- "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
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. For the most part, the Expanded Universe is considered canonical by Lucasfilm Ltd.—though subordinate to film canon. However, the issue 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.
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. (It should be noted that 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.
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.
- "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
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 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, Vector Prime.
The EU and the prequelsEdit
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.
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.
- See also: List of publishing eras
- 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.
- 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".
- "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.
Film and televisionEdit
- 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 (1985-1986) 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 (1985-1987) was an animated series featuring the adventures of the Ewoks prior to Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003-2005) 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.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008-2013) currently airs on Cartoon Network. It is a 3-D expansion of the Clone Wars microseries, which, unlike its predecessor, is a half-hour-long show.
- Future film and television projects. A live-action series will be an hour-long show, set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. It will focus on very minor characters from the films, with the possibility of cameos by some of the main characters. The live-action show is expected to make its debut sometime in 2014 or later.
Radio and audio dramaEdit
- See also: Star Wars (radio)
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.
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.
- See also: Timeline of books
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 stripsEdit
- See also: Timeline of comics
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 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 gamesEdit
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 gamesEdit
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- See also: Star Tours (real-world)
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.
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 canonicityEdit
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
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 canonEdit
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 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 EUEdit
EU in the filmsEdit
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.
- The name of the Wookiee home planet Kashyyyk was taken from the EU, although Lucas himself invented the species and the planet.
- In the novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye (released in 1978), C-3PO mentions that Darth Vader knows "all the proper code words and commands" to shut him down. This would make sense, given the revelation in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (released in 1999) that Vader himself built 3PO when he was a little boy. Whether Lucas was aware of this when making The Phantom Menace is unknown. However, this is contradicted anyway seeing as how C-3PO gets his memory erased in Revenge of the Sith.
- Lucas has adopted the Expanded Universe name Twi'lek for Aayla Secura's species, as evidenced by a remark of his which is documented in an Episode III Set Diary entry.
- The Expanded Universe character Tsui Choi was at one point slated to appear in Revenge of the Sith.
- The Squid Lake sequence from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith seems to resemble parts of the Mermeia sequence from The Star Wars Holiday Special.[source?]
- The Buzz droids in Revenge of the Sith are reminiscent of the Grutchin species from The New Jedi Order.[source?]
- Artists for the prequel films have used various Expanded Universe materials—particularly the Star Wars Chronicles and Incredible Cross-Sections books—as inspiration for their work on the prequel films. Concept artists also viewed The Star Wars Holiday Special multiple times while designing the Kashyyyk environment for Revenge of the Sith.
Lucas's involvement with the EUEdit
Lucas has often worked very closely with EU creators:
- Lucas wrote the story for The Star Wars Holiday Special.
- Lucas wrote the stories for, executive produced, and directed pick-ups and re-shoots for both of the Ewok films from the mid-eighties: Caravan of Courage and The Battle for Endor.
- Lucas was involved with the creation of the Star Tours theme park attraction.
- Lucas has worked closely with the crew of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series, and has rewritten several of the stories. He is planning to write, direct, and produce part of the upcoming Star Wars live-action TV series.
- James Luceno based his book Labyrinth of Evil on the background Lucas informed him of, of what happened right before Revenge of the Sith.
- Lucas also gave Genndy Tartakovsky information on specific events during the Clone Wars, which Genndy then used in part of the series.
- In writing the novelization of The Phantom Menace, Lucas informed Terry Brooks of the extensive history of the Sith and Jedi before that time period, so he could include it in his book. For example, the character of Darth Bane is an original creation of Lucas', and although he did not include information on the character in his films, he informed Terry Brooks of the character to incorporate into the novelization of The Phantom Menace. Lucas also gave Brooks other extensive bits of info of what went on during The Phantom Menace.
- Lucas wrote the prologue for Matthew Stover's novel Shatterpoint.
- During the production of the Shadows of the Empire multimedia project, Lucas instructed those involved to base the Prince Xizor character on the Dashade species from The Star Wars Holiday Special.
