Wikia

Wookieepedia

Star Wars Legends

Talk112
111,715pages on
this wiki

Redirected from Expanded Universe

"After Star Wars was released, it became apparent that my story—however many films it took to tell—was only one of thousands that could be told about the characters who inhabit its galaxy. But these were not stories that I was destined to tell. Instead, they would spring from the imagination of other writers, inspired by the glimpse of a galaxy that Star Wars provided. Today, it is an amazing, if unexpected, legacy of Star Wars that so many gifted writers are contributing new stories to the Saga."
George Lucas, from the introduction of Splinter of the Mind's Eye, 1996[src]
SOTME Cover

Splinter of the Mind's Eye, the first Expanded Universe novel, published in 1978.

The Expanded Universe (or EU for short) encompasses every one of the officially licensed, fictional background of the Star Wars universe, outside of the six Star Wars films produced by George Lucas. It is derived from and includes most official Star Wars-related books, comic books, video games, spin-off films, television series, toys, and other media. This material expands and continues the stories told in the films, taking place anywhere from over 36,000 years before The Phantom Menace to 134 years after Return of the Jedi. The issue of which aspects are canon is one of the most hotly debated topics among fans.

The Expanded Universe has a continuity with few wrinkles. The general rule is that nothing in the Expanded Universe is allowed to contradict any other part of the Expanded Universe or the films. The films, however, do slightly contradict the Expanded Universe on occasion, and retcons are created in the Expanded Universe to fix these contradictions. In the absence of such ad hoc solutions, the EU is considered incorrect only on the particular points of contradiction. The Expanded Universe is actually older than the films themselves, as the novelization of the original film was published nearly a year before the film was released. The earliest works involving Star Wars chronologically is the Dawn of the Jedi comic series, which is set millennia before the films are. The most recent is the Legacy comic series, which is set about one-hundred thirty years after Return of the Jedi.

On April 25, 2014, Lucasfilm Ltd. announced that in preparation for the upcoming sequel trilogy, the Expanded Universe would not appear in any future Star Wars materials; past tales of the Expanded Universe will be printed under the Star Wars Legends banner, and a new continuity has been established that consists only of the original six films, the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series and film, and all future material from that point onward. While the Expanded Universe has been declared non-canon as a whole, it will remain a resource for future Star Wars material to reference elements of the EU and bring them into continuity.[1][2]

History

"The premise of all the comic books, novels, games, and other spin-off works is that they all work chronologically, that the continuity forms one unbroken story. […] Since our movies have their own internal continuity, we maintain that in the spin-off works. Technically, George Lucas has been doing continuity all along by mapping out the nine films. But it wasn't until 1991, when Timothy Zahn wrote the novel Heir to the Empire, the first Star Wars best-seller, which was the beginning of what we call the Star Wars renaissance, that continuity became an issue."
―Lucasfilm continuity editor Allan Kausch, 1996[src]

Early years

The early development of the Expanded Universe was sporadic and unrefined, in large part because, at this time, there was so little canon material for the creators to use as reference.

The "Expanded Universe" is generally considered to have begun with Alan Dean Foster's February 1978 Star Wars spin-off novel, Splinter of the Mind's Eye, although technically it began in October 1977 with the story The Keeper's World, in Marvel Comics' Pizzazz magazine. Splinter drew inspiration primarily from an early draft of the Star Wars script. (Although George Lucas's name is on the cover of the original Star Wars novelization, Alan Dean Foster ghost-wrote it. Foster was given a copy of the working script and a tour of the production.[source?])

Much of the early EU material from the early 1980s contained analogies to the real world, which belied the impression that the Star Wars universe had no connection to Earth or our own time. Much of this material now seems rather detached from the rest of the EU.

Development

"Over the years, many artists and designers have contributed to the articulation of the various universes of Lucasfilm. Taking their cues from the minimal words of description on a script page, these talented men and women have sketched, drawn and/or modeled creatures of magnificent breadth, unimaginable terror, and mind-boggling eccentricity. Some of these creatures have made it into film, while others, because of the way stories unravel, have not (so far). But this does not mean they do not exist. For once something is created, no matter what the context, it takes on a life of its own."
―Foreword written by George Lucas in Monsters and Aliens from George Lucas[src]
Vector Prime Cover

Vector Prime introduced a new threat called the Yuuzhan Vong to the saga.

A turning point was reached when West End Games began publishing the Star Wars roleplaying game in 1987. In order for players of the roleplaying game to create new adventures, West End Games needed to provide supplemental material describing the Star Wars universe in previously unknown detail and to make it self-consistent and coherent. As an example, the Aurebesh alphabet was originally a random piece of set dressing used in Return of the Jedi. Stephen Crane copied those symbols and turned them into a complete and workable alphabet which would later be used in the prequel trilogy. Developing and extrapolating from details like this in a consistent fashion turned West End Games' Star Wars products into a de facto reference library for other developers of the EU.

