Lucasfilm Officially Details Plans for The New Expanded Universe; Announces New Books for Unified Canon

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Well folks, us nerds have been waiting a long time for some official Star Wars news, and while today’s revelations don’t specifically pertain to Episode VII, it does have far reachign effects on the entire Star Wars universe as we know it.  It’s an announcement we knew was coming, though we weren’t exactly sure when; Lucasfilm has officially killed off the Expanded Universe as we know it.  In a statement released on the official Star Wars website, they announced that all material (including games, books, and comics) that dealt with events after Return of the Jedi (which is a ridiculous amount by the way) will have no effect on the upcoming films or anything else going forward:

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 yeah, some elements will remain in place, and even some characters might pop up here and there, but none of their stories will be stuck to.  Basically, we now need to act like all of the stuff we’ve read so far took place in an alternate Star Wars universe.  Part of me is saddended by this, as there were some stories I still wanted expansions to and to see where they were going; not to mention all of the time I’ve spent reading them.  Fortunately those books won’t entirely disappear and will still be published, but under a Star Wars Legends Banner.

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Coupled with this announcement, they’ve also revealed a handful of brand new books, all of which will now be included in the unified canon of the Star Wars universe. 

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.

“With the establishment of the Lucasfilm Story Group and our even greater focus on unified storytelling, we expect our entire publishing program to be stronger and more meaningful than ever before,” said Jeanne Mosure, senior vice president and group publisher, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “We’re extremely excited to kick off this new strategy with Del Rey Books.”

Three other books have been announced as well:

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STAR WARS: TARKIN
James Luceno
11/4/14

Heir to the Jedi

STAR WARS: HEIR TO THE JEDI
Kevin Hearne
January 2015

Lords of the Sith

STAR WARS: LORDS OF THE SITH
Paul Kemp
March 2015

I’m looking forward to all of these (especially because I like these authors), but it’s all kind of bittersweet.  I’ve grown up reading the Star Wars books since I was about 8 years old, and it’s hard for me to set all of that aside and act like it didn’t happen.  The exciting part, though, is that everything will now be apart of the same canon as the films, so there will be no more EU debates between us fans. 

What do you guys think about the new canon?

-Jordan