A New Approach to Recommending The EU

If you’re an Expanded Universe fan, chances are you’ve had to field the following question at least once: “Where should I start reading the Star Wars books?” Everyone has a different answer of course but the most common is usually “The Thrawn Trilogy. Duh.” As the first EU book, it’s accessible and doesn’t require more knowledge than the films and it’s simply a pretty darn good trilogy. The problem, however, is that I don’t think this works anymore.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had two people ask me where they should start reading the books and I had to pause and reconsider the instinctive and age-old Thrawn Trilogy answer. We now live in a world where there is Star Wars canon and there is Legends with hundreds of books. For me, this changes that game completely.

Taking my probably belated realization into mind, I wanted to share with all of you my new method for deciding which EU books I should recommend to someone. It’s only been tested on two people so it’s hardly foolproof but it may be useful to some of you.

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PSA: Stop Being Rude to Del Rey

The folks in the Star Wars office over at Del Rey are probably in line for Sainthood at this point.

It’s been over four months now that they’ve been putting up with mountains of abuse and crass comments all across social media. Pick any post on their Facebook page since April 25th and I can almost guarantee you that there will be some sort of comment that either asks for Legends back or puts down the new canon with varying levels of rudeness that range all the way up to making me sick with how ill-mannered they are. And yet, at every turn, the team replies to comments politely and with the utmost class.  It doesn’t seem to help though as the abuse continues day after day.

All of that needs to stop.


Way back in April, I had hopes that the fandom would collectively go through the stages of grief together for the Expanded Universe and then have civility restored within a month or two. I was so wrong. If you’re looking for an in depth perspective about this movement to “save” the Expanded Universe, Eric Geller at TheForce.net put up an excellent and thorough look at it across multiple mediums.

Here’s the deal folks: every time you are rude to the Del Rey people and every time you advocate for boycotting the new canon, you are not helping. You are making the situation infinitely worse and it is absolutely not going to bring back Legends. Do you really think that the people in charge of Star Wars are going to be eager to bring back an aspect of the galaxy far far away to appease a part of the fan base that can’t seem to find civility if it hit them over the head? Plus, Del Rey likely has very little control over whether they get to publish books in the Legends continuity right now. That power likely resides with Lucasfilm and the story group so you’re not even heaping your undeserved hate on the right people. (Not that I think anyone deserves this.)

I miss Legends. I really do. I will probably be 80 years old and still grumpy that we don’t have more books about Wraith Squadron or even that Shatterpoint sequel story about Nick Rostu and his adventures in the war as Mace Windu’s aide. The Legends books will always have a very special place in my heart and on my bookshelves. But I am not going to bombard the Del Rey people incessantly with my desire for more Legends.

Need another reason aside from common courtesy? Let’s talk business. If you’re in charge of a major franchise and lots of aspects of that franchise start failing, are you going to try and invest more time and money in it? Probably not. So by encouraging people not to buy books from the new canon (which they might actually be interested in) and by encouraging them to boycott Rebels and the Sequel Trilogy, you are doing everything in your power to hurt your cause.

And while we’re on the subject, stop comparing this toxic and hateful campaign to those advocating for more gender equality in Episode VII and in Rebels. They have been conducted in completely different manners and those wanting to see more representation for women absolutely have not rudely bombarded those who are just genuinely committed to trying to make the best Star Wars they can.

I suppose I should put a disclaimer in here. Yes, I understand that not everyone upset about Legends is acting like this. Yes, I think that some of the movement is infinitely worse than others.  No, I do not want to minimize your strong feelings and love for the Expanded Universe. Clearly not all Expanded Universe fans are behaving badly but all of us need to stop tolerating the behavior of those who being uncivil.  The incessant rudeness and abuse needs to come to an end.  Please.

We can be better than this, fandom. I know that we can be better than this. Cut the crap and let’s get back to being Star Wars fans and not discourteous jerks to people who just want what all of us do: good stories told in the Star Wars universe.

Golden: Sword of the Jedi is on hold

This isn’t exactly news, but it was a slightly more official confirmation of something we’ve known for a while. For a bit of clarity, this isn’t confirmation that the continuity is changing (though let’s be honest, it’s quite likely that will happen). If I were to wager a guess, Sword of the Jedi won’t be released unless LFL decides to go with a split canon that allows the legacy Expanded Universe to go it’s own direction.

The Golden Age of Star Wars

golden age

Standing next to Tim Zahn, holding my two copies of Heir to the Empire, has blinded me.

It’s no secret that the Tosche Station staff holds the Expanded Universe close to our hearts. We may disagree on our favorite eras and characters and series, but we all agree that the EU helped develop and cultivate our love of the Star Wars saga as a whole. For me, it was Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy. For Brian, it was the X-Wing series. For Bria, it was the Young Jedi Knights. Without the EU, none of us would be here today, running a Star Wars-centric blog and podcast.

But it’s never all happy-go-lucky in the world of fandom. Lately, with all the rumors swirling around about the Sequel Trilogy, some fans have become jaded (pardon the pun). They despise the idea that the EU as we know it will cease to exist canonically, and feel betrayed by Lucasfilm after all these years. They mourn the “death” of the EU.