Around the same time, Dark Horse Comics acquired the Star Wars license previously owned by Marvel and used it to launch a number of ambitious sequels to the original trilogy which began with the popular Dark Empire series.

At the same time as Dark Empire's release in the early 1990s, Bantam Spectra published Timothy Zahn's The Thrawn Trilogy. Widely publicized as the "sequels which were never made", Zahn's novels reignited Star Wars fandom and sparked a revolution in Star Wars literature.

All this development began to feed back and reference itself and create cross-connections. West End Games produced roleplaying supplements based upon Dark Horse's comics and Zahn's novels. Novelists and comic creators used West End Games' supplements as reference material. Sequels to the novels were being published as comics and vice versa, and the scope of the Expanded Universe grew at a prodigious rate.

At that point, the bulk of the Expanded Universe has detailed the Star Wars universe after the end of Return of the Jedi, as numerous topics, including the rise of the Galactic Empire, the personal histories of Anakin Skywalker and Emperor Palpatine, and the Clone Wars had been declared off-limits by George Lucas prior to the development of his prequel trilogy and related material.

It was decided in the late '90s that using the Empire as the villains had become repetitive and monotonous. A new threat, the Yuuzhan Vong, was introduced in the New Jedi Order series. Specifically, the Yuuzhan Vong first appeared in the first New Jedi Order book, The New Jedi Order: Vector Prime.

The EU and the prequels

Prior to the release of The Phantom Menace, Lucasfilm specifically prohibited development of the time period prior to A New Hope in the Expanded Universe. The release of Episode I, however, threw open the gates to new possibilities.

Heir-to-the-empire-legends

Heir to the Empire Legends cover

Since The Phantom Menace was set in a time of peace, it was hard to invent any kind of threat for the heroes to fight against. Thus most material that built on The Phantom Menace was either set before or during the film, rather than after.

Attack of the Clones, on the other hand, introduced another fresh conflict -- one which fans had wanted to see for twenty-five years. Aside from being explored in comics and novels, the Clone Wars would be given their own animated series Star Wars: Clone Wars, which would serve to lead up to the release of Revenge of the Sith. In Star Wars: Clone Wars, many battles throughout the galaxy are seen, with the Force shown seemingly to its full extent, in fantastic fights such as Mace Windu destroying a whole droid army. The second (2004) season of the series concludes by introducing the newest villain, General Grievous, an important character in Revenge of the Sith. Grievous was also a main player on episodes 21-25, released in 2005 and leading directly to Revenge of the Sith. Following the release of Revenge of the Sith, events between the two trilogies are now being elaborated, such as the Great Jedi Purge.

In addition to adding new possibilities, the prequel trilogy contradicted a number of statements involving the Clone Wars in existing novels. In Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy, for example, the dates given for the war were inaccurate. This was since retconned by explaining that the dates were given using alternate calendars.

Legends

On April 25, 2014, Lucasfilm announced that the Expanded Universe was being reorganized under the new non-canon "Star Wars Legends" banner to make way for a new line of continuity, led by principle projects Star Wars Rebels and the Star Wars sequel trilogy, to take shape. Certain previously published Expanded Universe material remained in print as Legends stories.[1] The first novels reprinted under the Legends banner included Heir to the Empire, The Han Solo Adventures, The Lando Calrissian Adventures, Crucible, Kenobi, Empire and Rebellion: Razor's Edge, Death Troopers,[3] Fate of the Jedi: Outcast, Maul: Lockdown, Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories, and the Star Wars: Lives & Adventures compendium.

Story eras

  • Before the Republic (37,000 BBY—25,000 BBY)

In the era before the Galactic Republic, the Je'daii Order first discovers the Force on the planet Tython, and works to better understand the mystical energy. They struggle to retain balance in the Force, and come into conflict with the marauding Rakata species.

  • The Old Republic (25,000 BBY - 1,000 BBY)

The Old Republic was the government that united the Star Wars galaxy under the rule of the Galactic Senate. In this era, the Jedi are numerous, and serve as guardians of peace and justice. The Tales of the Jedi comics series takes place in this era, chronicling the immense wars fought by the Jedi of old, and the ancient Sith.

Spacetrooper

The light spacetrooper is one of the many EU characters of the Galactic Empire.

  • The Rise of the Empire (1,000 BBY - 0 BBY)

After the seemingly final defeat of the Sith, the Republic enters a state of complacency. In the waning years of the Republic, the senate was rife with corruption and scandal, and saddled with a bureaucracy so immense that effective governing was nearly impossible. The ambitious Senator Palpatine caused himself to be elected Supreme Chancellor, and promised to reunite the galaxy under a New Order. The prequel trilogy takes place during this era.

