With new rumors popping up almost daily about the new Star Wars episodes, it’s hard to keep track of what’s really, well, real with the films. This is why it’s kind of a big deal when there’s an actual official announcement and we know the news isn’t bullshit. Today, for example, we know how the Expanded Universe will fit in with what’s coming for the franchise.
On the whole, it won’t.
StarWars.com put out the word that any future films would overwrite the Expanded Universe.
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.
Which, honestly, is for the best, as A) we’ve already seen those stories and 2) they were shit. Really, it’s time to come to terms with that. If you can’t though, they’ll all still be in print, under the “Legends” banner.
Notice, however, that I said “on the whole.” This is because while the stories are being jettisoned, the EU is going to mined for concepts.
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.
It appears the whole of Star Wars canon is being reset:
[George Lucas] 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.
But there will be new Star Wars content – and a new Expanded Universe to go with it – soon.
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 Rebels and offers insight into a key character’s backstory, with input directly from executive producers Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, and Greg Weisman.
If you need a moment to mourn, here’s a video from StarWars.com eulogizing the EU.