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Star Wars: Is the EU Really Gone?

Star WarsEver since Disney and the Lucasfilm Story Group announced that the already-existing Expanded Universe would be rebranded as “Legends” and no longer continued as it was, many Star Wars fans have taken the news especially hard. They blame Disney for “killing the EU” and invalidating the stories that many spent years reading and re-reading in favor of stifling a franchise that has spanned generations.

Let me tell you why you’re wrong.

Author John Jackson Miller talked to Newasrama about his upcoming novel A New Dawn and the future of Star Wars canon and made a point I feel should be shared:

I really think it’s a mistake for people to play the canon/not-canon parlor game. What they said when they made the announcement is that the previous material wasn’t being discarded, it would be drawn from – inspirations and ideas would come from it. The planets are the same; the species are the same. You know, the Rebels series uses the same manufacturer of the TIE fighters that was introduced in the Role Playing Games years ago. My book revolves around a strategic compound that I introduced back in KOTOR years ago! The universe is the same.

The thing about “Legends,” and that’s the word on the cover of the previous material: Legends can be true, in part or in whole. They inspire, they are sort of like the King Arthur story – parts of that, little bits of that here and there are true.

See, here’s the thing: the EU was never canon to begin with. George Lucas never signed off on any novel, game, or comic to be official canon (it’s also very telling how so many fans claim that Lucas destroyed the franchise with the prequels, yet are now holding him as the only official source of decision-making in regards to the EU). Basically, the EU was unofficial “official” fan fiction. Take that however you want, but it’s true. Just because it’s been around for a long doesn’t mean other creators (directors, writers, developers, etc) had to adhere to what other people decided to do.

For example, the much-beloved Revan began as a character in the video game Knights of the Old Republic back in 2003. The kicker: Revan could be played as either male or female. Drew Karpyshyn decided to write him as male in his novel The Old Republic: Revan. So does that invalidate the female version? Absolutely not. Does that mean that the female version is no longer relevant or important to the people who played her? Absolutely not. Does that mean that Revan would never be a female ever again? Well, who knows, but if the EU had continued as it was, there was still the possibility that another writer could have done a project with Revan as a woman. But that’s neither here nor there at this point.

revan

As it was, the EU as a whole (comics, games, books, and even the movies) was FULL of contradictions, inconsistencies, and things that were just plain weird. Telepathic bunnies, anyone? But thanks to the unofficial nature of it, we fans could pick and revel in what we liked and ignore what we didn’t. Someone who hated the telepathic bunnies wasn’t bound to include them in any of their works, fan or paid creator. It just plain didn’t work to try to accept everything when so much of what was there didn’t fit. That’s what happens when you have so many creators working on separate projects with relatively no restraints.

Welcome to what Marvel and DC fans have had to endure for decades.

Hence the streamlined, cohesive universe the Story Group is attempting to create with these new books, series, and films. As a business decision, it was possibly the smartest thing they could have done. A cohesive universe would not only keep storylines straight, but allow for a clear timeline for future creators to draw on, as well as giving new fans a much easier product to dive into. None of this “I’m a new fan and confused as to where to start” stuff. “NJO? Clone Wars Era? Old Republic? Legacy? Wait, this happened in this book, but this comic said something else happened. HELP!” True, new fans can still be overwhelmed, but as long as they’ve seen the movies and/or the TV shows (excluding Tartakovsky’s microseries and the LEGO episodes) they should be able to figure out where they are pretty quickly.

Now, a lot of people are understandably bitter about this. To be told that my favorite characters and events would no longer be continued or show up on-screen is a tough pill to swallow. To become so attached to characters like Mara Jade, Darth Malgus, and Jacen and Jaina Solo, and to become so invested in things like the Yuuzhan Vong War and Jacen’s fall to the Dark Side only to be told they would no longer be explored is heartbreaking. Believe me, I get it. Mara, Malgus, Ben Skywalker, Vestara Khai, Visas Marr. I love them all. And now I’ll get nothing new featuring any of them for the foreseeable future.