  • The Rebellion (0 BBY - 5 ABY)

An outcry of resistance begins to spread across the galaxy in protest to the new Empire's tyranny. Cells of Rebellion fight back, and the Galactic Civil War begins. This era begins with the Rebel victory that secured the Death Star plans, and ends a year after the death of the Emperor high over the forest moon of Endor. The Rebellion starts to reform itself into a body of government, first as the Alliance of Free Planets, and later the New Republic. The original trilogy takes place during this era.

  • The New Republic (5 ABY - 25 ABY)

Having defeated the Empire at the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance must now transform itself from a militant resistance force into a functioning galactic government. As Imperial territory is reclaimed, the New Republic suffers growing pains, having to fend off insurrections, Imperial loyalists, and wayward warlords. Also, Luke Skywalker, the last of the Jedi, begins training apprentices, rebuilding the Jedi order.

  • The New Jedi Order (25 ABY - 36 ABY)

The Jedi Knights are now a hundred strong. The New Republic has signed a peace treaty with what little remains of the Empire. The galaxy is finally enjoying a peaceful respite from decades of war. It's at this time that a horrible alien menace invades the Republic from beyond known space. The Yuuzhan Vong lay waste to entire worlds in their scourge, as depicted in the novels of The New Jedi Order. Five years later the galaxy goes through the events of The Dark Nest Trilogy. The novels detail how Luke Skywalker and his New Jedi Order confront the mysterious insectoid Killiks, who are a hive-minded species intent on conquering the galaxy.

  • Legacy (40 ABY - 138+ ABY)

Having reached peace with the Yuuzhan Vong, the newly formed Galactic Federation of Free Alliance struggles to keep itself working as a single government. But many threats from inside are joined by a danger that comes from the remains of the dark side. The new Jedi order created by Luke Skywalker faces a new era as the heirs of the Skywalker legacy grow up. Jacen Solo, perhaps the wisest of that new order, is now Ben Skywalker's master, and together they will have to confront the new powers willing to destroy the Jedi, the Galactic Federation and, maybe, the galaxy. This era includes the Jacen Solo's descent into darkness, and the death of many iconic Rebellion era characters. The Legacy era continues in a series of comics that debuted in May 2006 entitled "Star Wars: Legacy".

Works

"The analogy is that every piece of published Star Wars fiction is a window into the 'real' Star Wars universe. Some windows are a bit foggier than others. Some are decidedly abstract. But each contains a nugget of truth to them. Like the great Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi said, 'many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.'"
Chris Cerasi of Lucas Licensing.[src]

Film and television

CloneWarsPoster

Star Wars: Clone Wars (20032005)

  • The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) was a two-hour television special portraying Chewbacca's return to his home planet of Kashyyyk to celebrate Life Day with his family. Along with the stars of the original 1977 movie, such TV and music stars as Beatrice Arthur, Art Carney and Jefferson Starship appeared in plot-related skits and musical numbers. The content is considered canonical, but the special is reviled by some fans and virtually disowned by George Lucas, though other fans enjoy its nostalgic sweetness and naively misguided creativity; an online petition for its video release has gotten press in New York Newsday and other media outlets. The Holiday Special features the first appearance of bounty hunter Boba Fett, in an 11-minute animated sequence, and the first reference to Kashyyyk. The general look of the Kashyyyk sets from the Holiday Special formed the basis for the settings used in Revenge of the Sith (2005).
  • Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (1984) was the first of two films featuring the Ewoks from Return of the Jedi. In Caravan of Courage, the Ewoks help two children rescue their parents from a giant known as Gorax. This and the next film are notable for having their stories written by Lucas himself; one of his few contributions to non-theatrical Star Wars productions, other than his obvious sanctioning of them.
  • Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985). In this second Ewok film, Wicket, Cindel, and the Ewoks ally with a hermit named Noa to defeat Marauders who attacked their village.
  • Star Wars: Droids (19851986) was an animated series following the adventures of C-3PO and R2-D2 between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. It featured Anthony Daniels as the voice of C-3PO.
  • Star Wars: Ewoks (19851987) was an animated series featuring the adventures of the Ewoks prior to Return of the Jedi
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars (20032005) aired on the Cartoon Network and depicted events between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The series received an Emmy Award and introduced the character of General Grievous.

Radio and audio drama

A radio adaptation of A New Hope was first broadcast on National Public Radio in 1981. The adaptation was written by science fiction author Brian Daley and directed by John Madden. It was followed by adaptations of the next two films in the original trilogy: The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

The radio adaptations were notable for including background material probably created by Lucas but not used for the films. Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Billy Dee Williams reprised their roles as Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, and Lando Calrissian, respectively; John Williams composed an original score; and Ben Burtt, who designed the sound for all of the Star Wars movies, did the same for the radio adaptations.

