

    • Lukee

      Add on to my point on #6 – though there were very few contradictions in the EU, they were very minor plot points that didn’t detract from each overall story nor the overall saga/timeline as a whole, plus the writers would work together in future stories to fix not only the minor contradictions in the EU, but also the ones from the movies. Also, Disney’s canon also has contradictions already.

      • Paul Jacobs

        Yea the author of that link scraped and scraped the lowest point of the bottom of the world’s most obscure barrel to find contradictions, having to appeal to old edition game modules and decommissioned comics by Marvel to get to 15. What’s amazing is the convenient neglect of Filoni’s myriad foul ups because it would force them to admit the guy currently in charge of their precious new canon was the worst offender.

  • Zarm

    ” The unconditional fans, however, had matured to a point in their fanship where their love and devotion to the saga and their trust for its handlers would remain true no matter what.”
    Ummm, really? You’re kicking off your article by insulting everyone that doesn’t wholeheartedly share your POV? Do you have any idea how that sentence comes off to someone who is still attached to the EU?

    I’ll make my point-by-points brief since they were already addressed better by a commentator before me…
    1. Star Wars already had canon; the new canon did not suddenly introduce the term or concept.
    2. Oh, sure. Let me know the next novel that comes out with Kyle Katarn or Tahiri Veila, then this becomes an actual *reason* instead of supposition.
    3. This was already true of the EU.
    4. I am reading through the Bantam era EU in chronological order right now. (just hit Tales from Jabba’s Palace). It is not difficult to track, and a far more rewarding journey than I’ve gotten from watching the shows or movies.
    5. …At a completely juvenile level that appears targeted at tweens and never reaches a level of depth or maturity that the 90s novels did, sure. Read A New Dawn, then read Heir to the Empire, and tell me which one better captures the feel of Star Wars and the superior reading experience.
    6. Yeah, now we only have all the contradictions inherent in the Prequels and Clone Wars themselves. And with new canon only a few years old, it is only naivete to say that there are no contradictions coming here…
    7. Oh. Kinda like Legends fans are already getting easter eggs like the Flurry-type carrier in Rebels, and already had hundreds of backstories and fleshed out bits appearing in the backgrounds of the film already?
    8. THAT IS WHAT THE EU IS, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!! Books and comics and games that tided us over- especially when the wait was far more than 1-2 years! My mind is boggled that you are listing this as something new canon introduced when it is the literal definition of exactly what the EU always has been!

    Sorry, but almost everything you claim is new is actually old; it was already there, but you’re only choosing to acknowledge the smaller, newer iteration. This article is both ill-researched and condescendingly insulting to the segment of fandom it argues against. Why publish it?