Wookieepedia strives to be the Internet's foremost comprehensive resource for Star Wars canon information. To this end, Wookieepedia adheres to the canon doctrines set forth by Lucasfilm Ltd. and its subsidiaries. On April 25, 2014, Lucasfilm announced that all Expanded Universe material is now reorganized under the non-canon "Legends" banner to make way for the "new canon" to take place. The new canon began on screen with the Star Wars Rebels animated television series and in print with the novel A New Dawn. Under the direction of the Lucasfilm Story Group, all elements of Star Wars canon now operate in a unified and collaborative storytelling setting.
The "new canon," which was set forth on April 25, 2014 and which is overseen by the Lucasfilm Story Group, exists in a connected, "one universe" continuity. This means that, beginning with the Star Wars Rebels animated television series and the 2014 novel A New Dawn, all officially-licensed Star Wars storytelling from this point forward stands on equal canon footing. This differs significantly from the previous system of Star Wars canon, in which George Lucas's personal projects—namely, the six films of the original trilogy and prequel trilogy, and the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series—took absolute precedence over any Expanded Universe material.
What is considered official canon?
Lucasfilm Ltd. identifies the six films of the original trilogy and prequel trilogy, and the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series as the "immovable objects of Star Wars history, the characters and events to which all other tales must align." The following list identifies what is now considered official canon. This section may require updating as Lucasfilm releases new updates.
- The Star Wars original trilogy films—Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- The Star Wars prequel trilogy films—Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- The Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series and film
- The Star Wars Rebels television series and its supplementary source material
- Star Wars Insider fiction, beginning with "Blade Squadron" in Star Wars Insider 149
- Information found in the StarWars.com Databank
- Information previously found in the now-defunct StarWars.com Encyclopedia
- All officially-licensed source material released following the September 2, 2014 novel A New Dawn. Please see below for specific exceptions.
Are any elements of the Expanded Universe still canon?
Although the Expanded Universe has been relegated to non-canon "Legends" status, Lucasfilm considers all Expanded Universe material to be a "resource" of information that any author may freely draw upon for "new canon" stories. In the event an Expanded Universe subject appears or is mentioned in a new canon story, that subject becomes official canon once again. However, that does not necessarily mean that the subject's entire previous Expanded Universe history regains canon status. Wookieepedia contributors must take care to treat as canon only elements of a subject presented within the confines of new canon source material.
Certain sources previously released as Expanded Universe material remain unclear as to whether they are now considered to be canon. Based on statements made by Lucasfilm senior editor Jennifer Heddle and Del Rey publishing, Wookieepedia considers the following. This section may require updating as Lucasfilm releases new updates.
- The canon status of Fantasy Flight Games' ongoing roleplaying system, Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, is undetermined. Heddle states, "We'll figure it out."
- Del Rey states that film novelizations, film junior novelizations, and the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film novelization "are canon where they align with what is seen on screen in the 6 films and the Clone Wars animated movie." Wookieepedia Canon articles treat these novelizations as non-canon Legends material.
- Heddle notes that the Star Wars: The Clone Wars tie-in comic Star Wars: Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir is canon because it was adapted directly from a script for the show.
- Heddle supposes the films Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, and the television series Star Wars: Droids, Star Wars: Ewoks, and Star Wars: Clone Wars are non-canon.
- Heddle assumes that the Old Republic era is non-canon, but she notes "that's something we've wondered ourselves" and that "I guess we'll see." She also assumes the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic is non-canon, but she is uncertain, since the game is still ongoing.
The Expanded Universe, which technically began in October 1977 with the Marvel comic Star Wars 7: New Planets, New Perils!, existed until April 25, 2014, when Lucasfilm declared its content to be non-canon, organized under the "Legends" banner, in preparation for the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Although George Lucas permitted the Expanded Universe to run parallel to his personal Star Wars creations, he never considered its stories to be part of his official canon. As explained by Pablo Hidalgo in the 2012 The Essential Reader's Companion, "Though these [Expanded Universe] stories may get his stamp of approval, they don't enter his canon unless they are depicted cinematically in one of his projects. That said, unless something occurs in a canon project to directly contradict a published source, it can reliably be said to have occurred."
According to Lucasfilm senior editor Jennifer Heddle, the Expanded Universe now exists as a non-canon resource for Star Wars authors, who may use any Expanded Universe subject in a new canon work, subject to approval by the Lucasfilm Story Group. In the event an Expanded Universe subject is referenced in a new canon work, that subject becomes official canon once again. However, the subject's previous Expanded Universe history does not necessarily become canon. Heddle confirms that the Expanded Universe now basically stands as a non-canon alternate universe and that no new stories will be added to the Expanded Universe line of continuity.
Holocron continuity database
In 2000, Lucas Licensing, through the Holocron continuity database, as overseen by Leland Chee, began categorizing all Expanded Universe content into a tiered hierarchy of canon. This system applied a limited degree of canonicity to Expanded Universe stories, though they remained absolutely subordinate to Lucas's personal canon. Chee created the following classification system, which no longer applies:
- G-canon, or George Lucas canon: The six Star Wars films in their most recent incarnations, including unpublished production notes from Lucas or his production department. Elements originating with Lucas in the film novelizations, reference books, and other adaptations. Direct declarations made by Lucas. Deleted scenes from the films that do not conflict with the film itself.
- T-canon, or Television canon: The Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, its feature film, and the Star Wars Rebels animated series.
- C-canon, or Continuity canon: The majority of Expanded Universe stories, including novels, comics, video games, and other content originating from other authors. C-canon material could be elevated to G-canon if a subject appeared in a Lucas project.
- S-canon, or Secondary canon: Material that could be used or ignored as desired by authors, including older works that predated a concentrated effort to maintain a consistent continuity, such as the Marvel Star Wars comics. Anything that is not completely outrageous or intentionally comic.
- N-canon, or Non-canon: "What-if" stories, including those published under the Infinities label. Any content directly and irreconcilably contradicted by higher canon. Cut content and canceled projects. This was the only level that Lucasfilm did not consider to have some degree of canonicity.
- D-canon, or Detours canon: The Star Wars Detours animated series, which was not released before the Lucasfilm declaration of April 25, 2014. This canon level was never fully defined as a result.
With Lucasfilm's creation of a single, unified continuity that excludes the Expanded Universe, this canon hierarchy system is now defunct. All content that was previously considered to be below T-canon is now officially non-canon, unless it is referenced in a new canon work.
How does Wookieepedia treat Expanded Universe "canon" now?
Although the Holocron continuity database's canon hierarchy system no longer officially applies to Star Wars canon, Wookieepedia contributors must still apply this system as needed when writing a Legends article in order to determine conflicting "canonicity" in regards to a given Expanded Universe subject. Because the Expanded Universe is so closely intertwined with the six Star Wars films and the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series and feature film, Wookieepedia contributors must fully incorporate these works into Legends articles, even though these works are now officially considered to be part of the new canon and therefore unconnected to the Expanded Universe.
For Wookieepedia's purposes in regards to Legends articles, G-canon and T-canon are now effectively synonymous, and C-canon and S-canon are now similarly synonymous, with G-canon and T-canon taking precedence over C-canon and S-canon in the event of a conflicting story. Therefore, Wookieepedia may now effectively use the following, more simplified system:
- Cinematic canon: This level combines G-canon and T-canon, as defined in the previous section (with the exception of Star Wars Rebels, which was not released before April 25, 2014 and therefore did not apply to the Expanded Universe). Cinematic canon trumps Expanded canon in the event of a conflicting story.
- Expanded canon: This level combines C-canon and S-canon, as defined in the previous section, as well as all other Expanded Universe material previously considered to be of "ambiguous" canonicity, such as unlicensed sources. In the event two Expanded canon sources conflict, precedence should typically be granted to the more recently published source, except in the instance of a clear continuity error.
- Non-canon: This level includes all Expanded Universe stories that Lucasfilm previously declared N-canon, as defined in the previous section, prior to the Lucasfilm declaration of April 25, 2014, such as Infinities. Even though all Expanded Universe content is now officially non-canon, Wookieepedia distinguishes Expanded Universe content that Lucasfilm never considered to be canon by covering this content within a Legends article's "Behind the scenes" section where appropriate.
As Wookieepedians write Legends articles, they will still draw upon the wealth of Expanded Universe source material, as they always have, to properly and comprehensively document a Legends subject. To this end, the same standards apply in regards to using reliable and valid Expanded Universe resources. The following identifies reliable, officially-licensed sources of information for Expanded Universe material. This section may be revised as necessary and is not necessarily comprehensive.
- The six Star Wars films of the original trilogy and prequel trilogy (with the 2011 Blu-ray release being the films' most recent and therefore canon incarnations in regards to the Expanded Universe), the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film, and all spinoff films created prior to the Lucasfilm declaration of April 25, 2014
- The Star Wars: Droids, Star Wars: Ewoks, Star Wars: Clone Wars, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series and related material
- All StarWars.com online content, defunct and otherwise, published prior to the Lucasfilm declaration of April 25, 2014, including but not limited to, the Databank, Encyclopedia, Message Boards, Hyperspace, and Star Wars Blog
- All other official Star Wars online content, defunct and otherwise, such as HoloNet News and swtor.com
- All novels, junior novels, reference books, sourcebooks, and other books published prior to the Lucasfilm declaration of April 25, 2014
- All Marvel Comics and Dark Horse Comics published prior to the Lucasfilm declaration of April 25, 2014, with specific exceptions as noted by Lucasfilm, such as the Star Wars: Rebel Heist and Star Wars: Legacy Volume 2 series, which continued past April 25 but were nonetheless classified as Legends
- All video games, video game manuals, official strategy guides, and official related websites released or published prior to the Lucasfilm declaration of April 25, 2014, with any specific exceptions as noted by Lucasfilm
- All West End Games, Wizards of the Coast, and Fantasy Flight Games roleplaying material, both online and print, published prior to the Lucasfilm declaration of April 25, 2014, with any specific exceptions as noted by Lucasfilm
- All Star Wars magazines, such as Star Wars Insider, Star Wars Gamer, Star Wars Official Poster Monthly, and The Official Star Wars Fact File, published prior to the Lucasfilm declaration of April 25, 2014, with any specific exceptions as noted by Lucasfilm
- All trading card game material and websites, defunct and otherwise, published prior to the Lucasfilm declaration of April 25, 2014, such as the Star Wars Customizable Card Game, Star Wars Trading Card Game, and Star Wars: The Card Game, with any specific exceptions as noted by Lucasfilm
- Kenner and Hasbro action figures and toys, including packaging descriptions, released prior to the Lucasfilm declaration of April 25, 2014
- Official Lucasfilm decrees made by such authoritative individuals as George Lucas, Leland Chee, and Dave Filoni regarding the content of the now-defunct Holocron continuity database prior to the Lucasfilm declaration of April 25, 2014
- All other Lucasfilm promotional material and decrees issued through social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, prior to the Lucasfilm declaration of April 25, 2014
What is not a reliable resource?
- Fan-fiction, otherwise known as fanon, in any form
- Conjecture and assumptions based on real-world standards
- Fan websites and message boards
- Video game elements that appear only when triggering a non-canon storyline. For example, characters who appear when the Jedi Exile is male or when Kyle Katarn chooses the dark-side ending. However, these details nonetheless originate in officially-licensed sources and must therefore be documented within an article's "Behind the scenes" section where appropriate. The same holds true for non-canon Infinities stories.
What is unclear?
Certain Expanded Universe source material was of an unclear canon nature. Because the Expanded Universe is now non-canon and will no longer be receiving new additions to its line of continuity, Lucasfilm is unlikely to make any further clarifications regarding this material. Wookieepedians must carefully consider how best to present this information within the confines of a Legends article.
- Star Wars Tales, issues 1–20. The Holocron continuity database included all of the stories from these issues with varying levels of canonicity. Leland Chee stated, "Consider everything that's not completely outrageous or intentionally comic as S-canon. If it's referenced in another non-Tales story, then elevate it to C-canon."
- Comments made by Lucasfilm personnel other than George Lucas and Leland Chee. Statements of authorial intent and information released by authors to clarify details of their works may or may not have been canon.
- Alternative outcomes and side quests in video games and roleplaying games, such as the fate of the character Matrik in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Legends articles should typically assume 100 percent game completion when side quests do not conflict with the overall storyline. Similarly, the light-side outcomes of games typically trumped dark-side outcomes.
- Information from cut content was usually considered non-canon but in some cases may have been confirmed as canon.