Tag Archives: Star Wars Expanded Universe

Dragon Con 2014 Sunday and Monday

Welcome back!

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Our third day at Dragon Con began, for Bethany and Riley, with the Sam Witwer panel! Hosted by Bryan Young, this panel was a really fun one with Sam talking about what it was like being Starkiller, Darth Maul, and a zombie extra on The Walking Dead. A true Star Wars fan, he seemed to really enjoy the panel himself, and spoke enthusiastically about Star Wars themes, characters, and behind the scenes experiences.

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Dragon Con 2014: Episode VII Panel Recap

Dragon Con 2014 was jam packed with panels, cosplayers, dedicated fans, and of course celebrities. The Star Wars track at Dragon Con did so well that at several panels people were turned away because the panel was full. The Episode VII panel was one of these.

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This panel was completely fan run which was nice, and to be fair to the panelists what could they really talk about? We only know so much. I knew this panel would take an interesting turn seeing as how so much of the film has been kept under wraps. The panel was moderated by Bryan Young from Full Of Sith and Big Shiny Robot. Sadly for Bryan, the traffic and congestion of Dragon Con caused him to be a shade late, but he made it! The other panelists were our very own Riley and Bethany Blanton, Amy Ratcliffe from Star Wars.com and Star Wars Insider, Brian Larsen and Nanci Schwarz from Tosche Station, and James Clark from the Boba Fett Fan Club. These guys and gals have done many a panel together and always have a way of playing off each other in a way that will hold the attention of the audience.

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Why Star Wars Legends Still Matters

A few months ago, Lucasfilm announced that they were putting together a new team called the Story Group. This group of Canon champions (including Leland Chee and Pablo Hidalgo, two long-time curators and mavens of the EU) had the task in place to ensure that everything that was created within the Star Wars universe would be interconnected and adhere to Canon. Everything. This included movies, TV shows, Novels, comics and games. No more Mandalorian Contradictions. No more Even Piel double-deaths. None of the contradictions that had long troubled the Expanded Universe and annoyed us detail-oriented fans. This noble group was going to fight for consistency and universe-building on behalf of EU fans everywhere. No group since rogue squadron had ever been created to fight for the good of the EU.

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Except that they also blew the whole thing up.

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That’s right. While the Story group will be doing incredible things moving forward (and I really AM excited to see how much they will improve the new canon) they completely nullified everything before. In order to allow complete freedom to the new, integrated, multimedia universe that was blooming, everything that already existed would have to go (as far as canon was concerned). It seemed, at first, like a huge blow to the gut of this Star Wars fan. All of that time and effort sunk into the Expanded Universe seemed to have been wasted. My favorite characters would never make it to the movies. There really is no such thing as a Yuuzhan Vong?!

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But after some time to digest, that reaction seems silly now. The “old expanded universe” now known as Legends is still a great read and a worthwhile part of my fandom. Here are a few reasons why:

1)   The story is still the same:

This may seem unnecessarily obvious, but nothing about the story told among those Legends novels has changed. No really, it hasn’t.

When we consider the stories as the history of the universe we all love, sure… in that case it no longer exists. But if we take a deep breath and remember that they are stories… that hasn’t changed at all. We all have stories that we love that are not tied to a franchise we obsess over. And you know what? We still love those stories. If you separate the stories from Star Wars, what do we have left?

We have great characters. As a matter of fact, most fans of Legends would say that the Big Three are the least compelling and interesting of the bunch! Jaina, Jacen, Saba, Daala, Vestara, Plagueis (for the most part) all exist completely within the Legends Universe.

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We have great stories. The X-Wing books are incredible as adventure stories with or without Star Wars attached to them. The same goes for every other book and plot as well. The stories are still great.

We have an improved Canon. This is probably a tough concept to grasp, but is incredibly important to realize. That internal canon of the novels still exists… it’s just not the canon of Jacen SoloStar Wars. Characters live and die on the same timeline. Jacen’s decisions during the Dark Nest crisis still causes a Galactic Civil War that leads to Luke’s expulsion from Coruscant. Thousands of years later, the Yuuzhan Vong still tell the legend of The Ganner. It’s all Legends canon… it’s just not Star Wars canon. As a matter of fact, the canon gets improved when you look at Legends in isolation. Most of the continuity errors came from cross-platform media (and when I say “cross-platform media” I really mean The Clone Wars). Now that the books are disassociated with the new continuity, they get to exist on their own and many of the canon-debates can be closed.

Just because they aren’t officially Star Wars doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t enjoy every thing about these books that we always have. And if you’re someone who hasn’t read Legends before, it doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy them as great stories in a self-contained universe.

