Lucasfilm Confirms New STAR WARS Films Have Nothing to Do with Expanded Universe

by     Posted 129 days ago

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When Lucasfilm first announced that it was moving forward with a new trilogy of Star Wars films after George Lucas sold the company to Disney, some fans wondered whether these new stories would draw inspiration from the Expanded Universe.  While Lucas has always maintained that Star Wars Episodes I-VI were the official canon, he had no problem with others adding their own creative spin on the Star Wars universe in other forms of media.  As such, a sort of “parallel timeline” occurred in which the stories of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Co. continued in offshoot novels, comics, and videogames.

As J.J. Abrams began work on Star Wars: Episode VII—a film that will feature the offspring of the original trilogy characters—some maintained that the story could follow similar events from the Expanded Universe.  Producer Simon Kinberg revealed just a few days ago that Episode VII will not be using the EU, and now Lucasfilm has officially put a nail in the coffin once and for all, confirming that the stories for the new Star Wars films will not be drawing from the EU.  More after the jump, including an official video from Lucasfilm.

star-wars-movies-expanded-universeOne might say it’s common sense to think that Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy wouldn’t want to draw from any existing material for their new series of Star Wars films, but fans of the Expanded Universe still held out hope that some of those stories could make their way to the big screen.  In a lengthy announcement addressing this very issue on StarWars.com, Lucasfilm put the EU issue to rest:

In order to give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe. While the universe that readers knew is changing, it is not being discarded. Creators of new Star Wars entertainment have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe. For example, elements of the EU are included in Star Wars Rebels. The Inquisitor, the Imperial Security Bureau, and Sienar Fleet Systems are story elements in the new animated series, and all these ideas find their origins in roleplaying game material published in the 1980s.

So, while the Expanded Universe will not appear in official Star Wars films, it’s not being entirely forsaken in this new Disney-owned, Kathleen Kennedy-run iteration of Lucasfilm.  The books will continue to be in print, and elements from the EU can be used in other EU-type Star Wars media, like Star Wars Rebels.  For clarity’s sake, the press release confirms that official Star Wars canon is Lucas’ six Star Wars episodes and the hours of content he created for Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but everything going forward will be canon.  In other words, the entirety of the Expanded Universe might be fun to read, but officially it never happened.

The press release notes that for the first time ever, Lucasfilm has formed a story group that will oversee and coordinate all Star Wars creative development, which includes the production of Episodes VII, VIII, and IX as well as the various spinoff films, which are rumored to focus on Boba Fett and Han Solo.  This also includes the other types of Star Wars media, which can utilize elements from the EU, so essentially this story group will not only be overseeing the movie universe, but will be definitely deciding what will and won’t be canon going forward.  In order to differentiate between what did and didn’t “happen”, the older EU books will carry the “Legends” banner, meaning non-canon.  With today’s announcement, it appears that Lucasfilm wants to clear up any confusion before they set out to build a cohesive Star Wars universe going forward.

Watch a video concerning the announcement below, followed by the full press release:

For over 35 years, the Expanded Universe has enriched the Star Wars experience for fans seeking to continue the adventure beyond what is seen on the screen. When he created Star Wars, George Lucas built a universe that sparked the imagination, and inspired others to create. He opened up that universe to be a creative space for other people to tell their own tales. This became the Expanded Universe, or EU, of comics, novels, videogames, and more.

While Lucasfilm always strived to keep the stories created for the EU consistent with our film and television content as well as internally consistent, Lucas always made it clear that he was not beholden to the EU. He set the films he created as the canon. This includes the six Star Wars episodes, and the many hours of content he developed and produced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. These stories are the immovable objects of Star Wars history, the characters and events to which all other tales must align.

Now, with an exciting future filled with new cinematic installments of Star Wars, all aspects ofStar Wars storytelling moving forward will be connected. Under Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy’s direction, the company for the first time ever has formed a story group to oversee and coordinate all Star Wars creative development.

“We have an unprecedented slate of new Star Wars entertainment on the horizon,” said Kennedy. “We’re set to bring Star Wars back to the big screen, and continue the adventure through games, books, comics, and new formats that are just emerging. This future of interconnected storytelling will allow fans to explore this galaxy in deeper ways than ever before.”

In order to give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe. While the universe that readers knew is changing, it is not being discarded. Creators of new Star Wars entertainment have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe. For example, elements of the EU are included in Star Wars Rebels. The Inquisitor, the Imperial Security Bureau, and Sienar Fleet Systems are story elements in the new animated series, and all these ideas find their origins in roleplaying game material published in the 1980s.

Demand for past tales of the Expanded Universe will keep them in print, presented under the new Legends banner.

On the screen, the first new canon to appear will be Star Wars Rebels. In print, the first new books to come from this creative collaboration include novels from Del Rey Books. First to be announced, John Jackson Miller is writing a novel that precedes the events of Star Wars Rebelsand offers insight into a key character’s backstory, with input directly from executive producers Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, and Greg Weisman.

And this is just the beginning of a creatively aligned program of Star Wars storytelling created by the collaboration of incredibly talented people united by their love of that galaxy far, far away….




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