We’ve already written about why that’s not necessarily true, and why it’s possible that some EU elements will remain in the Sequel Trilogy. We’ve also discussed why canon vs. non-canon shouldn’t matter in the long run. The books will always exist on my bookshelf and e-reader, no matter what Leland Chee calls them.

That’s not the point of this blog post. Even though I think those fans are misguided–more Star Wars is always a good thing, right? Right?–I understand why some fans feel betrayed. To them, the EU is Star Wars, and ending the EU ends their enthusiasm.

For a long time, the EU was my Star Wars, too.

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Empire and Rebellion: Razor’s Edge gets earlier release date

Hit it, Star Wars Books.

Great news all around. I’m personally looking forward to this book. Pair this with Kenobi and the last half of 2013 is shaping up to be a great period for Expanded Universe releases.

Kenobi gets a cover

Another week, another fantastic cover release. This time around, it’s John Jackson Miller’s Kenobi. 

And a synopsis!

Tatooine—a harsh desert world where farmers toil in the heat of two suns while trying to protect themselves and their loved ones from the marauding Tusken Raiders. A backwater planet on the edge of civilized space. And an unlikely place to find a Jedi Master in hiding, or an orphaned infant boy on whose tiny shoulders rests the future of a galaxy.

Known to locals only as “Ben,” the bearded and robed offworlder is an enigmatic stranger who keeps to himself, shares nothing of his past, and goes to great pains to remain an outsider. But as tensions escalate between the farmers and a tribe of Sand People led by a ruthless war chief, Ben finds himself drawn into the fight, endangering the very mission that brought him to Tatooine.

Ben—Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, hero of the Clone Wars, traitor to the Empire, and protector of the galaxy’s last hope—can no more turn his back on evil than he can reject his Jedi training. And when blood is unjustly spilled, innocent lives threatened, and a ruthless opponent unmasked, Ben has no choice but to call on the wisdom of the Jedi—and the formidable power of the Force—in his never-ending fight for justice.

Kenobi hits bookshelves on August 27th.

Via io9

Tosche Station Radio #53: It’s A Unix System!


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This week on Tosche Station Radio, the hosts look back fondly at of their favorite films, Jurassic Park!

Kicking off the show, the hosts highlight what’s New on the Blog. Bria and the Waru Express started the New Jedi Order and explained that Cosplay Is Not Consent. Meanwhile, Emily finally came up with a recipe for ryshcate! Bria then decided to be an overachiever (and we thank her profusely for it) and wrote up a new comics primer called “So You Want to Read Marvel Now.”

In Fixer’s Flash, Nanci’s kept herself busy by writing a few short stories. She also finished up Timothy Zahn’s Night Train To Rigel and started reading Overdraft: The Orion Offensive by John Jackson Miller. Brian has been reading through Season of Passage while not going to baseball games. Both of the hosts took the weekend to go see Jurassic Park. More on that later!

Deak’s Dirt starts out with news on the Star Wars animation front. Dave Filoni revealed he’s involved in the new animated series. In Expanded Universe linkage, EUCantina did an interview with The Last Jedi author Maya Kaathryn Bonhoff. Her Universe posted a sneak preview of the new Rogue Squadron tank. Outside of Star Wars, Christopher Eccleston will not be involved in 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. Comixology and Marvel team up to offer first issues for free. From Club Jade, the Legend of Korra is coming to BluRay in July! On the Star Wars rumor front, no one has spoken to Billy Dee Williams yet. In continuing entertainment industry woes, Walt Disney Studios was hit by layoffs. Finally, Yoda won This is Madness.

This week on Camie’s Concerns, the hosts look back at one of their favorite blockbuster films: Jurassic Park. How did the 3D re-release fare? Is it the perfect blockbuster? What lessons could future blockbusters learn from it?

Wrapping up the show, the hosts field questions in Ask Us Anything.

Tosche Station Radio is the official podcast of Tosche-Station.net and a part of Majestic Giraffe Productions. If you like what you hear, please leave a review on the iTunes Music Store. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Nanci and Brian are the co-founders and writers of Tosche-Station.net. You can find Nanci on Twitter with the handle @Nancipants and you can find Brian with @LaneWinree.

This podcast has been brought to you in part by Her Universe and Audible.com.

Her Universe - Flaunt Your World - www.heruniverseshop.com Listen to a bestseller for $7.49 at audible.com!

Tosche Station’s 15 Best Things in the Expanded Universe

Last time around, we shamelessly ripped off io9’s piece and discussed our own list of the 12 Worst Things in the Expanded Universe. After that, you may be surprised to find out that we actually do love the EU. Dearly. That’s why we couldn’t quite neck this list down to an identical twelve selections.

Without further ado, our list (in no particular order) of the fifteen best things the Expanded Universe has to offer. To the jump!

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Tosche Station Radio #48: Boba Fett Fan Outreach


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On this episode of Tosche Station Rado, the hosts are joined by Aaron and Teresa of the Star Wars Bookworms podcast to chat Star Wars, the Sequel Trilogy, and the Expanded Universe!