In 1983, NPR broadcast an entirely original Star Wars radio drama, Rebel Mission to Ord Mantell. Like the radio adaptations of the films, Rebel Mission to Ord Mantell was written by Brian Daley.

For more than a decade, Rebel Mission to Ord Mantell was the only Star Wars drama not adapted from a feature film. Then, between 1995 and 1998 more than a half dozen audio dramas were released as audio tapes and CDs. These audio dramas were adapted from Dark Horse comic books, and include Tales of the Jedi (1995), Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina (1995), Dark Empire (1996), Dark Empire II (1996), Empire's End (1997), Dark Forces (1998), and Crimson Empire (1998).

Adaptations of the prequel films have not been made at this point.

Books

Heirtotheempire

Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire, the first volume in the Thrawn Trilogy.

Star Wars-based fiction predates the release of the first movie, with the 1976 novelization of "A New Hope" (ghost-written by Alan Dean Foster and credited to George Lucas). However, Foster's 1978 novel, Splinter of the Mind's Eye, is thought of as the first Expanded Universe work to be released. In addition to filling in the time between the movies, this additional content greatly expanded the Star Wars timeline before and after the film series.

Star Wars fiction flourished during the time of the original series (1977-1983), but slowed to a trickle afterwards. In 1991, however, Timothy Zahn's celebrated Thrawn Trilogy debuted, sparking a new interest in the Star Wars universe. Since then, several hundred tie-in novels have been published by Bantam Spectra and Del Rey.

Notable books in the series include the X-Wing series by Michael A. Stackpole and Aaron Allston, the Jedi Academy trilogy and Tales From... series by Kevin J. Anderson, and the New Jedi Order series, by various authors. Another notable series of books is the Young Jedi Knights, also by Kevin J. Anderson, which follow the adventures of Jacen and Jaina Solo and their friends. The Legacy series is another important book series, which is written by Aaron Allston, Karen Traviss, and Troy Denning .

Comic books and strips

Marvel Comics published Star Wars comic book series and adaptations from 1977 to 1986, and published the first original work in the Expanded Universe with the story The Keeper's World. A wide variety of creators worked on this series, including Archie Goodwin, Howard Chaykin, Al Williamson, Carmine Infantino, Gene Day, Walt Simonson, Michael Golden, Chris Claremont, Whilce Portacio, Jo Duffy, and Ron Frenz.

In the 1980s, as part of its Star Comics line aimed at young children, Marvel also published the short-lived series Ewoks and Droids, based on the two Saturday morning cartoons of the same name.

Star Wars was also a daily newspaper comic strip from 1979 to 1984. Among the creators were Goodwin, Williamson, and Russ Manning.

In the late 1980s, Marvel announced it would publish a new Star Wars comic by Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy. However, Dark Horse Comics published "Dark Empire" instead, and went on to publish a large number of original adventures set in the Star Wars universe. These include: Star Wars: Republic, Star Wars Empire, Star Wars Tales and Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi. Dark Horse has also re-published the Marvel series and news strips in a collection entitled Classic Star Wars. In addition, the company has reprinted several Japanese manga-interpretations of the films, including Star Wars Manga: The Empire Strikes Back by Toshi Kudo and Star Wars Manga: Return of the Jedi by Shin-Ichi Hiromoto.

Computer and video games

Kotorbox

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic PC box cover.

Since 1983, over 120 video games have been published bearing the Star Wars name, beginning with Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back published for the Atari 2600 by Parker Brothers. Other early titles include the Star Wars Nintendo Entertainment System game (published by JVC) and three other titles for the Atari 2600.

Atari produced arcade games based on the original trilogy, beginning with Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, which were both 'flight sim' style games that utilized vector graphics. The third, Return of the Jedi, used more traditional raster graphics.

Star Wars has also, and not surprisingly, opened the way to a myriad of Space-flight simulations that take the space wars of the saga in a more serious manner, teaching the player to fly various Star Wars Universe starfighters along the lines of more traditional "Modern Aircraft" flight simulators. The first among these were "X-Wing" and its two expansions, "B-Wing" and "Imperial Pursuit", dealing with the Rebellion's side of the war, taking place in the period right before, and up to, the destruction of the first Death Star. The second was "TIE Fighter", dealing with the Empire's starfighters at the time prior to Episode VI. Both games were released for DOS and Macintosh. "TIE Fighter" also had an expansion disk, "Defender of the Empire". In addition, both the original "X-Wing" and "TIE Fighter" games saw two collector's edition releases (one for DOS and another for Windows 9x) which featured enhanced graphics quality and added missions. Newer simulators are also available, with Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance in the lead.