- Lucas met with Roy Thomas to help plan the early storylines for Marvel Star Wars, and personally approved the direction Thomas planned to take the series.
- Lucas selected Archie Goodwin to become a writer for the Star Wars comic strip.
- Lucas helped Kevin J. Anderson develop aspects of the Sith for the Tales of the Jedi comics.
- Lucas decided that Delta Squad should have colored armor in Republic Commando, to match Episode III.
- Lucas instructed John Ostrander on what the fate of Quinlan Vos should be in Star Wars: Republic 83: The Hidden Enemy, Part 3.
- George Lucas has decreed that there can be no more Wookiee Jedi in the Expanded Universe. Notably, Obsidian Entertainment was forbidden to make Hanharr a Dark Jedi because of this restriction.
- George Lucas has decreed that, following Episode III, Palpatine has only minor concern over the remaining Jedi.
- Lucas owns the original cover art of Tag & Bink Were Here.
- Lucas gave his direct input and guidance to the 2007 multimedia project Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.
- Lucas established that Darth Plagueis is a Muun..
- He reportedly provided background notes for the Tales of the Jedi comic series and Jedi Academy Trilogy novels.[source?]
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 EUEdit
On a number of occasions, cast and crew from the films have been known to participate in the EU.
- George Lucas has worked quite a bit with the EU (see above).
- Mark Hamill reprised his role as Luke Skywalker for The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978), as well as for a brief voice role as Luke in the 2000 television commercial for the novel Vector Prime. He also worked on the LEGO Star Wars: Revenge of the Brick animated short and also for the first two dramatizations of the early 80's Star Wars radio drama.
- Harrison Ford reprised his role as Han Solo for The Star Wars Holiday Special.
- Carrie Fisher reprised her role as Princess Leia Organa for The Star Wars Holiday Special.
- Peter Mayhew reprised his role as Chewbacca for The Star Wars Holiday Special, and wrote the introduction for the Chewbacca trade paperback.
- Samuel L. Jackson reprised his role as Mace Windu via voice in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and archival footage of him is used for the video game adapation of Star Wars Episode III.
- David Prowse and James Earl Jones reprised their role as the body and voice (respectively) of Darth Vader for The Star Wars Holiday Special and the board game Star Wars: The Interactive Video Board Game. While not an official part of the expanded universe, it is notable that through archive sound, James Earl Jones provided Vader's voice for a commercial for the fanon Episode IV Spin-off: Knightquest as well as
- Anthony Daniels has portrayed C-3PO in all of his non-film roles where 3PO either physically appeared, or needed the voice work (with the exception of the Dark Empire audio dramas), and also co-wrote Droids: The Protocol Offensive. According to Genndy Tartakovsky, Daniels also re-wrote some of his lines while working on the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series so that they would be more like what his character would normally say.
- Liam Neeson reprised his role as Qui-Gon Jinn for the video game: Lego Star Wars: The Video Game and two episodes of season 3 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars
- Billy Dee Williams reprised his role as Lando Calrissian for The Empire Strikes Back audio drama and the Dark Empire audio drama, as well as the video games Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Star Wars Battlefront II and Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy.
- Warwick Davis reprised his role as Wicket W. Warrick in the two Ewok films Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (1985) and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985), and his non-canon film Return of the Ewok. He also portrayed Willow Ufgood in the retroactively non-canon film Willow (1988).
- Lewis MacLeod reprised his role as Sebulba for all of his video game appearances as well as playing Obi-Wan Kenobi in the video games: Star Wars: Super Bombad Racing, Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds and Star Wars: Obi-Wan.
- Ian McDiarmid reprised his role as Darth Sidious for the video game Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron
- Alethea McGrath reprises her role as Jocasta Nu in the video game adpation of Star Wars Episode III.
- Temuera Morrison reprised his role as Jango Fett in the video games Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, Star Wars: Battlefront, Star Wars: Battlefront II and Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron. He reprised his voice role as Boba Fett in the video games Star Wars: Battlefront II, Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron, and Star Wars: Empire at War. Additionally, he reprised his roles as various clone troopers in the video games Star Wars: Battlefront, Star Wars: Republic Commando, Star Wars: Battlefront II and Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron. Archive sounds of Morrison were used for the voice of Jango Fett and various clone troopers in the video game LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game.
