Sunday, 27 April 2014

New Star Wars sequels to stay clear of Expanded Universe mythology

Lucasfilm have just released a statement confirming what many of us already suspected: the Star Wars Expanded Universe, which has been explored in novel, comic, cartoon and video game form since the franchise's inception, will not be considered part of the official Star Wars canon. The new films will tell completely original stories, taking into account only the previous six Star Wars episodes and the Clone Wars film/series. This means no twins for Han and Leia, no dead Chewbacca, no Palpatine clones, no Jedi Academy, no Mara Jade and no Boba Fett crawling free from the Sarlac Pit.

This might seem obvious, but Star Wars' colossal number of tie-in novels, comics and games are much beloved of a hard core of fandom. The expansion began with Timothy Zahn's bestselling trilogy about Imperial villain Admiral Thrawn back in the 1990s. The novels alone now number in the hundreds, stretching the timeline back 1000 years before the existing films and forwards for decades afterwards.

Many have assumed that their favourite characters and storylines would find their way to the screen in this exciting new era, but, according to Stars Wars: Rebels screenwriter Simon Kinberg, "For the movies, the canon is the canon, and the canon is the six films that exist. It's all about honouring the movies and telling a new story."

There will, however, be a 'story group' created to focus on interconnecting the plotlines from the various TV shows, novels, video games, comics, and of course movies that are currently in development, in order to create a unified universe out of this upcoming rollout of Star Wars content.

The first official entry in this new canon will be the Stars Wars: Rebels series set to debut later this year, but if you want to start catching up with characters, plot points, or entities that may pop up in the next three films, The Clone Wars series is set to arrive on Netflix (including the final 13 episodes dubbed The Lost Mission).

For more on the Star Wars Expanded Universe, check out this official video.

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