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New ‘Star Wars’ Films Won’t Use Expanded Universe

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Fans who have wondered whether Disney’s upcoming Star Wars films will draw upon the franchise’s vast expanded universe of officially licensed novels, comic books, video games and spinoffs received their answer over the weekend: In short, no.

Simon Kinberg, who’s writing one of the Star Wars spinoff movies and serving as an executive producer of the animated Star Wars Rebels, seemingly put the matter to rest during an interview with IGN at WonderCon Anaheim.

“You know, it’s not off-limits, and it’s certainly inspiring — I’m working on an animated show for [Lucasfilm] as well, Star Wars Rebels, that will take inspiration from everywhere, but — I know for the movies, the canon is the canon, and the canon is the six films that exist,” Kinberg said.

Kinberg also said that for himself, director J.J. Abrams, writers Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, the new films are “all about honoring the original movies, and yet wanting to take a step forward, too, and tell a new story.”

Star Wars: Episode VII opens Dec. 18, 2015.

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Comments

  • lewis4510

    Nothing new, just confirming what we already knew. That the new trilogy will only draw from the original six films.

  • Mikael Bloomqvist

    I do not like the fact that everything I’ve spent the last two decades reading and enjoying now means absolutely nothing. The whole reason I loved Star Wars is because it was a cohesive universe that explored even the little characters… gave us such an in depth look at everthing. Now… it’s all out the window. That just makes me lose interest. Like the reboot with Star Trek. Sure, a new take looked slick, but it meant that everything we loved got flushed down the toilet and now everything is different. It’s like childhood friends died or something. Yes, over dramatic, but this isn’t like rebooting Sonic the Hedgehog or Street Fighter. These are characters that have been building and growing for as long as I’ve been alive… now they get a lobotomy. Lame.

  • Statham

    Did you really expect them to acknowledge aspects of the EU? They’ve been doing this since day one with Lucas refusing to acknowledge some of the early Marvel Comics once he started making sequels; The same goes for the prequels – it doesn’t invalidate the stories you like; Construct your own canon as you like. It doesn’t invalidate the exploration of all the little characters. We knew all along that Lucas’ attitude to the EU was ‘it’s canon until I make something that says otherwise’ – that’s all that’s happened here. And really – I wouldn’t want these three new films to have their own canon dictated by the vast reams of material that a lot of casual fans will not have read.

  • alistaircrane

    The difference with Star Trek is, the new movies take place in a parallel universe. The original tv shows and movies all still count in the main universe.

  • C4darkmane

    grumble grumble, ow well

  • D_Askani

    If in fact the “reams” of information have not been read by the vast majority of casual fans, why would they make it irrelevant? A perfect example of this is the Karen Traviss Republic Commando books. Those novels were wonderful and established a storyline that many of the core fan base loved. If no one other than the core fan base even knew of it’s existence, why did Lucas feel a need to modify the story so thoroughly? On the other hand, you have multiple instances were the films/tv have produced less that stellar work, yet you don’t see the novels or comics eradicating those storylines. This whole scenario reeks of 80’s & 90’s superhero movies, where instead of bringing in the actual comic writers and adhering to the established stories, the movie people felt that they were the only one’s who knew how to do it right. I don’t think anyone is asking for a line by line interpretation of the EU, but instead of getting a Nolanesque Batman trilogy I fear we are going to get something closer to Daredevil and Elektra, which might as well be crap…

  • Gay Smurf

    There are still a lot of books that I haven’t read, most of them from the Yuuzhan Vong War and onwards. I bought all those novels, but now I wonder if I will ever read them. I will await the results from the Lucasfilm story group and in the meantime read stories from the Rise Of The Empire era only. My favourite period anyway. I can imagine the outrage of all the fans who have read every SW novel out there and now find most of it will have been for nothing.

  • WonderScott

    I like that they’re going in a new fresh direction–it makes it exciting and gives it an “anything could happen” vibe. I’ve enjoyed the expanded books and characters, especially Jaina, Jacen, Mara Jade and everyone introduced in Clone Wars, but doing something new doesn’t negate the enjoyment of the those stories.