However, that does not mean that they should be any less valuable, important, or valid to you, the fan.

marajade

See, the EU is only “dead” if YOU let it be. Those characters are only “dead” if YOU allow them to be. Just because they won’t be appearing in theaters or on TV screens in the near-future doesn’t mean they don’t exist. If that were true, then there are several hundreds of characters and novels that “don’t exist”. If you cherish the characters and the stories, then why should anything Disney or Marvel or Del Rey say affect that? They’re not discontinuing all manufacture of the games or comics or books. They’re simply starting a new chapter for a new age of the Star Wars fandom.

Turning this into a war against Disney is ludicrous, to say the least. The Mouse did NOT kill your favorite characters. The Mouse did NOT kill the Expanded Universe. In fact, it continues to celebrate both the EU and its fans. Unfortunately, not a lot of fans are celebrating it at all.

Take a look at this Lumiya cosplayer from SDCC last weekend.

lumiya

She’s amazing! Her costume is glorious! So what are the majority of the comments about? Certainly not the cosplay.

eu complaints

Really, guys? Really? You’re going to hijack a photo posted by Del Rey at their Star Wars booth to complain about a) a decision they had no hand in making in the first place, and b) a decision that you’re still misinterpreting as a slap in the face to all EU fans? Instead of being glad that Del Rey thought enough of this cosplayer (from a now-non-canon timeframe, I might add) to stop her for a picture and post it to their Facebook, you’re complaining about the EU. Real classy.

I don’t want to say that Disney and Lucasfilm don’t care; they obviously do. The people that make up the Story Group aren’t just employees of Lucasfilm. They’re fans, too. They love their jobs. They love the stories and projects they get to work on. If they didn’t they wouldn’t have stuck around this long. I honestly highly doubt they thought everyone would just accept the move, but they’re doing what they think is best for the franchise, for the fans, and the stories we all hold so dear.

I’m not saying sit down and shut up. If you truly feel that this move was a personal insult against you, then by all means let Disney and Lucasfilm know. But take a step back first and take a moment to really think about what they’re attempting to do. Not only are we getting three new movies, we’re getting all new books, all new comics, and all new games that will FINALLY be consistent with each other. You no longer have to wonder, “Okay, now is this part official or no? What’s real and what’s not?” Of course, that does mean that anything that happens that you don’t like you can’t simply ignore (well, you can…); it will probably be brought up in later projects, especially if it’s an integral character or event.

But think of this as well: there’s nothing set in stone that says the EU will never be revisited ever again in the history of ever. What the Story Group amounts to as of this writing is an experiment. They’re not going to disband it now just because people on the Internet are being pissy without even trying the new products.

And what happens when you run into someone who became a fan because of the new material and has yet to explore the previous EU? Are you going to belittle them and tell them they’re not “true fans” because they don’t know about the EU yet? Are you going to hide behind your computer to insult them online when they want to talk about the new books or Rebels or Episode VII because you’re angry at Disney/Lucasfilm? Yeah, because that’s always a good way to great new fans.

We have yet to see what this new canon will be like. So how about instead of continuing to impotently rant about it and declare that Star Wars, the very franchise that you claim to love so much, is dead to you, just take a breath and at least give it a chance before you rip into it? You might be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

Or you could end up legitimately hating it. But give it a chance first, please?

About Reporter Michelle Lawhorn:
Michelle, a.k.a. Stormraven, is what can only be described as an eclectic nerd. Her interests and expertise range from Doctor Who to Lord of the Rings, cosplay to comics, and Bollywood to opera to name just a few. When not raving about her “fandoms”, she can be found working on projects as an Associate Editor at Haven Publishing and adding to her ever-growing list of Things to Cosplay. She can currently be found searching for more material to feed her newfound obsession with Star Wars.

 

About Michelle Lawhorn

Hailing from some kind of void beyond the stars, Stormraven indulges in costuming, writing, and flailing excessively over her favorite geeky things; Star Wars is at the top of the list and will remain there for quite some time.

17 comments

  1. ^^^All of the this. Thank you for this article.