- Jake Lloyd reprised his role as Anakin Skywalker in the video games: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode I Racer, Star Wars: Episode I Jedi Power Battles, Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, Star Wars: Super Bombad Racing, Star Wars: Racer Revenge.
- Andrew Secombe reprised his role of Watto for all of the characters video game appearances.
- Denis Lawson, who portrayed Wedge Antilles in all three films of the original trilogy, reprised the role, in voiceover form, in the Nintendo GameCube game Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader,and the audio books Heir to the Empire and Dark Force Rising as well as providing narration and also voice-over work for all characters including Wedge Antilles .
- Voice-actor Matthew Wood, who played General Grievous in the film Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, reprised his role as the character in speaking roles for the Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith video game, the Star Wars: Battlefront II video game, and the General Grievous Halloween audiocast.
- Corey Burton who provided the voice of Rebel pilot Hobbie in Episode V, played several voice-roles in The Expanded Universe.
- Clive Revill, who provided the original voice for Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, provided the voice for Jan Dodonna in the Star Wars: X-Wing Collector's Edition.
- Daniel Logan reprised his role of Boba Fett in episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and will be reprising Boba again in the upcoming live-action television series.
- Ahmed Best reprised his role as Jar Jar Binks (in terms of voice acting) in the video games: The Gungan Frontier, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (game), Star Wars: Episode I Jedi Power Battles, Star Wars: Super Bombad Racing, and Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds as well as an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
- Greg Proops reprised his role as Fode in Star Wars: Episode I Racer. He also played the character of Tal Merrick in The Clone Wars Season Two episodes "The Mandalore Plot" and "Voyage of Temptation".
- Leeanna Walsman, who played Zam Wesell in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, reprised her role via voice in Star Wars: Bounty Hunter.
- Ben Burtt was heavily involved in the later episodes of the Star Wars: Droids animated series; he served as story writer on all of the Mungo Baobab episodes, and wrote the story and script for The Great Heep TV special. He later expanded on the Baobab family when he wrote the lyrics for the Dha Werda Verda poem and the liner notes for the Shadows of the Empire soundtrack, as well as the 2001 book, the Galactic Phrase Book and Travel Guide. He also served as sound designer/re-recording mixer for Willow.
- Joe Johnston wrote the children's book entitled The Adventures of Teebo: A Tale of Magic and Suspense, co-wrote the episode entitled "Coby and the Starhunters" of the Star Wars: Droids animated series, served as production designer on both of the Ewok television films, and served as associate producer for Willow.
- Dennis Muren worked on the special effects for Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure and the special effects for Willow.
- Phil Tippett also worked on the special effects for Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure and the special effects for Willow.
- John Knoll served as the ILM animation camera operator on Willow.
- Miki Herman served as "Star Wars consultant" on The Star Wars Holiday Special and co-executive producer of the Star Wars: Droids and Star Wars: Ewoks animated series.
- Rusty Goffe played Kabe, a Jawa, and the Gonk droid in A New Hope, and went on to play a Nelwyn villager in Willow.
- Nosher Powell worked on the stunts in A New Hope, and went on to act in an unknown role in Willow, as well as work on the stunts for that film.
- Jack Purvis played the Chief Jawa in A New Hope, the Chief Ugnaught in The Empire Strikes Back, and as Teebo in Return of the Jedi, went on to play an uncredited role as a Nelwyn band member in Willow.
- A number of Ewok actors from Return of the Jedi returned to work on the Ewok films and Willow:
- Bobby Bell - Acted as the Ewok Logray and worked on the stunts in Caravan of Courage. Stock footage of Bell's Ewok character in Return of the Jedi was used in Star Wars: Battlefront.
- Peter Burroughs - Originally played an unnamed Ewok in Return of the Jedi, he went on to play a Nelwyn villager in Willow, and worked on the stunts for both films. Stock footage of his Ewok character in Return of the Jedi was later used in the video game Star Wars: Battlefront.
