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Scifi / Fantasy News > New canon for Star Wars EU novels, etc.

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message 1: by Ben (last edited Apr 25, 2014 02:47PM) (new)

Ben (bennewton_1) Pretty big news on the Star Wars tie-in front... all existing EU novels will be rebranded as "Star Wars Legends" and considered non-canon.

All upcoming novels will be considered part of a unified canon consisting of EP I-VI (plus future films), The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.

A bit sad for those of us who grew up reading a lot of EU before the prequels but I think giving people a new jumping-on point is probably a good idea. I'm sure the old EU will continue to be mined for characters, locations etc. as well. For example I'd be very surprised if we don't see some canon version of Thrawn or Mara Jade at some stage.

Source: the force.net


message 2: by Tipper (new)

Tipper (badsidhe) | 25 comments I'm not holding out much hope for this new movie to be honest, especially when they can't leave EU stuff alone. What's the point of fans even reading EU stuff if it's not even considered canon now?


message 3: by Ken (new)

Ken (kanthr) | 334 comments Sadly, some of the EU stuff was fantastic and likely better than anything Disney will come up with.

The darker, less Campbellian tones may have conflicted with Lucas/Disney's intended reception and their intended ratings. Stuff like Timothy Zahn was so good, and it's too bad if they don't use it.


message 4: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4075 comments Why worry, it's all in good fun. A lot of Star Wars came from Burroughs anyway, and the series also owes a big debt to Asimov and the Foundation trilogy. A good book is a good book regardless of whether or not it is canon. Comics companies redo their canon so often that it's created a term, "Retcon" for retroactive continuity. This is no different.


message 5: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Preiman | 347 comments Yeah if it's a good story that won't suddenly change.


message 6: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Tipper27 wrote: "I'm not holding out much hope for this new movie to be honest, especially when they can't leave EU stuff alone. What's the point of fans even reading EU stuff if it's not even considered canon now?"

The EU was never considered canon. The prequels contradicted a lot of the early books -- it's pretty much impossible to fit C'baoth into the version of the Clone Wars that Lucas developed.

And you know, fans in other franchises have had tie-in novel continuity wiped out before. NuWho writers don't pay any attention to the New Adventures or Missing Adventures when they write episodes and end up contradicting things left and right. TNG destroyed a lot of what was established in Star Trek novels of the early '80s, particularly related to Klingon and Romulan cultures, and yet a lot of fans still hold The Final Reflection in high regard even if it is incompatible with the modern canon.


message 7: by Daran (new)

Daran | 599 comments It was the sell to Disney that gave fans some hope for seeing the EU on the big screen. It was a fool's hope perhaps, but it was a hope. There were encouraging signs. Almost all the pre work on episode VII before Lucasfilm was sold to Disney has been quietly thrown out over time, and many of the people in key production areas replaced. It made it seem like Disney was changing things piecemeal so Lucas wouldn't make a fuss.

Everyone expected Disney to throw out the EU. Lucas made it very clear when he sold to Iger that certain things would not be done. Iger had to make several assurances in writing. One rumored assurance is that none of the books will see a big screen treatment. I don't know if this is true, but it explains several things Iger and others have said when asked about their plans for the EU material.

It does seem odd that Disney of all companies will not be making even direct to DVD cartoons of the X-Wing series or the Thrawn Trilogy, despite having the rights to do so. This is the same company that is on its fifth Tinkerbell DVD, after all.

My guess is that long-term, we will see something from the EU on the screen, big or small. I'm just not sure I can sit through a movie where Luke never met Mara Jade.


message 8: by Kim (new)

Kim | 477 comments I'm a sad, sad Wookie today,


message 9: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Kim wrote: "I'm a sad, sad Wookie today,"

Why? The end of the EU means Chewbacca's alive again.


message 10: by Daran (new)

Daran | 599 comments Sean wrote: "Kim wrote: "I'm a sad, sad Wookie today,"

Why? The end of the EU means Chewbacca's alive again."


It means he was never dead in the first place. However, as a fictional character, he was never alive at all. Whoa

p.s. Somebody should check on Peter Mayhew, just to be certain.


message 11: by Kim (new)

Kim | 477 comments Sean wrote: "Kim wrote: "I'm a sad, sad Wookie today,"

Why? The end of the EU means Chewbacca's alive again."


Yes but that means we went through all that for nothing.


message 12: by Daran (new)

Daran | 599 comments You know, for years after the Chewbacca incident my friends and I would say to each other; "Go! Before someone drops a moon on you." In the Witch's voice from Wizard of Oz.

That's the kind of quality entertainment the EU has brought us over the years.