  2. Jason Alan - PHATE

    totally agree michelle. as an old star wars fan around since the beginning, i find it ironic because so many people spoke out against the EU. it didnt count, it wasnt canon. bah humbug. its interesting that its become such a “force” (pun not really intended but i like it anyway :P) that now people are vehemently defending it. as you point out, it aint going anywhere. people can enjoy any novel, comic, or video game they like. its all there. and yep, the EU was never supposed to be “canon” in the first place. it was just fun to see what places a lot of talented authors took the star wars universe into. no harm no foul really. And my god, at least 6 new movies on the way?? and a slew of books and comics and no doubt video games?? bring it. the force is stronger than ever….it all has its place. so now existing EU is legends. fine, it was all legends already, really.

  3. I mean, this had to happen. It really did. With so much “Unofficially Official” stuff around, beloved as it may be, there had to be some clarity and consistency.

    I’ll just continue to live my life in the knowledge that Boba Fett escapes the Sarlacc, and be content. 🙂

  4. I agree. This also means that Chewy did not die as told in in Vector Prime. That alone is worth it.

  5. I don’t understand people’s inability, to understand why we are upset. we don’t care about the Canon, we just want to continue with our favorite stories, the only reason we ever even bothered mentioning that bloody word canon, is because the fair weather fans and EU haters used to just say “Don’t care, it’s not Canon” when we would have discussions about certain events and characters. The EU wasn’t written by George, but it was part of the continuity until it conflicted with a George Lucas project, and that was fine, but now 36,000 years of stories have been taken out of the continuity and ended… That’s a very different thing than finding out that Maul Survived… Maul being alive didn’t close the book on a universe, but this new era has. I appreciate your Platitudes, but it’s a very patronizing and simplified view of our context, A shallow, wisdom over a difficult topic.

  6. Michelle Lawhorn

    I point you to this passage: “Believe me, I get it. Mara, Malgus, Ben Skywalker, Vestara Khai, Visas Marr. I love them all. And now I’ll get nothing new featuring any of them for the foreseeable future.”

    It’s not that I don’t understand the bitterness. I do. Just not the complete and total vehemence and opposition to something new, in addition to the downright abusive comments I’ve seen on multiple pages regarding this. Lucasfilm associates have said many times that inspiration will still be drawn from the EU, just not entire chunks (and even then maybe so).

    But if you truly believe that that history and those stories are now dubbed “meaningless” because they’re not going to be continued at this point, then that’s your prerogative.

  7. I have nothing against new things, I’m very excited for Christie Golden’s Ventress Book, and I’m really enjoying Son of Dathomir (Which is surprising, because the Clone Wars cartoon was my Jar Jar lol) but to me, picking and choosing ideas from the EU is worse than dumping it all in the first place, I’d rather never see another mention of anything I’ve loved and enjoyed over the last 25 years, than have parts of a story here, and Character that died in a book there, If they want to write new stories, DO IT, don’t just re-tread old ground and pretend it’s new. I think my main issue is that everything went, for a film and a tv show that are relatively close in the timeline… Did I really have to lose my favorite story and era (Tales of the Jedi/KotOR) for a film set 4000 years later? I get it “No one will take the books from your shelf” but this stuff is branded in my memories, and it will continue to be, whatever they decide ‘Canon’ will be

  8. And yet again, we’re on the same wavelength mentally. I love what you said about the official fanfic status of the Legends material. Even the movie novelizations are only canon insofar as they duplicate the movies themselves. Guess that means the radio dramas are firmly noncanon now. LucasFilm should have come out and disclaimed everything in the beginning.

    You know there’s stuff in Clone Wars I don’t like or agree with. You’re right that the downside is no more picking and choosing. But I like the idea that someone, or a committee, actually has to read or endorse the expanded material. I want to believe this will at least assure quality control. I’m sure there’ll be stuff I legitimately hate in the new material. But if the Clone Wars track record is anything to go by, I’ll be able to tolerate the majority of it and even really like some of it.

  9. Yup, I have to agree with Adam Taylor. I never cared if it was canon (it actually used to be canon, just a lower level) or not. I just enjoyed the stories, and will not accept the fact that a reward for our loyalty is this – the EU is discontinued and (ab)used as needed. I hope they will not use it at all. I don’t want to see my favourite characters turned into an Aladin Jedi or similar stuff.