The first Star Wars first-person-shooter, Dark Forces, was introduced by LucasArts in February 1995. Telling the story of Kyle Katarn, Imperial soldier-turned-mercenary, the game featured a little over a dozen levels where the player explored various original and familiar settings. Featuring an original and interactive soundtrack by renowned game composer Clint Bajakian using the iMUSE sound system, along with state-of-the-art graphics, the game succeeded in capturing many gamers' imaginations. The 1997 sequel, Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, was notable for having a few cut scenes which were made up of live action footage of certain Expanded Universe characters, such as Kyle Katarn.

Rogue Squadron was a cross-platform title on Nintendo 64 and PC which allowed the player to experience a more arcade-action version of the same gameplay in "X-Wing" and "TIE Fighter", similar to the action that was presented in the N64 title Shadows of the Empire. The game consisted of piloting several different Star Wars vehicles through missions on planet surfaces and in space. "Rogue Squadron" saw two sequels, both on the Nintendo GameCube system.

Star Wars: Rebellion allowed players to compete in the Star Wars universe on a larger scale, focusing more on the strategic aspect of handling (or defeating) a rebellion, with resource management and agent-allocation, as well as large-scale conflicts between entire fleets of starships.

Knights of the Old Republic by BioWare and Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords by Obsidian Entertainment are recent additions to the EU, and take place in the Old Republic era, right after the Mandalorian wars. The games are of the Action RPG genre, a type of RPG that is still turn based like most RPG's, but instead of waiting for the other player to take a turn the turns are based on a rate of fire. This style of RPG is somewhat new and made big waves for its innovative style.

Other games are: Battlefront, Battlefront II, Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron , Galactic Battlegrounds, Republic Commando, Episode III: The video game, Lego Star Wars, Jedi Outcast, Jedi Academy, Star Wars Galaxies, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II and Empire at War.

Board and roleplaying games

In a 1996 game from Hasbro, entitled Star Wars: The Interactive Video Board Game, which is set during the era of the original trilogy, new live-action scenes were shot of Darth Vader on the Death Star around the events of Return of the Jedi. The footage was made available on a special VHS tape, included in the box of the game. When playing the board game, the players could put in the tape, which would play while they were in a game. David Prowse reprises his role as Vader, and James Earl Jones returned as the voice of Vader. Some of the original crew for A New Hope came back to shoot these scenes.

Several editions of the Star Wars roleplaying games have been published. The 1st edition (a d6 version) was published by West End Games in 1987. The 2nd edition was published by West End Games in 1992. The 2.5 edition was published by West End Games in 1996. In late 2000, Wizards of the Coast released the 3rd edition (a d20 version). In 2002, Wizards of the Coast released the 3.5 edition. Bill Slavicsek worked on all the editions. He included a conversion table (from the previous d6 versions to the new d20 version) at the end of the 3rd edition that helped Star Wars RPG players adapt to the new d20 version. 2007 saw the release of the Saga Edition Rulebook from WOTC, which offers a revised d20 system for players to develop their characters and take advantage of the vast number of miniatures that Wizards produces. In 2010, WOTC announced that they would not be renewing their license to produce new Star Wars material after the third quarter of that year.

Shadowsnovel

The Shadows of the Empire multimedia project was set between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

In 2005, Hasbro developed and released a DVD TV game based on Star Wars and utilizing the Trivial Pursuit game-play format.

In 2012, new license holders Fantasy Flight Games have the release of their X-Wing minature space combat game and Living Card Game.

Multimedia projects

  • Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (1996) was an ambitious multimedia project created by Lucasfilm. Dubbed "a film without a film", Shadows of the Empire told the story of the events between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and introduced a new villain, the crime lord Prince Xizor. Utilizing all previous types of media that have been used to present the Expanded Universe, the project included a novel written by Steve Perry, multiple comic book series, a soundtrack, a video game, concept art, action figures, and the like.
  • Clone Wars (2003-2005). Using methods similar to the Shadows of the Empire project, Lucasfilm directed a widespread project to tell the stories of the Clone Wars. This project was made up of films, novels, video games, comics, action figures, and even its own animated series (described above).
  • The Force Unleashed (2008). Originally set for 2007, production was postponed for a year. Set between the two trilogies and during the Great Jedi Purge, it focues on the adventures of Darth Vader's secret apprentice, Galen Marek. It's been referred to as "the next chapter in the Star Wars saga." Like its predecessors it includes novels, comics, a game, RPG resources and others.