I'm also aware that the Witch did not say that line in the Wizard of Oz, it just seemed appropriate.


message 13: by Ben (new)

Ben (bennewton_1) John wrote: "Why worry, it's all in good fun. A lot of Star Wars came from Burroughs anyway, and the series also owes a big debt to Asimov and the Foundation trilogy. A good book is a good book regardless of ..."

Spot on!


message 14: by Micah (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments I have read quite a bit of the EU over the years and have 2-3 more of them qued up already for the end of this semester. They are light fun and mostly entertaining books. I can't wait to see where Disney takes this new epoch of the Star Wars universe both on screen and in the new EU.

Truly I think this is the only move that any content creator could really make. There is too much material there to be beholden to anything and Disney needs to be free to tell their own stories. And since they are keeping the old material under the "Legends" banner it's not like they aren't acknowledging the materials existence anymore. And like Sean noted above everybody can now leave Mr. Salvatore alone because Chewie lives again.

Overall I think this is a great time to be a Star Wars fan and I can't wait to take my kids to see episode VII. I may be one of those people that makes the news for camping out for tickets in 2015. I have always shunned that type of fandom but may give in for this.


message 15: by Kevin (new)

Kevin | 701 comments Huh. I'm actually hoping the Old Republic stuff is being kept in as cannon somehow. IMO it's the most interesting part of the whole Star Wars universe.


message 17: by John (Nevets) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (nevets) | 1593 comments Dark Horse didn't get quite as good a deal as Del Ray. Not only are they loosing the going forward publishing rights to Marvel at the end of 2014 ( that was expected as soon as it was known Disney bought the series). But it was strongly implied in the letters section of this months comics that they can only sell their existing collections until then as well. So if you have any desire to read any of the last 20 years of Star Wars comics, get um before they are gone.


message 18: by Ken (new)

Ken (kanthr) | 334 comments what they are doing is burying good stories under stories that sell to a mass-market audience enthralled with YA.

It's a good marketing move considering how semi-YA EP4-6 and 1-2 were.

But it's also a shame because a lot of the EU stories, while darker and more adult in theme, are good stories which don't fit the hero/YA scheme Disney likes.


message 19: by Gordon (new)

Gordon McLeod (mcleodg) | 347 comments As has been said before, the vast majority of the EU was never considered canon to start with. This is actually really good news, because the upshot is that some EU stuff may become canon when traditionally with Star Wars, canon was:

1) The movies. These trump all.
2) The radio plays. These trump all except the movies.
3) The official novelizations. These trump all but 1 and 2.

And that's it, until The Clone Wars series came out and sort of muddied the waters a bit.

Now a lot of other awesome stuff like Mara Jade, and game content, and other book content has a chance to become official canon.

A lot of people seem to read the quotes from the EU video and take away from it that "telling a different story" somehow equates to "discarding everything that everyone other than Lucas ever created and proceeding as if it didn't exist."

Just because they're telling a DIFFERENT story does not mean it's an INCOMPATIBLE story. And while I'm certain there will be SOME incompatibilities, I'm also certain there will be plenty of EU content on screen.


message 20: by Kim (new)

Kim | 477 comments Actually it looks like the radio plays and novelisations are not canon. And yes the books were considered canon. Lucas had some input on storylines and had been known to veto ideas.


message 21: by Micah (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments Out of the multitude of now "Legends" books that I have read the only ones that I hope they might make cannon is the Darth Bane trilogy. Those were good. Thrawn too of course but they could always take various elements of those and create their own story.


message 22: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6352 comments Stackpole's "I, Jedi", the best Star Wars novel? http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/04/the-...


message 23: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments Tipper27 wrote: "I'm not holding out much hope for this new movie to be honest, especially when they can't leave EU stuff alone. What's the point of fans even reading EU stuff if it's not even considered canon now?"

It was never considered canon. Lucas called it "that stuff over there" and insisted only his movies were canon. Since it's his universe, he got to decide.

I don't see how this changes much at all.


message 24: by Ben (new)

Ben (bennewton_1) Trike wrote: "Tipper27 wrote: "I'm not holding out much hope for this new movie to be honest, especially when they can't leave EU stuff alone. What's the point of fans even reading EU stuff if it's not even con..."

Lucas has more or less consistently compared the EU to an alternate universe, but others like Leland Chee and Sue Rostoni have contradicted this at different times.

As I understand it, there has pretty much always been (at least since Heir to the Empire) an attempt on the part of EU authors, LucasBooks, etc. to maintain a generally cohesive single continuity. Obviously Lucas has taken (Coruscant) and discarded (Boba Fett's backstory) as he is entitled to.

It doesn't change anything in the sense that they'll continue to have that approach, just that they're effectively hitting the giant reset button.


message 25: by Micah (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments Tamahome wrote: "Stackpole's "I, Jedi", the best Star Wars novel? http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/04/the-..."