  10. Matthew Chenault

    I really liked the Expanded Universe, I really do, but Disney took it a steep too far and they didn’t try to scan through it properly to find the better parts and keep those. They just tossed it into the back closet so they they can create their own stories and so they can pocket every penny from it without needing to pay royalties for it, since the Expanded Universe wouldn’t be recognized as canon and they could then freely use the material without needing to pay the writers for it. Also, judging by Disney’s latest films and how J. J. Abrams didn’t do so well with the Star Trek Franchise, I just don’t think that Disney will make it any better, but they’ll surely make it worse.

    Marvel, unlike Disney, does most of it’s stuff independently and the Comic Book fans are more willing to accept the change because it’s Marvel overseeing it and, since they’ve had more knowledge with the Franchise as a whole, they’ll tend to make a better decision. In the case of Star Wars, it was DISNEY why made the decision to remove all, excluding the Clone Wars series, of the Expanded Universe. I just saw it as more of a blatant casting away of the “unneeded” material, as Disney probably saw it, so that they can construct their own programs and comic books. Personally, Disney could have solved it far better by first reviewing ALL of the Expanded Universe Material at hand and, from that, they should have picked and choose what to remove and what to keep in place.

    In the end, it was sad that Disney pulled this move and now, as I look at the Franchise, all I see is Disney tacking advantage of it and trying to milk every single penny out of it as humanly possible. Still, as an advent Expanded Universe lover, I’ll still play my games and read my novel, maybe, I’ll grow my collection and get more of the Expanded Universe books, just so I have them in case the future generations would like to know what I considered to be canon and what I liked the most out of the Franchise. Maybe then, we’ll see the legends continue on as they were originally meant to be told…

  11. Michelle, with due respect, I feel you’re missing the point in several areas.

    1. Any contradictions in the books and comics were generally fixed (aka. retconned). The reality of any long-running series is that there are going to be contradictions. Only the most egregious of these can’t be fixed. But LFL was good at staying on top of things, and the story group of now is the same group of recent years who were there to prevent contradictions. Sadly, at times, they failed (for various reasons) in this commission. But that means two things:
    a. there WILL be contradictions moving forward, creating the need for retcons once again. To think otherwise is naive.
    b. the presence of contradictions doesn’t invalidate the literary requirements of an authentic series provided efforts are made to prevent them and to fix the ones that could not be.

    2. Disney relegating 35 years of story to “inspiration,” and inspiration that clearly means nothing but “that’s a cool look,” and “that’s a cool design; let’s use it”–if any future author even bothers to look at the old continuity–is meaningless. Star Wars itself was inspired by westerns, space-opera, fantasy and Kurosawa. That doesn’t make those references part of the universe; they’re no more than behind the scenes inspirations. The STORY is what matters, and the Star Wars story that was told over the course of three and a half decades has been rendered invalid. It didn’t happen–according to Disney. All future stories will ignore and overwrite the past ones. Marvel’s recent announcement proves that.

    3. The expanded universe WAS canon. You’re wrong in saying it wasn’t. Lucas actually did have direct input in certain areas, but Lucas’ creative input isn’t the sole determiner of canon (otherwise the Holiday Special would be canon)–his INTENT is. In other words, he set up and paid LFL to control and guide stories so that they fit with his stories, which they did. That is how it works. LFL set up a hierarchical canon system. Within this system, Lucas’ films were the top tier. The bottom tier was called “N canon” and that meant non-canon for parodies and “what if” stories. Everything besides that WAS canon. It was explained by LFL that “continuity” means “canon.” This was NOT fan-fiction, but copyrighted, licensed fiction by professional authors that went through several individuals to insure consistency across various media.

    4. Disney invalidated these stories for one reason: because it is quicker and more expedient to do so than to bother working within an established universe. They are a corporation, and profit is the sole consideration here, not art. Greater short-term profit is gained by reducing “canon” to six films and an animated series. Never mind that Lucas wrote and directed the Ewok films. Never mind that Lucas called the EU his “son” as part of a trinity scenario (in which he was the “father.”) Short term profit gain means attracting younger and new fans with a reboot. It means lazy writers who don’t have to research (like good writers need to do when writing in our universe, or in a universe whose property-holders care about the actual verisimilitude of the story). In 15 years or 20 years, don’t be surprised if Disney (or the next legal entity who owns the brand) does it again. This is anti-art; it is cold commerce, plain and simple, and it IS a slap in the face of the fan whose supported (financially and otherwise) a single ongoing, imperfect, but working saga that was a legitimate extension of the films.

