Remember all those Star Wars novels and comics you poured over as a child, and possibly still do? Or if you are a gamer like me, can you recall all those fun hours of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Jedi Knight games? Well, Lucasfilm has pulled the plug on all of them, declaring that the entire Star Wars expanded universe is now non-canon for the sake of making a more "consistent" storyline.
Everything outside of the original trilogy, the prequel trilogy, The Clone Wars television show, and the upcoming Rebels, is now out, and LucasArts has justified its decision in a recent blog post on its official website.
"[George] Lucas always made it clear that he was not beholden to the EU [Expanded Universe]. He set the films he created as the canon. This includes the six Star Wars episodes, and the many hours of content he developed and produced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. These stories are the immovable objects of Star Wars history, the characters and events to which all other tales must align."
Of course, the company was going to be running into problems with Episode VII-IX as it wants to tell a different story than what is already established, so it has dropped the hammer declaring that everything that happens after the original trilogy never happened in a galaxy far, far away.
"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."
In response, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has created a centralized "story group" which will make sure that the Star Wars universe stays organized and on track from here on out.
"We have an unprecedented slate of new Star Wars entertainment on the horizon," Kennedy says. "We're set to bring Star Wars back to the big screen, and continue the adventure through games, books, comics and new formats that are just emerging. This future of interconnected storytelling will allow fans to explore this galaxy in deeper ways than ever before."
I'm sure plenty of Star Wars fans are not going to be happy with the decision, and will most likely blame an outside force like Disney for meddling in LucasFilm's affairs and drastically changing everything they've loved over the years. However, the move is not unexpected considering the new and even larger audience the films are going to try and attract.
As it stands, you can still enjoy Star Wars comics, novels, and games as an interpretation of an established lore, but constructing a timeline will no longer be an option. In other words, not much has changed for me since that's exactly what I've been doing ever since I played Shadows of the Empire on the Nintendo 64.
How about you? Do you feel liberated or betrayed that your favorite Star Wars stories no longer exist within the timeline?