    I guess I’ve been a comic book reader long enough that I think it’s smart and creative and fulfilling to shake up, revamp and restart continuity every once and a while to deliver something unexpected.

  • Simiusmagnus

    I actually avoided the Clone Wars stuff just because it contradicted the awesome backstory Traviss came up with for the Mandos. That, and I knew they’d wuss out when it came time to handle Order 66.

  • Brian Rewis

    This article is not just addressing the new trilogy, it is addressing all of the upcoming movies. They are making one movie per year for like a decade.

  • LightningBug

    Thank goodness. The expanded universe is a huge mixed bag. Some great stuff, and some glorified fan fiction. Since Star Wars is at its core a film franchise, it makes perfect sense that the films dictate what is cannon, and I’d hate for the filmmakers to have to kowtow to the worst of the expanded universe just to pay lip service to the stories that were good. It’s far better to put the expanded universe to the side, call it a separate universe from the films, and let the films do their own thing.

  • Toby Daniels

    Well the OT made me like Star Wars The Expanded Universe made me love it. We love and honor George Lucas for his work but he and Disney needs to get his head out of their butts and see that the EU is what the fans who have been here the longest are fans for. To flush the past 20 years or work of people like Zahn and the like is foolishness. They gave them the license to work in this universe and the limits to what they could and couldn’t do, and now they say it was just so much garbage that we will never use. This shows a great disrespect for their fan-base and the people who have wrote the stories that we love in it. I for one will not see this or any movie that ignores the people have worked so hard and are now being cast aside and told the work that you have done and that everyone loves is not good enough for the movies. I hate to tell you but the books are way better than most of the movies anyway.

  • C Colz

    So, for clarification, this means that going forward the six films form the basis for continuity, right? But, I assume that Clone Wars (the series), which wrapped up in the Disney era, is technically the first canonical addition to the new Star Wars Universe? Likewise, Rebels will be the second canonical addition to the new Star Wars Universe?

  • akkadiannumen

    I guess this way they can use elements they like from the EU and they don’t have to pay for them. :p

  • Paul Penna

    Not unexpected, but massively disappointing.

    The Star Wars Expanded Universe is what got me reading as a kid. There are some marvelous stories there.

    For years, the Expanded Universe is all the core fans had to hold onto. Sure, a casual member of the general public isn’t going to care but I can’t help but feel that this will alienate the core fans to some degree.

    I wonder what will happen to the books now? Marvel will probably tie the comic into the new movies, but honestly, are any fans who read the books going to want to pick up novels based on a new continuity?

  • Monir Martinsen Bouker

    i feel with you man :'(

  • whitetail123456

    I feel Star Wars owes it’s revival after the first three movies to the talented authors who developed new characters and compelling stories, particularly Timothy Zahn. Without this renewed interest, it’s doubtful the prequels would have come into existence. Some might argue this would have been a better outcome, but I am not of that opinion, so I won’t get into that. Surely some respect must be paid to these characters and stories that kept this universe alive.

  • C Colz

    We needn’t worry so much. This is similar to reboots in the comic book world—everything is erased, but creators reference or even outright flashback-to things in the past (because they personally liked those things or simply as fan service to the type of angry folks in this comment thread). If an Extended Universe story is really as powerful and affecting as it seems, it will always resonate, even in a new continuity.

  • Chuck777

    And I’ve suddenly lost a lot of interest in Star Wars.

    What made Star Wars special was the fact that it had thousands of stories spanning 30+ years. Some were better than others, sure, but the sheer amount of depth was stunning. Very few other properties have anything approaching the amount of material that Star Wars had. To jettison it all feels so pointless.

  • Chuck777

    They are claiming on G and T canon are legal now, everything else is not canon.

  • Chuck777

    What do you think the prequels were and the new JJ movies will be? They could easily be labeled “glorified fan fiction.”

  • Chuck777

    You could do the exact same thing by setting the movies after 40_ish ABY.

  • Ruisu Maikeru

    One title Star Wars “Knights of the old republic”

  • Travis

    Traviss was an awful writer who decided to invalidate stuff others had already established because she said she didn’t feel like reading what they had wrote. Whaddya know, others are doing it now, too.

  • Chuck777

    Or any period of time between KotOR and the start of Episode 1, which spans thousands of years.

  • Daniel Blank

    So anything they now make isn’t part of of canon. Got it. I’ll be boycotting any new Star Wars movie.

  • Archang3ll

    By now, The EU IS canon. It’s that simple. Star Wars WOULD NOT be on the plateau it is now on had it not been for Timothy Zahn
    and the EU. I don’t care what ANYONE says. The movies without the EU
    are a BIG FAT JOKE. To now abandon what has essentially kept the love
    for Star Wars alive in MOST of the TRUE Star Wars Fan’s eyes because
    it’s no longer convenient is VERY disingenuous on the part of Disney.
    Bad form indeed.

    They had a unique opportunity to bring the movies and the EU together which would have made a majority of the fans happy but instead do the opposite for no other reason than to say “…we don’t want to do that…”
    Whatever. Nothing good lasts forever I guess. Them ignoring the EU and
    giving the comic rights back to Marvel have essentially destroyed Star
    Wars for me.

  • LightningBug

    They’re films and thus they’re cannon. It’s a simple binary. Films = Cannon. Not films = not cannon. Inherent in being cannon or not being cannon there is no suggestion of whether or not a given Star Wars product or story is good or bad. For example, Timothy Zahn novels are good but they are not cannon, while Phantom Menace is bad and it is cannon. It’s still a preferable state of affairs because it is exceedingly easy to understand what counts as cannon and what doesn’t. The writers of the new films don’t have to slog through countless stories of wildly varying quality in order to inform what they can and cannot write. Will whatever they come up with be as good as the best examples of the expanded universe? Maybe, maybe not, but at least the project is straightforward which maximizes the potential of their creative energies.

  • Lunchbox

    Come on. You’ll almost certainly see the movie, if only to trash it. Nobody as invested in Star Wars as you seem to be could sit on the sidelines with a new film in cinemas. You’ll bluster about what a horrible thing they’re doing, then you’ll see it if only to confirm that it sucks. If it’s bad you’ll say ‘I told you so’, and if it’s good you’ll either back pedal like you’ve been open minded to the changes all along, or you’ll just stubbornly pretend you hate it (which will be sort of true insofar as you’ll hate that you like it). It’s what we all do when they mess with something we love.

  • LightningBug

    Star Wars fans need to learn from comic fans. Comic fans roll with countless iterations and universes for a given property and it isn’t a problem. Am I crapping my pants that Ultron will be created by Tony Stark instead of Hank Pym? No, because seeing a new movie that contradicts my comic collection doesn’t magically erase or rewrite the pages of my comics. There’s the Marvel Universe, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe and they are different things. Now there is the Star Wars universe (films) and the Expanded Universe, and they are different things too. Go back and reread your Zahn books. They’ll still be there, and you’ll still enjoy them.

  • Glenn Misztal

    I do believe they are forgetting something here – The Clone Wars CGI show which also drew aspects from the Expanded Universe.

  • Glenn Misztal

    I hate that too. Hundreds, probably thousands of dollars spent on EU books only to be told “It didn’t happen.”

  • Natewlf

    Tell that to the loads of DC fans who want their old heroes back and hate the New 52. Comic fans are no better in Truth and I am an EU fan and a large Comic Book fan. I still feel like not taking from the EU is a waste. The stories are great but it ruins the continuity that the core fans have been building the fan base on.

  • William_Spike

    I am happy with that. I mean the Post-Episode VI timeline is so crowded with hundreds of EU stories that it would be very difficult to incorporate the new movies into that and they would be so tied up by all the stuff that has been done in those novels and comics. Also the post-Endor EU is pretty bad in my opinion, the only great characters to come out of it in my opinion were Mara Jade (I´d love to see her in the films) and Jacen and Jaina. I thought Legacy of the Force was cool but the rest of it frankly doesnt live up to the films at all. So if they erase all that and start anew with a new post-Endor continuity I am all for it.

    To me its just very important that they dont screw with the Old Republic stuff like the Darth Bane trilogy – thats by far my most favorite Star Wars Story of all time and I just LOVE that whole Sith vs Jedi history from the Pre-Phantom Menace timeline. Which is why I hope they will never do any movies or TV shows set in that time since they would inevitably blast the EU of that timeline into pieces with it. As long as they stick to the post-Phantom Menace timeline I am a happy camper

  • http://barryvevans.wordpress.com Barry V. Evans

    I’ve read tons of the EU myself, and I’ve enjoyed quite a bit of it, but the fact of the matter is I don’t want the films to be hamstrung by choices made in various EU books, some of which really don’t fit well with the tone of the films. Just looking at where the Solo kids ended up following The NJO and Legacy of the Force, with two out of three of them dead, one killed by his sister after having turned to the Dark Side, it’s way too bleak. Tonally, it’s just not Star Wars.

    My hope is they do what they’ve done with the Prequels and Clone Wars…use names and concepts from the EU but reinterpret them as they deem wise. Apparently, going from here, everything that comes out from any source after 2015 will be canon. The older stories will still exist for you, me, and all the other fans to enjoy, but the films will be the real deal, as they should be, without the more “fan fic” aspects of the EU holding them back from being as great as they should be.

  • theplaidknight

    Don’t worry, all those great stories are still there. They are just as relevant as anything else that will be made in the future.

  • Tony Engel

    Too bleak is just not Star Wars? “Empire” is the best of the six films BECAUSE it’s bleak!! Episode 3 redeems the PT BECAUSE of the dark ending. If anything, the hammy-sappy-things are what stand out as downers for the franchise (yes Jar Jar, we’re talking about you). The EU is great, especially the Thrawn series, and I’m bummed they’re not going to make that into a movie, but I’ll wait and see how good the story they come up with is, but the story is a tragedy, and “bleak” is essential!!

  • Toby Daniels

    No out of respect to Authors like Aaron Alston, Timothy Zahn, Michael Stackpole, and the rest I will boycott the movie.

  • BeastieRunner

    And every comic book reader and collector said, “So? We’ve been dealing with that for 75 years!”

  • http://barryvevans.wordpress.com Barry V. Evans

    The story is not a tragedy. The Prequels are a tragedy if you don’t have the Classic Trilogy (but of course, we had the Classic Trilogy, so even then, it’s not a tragedy). EMPIRE is not bleak, either. It’s dark. But it is only the darkness before the break of dawn, and there’s nothing bleak about that. It’s the second act in a three act comedy (comedy in the traditional sense of a story with a happy turn, not in the sense of a humor piece). I saw it as a kid in 1980, and even then, with the finale still three years away, it wasn’t bleak. I didn’t leave the theater without hope or in fear that things wouldn’t be put right. I left eagerly awaiting the inevitable victory that JEDI brought about. That’s the difference between the films and what happened in the latter years of the EU. Somebody forgot that Star Wars has a happy ending (remember, until the announcement a couple years ago, JEDI was the ending of the story). Now, you may say, “Oh, but Anakin’s the main character! So it’s a tragedy!” The problem is that still doesn’t work. Yes, Anakin’s dead in JEDI, but JEDI isn’t about his death so much as his redemption. In death, he rises back to where he was, a hero, and that’s not the way tragedies work. Even the darkness of ROTS (which is by far the darkest film of the six) is not total, because it ends with Luke and Leia, and we know what their legacy will be. None of these “dark” moments gives the sense of an inevitable fall to entropy, of tragedy with no hope for redemption. The happy ending is ultimately never in doubt. I don’t see how what happened in the EU continues that trend.

  • Lunchbox

    Good luck with that! I don’t believe you.

  • Toby Daniels

    Don’t get me wrong I love J J’s work but this is basically crapping on all the work these people have done. At least with Star Trek they made it an alternate universe. But to each their own.

  • Matthew Berg

    Sorry but they are just ruining star wars. Many think lucas did but he didn’t he made star wars awesome and all the books just added more great things to it like the republic commando series, the thrawn series, the x-wing series, the bane series and so forth. Disney is just ruining it now. Don’t destroy something that is already good and adds great stuff to it. So many fans love the books just like so many fans even though you hate to admit it loved the prequels. I am a true Die hard star wars fan been watching them and reading them for my whole life and i hate to see something like this happen..kinberg and disney are Morons the movies and books are cannon pure and simple..

  • Jack

    To everyone whining…
    Simply dont see the new movies, and enjoy your books. Many of you say that the books are canon, pure and simple. Hate to break it to you, but you are not calling the shots as to what is canon. But, if you want to keep on believing that your books are more important than the movies, then by all means, read away. Enjoy yourself. But please spare us the whining.
    This is nothing new. When the prequels came along, it negated some things that were done in the books. And rumor of a “young Han Solo” film would negate other things, I am sure. And virtually none of what was covered in the original Marvel SW series applies any more, except for an occasional reference to an alien race that first appeared there. It happens.
    Life will live on, I assure you.

  • hnsthncbsd

    Based on the latest news regarding the EU I’m likely going to skip the new movies. I’ve always enjoyed the EU more than the movies (much more than the new trilogy and to be honest more than the original trilogy as well). For me the movies were basically a supplement to the more entertaining EU. I watched moves 1-3, even though I didn’t really enjoy them, because of the possibility that they would have information that appeared in future books.

    If the movies get great reviews I may catch them on-demand or whatever one day. But I don’t feel any need to run to the theater to spend 12 bucks see a movie where the previous three didn’t entertain me at all.

  • TrueCanon

    I agree with Mikael. 100%. I did not spend THOUSANDS on building a Star Wars Library because I thought it would all be shaken up and erased like an Ech-A-Sketch. I am personally NOT going to consider the new films canon unless they align to the continuity we have known for the past 38 years. Obviously Disney looks at fans like myself as irrelevant, so I will regard their products as irrelevant.

  • TrueCanon

    Agreed Toby. This entire situation has turned me AGAINST the new films. I am actively hostile to them and things that will spring from them. I am thinking of starting a website that will stay true to the 38 year old continuity hardcore fans new and believed in. I need to look into copyright law to learn the “can” and “can nots” as I understand Disney brings down the hammer on copyright infringement.

  • Asashii Fustazi

    DEAL BREAKER!!!!

  • Marcus Ellwood

    I really don’t know how to feel about the new movies. On one hand, I like that the clutter that is the current EU will be eliminated; as a relatively new EU reader, the current EU is a little intimidating. We will get to start again from scratch with new stories set in the the Star Wars universe that will build into a potentially better EU, and with the more unified approach that Disney wants to take, it will certainly be better organised.

    On the other hand, though, is the fact that the current EU *is* what happened after episode VI to me. I like Corran Horn and the X-Wing books, the Yuuzhan Vong invasion was very interesting and emotionally powerful, and at some point I know that I will read the Legacy and FOTJ series books. I would hate to see that universe get abandoned for a story that could be completely retarded, like a gungan rebellion or something when we could have just had a few new books in the current EU. Let’s face it that no new “Legends” books will get published because there won’t be enough demand with the new storyline, so the FOTJ series is it, but I would like to see more.

  • Mer Watts

    One of the prime reasons to do this is to prevent leakage of any footage from revealing too much about the storyline of the next trilogy. If the movie follows any of the eu storylines, then the gig is up for all three movies. And then, what’s the point?