Mockumentaries

  • Return of the Ewok (1982) was a 24-minute fictional mockumentary-style movie, focusing on Warwick Davis' decision to become an actor and act as Wicket in Return of the Jedi.
  • R2-D2: Beneath the Dome (2002) was a 20-minute mockumentary-style movie, focusing on the "true" story of R2-D2's life. It was made as a fun side-project by some of the crew of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, but was later deemed suitable for television and for its own DVD.

Star Tours

In 1987, Lucasfilm and Disney, utilizing the power of ILM, teamed up to produce Star Tours, an amusement park simulator ride through the Star Wars galaxy, eventually opened in multiple Disney parks. The ride is advertised as an opportunity to take a tour to the forest moon of Endor via the StarSpeeder 3000. The ship is controlled by a robot named Rex (voiced by Paul Reubens of Pee Wee Herman fame), who happens to be new at giving the tours, and your riding experience happens to be his first time at the controls. Along the way, the rider encounters many mishaps, including run-ins with Imperial Star Destroyers, and near collisions with icy comets, until their ship finally makes it safely back into the port.

An updated version of the attraction, known as Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, was announced by George Lucas and Disney, set during the period between Episodes III and IV. The new ride opened May 20th, 2011 in Walt Disney World and June 3rd, 2011 in Disneyland. A limited-run line of action figures is also available exclusively in the Star Tours gift shop, based on droid characters from the ride and the attraction queue.

Toys

In addition, many other toys have been made. The Star Wars toy phenomenon began in 1978 with the original action figures, toy lightsabers and blasters, twelve-inch figures, toy vehicles, and much more products. These toys are known as the vintage Star Wars toys. Today many of these "vintage" figures are quite rare and hard to find. Many are also worth a lot of money. Recently, a toy line called Star Wars: The Original Trilogy Collection, brought back elements of the original vintage toy line, such as vintage packaging. With the coming of The Phantom Menace, LEGO began creating little (and quite large) buildable Star Wars characters and scenes. A few years ago, the Lego creators have invented light-up lightsabers for their figures. These lightsabers are no longer used. Lego has cooperated with LucasArts to make four video games (Lego Star Wars 1, 2, 3 and Complete Saga).

Many types of toys have been made. Darth Vader helmets and voice changers now inhabit the shelves, usually right next to the Ultimate Lightsaber Kit, which contains parts to design and assemble your own functional lightsaber toy. The term "Expanded Universe" was first used with Kenner's assortments of action figures based on the various Star Wars novels, comic books, and video games. Previous toys based on novels were sold by Galoob as "Epic Collections."

Continuity and canonicity

StarWarsNovelization

Star Wars - 1976 first printing.

The Expanded Universe is intended to be a continuation, and an expansion, on the six Star Wars theatrical films produced by George Lucas from 1977-2005. All EU material, combined with that presented in the films is meant to function as a complete story. However, in order to allow this story to function as a whole, it must be kept in an order of continuity. Lucasfilm holds this of such high importance that a team's sole job at Lucasfilm is maintaining continuity between Lucas's films, and the EU, which is written by many other authors and artists, many times out of order, and with many different ideas. Lucas, however, is free to go in any direction he wishes in his films to tell the story he intends. He acknowledges and supports the works of the EU, however, he still tells the stories he wants to tell in his films. When asked in an interview his general opinion on the EU, he replied:

"I don't read that stuff. I haven't read any of the novels. I don't know anything about that world. That's a different world than my world. But I do try to keep it consistent. The way I do it now is they have a Star Wars Encyclopedia. So if I come up with a name or something else, I look it up and see if it has already been used. When I said [other people] could make their own Star Wars stories, we decided that, like Star Trek, we would have two universes: My universe and then this other one. They try to make their universe as consistent with mine as possible, but obviously they get enthusiastic and want to go off in other directions."
―George Lucas, from an interview in Starlog #337[src]

George Lucas retains ultimate creative control over the Star Wars universe. For example, the "death" of central characters and similar changes in the status quo must first pass his screening before authors are given the go-ahead. In addition, Lucasfilm Licensing devotes considerable effort to ensure continuity between the works of various authors across multiple companies. Nothing in the Expanded Universe is supposed to contradict the films or any other part of the Expanded Universe. Upon occasion, Lucas's new films, reedited Original Trilogy films, or statements have contradicted existing EU material, and several retcons have been used to fix these inconsistencies.

