Star Wars, Marvel, and the Multiverse

In the Star Wars fandom, there’s always some war of words brewing between fans. We’ve seen the Ship Wars, the Prequel Trilogy consternation, the Clone Wars skirmishes. One that has been on slow simmer for years is cold war between Expanded Universe Completists and Film Purists. Countless words have been written defending the merits of one and tearing down another.

To say things have blown up since the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney and the announcement of the Sequel Trilogy would be an understatement. There seems to be a belief among the most ardent of Star Wars fans that the Expanded Universe and the Sequel Trilogy cannot exist simultaneously. One has to vanish in order for the other to thrive.

To borrow a phrase from Nanci earlier this week, I say bullshit.

Adjusting Expectations

Before delving too deep into things, it’s time for a bit of recalibration.

To Expanded Universe Completists:

The Expanded Universe is going to change even if you don’t want it to. You need to embrace that now.

The Expanded Universe as you know it is going to go through an evolution, but that isn’t a bad thing. Right now there’s no telling exactly what that change will be, but change will happen. One change you may soon have to embrace? The EU as you know it will probably be less tied to the film universe than it used to be. This is inevitable because Star Wars is a film-first intellectual property. It always has been.

Not everything in the EU is sacred

It’s okay that things are going to change and it’s okay that the films are going to disregard large swaths of the EU. There’s a lot of content in the books and comics that are of questionable quality and, frankly, should be ignored by the films. Can you imagine the films having to acknowledge that The Crystal Star exists? That’s absurd! You don’t want that, so it’s okay if some books and comics are deemed to be slightly less real than other things in the Star Wars universe. Not everything from the Expanded Universe is going to carry into new films and other animated Lucasfilm projects and that’s for the best.

To Film Purists:

The Expanded Universe isn’t going away even if you want it to. You need to embrace that now.

Origin: Expanded Universe

Plenty of content creators have figured out how to deal with different elements of their intellectual properties that don’t perfectly align with each other. Lucasfilm Licensing is not going to stop publishing existing Star Wars Expanded Universe material just because new films contradicted them. Heir to the Empire is going to continue to be a popular seller and a popular book as will other EU material.

What’s more, there’s a good chance that EU elements are going to make their way to the new films. Many of the arguments as to why Disney and Lucasfilm would never let this happen are silly. Don’t forget, there’s already established precedence for EU material making its way into primary canon and that’s for the best because there exists some great material to adapt from books and comics. It’s not going to vanish because there are new films.

Conformity, Walking Away, and Hard Reboots: Varying Degrees of Viability

The first thing we as fans need to understand is that the Expanded Universe and the films already exist as parallel canons. Perhaps this has been danced around and was never fully confirmed, but last fall it became crystal clear and formally official in the Essential Reader’s Companion:

“The most definitive canon of the Star Wars universe is encompassed by the feature films and television productions in which George Lucas is directly involved. The movies and The Clone Wars television series are what he and his handpicked writers reference when adding cinematic adventures to the Star Wars oeuvre.

But Lucas allows for an Expanded Universe that exists parallel to the one he directly oversees. In many cases, the stewards of the Expanded Universe-editors within the licensing division-of Lucasfilm Limited who work with authors and publishers-will ask for his input or blessings on projects. Though these stories may get his stamp of approval, they don’t enter his canon unless they are depicted cinematically in one of his projects.” – Pablo Hidalgo

So what does all this mean with regards to the upcoming sequel trilogy? For the last thirty years, the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe has been able to go its own direction with only minor cleanups needed here and there because of the prequel films and The Clone Wars. When it comes to minor details, it’s easy retcon issues back into place and even easier to hand-wave things away because more often than not, it’s just a minor quibble. When things went a little out of line, editors and authors didn’t have to work too hard to get these parallel canons to mirror each other again.

The sequel trilogy, however, is quite likely going to complicate things. The Episode VII creative talent certainly could run everything by Leland Chee to ensure the script isn’t treading on the Expanded Universe, but we all have to be honest and admit that’s a complete non-starter.

