Well, this was inevitable (and it makes logical sense), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t mixed emotions associated with this morning’s news from StarWars.com. In an announcement posted on their website, the Star Wars Story Group has officially placed all existing Expanded Universe material under the “Legends” banner in an effort to “give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience.”
And of course the point is made that anything from the EU is fair game and can be incorporated into any new content (as we’ve seen many times in The Clone Wars, and as we’re sure to see in Rebels).
Take a few minutes and watch the video they put together for this announcement. It includes interviews with major contributors to the rich storytelling history of Star Wars, reminiscing about their first encounters with the EU and generally geeking out. As sad as this might be for EU fans, you have to admit, the folks at Disney and Lucasfilm truly do understand our love for these stories, and I think they’ve given it a wonderful send-off. And the fact that they’ve created a banner where these stories can live on is testament to that.
For me, my first EU experience was the Young Jedi Knight series. I instantly fell in love with the Solo twins, the stoic Tenel Ka, the loyal Lowie, the brooding Zekk. And the rest, for me, was history. In many ways, the Star Wars EU IS my Star Wars. While the movies created the backbone for my experience, the countless talented artists, storytellers, writers and creators who painted an impossibly rich and deep world … they were the ones that opened up the galaxy far, far away in ways that would change my life and continue to change and enrich it today. So thank you Tim Zahn, Michael Stackpole, Aaron Allston, Kevin Anderson, Rebecca Moesta and all the other amazingly talented people who crafted the experiences of generations of Star Wars fans, me included. While I’m sad your work is passing into a new era, I’m so thrilled to see it respected and preserved.
So here’s to you, Expanded Universe. It will be a day long remembered. And may the Force be with you … always.