Let the hell-storm begin. It has been in the back of our minds since Episode VII was announced, but now it is actually happening: the Star Wars Expanded Universe is being rebooted.

From this point moving forward, the Star Wars Expanded Universe will only consist of stories that tie directly into the Star Wars films (past and future) and the animated shows, Attack of the Clones  and Star Wars Rebels. According to an official press release sent out today, the coming three Star Wars films will not follow the history established by the Extended Universe, but will have J.J. Abrams and crew establishing new story lines.

There is a bright side as the official word does say that elements of the EU will be incorporated into the coming Star Wars Rebels television show, which will make it officially cannon. Moving forward, all story lines will be overseen by a story group that will “oversee and coordinate all Star Wars creative development.”

Along with the release came a video of current and past EU storytellers giving love to the stories the create or enjoyed and try and give a positive spin on the writing out of stories that have captivated and inspired many over the last decades.

While this announcement might not have been a total surprise, it is a reality that many EU Star Wars fans have to face. Tinkering with the lore of Star Wars certainly didn’t sit well with fans when Episodes I-III were released, so Disney and Lucas Film better be hoping that this doesn’t hurt them before their first new film is released.

What are you thoughts about the Expanded Universe being overwritten? Does it make you hesitatnt about what is to come for Star Wars? Or, do you trust the vision that the companies have and will wait to see what happens? Read the full release and watch the video, then give your thoughts in the comment section below.

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 of “Star 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 Rebels and 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….

via ComingSoon


About Author

Zach is a recent college graduate who’s love for consuming media is surpassed only by his love for creating it. He has a firm belief that if we could all just play with LEGOs for 30 minutes a day the world would be a better place. If those two statements don’t tell you everything you need to know about Zach, follow him on Twitter at @zwoolf.


  1. As a casual fan of the Star Wars EU, it doesn’t really bother me all that much. The EU has always operated under the assumption that anything can be overwritten by a “higher” source of canon at any time, so when a new production team is gearing up to expand on the movies a move like this was pretty much inevitible.

    Then again, I don’t usually subscribe to the notion that something not being in canon makes it less important or “real”. The books are still there (and will still be reprinted, if I’m reading the statement correctly) for me to read whenever I like, and I doubt I’ll enjoy them any more or less because of this. I’m sure there are a lot of people who might mind, though.

  2. Erik Waddell on

    I’ve read a fair share of the Expanded Universe novels and played the video games, etc. There is some really great stuff out there in the EU, but there is also some really, really bad stuff too. The decision to have Episodes VII, VIII, and IX veer away from the EU doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the good stuff, and I certainly won’t be mourning the bad stuff. I’m quite happy and excited to know there are new films coming, regardless of whether or not they draw from the existing EU.

    The only potential negative I see is the hint that there may be more rigorous “quality control” over what will be allowed in terms of EU stories going forward. I’d hate to see the broad scope of Star Wars fiction be hobbled by overzealous brand control. Whether that fear is real or not remains to be seen.

  3. I think everyone is jumping the freakin’ gun just a bit. While the post-ROTJ stories of major characters may likely be rewritten, that is a far cry from “rebooting the EU”. Many of the existing works will not be directly invalidated by the new, on-screen canon. It seems to me that those that will be they’re trying to salvage by retitling under the “Legends” umbrella and those that won’t be wiped out will keep on keepin’ on.

  4. I think Tmothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire trilogy treated the characters and setting with way more respect than Lucas did after Jedi. That said, I understand that Disney needs the room to set that and the rest of the EU aside in order to be able to move forward and tell the tales they wish to tell. To be honest, we all knew this day would come, not just since Disney made the purchase, but even so far back as when the EU first began.

    Although the announcement seemed to focus on post Jedi EU, this seems to also effect pre-movie EU as well. I wonder if this will have any effect on The Old Republic MMO. Perhaps they will just add “Legends” to the title and keep moving forward.

