So I wanted to talk a little more in depth about a few different announcements that have happened in the last two weeks, while I’ve been buried in work for our conference.
- The Expanded Universe has “turned a new page” according to LFL. Read: they disintegrated the EU.
- The Episode VII cast announcement. One more thought.
- Star Wars Rebels trailer released Sunday.
#1 – “No disintegrations” did not apply to the Star Wars EU
On April 25th, LFL announced that the EU “turns a new page” and is setting out to keep everything as consistent as possible. Kennedy formed a Lucasfilm Story Group to help with this process of keeping everything organized and coherent. Legendary Pablo Hidalgo (I swear, he knows EVERYTHING about Star Wars), Leland Chee, Carrie Beck, and Diana Williams comprise this group.
In plain English…the EU is no longer canon. The movies, The Clone Wars, and the future Star Wars Rebels is what will be the foundation for canon. There are also a few new novels coming out that will fit into this canon storyline.
How do I feel about this? Honestly, I’m not surprised at all. I’ve written before about how I’m not a huge fan of the EU and I’m actually more surprised that other fans are shocked and upset. How are you guys that stunned? Did you really think that after the announcement of Episode VII, LFL would keep the EU as is?
As a corporation, you can’t be wishy-washy about this stuff. You have to be black and white. And I applaud LFL for making an announcement that puts any other hopes to rest. There was NO way they were ever going to keep the EU canon, and I had touched upon that briefly before. But apparently there were many, many fans that thought somehow there would be a chance for the EU and the future movies to coincide peacefully.
Let’s look at this brief text conversation between my brother-in-law and I:
BIL: “What do you think about the Star Wars EU no longer being canon?”
ME: “Completely fine with it. I thought the EU was getting wild at some points and Lucas seemed to be okaying everything. And they formed that team to make everything cohesive at LFL. I’m also not surprised because I figured this would be coming once they announced VII.”
“…I feel that this is unfairly dismissive of all the people who did a ton of creative work (and made them a ton of money) to just ret-con it now. Also, I felt like it anything was getting crazy, it was the Clone Wars (what with crazy robot spider Darth Maul), and that apparently remains in the canon with the 6 movies. I really felt like other than the OT, the EU was Star Wars’ greatest strength, and it seems weird and arrogant to dismiss it.”
“Yeah, Darth Maul’s revival was completely dumb, but some of TCW was really good and I enjoyed it. I mean, yes, in a sense they are dismissing the EU but it’s not disappearing. People will still read and enjoy the work. I’m just surprised that you’re so surprised. I thought it was obvious as soon as they announced more movies.”
…etc, etc. There was more. But that’s the gist of it.
Am I the only one confused and not surprised at all? When I heard about this, I just moved on with my life thinking, “Well, duh,” but it wasn’t until a few days later that I saw all the outrage that I began to get confused. Does it also have to do with my feelings of ambivalence towards the EU? Perhaps the more attached you are, the more furious your outcry is. But that still doesn’t explain why people are surprised.
Abrams can’t be attached to the EU and can’t be confined by it. Neither can anyone at LFL now that Disney has taken over. It would be fun if Luke had a wife with red hair, but that was the extent of my hoping.
The novels written for the EU will not all of a sudden be taken off the shelves. They won’t be banned and burned. They will still exist and future generations can still enjoy them and perhaps wish to live in a time period like we did, where we didn’t know there was ever going to be more Star Wars movies. Nor do I agree with my brother-in-law’s comment that it is dismissive to the author’s work. I’m sure that 20 years from now, the people who have read the Courtship of Princess Leia are the fans you know are hardcore.
#2 – One more thought…
The bigger news last week was the Episode VII cast announcement. I’m ashamed to say that it wasn’t until Mei-Mei’s comment on my post that I realized there was only one new female within the cast. Actually, when looking at the entire cast, there are only two females. TWO. Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and the newbie, Daisy Ridley.
Don’t judge yet, guys. I mean, if we base this on history, we will probably have a leading male figure, with Daisy playing a supporting role.
But…don’t judge yet. Ridley may be on for VIII and IX and could be a force to be reckoned with. I really believe that modern cinema had a breakthrough with the Hunger Games movies and realized that a female CAN be the lead in an action-packed film and there doesn’t need to be an oversaturation of romance for it to be a blockbuster. Let’s hope they take a page out of that book (pun haha!) and move in that direction. Let’s see what happens.
Abrams has also hinted that there will be more casting announcements coming soon. Can’t wait!
#3 – Star Wars Rebels Trailer
Thoughts? This is the first concrete thing we’ve seen about Rebels other than updates on casting and concept art. My issue with this is wondering what they will do with Kanan Jarrus at the end of the series? It’s the same question that bothered me about Ahsoka in TCW. I thought she had to die in order for the show to make any kind of sense with ROTS. Instead, they played it a lot more beautifully, with her disenchantment with the Jedi and abandonment of their ways.
So what will happen with Kanan? Another disappearance? Or will they actually kill him off? I feel like when you bring a Jedi into the mix, it just gets a lot more complicated.
Also – why are Ezra’s eyes such a weird color?
Those are all the thoughts that were tumbling in my head last week. Hope everyone had a good May the 4th! I celebrated by baking my Star Wars shortbread cookies, like I do every year. Did you guys celebrate at all?