Some purists reject the Expanded Universe as apocrypha, believing that only the events in the film series are part of the "real" Star Wars universe (Palpatine's clones, for example, seem to contradict the "chosen one" theory). This line of thought is supported to the extent that some Expanded Universe material released before Lucas's prequel films drew erroneous conclusions that Lucas later corrected. However, elements of the Expanded Universe have been adopted by Lucas for use in the films. For example, the name of planet Coruscant first appeared in Timothy Zahn's novel Heir to the Empire before being used later in the prequel trilogy (although its pronunciation changed) - though the planet itself, under a different name, had existed in a previous version of the script to Return of the Jedi. Also, the Twi'lek Jedi Aayla Secura originally appeared in the ongoing Dark Horse comics series "Republic" - apparently Lucas saw the cover which featured her and liked the look of her character so much that he included her in the Jedi battle at the end of Attack of the Clones, played by Lucasfilm employee Amy Allen, and her demise is later shown in Revenge of the Sith. These examples sometimes end up confusing the issue, as they have blurred the lines between the Expanded Universe and "his world."

This is a hotly debated issue among Star Wars fans. Superficially, the allure of the films is that they are organized numerically and logically whereas the Expanded Universe is published out of chronological sequence and occasionally contains minor contradictions, despite the best efforts of Lucas Licensing. On the other hand, without the Expanded Universe, the Star Wars universe has no real depth. Some readers accuse the EU sources of being excessively self-referential, to an extent that misrepresents the Star Wars universe (e.g. EU minimalism, the creeping reduction of technological abilities and physical scope in EU sources). Some other fans find that the Expanded Universe convention destroys many of the good dramatic elements of the movies if it explains things in a way they find unfavorable. These critics feel that writing a new story within the context of the EU handcuffs the author.

Though LFL has decreed that the Expanded Universe is part of continuity, some Star Wars fans do not agree. In theory, the films are the absolute canon and everything else official is part of the Expanded Universe that, while generally valid, cannot contradict anything in the movies. Wherever an EU source contradicts movie canon, the EU source is invalid on that specific point, though the rest of the source is still considered part of the continuity. Despite the unpopularity of works like the Jedi Prince series, they are considered just as canonical as popular works like Shadows of the Empire.

However, it sometimes appears that this is not true in practice. For example, Prophets of the Dark Side featured the wedding of Han Solo and Princess Leia, but Dave Wolverton ignored this and featured the same event in his novel The Courtship of Princess Leia, which was released a few years later. According to the rules of the Expanded Universe, both versions are within continuity, though it is the wedding in Dave Wolverton's book that is most often referenced. Fans have tried to fix this problem by suggesting that, since the scene in Prophets of the Dark Side concludes just as Han and Leia are walking down the aisle, the event was disrupted and postponed until the time of The Courtship of Princess Leia; this was confirmed by the authors of the other series, that they had planned to write another series of novels which would begin with the wedding's disruption, but their contract was cancelled before they could do so.

There are also minor disputes about what is, and what is not, part of the Expanded Universe. For example, the two Star Wars spin-off films: Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor were written by George Lucas and are films, but they are not one of the six main films in the series, so they are usually considered to be a part of the Expanded Universe.

It must be noted that the official Star Wars databank entries distinguish movie information and EU information, providing them in separate tabs.

Official levels of canon

The Holocron continuity database is an internal database maintained by Lucas Licensing for the express purpose of trying to maintain continuity within all licensed products. The Holocron is sorted into four levels of canon, reflecting LFL's current canon and continuity policies: G, T, C, S, and N. G, T, C, and S together form an overall continuity that is considered by Lucasfilm to be the "true" Star Wars canon.

  • G (George Lucas) canon is absolute canon. This category includes the six films, some of the deleted scenes from the films, the novelizations of the films, the radio dramas based on the films, the film scripts, and any material found in any other source (published or not) that comes directly from George Lucas himself. G canon overrules all other forms of canon when there is a contradiction.
  • T[4] canon refers to the canon level comprising only the two television shows Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the Star Wars live-action TV series.
  • C (continuity) canon refers to the main body of EU work, and is the next most authoritative level of canon. All material published under the Star Wars label but not falling into either G, S, or N is C canon, and is considered authoritative as long as not contradicted by G canon. Games are a special case as generally only the stories would be "C-canon" while things like stats and gameplay are "N-canon". If the video game has several possible ends or if the player can choose the gender or the species of the main character, only one of each is considered C-canon. C-canon elements have been known to appear in the movies, thus making them G-canon. (This includes: the name "Coruscant", swoop bikes, Aayla Secura, YT-2400 freighters or Action VI Transports.)
  • S (secondary) canon refers to older, less accurate, or less coherent EU works, which would not ordinarily fit in the main continuity of G and C canon. Unless referenced by a G or C-level source, the story itself is considered non-continuity, but the non-contradicting elements are still a canon part of the Star Wars universe. For example, this includes The Star Wars Holiday Special, the Marvel comics, or the popular online roleplaying game Star Wars Galaxies and certain elements of a few N-canon stories.
  • N continuity material is also known as "non-canon" or "non-continuity" material. What-if stories (such as those published under the Infinities label), game stats, and anything else that is directly contradicted by higher canon and cannot at all fit into continuity is placed into this category. "N-canon" is the only level that is not at all considered canon by Lucasfilm.