There’s an awful lot of minutiae involved with forty in-universe years of books and comics. It’s hard to sit an audience down and tell them “By the way? You missed a galaxy-shattering conflict with the Vong and another Galactic Civil War caused by Han and Leia’s son Jacen who was killed by their daughter Jaina and their other son Anakin is already dead. Oh, and Chewie’s dead too. A moon fell on him.”

If conforming to the Expanded Universe isn’t an option, a second option bandied about by many fans is to stop publishing new EU material and merely walk away from it all. While I could write an entire column by itself on why this is a poor approach, I’ll settle for going out on a limb and say that simply putting an end to EU publishing isn’t going to happen, as much as some vocal fans wish it would. There’s a sizable enough fanbase and, more importantly, it makes money. This option is nearly as unlikely and as much of a non-starter as the films conforming to the EU.

A third option fans advocate for is a hard reboot of the Expanded Universe to fit the new films. Of the three common fan-proposed options, this one probably has the most validity. Essentially, either large swaths or the entirety of the EU as it exists right now are deemed to be Infinities status and rendered entirely non-canon before the eyes of Lucasfilm. On the surface, this makes sense. To continue to mirror the film universe and be a closer parallel canon, Lucasfilm would have to chuck much of what has been written in the Post-Return of the Jedi timeframe and start over. While this option is the most feasible of the three, it still leaves a bit to be desired for a lot of fans.

There’s a fourth option to consider and one that seems to fly under the radar of most Star Wars fans. It’s even been used by another big-name Disney property: Marvel Comics.

Marvel’s Multiverse: A Blueprint for Star Wars

To set this up simplistically, Marvel has three primary universes these days*. There’s the Marvel Earth-616 universe, or sort of the “prime” canon. There’s also the Ultimate Marvel universe that’s rooted in the foundation of Earth-616 but splits off to re-imagine certain elements, characters, and set off on its own timeline. Finally, there’s the Marvel Film Universe that can draw inspiration from a number of different places.

*There are countless other offshoot and parallel universes that receive less attention, but right now there are three that are the main focus for the Marvel creative staff.

In Marvel, you’ve got a big-name intellectual property that’s supporting three universes that, while rooted in the same basic lore, are unique entities. Even though they are unique, all three universes are healthy and popular and, somehow, manage to simultaneously exist without alienating fans or tripping over each other. Let’s draw some quick comparisons…

  • Star Wars films::Marvel Earth-616
  • Current EU::Ultimate Marvel

The first connection is obvious. The Star Wars films and Earth-616 are considered to be the primary canon. The Expanded Universe as it exists now is more along the lines of the Ultimate Marvel universe. That isn’t perfectly analogous since the Expanded Universe as we currently know it wasn’t launched as an acknowledged re-imagining of characters and the universe. Ultimately*, the end result will likely be similar once the sequel films are introduced.

*I’m so sorry.

TangentIt’s going to be hard if not impossible to keep the current EU “parallel” with the films. It would be more … Tangential? Perpendicular? Whatever you want to call it, the sequel films will make it less of a mirror image and something else. The EU will still mirror Star Wars as we knew it in 2012, but it will likely diverge from the sequel trilogy.

There’s also another possibility that could open the door for some very fun storytelling opportunities. Consider a second Expanded Universe canon that splits off a point in the timeline of the existing EU to follow the lore the Sequel Trilogy will provide. This becomes the new parallel canon that closely matches the films. Simultaneously, it can draw from and adapt material from the pre-existing Expanded Universe. If I could make another comparison…

  • Hypothetical “New Parallel” EU::Marvel Film Universe

In a three-universe setup like Marvel has, the third universe is in a place to do some pretty neat things because, theoretically, it has the freedom to draw from multiple sources in the macro universe. If a future Marvel film wanted to borrow elements from both Earth-616 and Ultimate, it could and it would make sense. Likewise, this hypothetical new parallel EU canon could draw from the current EU while still falling in line with the new films.

How Star Wars and the Multiverse can get Along

By now there are no doubt Expanded Universe Completists and Film Purists that want nothing more than to throttle me. I hope they bear with me for a little longer, because I do believe emulating Marvel’s three-canon approach has tremendous merit and is perhaps the ideal plan for the Star Wars storytelling moving forward.