Kicking things off, Nanci highlights what’s New on the Blog. Bria, as usual, has been very busy. The Waru Express went to the Jedi Academy, finally visited its namesake, wore horrible Adumari clothes, and stopped at the Corellian Trilogy. Hello Tendra, good-bye Gaeriel. Meanwhile, the blog staff riffed off io9’s piece and discussed our own list of the 12 Worst Things in the Expanded Universe.

In Fixer’s Flash this week, Nanci has kept herself busy writing and both hosts got caught up with The Clone Wars just in time for the season (series?) finale. What did they think? Tune in to find out. Brian’s been idly watching Adventure Time and is pretty sure that’s as close as he will ever get to an acid trip. He also read the latest issue of Matt Fraction’s brilliant Hawkeye comics.

Deak’s Dirt starts with news of what Uncle George has been up to since retiring from Lucasfilm. Get your Indiana Jones jokes ready, because he’s thinking of founding an art museum. In great news for Expanded Universe and Her Universe fans, HU has secured EU merchandising rights from Lucasfim. Sounds like there’s Rogue Squadron gear coming and Mara and Jaina merchandise in the future! In television news, Tim Curry joins the cast of Clone Wars as Palpatine. Over on the video game side of things, Star Wars 1313 is in limbo. As far as Expanded Universe news goes, Crucible gets a new blurb. Finally as always, we’ve got the latest in Episode VII rumors. The latest rumblings (which require a shipload of salt) indicate that Episode VII will focus on Solo spawn and Disney wants three Zahn books. Finally, Carrie Fisher says she’s back to play Leia. But it’s not confirmed until Lucasfilm says it is!

This week on Camie’s Concerns, the hosts are joined by Aaron and Teresa of the Star Wars Bookworms podcast for a grab-bag Star Wars chat. On the agenda is a general Expanded Universe discussion, thoughts on The Clone Wars, and hopes for the Sequel Trilogy films. You can find their podcast here on the web, Twitter and on iTunes.

Tosche Station Radio is the official podcast of Tosche-Station.net and a part of Majestic Giraffe Productions. If you like what you hear, please leave a review on the iTunes Music Store. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Nanci and Brian are the co-founders and writers of Tosche-Station.net. You can find Nanci on Twitter with the handle @Nancipants and you can find Brian with @LaneWinree.

This podcast has been brought to you in part by Her Universe and Audible.com.

Her Universe - Flaunt Your World - www.heruniverseshop.com Listen to a bestseller for $7.49 at audible.com!

Zahn Talks Writing Han Solo and Standalone Films He’d Like to See

With the barrage of rumors surrounding standalone films in the Star Wars, Hollywood.com decided to catch up with Expanded Universe author Timothy Zahn to discuss what it takes to write Han Solo and the kinds of standalone films and spinoff projects he’d like to see in the Disney Star Wars era.

On the topic of new projects beyond regular episodic installments:

Hollywood.com:First of all, none of this has been confirmed by Disney or Lucasfilm, and I’m not looking to you at all to confirm it. I’m just interested in your perspective as a Star Wars author, and even more importantly, as a Star Wars fan, on the rumor today that the first two standalone Star Wars movies will be about Young Han Solo and Boba Fett respectively.

Timothy Zahn: All of this is at the rumor stage of course, but, the fact is, I would like to see more Star Warsbeyond the core saga. I’d like more Star Wars TV, and certainly more Star Wars books. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. The Galaxy Far, Far Away is impossibly huge with story ideas and possibilities.

On writing Han:

HW: Is there a difference between the way you wrote Han in Scoundrels as opposed to the way you wrote him in the Thrawn Trilogy or Hand of Thrawn Duology?
TZ: Oh yeah, he’s much more mature in the later books. He’s taken on more responsibility. He still chafes at it at times. But he does the jobs that need to be done. He’s more aware of what’s at stake, what the consequences could be if he succeeds or fails. And that’s because he has a family at that point, which brings a whole new set of responsibilities with it. In Scoundrels on the other hand, since that’s set right after A New Hope, he’s much more footloose and fancy free. But even then you can see that once he’s assembled the team he’s working with, he’s not going to abandon them. The seeds of “Responsible Han” are already there. But he would deny it probably.

On spinoff Star Wars projects he’d like to see:

HW: What other characters from the movies would you like to see get the movie spinoff treatment?
TZ: Lando is an obvious one. You could do a lot with Lando during the time leading up to The Empire Strikes Back. If we’re going post-Jedi era I would frankly like to see Wedge put together Rogue Squadron. I think you could have a whole series of Rogue Squadron movies that would be great. Wedge is peripheral, but he is verypopular and rightfully so. Who else helps take out two Death Stars? You could even do an X-Wing TV show focused on Rogue Squadron that, just like the books, would be peripheral to the main Skywalker-Solo saga. That means you could introduce a lot of new characters anchored by Wedge. You could make wonderful stuff out of the X-Wing books.

See, I’m not the only one who thinks a Wedge-centric film and an X-Wing television series would be absolutely fantastic viewing.

The whole interview is fantastic and there’s a lot more to read. Head to Hollywood.com’s interview for more with Timothy Zahn.