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New Star Wars Films Will Not Plunder The Novels
Expanded universe is off limits... for the movies at least

22 April 2014  |  Written by Owen Williams  |  Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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Boba Fett crawls from the Sarlacc Pit; Han and Leia have twins; Luke establishes a Jedi Academy; Chewbacca dies; Mara Jade exists. These and many more are plot points we won't be seeing in Star Wars: Episode VII and beyond, according to screenwriter Simon Kinberg. We may be heading back to a galaxy far, far away, but the journey won't take in the expanded universe.

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 bad guy Admiral Thrawn back in the '90s (not counting spin-offs from the original films' heyday like the Han Solo and Lando Calrissian books). 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, says 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 is a caveat, however. While the films are locked off into their new direction, it seems the rules are less strict for peripheral media like TV animation. In those areas, says Kinberg, the expanded universe is "not off limits, and it's certainly inspiring. I'm working on an animated show, Star Wars: Rebels, that will take inspiration from everywhere."

Matters of canon across the whole franchise seem set to remain fuzzy then, no doubt leading to infinite years of fan chat about how it can all be made to fit together. Have fun with that, guys.

For those to whom the expanded universe is unexplored territory, have a look at Empire's dip into possible future Star Wars plots (which we should probably now re-title). Star Wars: Episode VII, of course, is out on December 18, 2015.


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Your Comments

Star Wars spin offs
Recall excitedly (aged 7 or 8) buying a spin off Novell " Splinter of the minds eye" which was knocked out as a potential episode V quite quickly ( and I think showed even at that age). Don't recall it ever being treated as cannon or referred to by any other part of the Star Wars saga so there is prior to doing this sort of thing. Personally tried hard to find things to enjoy in the prequels (young children do like them) and looking forward to J J s effort though I expect them, like h More

Posted by MIKETHEBIKE2006 at 17:40 on 28 April 2014 | Report This Post

RE: New Star Wars Films Will Not Plunder The Novels
New Star Wars? WOW! not wait More

Posted by Basse at 07:49 on 26 April 2014 | Report This Post

RE: I Swear
The EU stuff got so convoluted and complicated it's probably best that (like the equally confusing Star Trek expanded materials accumulated over decades) the new films ignore them. However, it should also be remembered that the planetary name 'Coruscant' originated in Timothy Zahn's novels and was adopted by Lucas for the SW prequels. More

Posted by BelfastBoy at 09:39 on 24 April 2014 | Report This Post

RE: I Swear
If the next trilogy is just a rehash of the original trilogy I will be pissed off. Lets explore some new territory like the FANTASTIC Prequels did! More

Posted by NeoBrowser at 04:53 on 24 April 2014 | Report This Post

I Swear
If next edition hints at any lovey dovey crap like the first 3 episodes ill go mad the would have been half decent if that tripe wasn't included. Actually the first 3 were just awful apart from the odd battle scene More

Posted by SteadyEddie at 18:47 on 22 April 2014 | Report This Post

"It'll work. It'll work."
So long as the new movies don't explicitly contradict the EU, then it still counts. Chill. Think Prometheus; for all the movie and its internet timeline lets on, Peter Weyland is Charles Bishop Weyland's son. You can explore new territory without eradicating what went before, you know. More

Posted by Litshttam at 17:12 on 22 April 2014 | Report This Post

*ahem*
That's GRAND Admiral Thrawn, thankyouverymuch. More

Posted by chilli_green at 14:13 on 22 April 2014 | Report This Post

Soo in other words...
The new movies are going to render the canon of the Expanded Universe into non-canon. Seems about right for a company who used the property just to make money off of it... Oh wait, its own by Disney now... Ah.. no difference then. More

Posted by GrizBe at 10:16 on 22 April 2014 | Report This Post

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