That is in my TBR pile for next month once this semester is over. I'll let you know. ;)


message 26: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 3601 comments Mod
Gord wrote: "with Star Wars, canon was:

1) The movies. These trump all.
2) The radio plays. These trump all except the movies.
3) The official novelizations. These trump all but 1 and 2.

And that's it, until The Clone Wars series came out and sort of muddied the waters a bit."


Don't forget the "Star Wars Holiday Special"
We'll call that 1.5 on your list ;-)


message 27: by Daran (last edited Apr 27, 2014 07:46AM) (new)

Daran | 599 comments Ben wrote: "Trike wrote:"As I understand it, there has pretty much always been (at least since Heir to the Empire) an attempt on the part of EU authors, LucasBooks, etc. to maintain a generally cohesive single continuity. Obviously Lucas has taken (Coruscant) and discarded (Boba Fett's backstory) as he is entitled to."

Interestingly, if you read the annotated scripts, or the Original movie novelization of Episode IV, you find out that Lucas came up with the idea or Coruscant as what Alderaan would be when he wrote the original script. The city-planet was unfilmable at the time, and was dropped.

Just giving Lucas props where it is his due.

I will say that while Lucas was entitled to editorial oversight, it might have behooved him to exercise it a bit more. Lucas has said many times that he did not read the EU novels, or comics, and was only involved in the video games as far as story approval. If I had a company whose vast majority of income was from a single franchise, I would have paid more attention to what I affixed its name to. No book would have been published without a throughout reading.

After Episode I, it really seemed that Lucas was just completely disconnected from his fanbase. When you consider the people who came after (Joss Whedon, Peter Jackson) who made editorial decisions, they always consult and interface with the fanbase first. They may go in a different direction, but at least they know what their fans are thinking.


message 28: by Gordon (last edited Apr 27, 2014 08:56PM) (new)

Gordon McLeod (mcleodg) | 347 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "Don't forget the "Star Wars Holiday Special"
We'll call that 1.5 on your list ;-) "


*Jedi hand wave* You don't want to remember the Holiday Special. You want to go home and rethink your life.

;)


message 29: by Fall (new)

Fall (Fallhammer) | 12 comments Hmm too bad Star Wars doesn't have time travel, like Star Trek, it fixes these messy problems......

*The Department of Temporal Investigations does not endorse this comment, and has been realigned.


message 30: by Tamahome (last edited Apr 28, 2014 06:10AM) (new)

Tamahome | 6352 comments Time cop approved.




message 31: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments There's only one way to handle this.

DOC: Luke! Luke! You've gotta come back with me.

LUKE: Back, Doc? Back where?

DOC: Back ... to the FUTURE!

LUKE: What happens to us in the future? Do we become assholes or something?

DOC: No, no, no. Both you and Mara turn out fine. It's your kids, Luke. Something has gotta be done about your kids.


message 32: by Micah (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments Sean wrote: "There's only one way to handle this.

DOC: Luke! Luke! You've gotta come back with me.

LUKE: Back, Doc? Back where?

DOC: Back ... to the FUTURE!

LUKE: What happens to us in the future? Do we bec..."


That has got me rolling and is awesome.


message 33: by Scott (last edited Apr 30, 2014 03:43PM) (new)

Scott | 11 comments Kenneth wrote: "Sadly, some of the EU stuff was fantastic and likely better than anything Disney will come up with.

The darker, less Campbellian tones may have conflicted with Lucas/Disney's intended reception a..."


This is disappointing but not surprising.


Reading the Zahn trilogy in middle school was what made me a true lifelong fan; I loved the movies but missed out on the halcyon days of early SW fandom, they were only on tv by the time I was old enough to appreciate them. I devoured the Thrawn books, Jedi Academy, Rogue Squadron and associated series... I lost interest when the execrable second movie trilogy appeared in theaters. How about those movies get retconned instead? ;)


So much for hoping that Thrawn, or his clone, would make an appearance in the new film then.



Addendum:Though at least this means a certain beloved character was potentially not killed off.


message 34: by Gordon (new)

Gordon McLeod (mcleodg) | 347 comments Re: a certain beloved character... (view spoiler)


message 35: by Micah (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments Gord wrote: "Re: a certain beloved character... [spoilers removed]"

I wonder if they will drop a moon on anybody in this trilogy? Because hey man...if you gotta go that's the way to do it.


message 36: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6352 comments Star Wars EU Legends Trailer. You're welcome.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeGaj...


message 37: by Ben (new)

Ben (bennewton_1) Oh I saw that over on theforce.net the other day. Pretty cool!


message 38: by Mark (new)

Mark Kaye | 123 comments Tipper27 wrote: "I'm not holding out much hope for this new movie to be honest, especially when they can't leave EU stuff alone. What's the point of fans even reading EU stuff if it's not even considered canon now?"