    Finally, I DO agree with you that on this point, each of us individually must now determine what canon is, and if they’re going to support what Disney has done, or loyally stay with the original canon, which is now closed. True, fans have always had that power. If you found telepathic rabbits far more egregious than Jar Jar Binks, or that idiotic Clone Wars four-parter about the droids and inch-tall general, then that’s your prerogative. (Personally, I’ve long ago accepted the low-brow parts of Star Wars, as well as the high-brow ones, and never understood disdain for the brilliant Marvel series).

    Where I disagree with you is in the way you blame the fans for speaking out and calling foul. As long-term paying customers, as literary fans, as individuals with principles and voices, that is THEIR right to do so. Don’t create a straw-man argument by claiming that these same fans will be guilty of some future crime of disrespecting new fans of Rebels and the new “canon.” The vast majority of us aren’t like that.

    This is the very kind thing in the world of art and entertainment in which the customer base absolutely would say NO. It is to be expected that fans would get angry and stop supporting a franchise that had the audacity to say that decades of its literature are no longer an authentic extension of the story (save as meaningless “inspiration”) so that they can gain short-term profits through their new television shows and films.

    And articles like this only fuel the flame of the EU hater, bitter about Chewie’s death, or the direction a certain story took, or who barely reads and resents those who do.

    Fans will vote with their wallets and their words, respectfully (most of them), but this field of art/entertainment belongs to them as well, not just Disney. Once a work of art is released to the public, and they purchase it, it is theirs as well, and I, for one, am very glad to see they are not standing silently by, blindly, cravenly, masochistically feeding the corporate machine the credits it demands.

    The authentic Star Wars experience continues to live on in the books, comics, films, cartoons, short-stories and video-games. Disney can’t destroy that, or take it out of our homes, but they can hijack the name, and in time allow those older works to fall out of print so that ONLY their version of events dominates the story. And that IS sad… so all the vitriol that goes Disney’s way is well deserved.

  12. I don’t even know where to start. Lucasfilm has been calling it Canon, Official History and Authentic for almost 20 years. Now that Disney owns the franchise, they’ve decided to reboot it all. And though I agree Disney didn’t think much before making the decision the simple fact is they own it, they can do what they like.

    Anytime I hear someone say they were a fan of the EU then turn around and state it had “several contradictions” makes me wonder how much they actually read. Not counting the disastrous Clone Wars TV show, the EU had hardly any contradictions. It was built that way from the very first day with Bantam Books.

    The “story group” by Disney isn’t a new idea. Lucasfilm has always had continuity editors in place to check every story that goes out. Heck it was Leeland Chee’s job for crying out loud! And id love to see what the authors would say when they hear you talk about their writing freedom to do anything. There’s several authors interviews online, in print and o. YouTube which will quickly debunk your myth.

    Its obvious you’ve never heard of the heirarchy off Canon at Lucasfilm so I can’t fault you for not knowing all video games were S-Canon. Meaning the events happened but not always as the gameplay goes. Look at the Dark Forces games for example. As Kyle Katana you could kill the Emperor I. The end and reign in his stead. Obviously something that never happened in the official story, which is why it’s S-canon.

    The EU has ALWAYS been consistent, that’s what the good folks at Lucasfilm and Leeland Chee have always strived for. I’m sorry you didn’t read far enough to realize it. Some books I suggest you read are the newer guides that came out a while back. Pablo Hildgado’s Star Wars Readers Companion is excellent. As well as Jason Fry’s Guide to Warfare. They’re excellent examples that show just how much continuity there is in the Star Wars universe. Believe me. I thought I knew it all until reading these beauties and MAN was I wrong!

    I’m sorry you struggled so much about what was canon and what wasn’t. Del Rey and Dark Horse made a strong effort to put an Infinities logo on anything non-canon to help with such confusion but for the most part most people I knew never had that issue.