Lucas' use of the EU

EU in the films

C-canon elements from licensed creators have been known to appear in Lucas's films. Most of these are brief, cameo appearances, almost taking the form of Easter eggs (which may have been added by animators or others under Lucas, rather than specifically dictated), but others are more substantial. It seems that elements of the Expanded Universe influenced George Lucas in the writing of the Star Wars prequels, at least insofar as knowledge of the EU helps in understanding the prequels. The Clone Wars-era EU was also used to introduce characters such as General Grievous and Commander Bly, Lucas' creations slated to appear in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

Lucas's involvement with the EU

Lucas has often worked very closely with EU creators:

Lucas/EU contradictions

On the other hand, Lucas has been known to ignore C-canon material when creating his films, even when this material is well-established and central to the EU continuity. This has led some to believe that the C-canon material is not, in fact, closely aligned with Lucas's vision. Examples of these inconsistencies include:

  • While in the EU the Republic has been existant for roughly 25,000 years, based on statements made by Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope, in Attack of the Clones, Palpatine says that the Republic has stood for a thousand years. Taken at face value, this would not only delete the majority of the EU's history, but contradict another piece of G-canon as well. Authors invented the Ruusan Reformation, in which the Republic is reorganized following the defeat of the Sith, occurring a thousand years before the movies, in order to explain, or "retcon," this statement.
  • The deaths of Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin Skywalker in the original trilogy made it appear that dead Jedi typically disappeared and reappeared as Force ghosts. Revenge of the Sith revealed that this is in fact a very rare ability only a few Jedi have ever mastered. The 2007 Legacy of the Force novel Sacrifice further reveals that a Jedi can choose to become one with the Force or to have the body left behind.
  • Boba Fett's origins originally named him as one "Jaster Mereel," a Journeyman Protector exiled from Concord Dawn. It was later revealed that Jaster Mereel was merely an alias Fett was using when he was exiled. The real Jaster, whose name Boba used as an alias, was retconned into a separate character.
  • The Clone Wars as described in Zahn's Thrawn trilogy were, at least in part, a struggle between the Old Republic and an army of insane clones grown and controlled by a number of "clonemasters." Attack of the Clones on the other hand, revealed that the Clone Wars were fought between the Old Republic (using clones) and a (single) Separatist movement (using droids). When writing the prequel trilogy, Lucas changed the dates he had originally given Zahn for the Clone Wars, so Zahn's estimate was at least a decade off. This inconsistency was easily retconned however, since it is the Noghri who give the former date, and this species was using their own unique dating system.
  • Similarly, in Attack of the Clones, Sio Bibble states that "there hasn't been a full-scale war since the formation of the Republic." In the EU, dozens of wars have occurred since the Republic's formation such as the Great Hyperspace War, the Sith War, the Mandalorian Wars, the Jedi Civil War, the New Sith Wars, and numerous Great Schisms. Bibble, like Palpatine above, must have been referring to the post-Ruusan Reformation Republic, as that is the only explanation that makes sense without undermining much of the EU.
  • In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin is outraged that he was admitted to the Jedi Council but not given the rank of master. He says that such an occurrence had never happened in the history of the order. However, it had been established that during the time of The Phantom Menace, Ki-Adi-Mundi was a council member though he was only a knight.
  • R4-P17, the droid in Obi-Wan's Jedi Starfighter in Attack of the Clones, is at first an incorrect designation, as it has the dome of an R2 unit. The R4's dome is more conical. However, this was retconned by saying that R4-P17's old R4 body was damaged, and its remains were placed in an R2 body.

Film cast and crew participation in the EU

On a number of occasions, cast and crew from the films have been known to participate in the EU.

Bibliography

Notes and references

See also

External links


The Star Wars Saga
Episodes:
I: The Phantom Menace · II: Attack of the Clones · III: Revenge of the Sith
IV: A New Hope · V: The Empire Strikes Back · VI: Return of the Jedi
VII · VIII · IX
Spin-off films:
The Holiday Special · Caravan of Courage · The Battle for Endor
The Great Heep · The Haunted Village · The Pirates and the Prince
Tales from the Endor Woods · Treasure of the Hidden Planet
The Clone Wars · Gareth Edwards spinoff · Lawrence Kasdan spinoff
Simon Kinberg spinoff · Josh Trank spinoff
Television series:
Droids · Ewoks · Clone Wars · The Clone Wars
Rebels · Detours · Underworld
Other media:
Audio dramas · Books · Comics · Games · Star Tours I, II · Fan films
Shadows of the Empire · Clone Wars · The Force Unleashed · The Old Republic
[edit]

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki