BEST BETS: "Jessica Jones," "Big Trouble/Escape from New York" & More October 2016 Highlights
The moment that Star Wars fans have been dreading finally came to pass this when Star Wars Rebels producer Simon Kinberg revealed that the forthcoming Star Wars sequels won’t adhere to the expanded universe canon that’s been in place since the second Death Star met its end.
“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 told IGN at WonderCon. This doesn’t come as a big surprise, as no one expected the first new Star Wars films in almost a decade – and the first ones ever to take place after Return of the Jedi – to bend over backwards to accommodate every bit of canon concocted in everything from young adult novels to role-playing games. While we’re upset about some things in the EU canon disappearing, there are more than a few things we’re happy to forget. Here’s a list of the canon we will miss – and the canon we won’t.
We won’t miss all the evil and/or dead kids
As the Star Wars Universe kept on expanding, all the primary characters continued to age – and so did all of the children they had that were introduced in the early EU installments. Getting married and having kids immediately ages characters out of the range where a lot of the intended audience can relate to them – just ask Spider-Man. So Han, Luke, and Leia all had children, and as time went on, their journeys became even more convoluted than their parents’. Jacen Solo went evil, took on the name Darth Caedus, and died at the hands of his sister Jaina. And Jacen wasn’t the first of the Solo kids to die; that “honor” goes to the youngest son of Han and Leia, Anakin Solo. Listen, any deck-clearing exercise that gets rid of the major bummer of having two dead Solo kids is a good one.
We will miss Jacen and Jaina Solo
That being said, Jacen and Jaina Solo mean a lot to many Star Wars fans. As the first major new additions to the Star Wars ensemble way back in 1991, the Solo twins acted as the entry point characters for an entire generation. As the stars of the Young Jedi Knights series, they also helped introduce the concept of an ongoing and expanded Star Wars universe; it’s not a stretch to assume that a lot of today’s adult Star Wars fans spent a lot of middle school following Jacen, Jaina, Lowbacca and the rest on adventures. They’re a popular pair – aside from the overwhelmingly tragic way their story ends.
We won’t miss Chewbacca’s death
As Artoo and Threepio learned, you always let the Wookiee win. Someone didn’t clue in the Yuuzhan Vong to that fact, which led to Chewbacca losing his life during the New Republic’s war with the Force-immune aliens. Chewbacca went out like a champ, howling defiantly as an orbiting moon crashed into the planet he was stranded on, but that makes no difference. You can’t have a Star Wars Universe without Chewie in it, and that’s exactly what we’d have with Episode VII if it adhered to continuity and took place 30 years after Jedi. Peter Mayhew needs work, and we want to hear that Chewbacca growl again.
We will miss Mara Jade
The Star Wars Universe as seen on the big screen has a severe shortage of bad-ass leading ladies. Princess Leia was undoubtedly a feminist trailblazer, and Padme proved herself formidable right up until her heartache-induced death. Episode VII needs Mara Jade, period. She’s the most prominent female Jedi, has a completely distinct look, and has a number of ties to the original trilogy that make her seem like a character that’s been around from day one. Sure, if she were included in Episode VII, she’d have to be closer to Mark Hamill – her onscreen husband – in age. That’s fine, J.J. Abrams; Meryl Streep’s only two years older than Hamill.
We won’t miss Jaxxon
Because of the Marvel Comics’ dubious place in Star Wars EU canon, we weren’t really having this giant green bunny thrown in our faces all that much to begin with. Jaxxon’s inclusion on this list can be seen as a placeholder for every embarrassing corner of the EU – anyone else remember Ken, the Jedi Prince? – that now makes no sense thanks to context and hindsight. There is, however, another layer to this entry, because Marvel Comics will reclaim the Star Wars comic book license next year. We wouldn’t be surprised if Marvel marks the occasion by trotting out new editions of their original Star Wars series, meaning that a whole new generation of readers could be introduced … to Jaxxon.