    Nasty comments posted online are never nice! But I encourage you to look online at what some Disney Star Wars supporters have said to EU supporters. Its pretty harsh stuff, from filthy language to racial slurs, Disney fans have been vile. It needs to stop. On both sides.

    The EU is dead when they stop telling stories about it. Those characters cease to mature both I. Character and story arc. THAT’S why fans are upset.So why should they give Disney’s new empire a chance when Disney didn’t give them one?

    Why do you have to belittle fans who loved the stories of the EU? Who loved the diversity of characters? Who loved reading about strong female leads? Who loved tales full of depth and meaning?

    Why must they all follow the Mouse? Why can’t they choose what’s right for themselves? I don’t mind if folks want to follow Disney’s New Star Wars yet I’m mocked and ridiculed for loving the EU. So what if it had telepathic bunnies. The Clone Wars has a baby Hutt names Stinky, a padawan calling the Chosen One “Skyguy” an episode about poison tea, a D Squad full of droids and led by a space frog. (All Official Disney Canon I add) Star wars has had silly fun ideas, its one of the quirky things we love about it.

    But this post about “I’m giving Disney a chance and so should you” smacks a little too much like your making “absolutes” and according to Obi Wan, only Sith deal in them.

    May the Force be with us All!

  13. ‘thesithempire’ articulates the other side of this debate perfectly, and I thank him.

    I will add two things:

    1) I wrote two articles for Lucasfilm’s official magazines, one each for Star Wars Insider and Star Wars Gamer. Both of those articles were “in-universe”. They required many weeks of research and even afforded me the rewarding opportunity to speak personally with the late, great Aaron Allston about his Wraith Squadron stories.

    Let me re-affirm ‘thesithempire’s’ point: the EU was canon. The proof is in all the work I needed to put in to those two articles, the rewrites, the editor’s minor revisions of some of my content because it did not fit in with future plans or because the character histories sat in areas still too grey.

    And one of those articles was an RPG piece, where even the stats needed to be in-line with canon (and I had to show all my stat-math for approval).

    Also, I have friends who wrote content for official magazines and books; I was a high-level volunteer for Decipher’s Star Wars CCG for many years. I have knowledge of the time they invested to provide the Star Wars community with the very best content — in many cases far more time that I needed to invest in my own work. Trust me: the EU was canon and LFL treated it that way.

    It is true that Lucas allowed a caveat for himself that he might contradict canon when writing a film (therefore creating a ret-conning project), but that should not be mistaken for LFL determining the EU to not be anything less than canon.

    2) I profoundly disagree with Disney’s decision in principle — in fact I disagree with any company’s similar decision to devalue “expanded universe” content.

    I understand: continuity can get convoluted; sometimes ill stewardship is to blame. However, this notion that we can just brush aside an entire sub-created History: it is little more than the egregious revisionism that occurs in real History because some intellectual group decides it does not fit their personal narrative, or even that of an entire culture.

    Increasingly so, every new generation is being allowed to live with the false notion that History begins on their birth date. ‘We shouldn’t be made to delve into the past and remember dates, and places, and settings,’ many say. ‘There’s too much, and no one agrees on the facts anyway,’ or such is the notion. And so we act out our ‘what if’ fantasy in the fictional realm that we desire(d) to do in the real world.

    But History is: History has many voices, often with diverging and contrary viewpoints; far too often, a person desiring to make a name for themselves, or even out of spite, decides to add yet another voice to the clatter.

    Yet it is for us to continue to diligently sort out and find the truth, because it does exist. This is of course dangerous work, because when the truth becomes known, all must be calibrated to it, and false voices are revealed.

    Therefore, how we deal (or not) with History — be it real or fictional — reflects on character: individually, as a nation, as human beings.

  14. This isn’t actually a correct understanding of previous canon. The EU was indeed canon, however, rather than a binary system of canon/not-canon, there were varying levels of canon, with higher-authority items overriding lower-authority ones.

    I’m all for being mollified over this, as I want the sting of Legends’ loss (and yes, to me, it is still a loss) to go away. But as with many articles on the internet that try to do so, this isn’t going to happen when the author doesn’t correctly understand the situation that was overturned in the first place.