In this setup, the films will continue to be the prime canon and be the most official thing in an utterly fictional macro universe. The films would explain exactly what pre-existing characters are up to forty or so years after Return of the Jedi, introduce new faces, and detail key history. While making boatloads of money and introducing an entirely new generation to the Star Wars mythos, it also sets the tone for what a new parallel canon Expanded Universe would attempt to mirror for years to come.

The hypothetical new parallel Expanded Universe canon would continue the long tradition of Star Wars literature closely emulating the film canon. This new EU branch would root itself firmly in the new films and explore and expand on the characters and topics introduced on the silver screen, much like our current EU explored and expanded the characters and topics introduced in the previous six installments.

The EU as we know it now can continue to live on as an offshoot-canon rather than a parallel canon. The SkySolo offspring EU readers have grown fond of over the last twenty years will have more adventures. Eventually the books can tie up with the Legacy comics and, who knows, things may even progress further down that timeline. In this approach, all of the Expanded Universe material you’ve come to enjoy and cherish over the years still counts, is still relevant, and is still part of an overarching and growing timeline. Even if the other two Star Wars canons move in different directions.

This setup even allows for the possibility of some of the most iconic Expanded Universe material staying within the parallel canon. If the new films take place forty years after Return of the Jedi, it’s going to be tricky to explicitly state everything Luke, Han, and Leia have been up to in that timeframe*. Because of that, it’s within the realm of possibility that a split in the timeline between the new EU/films wouldn’t take place right after Return of the Jedi. Instead, it could take place after something like The Last Command. Maybe even Vision of the Future.

*Unless, of course, you make Episode VII two-and-a-half hours of text crawl.

These three universes would also be able to play off one another and adapt material from each other. The new films could easily bring in characters, settings, and concepts from books and comics already in the Star Wars lexicon. Need a Jedi with solid detective skills? Corran Horn fits the bill. Children for Han and Leia? There’s Anakin, Jacen, and Jaina, take your pick. Wife and foil for Luke? Well you know where I stand on that.

The multiverse approach accomplishes a lot for fans. It lets the Expanded Universe they’ve come to know and love live on and continue to grow without having to constantly realign itself with the prime canon. It potentially can introduce a new parallel canon that can expand on new material the films will provide. It frees up the films to focus on the story above all else, but keeps the door open to adapt ideas and characters from material that already exists. Most importantly, it opens the door wide open for storytelling opportunities that, prior to October 2012, didn’t exist.

More content and more varied Star Wars content? Sign me up.

The Obligatory Heavy Handed Conclusion

The Star Wars universe is changing rapidly and in ways we really can’t predict. Is the multiverse concept something Lucasfilm is going to run with? It’s possible. I think it’s significantly more likely than the new films conforming to the Expanded Universe or Lucasfilm Licensing washing their hands of the EU and walking away. I even think it’s a more likely and, at the very least, more sensible plan than a hard reboot of the EU. Parallel canons and the multiverse are concepts that fans on both sides of the Expanded Universe divide have to get used to because the new films are going to happen and the EU isn’t going away.

For EU Completists, no matter what happens, nothing can change the enjoyment you’ve gotten from your favorite books and comics. They’ll always be on your shelves and they’ll always be an example of just how big a sandbox the Star Wars universe is. The EU has shown us that there are endless stories to tell and characters to meet. Chances are, it will continue to grow no matter what happens in the films. Maybe it will be a hard reboot. Perhaps it becomes an offshoot canon. For all we know now, a second EU timeline could appear next to what we have now. Whatever path it takes, there’s going to be new content, and I choose to be excited for it.

For Film Purists, you must acknowledge that the EU doesn’t threaten the new films. It can continue on even in its current state and it won’t negatively impact the Sequel Trilogy. The quality of the new films will not be determined by what material is brought in from the Expanded Universe or even its mere existence. It will be determined by the quality of the people writing, directing, acting in, and producing them.

All Star Wars fans must acknowledge that both the Expanded Universe and the film universe can exist simultaneously. While they may be less of a mirror to each other and more unique entities moving forward, there is zero reason for one to vanish or be altered drastically for the other. It’s time for all of us to recognize that Star Wars is a multi-faceted fandom with enormous unrealized potential. Limiting any facet to try and adhere to a single tenuous continuity would be nothing short of tragic for a universe of this size and scope.

What does the multiverse mean to Star Wars? Simply put, it means more Star Wars.

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30 Responses to Star Wars, Marvel, and the Multiverse

  1. You're my hero today! I've been trying to say this exact thing for several days but haven't managed nearly as eloquently.

  2. Pingback: Making peace with multiple Star Wars continuties

  3. iiari says:

    Hum, not totally sure I agree with all of this and I think most of your solutions feel too tortured, too difficult...

    Frankly, I see no reason why the sequels won't be like the prequels (and the Clone Wars, for that matter). That is, totally separate material that somewhat syncs with but doesn't slavishly adhere to the EU or anything that's come before, for that matter. I mean, not even Lucas has respected his own history and material (several times over). And, let's face it, part of the fun of the EU is all the retconning. All of "Darth Plaqueis" can be seen as one giant retcon, and I loved that book...

    I'm not sure what the controversy is since, frankly, I think the prequels were far more continuity and expectation shattering than anything the sequels have the potential to do...

    So My Conclusion: More of the same, that our future looks a lot like our past. This isn't as controversial, but its more likely true, and the fun will continue to be in retconning it all...

    My other predictions:
    - The "Old" EU actually does go away:
    I actually DO think that, fundamentally, Disney is going to walk away from "our" EU. Not out of spite. No so much in respecting or disrespecting it story-wise, but from a pure business standpoint. I think all the Disney moves to date (including the Clone Wars cancellation) are an absolutely clear indication that all of the $$'s and resources are going 100% to future efforts and not to prior eras given that Disney has given every indication of carpet bombing us with SW's films and spinoffs for, oh, the next 20 years or so.

    I don't think ANY fan site has looked at the practical impact of this. While, as you put it, they can't rip our books off our shelves or tear the comics off my Android pad, they CAN never really publish anything substantial ever again in "our" EU. No more Old Old Republic, no more Sith Empire era, no more Lost Tribe, no more Prequel era, and (as we just found) no more Clone wars.

    As I'm reading Scoundrels right now, I'm somewhat sad that I believe Zahn's pen will likely never again touch this era or these characters. I think what we have of pre-ABY time is probably all we will ever see (short of a reference work or a movie spinoff). No new Satele Shan, no new Darth Cognus, no new Tenel Ka, no more Jax Pavan (OK, I really don't want more Jax, but you get the idea). Don't get me wrong. There will continue to be an extended universe that will absolutely continue and grow across many media platforms, but it will all be Disney movie era and after. And I'm totally looking forward to that, don't get me wrong, but I feel sad "our" quirky, flawed, fun, occasionally brilliant ("Shatterpoint"!) EU is drawing to a close.

    I think anything EU we get pre-Sequel should be celebrated as the last of an era. I'm drinking in every word of Scoundrels right now for just this reason. In fact, I think you guys should do an "EU appreciation countdown" pod-cast before it all goes away for good...

    - No Multiverse:
    I think this works for comics, but in the world of geekdom, comics are more hardcore geek than the generally older and more mainstream "lesser" geekdom of SW's. Comics fan can take this kind of rebranding in stride. I don't think multiverse will work for the SW crowd. Too hardcore...

    - "... more Star Wars."
    Totally agree with you that we are going to see more SW's (*Disney's SW*) than ever. It'll be everywhere. Every indication so far is that Disney is going to go absolutely bonkers. We're going to be SW saturated, actually, by Disney. I think this will be totally awesome. So say we all...

    • Brian says:

      There's really not going to be a podcast bemoaning the loss of the Expanded Universe because it's not going away. The theories and fearmongering that the EU are going to die are almost entirely predicated on Disney wanting to blow everything up. Where that goes wrong is it assumes Disney actually wants to meddle that much. They haven't gotten in Marvel or Pixar's way and I've got zero reason whatsoever to believe Star Wars and Lucasfilm are somehow different.

      The Expanded Universe isn't going anywhere and I'm going to stand by that. It's going to evolve, there's going to be new content. Will it be a multiverse? I don't know, but there's going to be new material.

  4. This gets the CanonWars seal of approval.

  5. Hikari says:

    This has even happened to the SW universe before. Splinter of the Mind's Eye, anyone? The SW Marvel comics? That ESB video game where Luke wins the Bespin duel? People tend to write those things off... who cares whether or not that green space rabbit is considered canon? No one really LIKES Splinter anyway, it's too full of icky incest vibes! But... but someone MUST have liked those things, back in the day (some of us still do!) or they wouldn't have sold. The only difference is, there was no Internet to speak of back in 1983, so if there WERE fans who went to see ROTJ and came out of it thinking "What about Splinter of the Mind's Eye????" well... they may have mentioned it to other fans, but there was just no way for it to become some kind of worldwide outrage.

    Now, I am not a big EU fan. I liked some of the books and comics, others not so much, but I have never really considered the events of the EU to be THE ONLY POSSIBLE THING THAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED. It's like... L.Frank Baum's Oz and Wicked. It's like Gaston Leroux's Phantom of the Opera and Susan Kay's Phantom. Margaret Mitchell's Scarlett O'Hara, and whoever wrote THAT sequel.... you can read those sequels and prequels and enjoy them, and still consider them to be no more than ONE PERSON'S take on what else may have happened to those characters. And just because someone else comes along and has a DIFFERENT take on the same classic characters, that doesn't make one right and one wrong... they're both fiction, both entertaining, and there's nothing wrong with that.

    The worst thing for me would be if the new movies expect too much (any, really) EU knowledge on the part of the viewer. ROTS was a bit guilty of that... I felt that I was supposed to know who General Greivous was going into the film, and I didn't. I think you have to assume that the average movie-goer is not a full-time Star Wars fan... assume that they've seen the six live-action movies, maybe refresh their memory if you need to reference something that's not a really major plot point. Other than that, anything taken from books, comics, games, etc needs to be treated as new material for the purposes of the casual audience. People will go to see this film who have not seen a SW film since ROTS was in theaters. Some people will be experiencing this universe for the first time. This will be an international film, marketed as well to countries that don't have TCW or most of the EU. This film needs, more than anything else, to be approachable and entertaining to ALL of those people... as they far outnumber the hardcore fans.

  6. As Defender of the EU, and Champion of the Multiverse I highly endorse you on this one Brian- where you channeling me through the Force? Keep it up! -IR2

  7. Darth Myon says:

    You forgot to analyze what might happen with standalone films. I don't thing a miltiverse can exist with standalones coming into the middle of of things.

    • Brian says:

      Standalone films full under the banner of the Film Canon and really wouldn't be any messier than having The Clone Wars around was. If a parallel canon can exist with TCW adding as much content as it did, a parallel canon within a multiverse can easily exist with simple 2.5 hour film installments every now and then.

  8. I like the Marvel comparison, although if they do decide to reboot the EU, I'll just view it like DC Comics. All those stories still happened, they were just pre-Crisis/Episode VII. And it'll be okay, because those new stories will end up being post-VII/pre-Zero Hour, and eventually they'll reboot everything to take place in a five year time frame and call it the New LII.

  9. Pingback: EUCast: Season Two #3

  10. Pingback: Should Star Wars Mirror the Marvel Multiverse? I Say No | The Star Wars Report

  11. Hajua says:

    The classic post-Endor EU must be destroyed, because is much too bad. Make a new and better one!

  12. Praenomen Cognomen says:

    I agree that the anger consistently associated with Star Wars fandom is just silly, however, I don't think it's invalid to mourn the passing of the current chronology as we know it.

    Star Wars has always had the most impressive "vastness/consistency" ratio of any franchise out there. Yes, there are crappy stories in the universe, but nothing so crappy that you couldn't ignore it outside the context of that story itself, so in that way, every single story adds to the overall weight of the universe, if only by page count. Thanks to the work of Leeland Chee, only the most minute details are ever fully de-canonized. No other franchise this size has that, and Star Wars has pulled it all off (and without any in-universe alternate reality/time travel junk).

    As it pertains to the fan frustration, the difference between Marvel and Star Wars is a very big one:

    - Star Wars is a film franchise first, and the authors have worked hard to fit their stories around film canon. Marvel is a comic franchise first, so the film universe is simply a loose adaptation of printed material. In a way, I think many people are just grateful to see Marvel onscreen, regardless of whether it fits a comic continuity or not. As Star Wars fans, we've been spoiled by the fact that the films came first, and will always live or die based on the precedent set by the films... whereas, if a Marvel film happens to flop or mess up a character's story, Marvel fans can keep reading the comics as usual without any real disruption.

    - A comment was made above that the prequels were more EU-shattering than the sequels ever could be, but I don't think that's true. No stories were truly overwritten by the prequels, because nobody ever even attempted to write about young Obi-Wan or Anakin. Yes, certain principles about the Jedi Order introduced some problems, but those could all be retconned; as Luke rebuilt the Jedi Order, it was as if he learned their principles right alongside us through the course of the post-ROTJ books that came out parallel to the prequels (Whoops, Jedi couldn't marry? Well, simple enough... Luke didn't know that yet, and he doesn't agree with it, because that rule played a part in Anakin's fall).

    - In this case, however, the actual characters themselves will be shifted around. If Chewie's alive, that CANNOT be retconned; if the Solos have kids who aren't Jacen/Jaina/Anakin*, there's simply no way to explain that. If we had known all along that we were looking at something which would be completely wiped out in the future, I guess it might be easier to stomach, but now all that time we invested might feel wasted. Since Star Wars is a film franchise first, I just can't see any angle where the overwritten books retain their validity. Multiple canons dilute the impact of one another; in fact, that's WHY I have no interest in Marvel or DC. They don't satisfy my OCD-borne craving for detail and consistency.

    *Note: it won't be Anakin, because Lucas himself ordered Anakin to be killed off due to the name being confusing. I wish that was done in preparation for the sequel trilogy, indicating but it's hardly a guarantee.

    The EU has always written around the films, and frankly, a good screenwriter could do the same in return. It wouldn't hinder creativity, and in fact, many wise writers have posited the idea that restrictions actually *stimulate* creativity. I know you're optimistic that they'll use elements from the EU, but I'm just... not. I can't really say why. But if they only knew how tidy everything was for the main characters at the end of FotJ... a patented JJ Abrams female protagonist? Jaina's ready to go. If they don't use her, that'll be a real crushing blow for me.

    Again, a lot of the melodramatic worry and anger at Disney is very misguided, and I hate that that's a part of our reputation as Star Wars fans... but I also think some amount of grief is appropriate. If you like things a certain way, it's just a bummer that they have to change in order to create room for more. You can say "You need to accept that," but this is just a hobby, really, so, heh... we don't really *need* to accept much of anything at all.

    • Praenomen Cognomen says:

      *Correction: "the films came first, and the books will always live or die based on the precedent set by the films..."

    • Brian says:

      There is way too much minutiae and, frankly, mediocre stuff in the Expanded Universe to force a screenwriter to cater to. Heck, the Expanded Universe had painted itself into a corner and dramatically fallen in quality because of its slavish focus towards continuity over story. Most of all, you can't just drop audiences in a place where new fewer than two major universe-altering conflicts have happened without them asking "Well why didn't you show us that?" Movies aren't wikis, but you can't just gloss over that much lore.

      I can't imagine a worse idea than having to acknowledge wrap the sequel films around things like Legacy of the Force and Fate of the Jedi, to be honest. Borrow characters and general ideas/themes, absolutely, but don't stick to an already convoluted and messy timeline. That's a disservice to Star Wars fans as a whole.

      • Brian says:

        And fans are welcome to feel free to not accept that things are going to and need to change. The sooner a fan comes around on that, however, the happier they will be.

        • Praenomen Cognomen says:

          Well, I think the points you're making are addressed in Nanci's EU post that you linked, which I completely agree with (as far as what I think is ideal... just, not what I think is likely).