- Debbie Lee Carrington - Acted as the Ewok Weechee Warrick in and worked on the stunts for Caravan of Courage and The Battle for Endor. Stock footage of Carrington's Ewok character in Return of the Jedi was used in Star Wars: Battlefront.
- Tony Cox - Acted as the Ewok Widdle Warrick in Caravan of Courage and The Battle for Endor, and as a Vohnkar warrior in Willow. He also worked on the stunts in Caravan of Courage. Stock footage of his Ewok character in Return of the Jedi was used in Star Wars: Battlefront.
- Malcolm Dixon - Originally played an Ewok Warrior in Return of the Jedi, he went on to play a Nelwyn band member in Willow. Stock footage of his Ewok character from Return of the Jedi was later used in the video game Star Wars: Battlefront.
- Margarita Fernández - Acted as the Ewok Kaink in Caravan of Courage and worked on the stunts for Caravan of Courage and The Battle for Endor
- Daniel Frishman - Acted as the Ewok Deej Warrick in Caravan of Courage and The Battle for Endor. Stock footage of Frishman's Ewok character in Return of the Jedi was used in Star Wars: Battlefront.
- Pam Grizz - Acted as the Ewok Shodu Warrick in Caravan of Courage and The Battle for Endor. Grizz's Ewok character in Return of the Jedi was used in Star Wars: Battlefront.
- Kevin Thompson - Acted as the Ewok Chukha-Trok in Caravan of Courage and worked on the stunts for Caravan of Courage and The Battle for Endor.
- Kenny Baker has an uncredited role as R2-D2 in Star Tours and an uncredited role as a Nelwyn band member in Willow.
- Star Wars: Visionaries features eleven stories written and drawn by concept artists who worked on Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
- Special Edition and The Phantom Menace conceptual designer Terryl Whitlatch wrote The Wildlife of Star Wars: A Field Guide.
- Special Edition and prequel trilogy producer Rick McCallum is producing the live-action television series, while Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith conceptual designer Erik Tiemens is serving as conceptual designer for the series.
- Christopher Lee reprised his role as Count Dooku via voice in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith video game, LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game, LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron (However, his role as Dooku in the Revenge of the Sith video game and Elite Squadron were archive footage and one line unused in the film.)
- Hayden Christensen served as basis for Anakin Skywalker's fighting style in the the video game adaption of Star Wars Episode III. He also worked on the LEGO Star Wars: Revenge of the Brick animated short.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ http://www.ceskapozice.cz/en/business/companies/star-wars-tv-series-may-shoot-prague
- ↑ http://forums.starwars.com/thread.jspa?threadID=152583&start=1335 StarWars.com message board - Holocron continuity database thread
- ↑ Celebration IV continuity panel
- ↑ Star Wars: Clone Wars: Volume One DVD commentary
- ↑ http://forums.starwars.com/thread.jspa?threadID=234624&start=30
- Official site at StarWars.com
- Expanded Universe databank at StarWars.com
- The "Star Wars Timeline Gold" - An extensive fan-made timeline
- A thorough explanation of the Star Wars canon policy
- "The Star Wars Canon: Overview" at CanonWars.com
- Site of the RandomHouse Star Wars novels.
- EUCantina- An Expanded Universe Resource Site complete with reviews, interviews, and the latest EU news.
- USA Today: 'Star Wars' books are soldiering on
- 'Star Wars' spinoffs; Videogames, novels, TV keep mythology alive - Article at Variety.com
- Gallery: 'Star Wars' toys - Article at Variety.com
- Holonet News—A "news" website based on the Star Wars prequels. It brings readers "current" events from the Expanded Universe. The site was created in the hype leading up to the release of Episode II. The site is no longer updated, as it was replaced by recurrent entries of a similar type in the Star Wars Insider magazine.
- echuta.net (EU Related fansites)
- "Should Star Wars Restart Its Continuity?" - Blog in which author Daniel Wallace entertains the idea