2)   Who knows what will stick around:

As I watched the prequels, one of the most interesting aspects of the story to me was the planet Coruscant. I was pretty intrigued by the idea of a galactic political base and an entire city-planet. It seemed like a pretty thriving place full of diversity, urban challenges and an overwhelming sense of business and urgency. It was the exact opposite of Tatooine in every way… and pretty dissimilar to Hoth and the forest moon of Endor as well. I remember being impressed that they seemed to really break the mold that had been established by the original trilogy.

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I should point out here that I didn’t get into the Legends novels until after the saga was completed… meaning I hadn’t read the Zahn trilogy until after Episode 3 was out. I point this out because Lucas didn’t create Coruscant, Timothy Zahn did. To be fair, he may have based the idea on Lucas’ notes and outlines…. But that’s not the same thing. Zahn named the planet. Zahn gave us our first description of the planet. Zahn decided what it looked like, who lived there, and how the government center was organized. Zahn made it real and Zahn made it known.

Star Wars fans can be finnicky and so we tend to focus on all of the times that there was tension between the “George Lucas” Star Wars and the “Expanded Universe” Star Wars. But we shouldn’t forget that George and other LucasFilm producers borrow successfully from the Expanded Universe all the time. Coruscant is probably the most obvious example, but did you know that Kashyyyk and Twi’lek are expanded universe words as well?

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Countless ideas in the Prequels and in The Clone Wars were taken from the Expanded universe and, while occasionally it led to continuity disasters, for the most part it was exciting to see the species, people, and creatures I had read about being brought to life on the screen. I can only imagine how much MORE intrigued I would have been with Coruscant had I already been invested in it from the novels.

With this change to continuity, there’s no reason to expect that the Story Group won’t still be pulling material from the Legends stories. I imagine we will see plenty of planets, species and concepts from the Legends universe. No, the events didn’t happen… but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few Barabel in the coming movies. And with the new story group in place, it means we could see similar creations showing up in movies, TV shows and even future novels, as well.

I can’t wait to see what gets carried over either as central aspects of the new canon or even as little easter eggs in the films, and I can’t wait to see what improvements they make in the process.

3)   It’s going to take a while before we have a new universe to take its place:

So most of my reasoning comes from the perspective of an existing fan responding to the changes, but this point is for all of the potential fans wondering whether or not they should get started on the Legends books despite their lack of canon status.

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The cold, hard truth is that it is going to be a long time before the new efforts of the Story Group come to fruition. It’s already been a long time and there hasn’t been a new book written yet. Of course it takes a lot of preparation and planning to undergo an effort this big…. I’m not begrudging them the ability to make this transition and to do it right; I’m simply stating that it will be a while before it gets up and running.

And then it will be another while before it is as full and vibrant as the Legends universe is today.

For most fans of the Star Wars novels, we got into them because we wanted more than watching the movies over and over (although we still do this). Many of you might be thinking the same thing and Legends is there for you, just like it was for me. Rather than waiting and waiting for the new Canon to take hold, why not dive into Legends and enjoy the ride?

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Canonicity is something that I really do believe is important. The internal Canon of the Legends books will always be what draws me to them. Thousands of years of interconnected Star Wars Classichistory in the Galaxy Far, Far Away makes for an incredible reading experience. Officially, it’s no longer canon… I get it. But if a new reader were to jump in today, it would still be great and it would still be Star Wars. Some day, when the new canon is vast and developed it may be time to say that Legends became a mystical relic of the past, but that time is not now. Now it should still be embraced as the greatest expansion to the greatest franchise we all love. It’ll help pass the time until Episode VII comes around. It’s going to be a new era for the franchise once that happens anyways.

~ Mitchell Hanan

The 14 Reasons I am Excited to be a Star Wars Fangirl in 2014

Instead of doing a retrospective piece looking back at 2013 and all the fun things that happened, I decided I would write a piece about the things that I am excited for in 2014. While we do not know a lot of things that will happen in the world of Star Wars in 2014 I can speculate. It will be fun to look back on this piece at the end of the year and see if the things I was excited for happening actually happened.

1. Star Wars Cardigans, Skirts and Scarves?

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I am very excited for the new items that will come from Her Universe this year. After speaking to Ashley and hearing what she has in the pipeline that is not Star Wars related I can’t help but be excited for the new Star Wars gear. I really can not wait for the A line skirts and the Cardigans but my biggest anticipation has me crossing my fingers that there will be a scarf.

2. Star Wars Rebels

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Cartoons and I get along so well. Losing the Clone Wars was a big blow to take last year. I am so glad that there will be a new Star Wars show for me to watch. The timeframe for this show really excites me because I am anxious to see the development of the rebellion.

3. Star Wars Rebels Toys

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The best part of any new TV Show or Film is the merchandise. I love toys and I can not wait to see what things come out for Rebels. We have already gotten word about one of the action figures that will be out as well as possible rumors of LEGO Star Wars Rebel Sets for this year. We won’t know much until announcements are made and of course Toy Fair is in a month or so. I can’t wait for the new things I get to collect, but I am sure my wallet can….