Yeah I agree. I will probably still read Star Wars stuff till EP7 comes out then call it quits. Thx for nothing Lucas/Disney.


message 39: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Preiman | 347 comments If you're asking yourself what the point in reading the Legends novels is, then you've completely missed the point of reading them. It was to have fun. Did they take that fun from you? No. And at any rate, those books were already contradicted and discarded by newer films television, games, comics, and yes books. Star Wars continuity was a mess with more questionable cannon than any franchise outside perhaps doctor Who. So why are we complaining? We are not losing those books, they are as real as ever, and we are getting new SW with decent brand management like we should have had from the start.
I'll add one more thing, to everyone saying they'll give up on Star Wars now, Bull. You are just pitching a fit right now, you'll all be in line with all of us when the new film comes out. You'll be their because it's Star Wars damn it, and if any of us could have walked away, we'd have done so already. We would not be arguing and complaining about it on the internet.


message 40: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4075 comments I gave a similar answer when a work colleague asked me about the X-Men movie and why it contradicted other movies. I gave her the "inside" explanation that Professor X read Wolverine's mind and could therefore avoid the future events, and also the "outside" explanation that writers reset continuity regularly so they can tell fresh stories.

Her objection was that if she invests in a story she wants it to follow continuity. I can understand that. Marvel used to be great on continuity, now it's got multiple universes and doesn't care. It helps tell new stories, but does devalue the old.


message 41: by Micah (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments Christopher wrote: "If you're asking yourself what the point in reading the Legends novels is, then you've completely missed the point of reading them. It was to have fun. Did they take that fun from you?"

Well said. That is all. I am going to go back to my "legends" books now and read my Darth Revan book next. I hope it is as good as the Bane trilogy was.


message 42: by Ben (new)

Ben (bennewton_1) Christopher wrote: "If you're asking yourself what the point in reading the Legends novels is, then you've completely missed the point of reading them. It was to have fun. Did they take that fun from you? No. And at a..."

I agree with you so hard right now.


message 43: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Anderson (shinimegami23) | 39 comments Christopher wrote: "If you're asking yourself what the point in reading the Legends novels is, then you've completely missed the point of reading them. It was to have fun. Did they take that fun from you? No. And at a..."

Agreed! I mean really. If we didn't walk away after Phantom Menace and the Jar Jar monstrosity, you know you aren't going to walk away BEFORE you see the new movie. I love the Legacy books, and I always will. Who cares if they are official anymore? They are some of the best stories I've ever read, and I will continue to love them and their characters, even when the new movies squash their storylines with new content.


message 44: by Micah (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments Sophie wrote: "They are some of the best stories I've ever read,"

Whoa. Whoa. Hold up there. Maybe taking it a bit far... :)


message 45: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Anderson (shinimegami23) | 39 comments Micah wrote: "Sophie wrote: "They are some of the best stories I've ever read,"

Whoa. Whoa. Hold up there. Maybe taking it a bit far... :)"


I didn't say they ALL were. And I didn't say THE BEST. But some of them are my favorites and have a spot on my favorite books shelf. And hey, if you don't agree, that's cool too!


message 46: by Daran (new)

Daran | 599 comments For my part, I'd stick the Thrawn Trilogy up against most mainstream fantasy of science fiction when it comes to writing, developed characters, or story.


message 47: by Micah (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments Sophie wrote: "I didn't say they ALL were. And I didn't say THE BEST. But some of them are my favorites and have a spot on my favorite books shelf. And hey, if you don't agree, that's cool too! "

I was just having a little fun. I have read A LOT of the EU novels and wouldn't continue on if I didn't think they were worth it. LoL.


message 48: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Anderson (shinimegami23) | 39 comments Daran, those are three of my favorites and the ones sitting on my favorites shelf :)

Micah, I figured you were, I just wanted to clarify my point just in case. :D


message 49: by Daran (new)

Daran | 599 comments I'll also say, that when I read Specter of the Past and Vision of the Future I thought to myself, "this is the best possible ending for Star Wars" And while I still read the occasional Star Wars book (the last thing was the Karin Traviss Clone Books), that was the last time I read Star Wars regularly.


message 50: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Anderson (shinimegami23) | 39 comments Daran wrote: "I'll also say, that when I read Specter of the Past and Vision of the Future I thought to myself, "this is the best possible ending for Star Wars" And while I still read ..."

Woah, spooky. That's kinda what happened to me too. I have a bunch of the "newer" books, but I never got around to reading them.


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