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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
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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