Tag Archives: Star Wars Expanded Universe

A Few Thoughts on Bring Back Legends

Hey everyone!

I wanted to send out a link to an editorial piece that Brian of Tosche Station did about the Bring Back Legends experiences he and many other Star Wars fans at Dragon Con (and on the web) had. While I don’t agree with everything Brian says, I’d ask Star Wars fans, and specifically fans who identify with the Bring Back Legends movement, to consider some of the following thoughts. Disclaimers: I don’t represent SWR in this. Also, please be respectful and kind in the comments. I am open to considering that I’m wrong, and the following is intentionally based on impressions I have of the BBL movement, and NOT detailed research. My experience and what I’ve heard is limited, so I may very well be missing details, or have a very different experience than others have. This is intentional because I wanted this post to be from the perspective of a random Star Wars fan, not a journalist who has extensively researched it. Secondarily, in an ideal world I would love to see more Legends material along with all the new material, so I’m not here to bash on Legends. Heir to the Empire will probably be my favorite Star Wars books for a long time to come.

I went to Dragon Con 2015 as a media guest, panelist, and huge Star Wars fan. I also went to Dragon Con this year disabled, as I fractured my heel and toe at Air Force summer training. Dragon Con fans and the disability services were all so friendly and helpful that I left Dragon Con thinking: “Wow, this is once again a reminder of how friendly, awesome, and supportive the geek community can be.” In contrast, I heard (and saw) some experiences from other con-goers, some of whom are good friends of mine, some just mere acquaintances, who did not feel that their experience reflected the supportiveness and friendliness that the geek, and Star Wars, community should be known for.


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Book Reviews for Star Wars Reads Day

Greetings Bothans!

What follows is a set of short reviews of Star Wars books from Mitchell Stein over at MickeyMindset.com! He prepped these in preparation of the upcoming Star Wars Reads Day.
Be sure to check out your local libraries, bookstores, etc. for Star Wars Reads Day events!
With that, I’ll turn it over to Mitchell! ~ Bethany

Mitchell Stein- Greetings Star Wars fans! In honor of Star Wars Reads Day this weekend, I am reviewing three awesome new books from Disney/Lucasfilm and DK Publishing! Today I am taking a look at Star Wars Rebels: The Visual GuideStar Wars Blueprintsand Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded. All of these books follow in DK’s line of encyclopedias, which also includes other franchises such as Disney, Pixar, Muppets, Lego, Doctor Who, and a whole lot more! Be sure to check out some of DK’s other Star Wars books as well.

Without any further ado, let’s cut to the review shall we?

Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide


Based off the Star Wars Rebels television show on Disney XD, this guide gives a look at every character and location based in the series with a break-down analysis of pretty much every object and weapon that’s included in the show. I’ve given this book a re-read after watching the premiere episode of Rebels, and I find myself appreciating this book far more than before I viewed the episode. It also includes some behind-the-scenes look at how the series is made from story-boards to animation and an introduction by series creator Dave Filoni. It’s a must have for any Star Wars Rebels fans.

Star Wars Blueprints


There’s a whole bunch of books in this series, but the book I am specifically talking about features Darth Vader on it’s cover, and to be honest isn’t actually much of a book. Inside this box of Darth Vader, it includes five awesome posters of blueprints on the creation of the characters and vehicles including R2-D2 and C3PO, the Death Star, Darth Vader, The Millennium Falcon, and various other weapons and vehicles. I probably would have preferred an actual book with photos of blue-prints, but this one is pretty cool too. I would definitely suggest checking this one out as well.

Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded

Star Wars Ultimate Guide

This is by far the largest and most in-depth book on the Star Wars franchise. The book is split into two parts, the original classic trilogy and the prequels and everything is categorized alphabetically and by it’s significance in story. It breaks down every subject in every possible way with multiple photos, break-down analysis and quotes which makes it one of my favorite Star Wars books to date!

Be sure to check out these books and more this weekend during Star Wars Reads! There is no try, only read!

Mitchell Stein is a major Star Wars/Disney/Muppet/Marvel fan. He co-operates the website The Mickey Mindset (link: mickeymindset.comwhere he celebrates all these and more, daily! Be sure to check it out and like them on Facebook! (facebook.com/TheMickeyMindset)

Dragon Con 2014 Sunday and Monday

Welcome back!


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.


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.


Except that they also blew the whole thing up.


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?!

Yuuzhan Vong

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.


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.


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?


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.


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?


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