    • I don’t think TOR will be affected really since games like SWG and TOR weren’t considered to even be EU canon. Certain elements were, but as a whole they were part of another level of canon altogther, with only a few games actually being considered part of EU canon (and elements of a few actually making it to Lucas’s canon).

    • Zahn’s books should BE canon in my opinion. They were great and I felt like I was watching a movie when reading his rendition of the characters. I’d love to see a Thrawn movie but I don’t see it happening.

      • I’m not completely giving up hope (although I’m betting more on animated over live action) since Disney does want to make Star Wars films that aren’t directly tied to the core film series. It wouldn’t surprise me if somewhere down the line someone in charge pushes for them to be made into a film (or film series).

  5. I’m not going to rage quit loving Star Wars over it, but it does upset me a bit. I always considered the various canon levels to be akin to something like the canon of comics continuities and spinoffs. For example, the DCAU was certainly not the core DCU, but that didn’t mean that elements from the DCAU couldn’t exist in the DCU (hey look, DCU has Batman Beyond now!). And there were so many wonderful stories in the EU that had nothing to do with the movie characters that felt like they really could happen between the cracks between films or just off camera. It is a shame that many are going from “This could be possible” to “Nope, this never happened at all”.

  6. I think it’s a shame that such a large EU can’t be incorporated into the canon and later films, especially given that I think the Thrawn Trilogy would’ve made a great set of stories to jump off with (ignoring the potential age issues of the main cast).

    I hope the existing characters continue on alongside new ones and end up creating an even richer post-OT universe.

    And yes, I have no intention of rage-quitting SW either- if I don’t like something, I won’t buy it. I’ll give Disney their chance to do something special. After all, they’ve not done too badly with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

    The biggest issue is making sure Leland Chee doesn’t just hit “delete” on the holocron while sobbing gently about his life’s work losing all meaning!!

  7. All I am hearing, is just like Star Trek, JJ can’t weave a new story through what has come before, so lets just blow everything up.

  8. The Expanded Universe for Star Wars is just like the expanded Universe of Star Trek – It was pretty much just cheaper way to squeeze a bit more milk out of the cash cow than to actually make more movies.

    The novels, comic books and games were all over the ballpark – some of them was pretty good, a few of them were excellent, most of them were downright trash, in my opinion. I remember, in the 70s, when the first half dozen of the Star Trek novels were published, there was one where the writer implied that there was a sexual component to Vulcan mind melds and therefore, Spock and Kirk were, at least on a mental level – gay lovers… it left such a bad taste in my mouth that I still hesitate to buy into “expanded universes” be it Star Wars or Star Trek or whatever.

    I really don’t care about the Star Wars Expanded Universe, and if Disney/Marvel kicks it to the curb, that’s probably a good thing because it means we won’t be seeing any giant green bunny rabbit jedi, which was my greatest fear relating to Disney buying Lucasfilm. The problem with Star Wars, in particular, is that it’s a finite story – the story of one man’s fall and redemption, taking place during the rise and fall of an evil empire. Well, that story’s been resolved, so what more is there? I like the Clone War series, but, when all is said and done, it was pretty much little more than coloring in on the margins of a coloring book where all the pages had already been filled in. I can’t see where Rebels will be any different. It’s what I like to call “The Titanic Syndrome” – everybody already knows the boat is going to sink in the end.

    • “The problem with Star Wars, in particular, is that it’s a finite story – the story of one man’s fall and redemption, taking place during the rise and fall of an evil empire.”

      That is almost like saying if you read one comic from a company, you don’t need to read any others.

      That was the beauty of the Star Wars EU to many fans, because they went beyond the scope of just the story of the Skywalker line. There were still books about the main cast of characters from the films, but there were just as many that explored other characters and events in the timeline of the setting. Some of my favorite EU material didn’t include a single character from the movie settings, and most didn’t take place during the same time period as them either (usually before or after), and even the few that did were telling another story altogether.

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