          Specifically: Who said details need to be acknowledged? I don't want that. There's nothing to form a script around except the roster of surviving characters after FotJ, and not even all of them... pretty much just the descendants. Nobody has to mention Abeloth, the Yuuzhan Vong, the dead Solo kids, the current Jedi Council, or even the current galactic state of affairs (I mean, we can even assume VII takes place a year after FotJ and for whatever reason, the GA/Empire and the Jedi Council and all those set pieces have been restructured into whatever configuration the writers see fit... or they could even retcon FotJ and say that it happened a few years earlier than it actually did...)

          To fit with continuity, the past doesn't have to be discussed; I know it's illogical that two big wars would have happened and not been mentioned, but it's better than arbitrarily saying that they never happened by putting in some kind of 40-year filler to overwrite it all. As the other article states, the hardcore fans can know what went on, and the others don't have to. The opening crawl never even has details about the past... just a setup for the events of the current movie. Point is, wiping it out would be unnecessary, and a good writer could, as I said, write *around* the details... NOT bring them in.

          So, wanting to actually see the minor details of the EU in the movies? That's ridiculous. But simply wishing that it wouldn't be wiped out arbitrarily? That's perfectly reasonable... but it's still unlikely, and THAT is what I think people are bummed about.

          • Praenomen Cognomen says:

            Also, I think this is a matter of how our different brains work. Some of us don't just like SW for the movies... I know that for some like myself, the vastness IS Star Wars.Jumbled or not, it's got continuity the likes of which you can't get anywhere else, and I for one will mourn that loss in the event that it's irrevocably discarded.

  13. Tom Holste says:

    GREAT article, Brian! I have been saying for some time that the EU needed an "Ultimate" brand. I'm glad to see someone else with a similar idea who can state their case so well!

    I came here after hearing about you on the ForceCast this week. If this is the typical quality of your output, I plan to stick around! :)

    • Brian says:

      Glad you enjoyed the article!

      The way I look at it, the Ultimate sort of branding of the current EU is just the most fair option to everyone. Certainly it would be nice if the Sequel Trilogy managed not to be at odds with the books and comics, but I think it's just unrealistic to expect that. Short of that, allowing the EU as it exists now to continue on its own path is the most fair option.

  14. Darth Venti says:

    Eveyone is looking for the entire EU to be wiped out. I just don't see a reason. It all depends on where in the timeline these movies take place. It is safe to assume it will be atleast 30 years after ROTJ. We also have heard that Lucas asked the main 3 to come back but if they didn't he wasn't going to replace them. We can assume their roles are not that important. Disney wants new characters to promote. Skywalker children. These children will need names. Why not Ben or Jaina. Maybe the timeline won't match up completely or personalities won't jive but that's something most could over look.
    A "non mention" doesn't not mean it never happened. They don't have to mention Jacen or Anakin or Mara Jade. Doesn't mean it didnt happen. The movies itself didn't all add up. If the movies start up right where the books end or atleast after Legacy it all doesn't have to go away.
    Just a thought

    • Praenomen Cognomen says:

      I don't see a reason, but really, the writers probably don't see a reason *not* to wipe it out, if they see fit. You say "Why not?"... I say "Why?" There's no more money to be made either way, so it's not like it matters to them.

      So yes, Jacen, Anakin, and Mara Jade don't need to be mentioned... but by extension, Jaina and Ben *would* need to be mentioned. If the decision is made that a different set of Skywalker and Solo kids will be used (a very easy decision to make, for the writers... literally as simple as writing down some names which aren't Jaina and Ben)... then it's all gone.

      Consider this: if the Solos don't have twins, then EVERYTHING is wiped out... all the way back to Heir to the Empire. No retcons can fix that. So, if you like Star Wars for its continuity, your chosen interest is quite fragile at the moment.

      • Darth Venti says:

        Yes if the names are different or they go out of their way and say Jaina was an only child it would be hard to recon this. The small glimpse of hope is that a Jaina set of books are being written. It was only mentioned recently and As of yet Disney has not pulled the plug. Disney must have some plan.

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  16. Ezra says:

    I like the multiverse idea - and always have - but for somewhat different reasons. With a multiverse, the OOT can exist with as much validity as the PT & SE instead of being regated to some nebulous quasi-canon state.

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