Geek out!

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.

  1. The Expanded Universe has “turned a new page” according to LFL.  Read: they disintegrated the EU.
  2. The Episode VII cast announcement.  One more thought.
  3. 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.

mara jade

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?

Hmmm...I've never heard Kirsten mention Star Wars.  Ever.  Fan or jumping on the bandwagon?
Hmmm…I’ve never heard Kirsten mention Star Wars. Ever. Fan or jumping on the bandwagon?  Nice dress though!

8 thoughts on “Geek out!

  1. I’m not surprised that the EU is no longer canon. Episode VII needs to have some mystery to it, and you can’t really have that if people can just look up what happens in the EU after Episode VI.

    As to whether it is good or bad that the EU is no longer canon, I’ll reserve judgment until Episode VII (and maybe VIII and IX) come out. The EU is massive and there are a lot of hits and misses — there are some truly great stories in it and then there are some truly abysmal ones. Fortunately for me, I generally prefer the books that take place before the films than the ones that take place after, and the former will be less affected by the new films.

    It’s no news to you that I dislike TCW and I’m disappointed that it is included in the canon, but again I’m not surprised. Admittedly, I only watched the first couple of seasons — but that’s because I disliked it that much. I felt it was too juvenile and was needlessly inconsistent with the EU (and even somewhat inconsistent with the films themselves).

    My biggest concern is that the new Star Wars content seems to be generally low quality lately. I’ve already mentioned TCW, and I’ve found myself uninterested in most of the Star Wars books that came out. I’ve enjoyed some of the content surrounding the video game The Old Republic (and I’ve played it) but the setting is completely unoriginal — you’ve got the Republic with troopers dressed just like the clones, an evil (Sith) Empire (complete with nearly the same emblem as the Empire of the films), capital ships that look like Star Destroyers, starfighters that look like TIE fighters, freighters that look like the Millennium Falcon, astromech droids that look like R2-D2, etc. It’s like nothing changed in the 3,000+ years between The Old Republic and the films. I’m hoping Episode VII will not be like the recent content — unoriginal, juvenile, and just not interesting — but I can’t be too optimistic.

    1. Funny you mention that you prefer the books that take place before the films and that you’ve been uninterested in the books lately. I’m currently reading my first EU book in 10 years, “Dawn of the Jedi” and have been realllllly struggling with it. I don’t find it interesting or gripping and sometimes the writing is brutal. I decided to venture into the EU world again after reading the first chapter of this book that was featured in an Insider last year. The first chapter was great and really intrigued me, but after that, it went downhill. It’s sad because I had high hopes for it and my thoughts have now been along the lines of, “Is this what the EU has turned into?”

      You know, the first couple seasons of TCW were not that great. There are some good episodes here and there, but overall, I stopped watching. I didn’t pick it up again until about 1/4 the way through the third season and it had gotten a lot better. But it’s interesting that you mention it’s “too juvenile”, because Star Wars was and always has been a story to appeal to children. I think I know what you’re saying though…at least the OT could be watched by adults and children alike because of deeper, more interesting themes running throughout.

      What did you think of the Star Trek films? I honestly thought they were pretty good. If that’s the direction that Star Wars takes, I wouldn’t mind so much. Of course, Star Trek is actually pretty different, but I think they have a good team onboard and are really listening to what fans want. But we won’t REALLY know until 12/18/15.

      1. I haven’t read “Dawn of the Jedi” and it doesn’t look all that interesting from what I’ve read about it on Amazon. What EU books have you read that you liked? I might be able to suggest some of the ones I’ve read. Like I said — there are a lot of hits and misses in the EU.

        I thought the Star Trek films were decent, and if the new Star Wars films are done similarly I think they will be good.

        1. I loved the Thrawn Trilogy (obviously…I feel like that’s a given). I also liked the Courtship of Princess Leia. I remember liking I, Jedi, even though many people didn’t. I also liked a bit of NJO but I quit half way through them when I had the realization that Star Wars EU was taking over my life.

          1. I actually haven’t read the Thrawn Trilogy, although it’s on my (very long) reading list. Thrawn appears in Outbound Flight (also by Timothy Zahn) so I would definitely recommend you read that one. I also liked Allegiance by Timothy Zahn, which is about a group of renegade stormtroopers. Allegiance has a sequel called Choices of One, and if I remember correctly Thrawn also has a minor role in it.

            It has been years since I read I, Jedi but I remember liking it. If you like the character Corran Horn you might want to read the X-Wing series (though I must warn you it consists of 9 books written by several different authors).

            It looks like you mostly read the books that occur after the films, so another series you might want to check out is the Legacy of the Force series (also a series of 9 written by multiple authors).

            Finally, since I know you like to stick to the canon from the films I would recommend the book Darth Plagueis. It’s about Palpatine’s apprenticeship and explains part of how he came to power (and how the clone army was ordered). Since the events in the book are directly referenced in the films it’s about as close to canon as an EU book can get.

            1. I think everyone’s reading list is really long, and unfortunately, it just keeps getting longer. Mei Mei also recommended Choices of One at some point, so I should probably add that to the list.

              I have heard nothing but amazing things about Darth Plagueis so I should put that on the list too. I’m not really a Sith girl, as you know, but since I haven’t heard one bad review, I should probably check it out.

              I remember debating about the X-Wing series, but could never pick them up because…they’re X-Wings. I know enough about the series and know some about Corran Horn, but 9 books?? Same thing with the Legacy of the Force. This is why I gave up on the Star Wars EU and why I also won’t read the Wheel of Time series, though everyone recommended that to me too. I just looked it up and it’s finally over at 14 books. Whew.

  2. Still reserving judgment on Rebels. I think Hera seems most promising of all the characters.

    Of course, you know I’m sad about the EU. Change is hard! lol
    I know it’s naive, but I honestly hoped that they would pick and choose some of the best elements to keep in the canon going forward. I respect that they wanted to make it easy and clear-cut. It just kind of sucks that even the stupidest stuff from TCW will be canon but Corran Horn et al. are no longer “real.”

    Speaking of TCW, I just finished season one–I remember seeing some of those episodes before, which is where I gained the impression that it was meant to be mostly one-shot episodes, and that’s why I never bothered watching it religiously, figuring I’d just catch it when I could and it didn’t matter. Kind of like Law and Order lol. Definitely lots of great stuff going on, I will be moving on to season 2 this week 🙂 Ahsoka is getting better! (and so is Skye on Agents of SHIELD for that matter!)

    1. Congrats on getting through season one! I gave up after about 3 episodes and was still burning with humiliation when I thought about the full length feature film that had come out before it. And yes, Ahsoka gets a lot better and was actually one of my favorite characters by the end of the season. Glad to hear Skye got better but I still haven’t watched it. Do you think I should start again?

      I do think that a lot of fans have trouble with the fact that things are changing in the Star Wars universe. I’m not sure why I’m so unaffected…maybe I’ve been excited since the Disney takeover so I’m looking at things positively instead of with dread?

      However, I do agree that it’s unfortunate that some of the stuff in TCW is canon. Darth Maul’s rebirth for one, the STUPID adventures Artoo and Threepio went on for another. As for Rebels, I think I will definitely watch it and not come in half way through like I did with TCW, but we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully they also learned from TCW what they can and can’t do. I also think they’ll have a bit more freedom with the storyline than they did with TCW. There’s no real well-loved characters or timeline to follow. So I’m hoping for more interesting events!

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