The Star Wars saga doesn’t stop at the six movies. It’s been able to feed fans for decades with novels, comic books, video games, and TV shows. However, none of this material will be used when it comes to the upcoming films. Screenwriter Simon Kinberg, who is working on one of the Star Wars spin-offs as well as the upcoming animated series Star Wars Rebels, tells IGN, ” You know, it’s not off-limits, and it’s certainly inspiring — I’m working on an animated show for [Lucasfilm] as well, Star Wars: Rebels, that will take inspiration from everywhere, but — I know for the movies, the canon is the canon, and the canon is the six films that exist.”
Hit the jump for Kinberg talking about the Star Wars expanded universe. Star Wars: Episode VII opens December 18, 2015.
It’s not too surprising that J.J. Abrams and his collaborators are avoiding the expanded universe when it comes to the new movies. Just because Star Wars is one of the most popular film franchises ever made and it’s in the culture lexicon, that doesn’t mean people are going to rush off to read Champions of the Force or play Shadows of the Empire. The films are sacrosanct. If anything, the new movies will feed the expanded universe, not the other way around. Additionally, for someone as spoiler-phobic as Abrams, he’s probably not going to draw from any material that could even provide a hint of the plot.
But when it comes to Star Wars Rebels, an ongoing series that will be hungry for plotlines, it seems like Kinberg (and presumably Lucasfilm) are open to using “non-canon” material. The TV series is the expanded universe, and as long as it can fly around what the movies are cooking up, then it will probably do its own thing.
It’s ultimately best for everyone to keep things separate. The Star Wars expanded universe has grown so massive over the past few decades that I imagine reconciling the plots of the books alone would be a monumental task; trying to make sure the movies respect anything outside the film franchise is more trouble than it’s worth. That being said, I’m amused at the thought of someone storming out of Episode VII because that is not how Wedge would interact with Tycho Celchu.