    For instance, Revan’s identity was locked into the C-canon level as a male identity; that become official. And yes, it was Star Wars canon- whether George Lucas ‘recognized’ it or not, it was still presented as official C-level canon within the Star Wars franchise; the ‘actual’ canonical version of the variable video game character. (In a similar way, video games with multiple endings or variable characters each had a designated ‘canon’ outcome). C-canon was absolutely official canon, unless some element of it was contradicted by one of the higher canon levels (T-canon for TCW, G-canon for the films themselves).

    Secondly, the ‘Well, the EU was filled with nonsense anyway’ approach is another tired cliche that does little to appease fans who resent its disappearance. Here’s a hint: if they’re mourning its loss, they probably didn’t think it was filled with garbage. (Personally, I liked the Hoojibs!) Downplaying the loss by exaggerating the EU’s contradictions or bashing its content just looses your audience.

    If I cherish the characters and the stories, why should anything Marvel or Del Ray says affect that? Because no one else (unless they’re diving into the archives of increasing-obscurity) will come to know them as I did. Because there will be an ever-dwindling number of fans with whom I can share a love of this aspect of Star Wars. Because they ARE being replaced in what is ‘official,’ and to some folks, that designation means something. And because the Star Wars that will endure and be built and expanded upon and remembered in future will not include many of the things I love about it.

    You might as well ask Obi-wan on Tatooine “Well, if you keep the ways of the Jedi and treasure them in your own heart, what should it matter to you that they’re going extinct, are being forgotten, and no new Jedi are being created?” (Or, to take this into the real world, imagine trying to pacify a group of Firefly fans with ‘look, you still have your own memories of the show; why are you so hot on this revival thing? Nothing was really LOST when they canceled it, that single season is still out there…’ Yeah, wouldn’t work.)

    Sorry, but the mouse DID kill the expanded universe; literally, they cut it off. They discontinued it. That’s pretty definitive. They didn’t ‘come and take away your books/memories,’ but in terms of ending the ongoing EU, that is exactly what they did.

    And no, I’m not going to go hating on the Story Group, or hijacking cosplay threads (it is a straw man to claim that this must be correlated with resenting the loss of the EU anyhow). I’m also not going to insult new fans who are fans of the new canon and were brought in by that (though heaven knows, they do that to ME often enough because I like the EU; such courtesy is not a two-way street). But I’m also still ticked off by the end of the EU.

    No one ever had to wonder ‘Okay, now is this part official or not?’ That’s what Leeland Chee, keeper of the holocron was for. That’s what the canon-levels were for. We didn’t have to wonder; we knew. (At least until the Clone Wars came in as a wrecking ball, ignoring everything that came before).

    Look, I understand the perspective that lets you not be bothered by this; I’m glad for you. But I’ve also seen a hundred articles saying these exact same things and trying to calm those who are bothered, and they all share the same flaw: they (and, I’m sorry to say, you) don’t actually understand what is bothering the people who are bothered (or how old continuity worked). This doesn’t make me feel any better- just reinforces that those who aren’t bothered are okay because they don’t understand what was lost or what it meant to those of us who are still angry.

    I love Rebels; I am tentatively excited about Episode VII. But the fact that new canon isn’t all bad doesn’t actually have anything to do with the loss of the EU. Once again, it’s a logical fallacy to suggest that to mourn the old, you must hate the new.

    Perhaps I’m just ‘impotently ranting,’ as you put it- but I don’t think you’re going to win over any of the angry Star Wars fans by this mildly-insulting, condescending tone, nor by the lack of empathy. If you want to bridge the gaps with SW fans who are angry over the EU, you’ve got to first try and understand it- what it was, how it worked, what was ‘lost’ in their eyes- and to understand them, and what this loss means to them. Right now, these reassurances address issues that they don’t really have.

  15. Well said.

    I didn’t realize you ‘lost’ works to decanonization, too. Do you have links to them, by chance? I’d love to see them.

  16. Well articulated!

  17. And you think Episode VII and its sequels won’t kill off main characters? A decade from now, you might be wishing for the EU back so that *only* Chewie was dead. 🙂

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