4. Star Wars Episode 7 Casting Announcements

I would suspect that we will get some news on Star Wars episode 7 and if I had to guess we will at least get some casting information. Along with casting information comes my next most exciting thing

5. Star Wars Episode 7 Characters

Hopefully we will learn the identities of the characters that will be in the next Star Wars Film. I doubt we will get a lot of detailed information but at least we will know their names. Once we get the names we may be able to tell where in the EU the story is coming from or…where it is not. This could really cause an uproar amongst Star Wars EU fans.

6. Star Wars Books…or possible lack thereof

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I am NOT excited that there is not much in the lineup to be released on the book front for 2014. However, there are some that I am excited for. I am very much anticipating Joe Schrieber’s Darth Maul: Lockdown and I am also eagerly awaiting the Star Wars Storyboards: Original Trilogy book by JW Rinzler. I am also hoping that we will get some book announcements this year.

7. Star Wars Disney Infinity Characters

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This particular thing is not even something that has been announced. This is just something that I am really hoping for this year. From what we have heard that will be released for the game much of it has already been released. There are going to be plenty of figures and power discs still to come this year and I am very hopeful that there will be Star Wars characters in the lineup.

8. Star Wars Weekends

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We already have the dates for Star Wars Weekends 2014. If you have not heard they will be each weekend Friday- Sunday beginning May 16th and ending June 8th. I have a feeling that they will be different this year. The past several years they have been themed to the Clone Wars which has been really fun. Now that the Clone Wars has ended there is a new show on the horizon and I see Disney using the weekends as an opportunity to launch Star Wars Rebels. There are all kinds of opportunities for exclusive merchandise, previews, and reveals at Star Wars Weekends. As far as the hosts or the guests are concerned I have no idea what they will do.

9. Convention Season 2014

I have vowed that this year I would be attending as many conventions as I can. That was part of the reason that I did not get a real job when we moved. I wanted to be able to focus more on blogging, podcasting and doing anything that I can to further myself in that area. To me this means going to conventions, so come on convention season I am ready for you!

10. LEGOs

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I know I talked about toys already but I love LEGOs the most and I can’t wait for all the new sets for this year. Plus there are the ones that I have not gotten over the past few years that will be all new to me this year when I buy them. So hooray for new Star Wars LEGOs (even though I don’t have them yet).

11. Star Wars Theme Park?

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This is a long shot but one I am really hoping for. I really want to hear some theme park news in regards to Star Wars. I know we got news that Disney was going to put it on the back burner for now but there is a piece of me that just does not believe it. We have to get some news this year as to what they are thinking and hopefully an announcement for a possible plan.

12. The Lost Missions i.e. Clone Wars bonus content

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This is a Fan made trailer for the Lost Missions bonus content. This video was originally seen on Jedi News UK.

There is still so much to be seen from the Clone Wars and I can not wait for these lost missions to air. I don’t really care how they come out whether it is digital or on Disney XD just release them already!

13. Fangirls Going Rogue and Star Wars Bookworms

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I love the podcasts that I do and I can not wait to bring you guys more. Fangirls Going Rogue has just started but we are having so much fun. I really can’t wait for what we come up with in future episodes. Aaron and I have been having fun with bookworms but the end of the year proved difficult as we both got really busy. I can’t wait to get back to a regular schedule for all of you as well as providing some awesome interviews.

14. Star Wars Blogging

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My final thing that I am excited for is being a Star Wars blogger again this year. I have a lot of work to do and I need to get more consistent. It is actually one of my goals for this year, to bring lots of new content from me on a daily basis at Fangirl Next Door and weekly basis on the Star Wars Report and Jedi News UK. I love my blogging community and I can not wait for all the fun things I get to write about. That might be the best part about being a fan, getting to hear all the news and then write about it.

Some of these exciting things are not groundbreaking but they are all very special in their own special ways. Now is a great time to be a Star Wars fan and I am sure 2014 will have some fun things in store. Why are you excited to be a fan in 2014?

Teresa Delgado

Star Wars Rebels at NYCC – SWR #109

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On this episode of the SWR podcast we talk with Aaron Goins of Star Wars Bookworms about all of the Star Wars Rebels news coming out of New York Comic Con.

Download the mp3 HERE: (Right-click and “save as”)

Be sure to jump to the bottom of this post to subscribe to the show.

  • Three executive producers for Rebels
  • Vehicle concept art
  •  The new villain, the Inquisitor. 
  • Riley invents a new segment
  • Steve’s Star Wars second
And much more! 

I’d also like to thank our sponsor! It’s Big Bad Toy Store! Catch their end of summer sale with prices reduced 15% to 50% on over 5000 Items!

Just go to starwarsreport.com/toys

-Riley

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