by Michael Brown, staff writer
Lucasfilm and Disney announced the creation of a new “story group” that will work to align all new Star Wars novels, games, and comics with the films, making them canon and an official part of the overall Star Wars narrative that cannot be disputed, creating a new Expanded Universe (EU). All prior novels, games, and comics will not be considered canon, although Lucasfilm has made it clear that they will still draw ideas from the rich tapestry of the Expanded Universe that has come before. Some elements of the old EU will appear in Star Wars: Rebels. George Lucas has always maintained that he never saw the EU as canon, saying that the six films he created, including the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, was the canon. But because of the rich setting that Star Wars provides authors and other artists wanting to tell tales in a galaxy far, far away, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has been tasked with creating a story group that will oversee and coordinate all Star Wars creative development, connecting all future Star Wars storytelling from here on out.
“We have an unprecedented slate of new Star Wars entertainment on the horizon,” said Kennedy. “This future of interconnected storytelling will allow fans to explore this galaxy in deeper ways than ever before.”
But the old EU novels won’t be swept away like the Old Republic. Classic novels like The Thrawn Trilogy will be re-released under the Legends banner, identifying them as being outside of canon.
All of this is being done to give freedom to future filmmakers and to provide some surprise and a streamlined experience for fans, and Lucasfilm has stated in the past that they fear that the many years of material would only serve to confuse casual fans who may not have read anything in the EU.
The first piece of canon for the new Expanded Universe will be the upcoming Star Wars: Rebels, followed by a series of new novels published by Del Rey, the first of which to be written by fan-favorite John Jackson Miller. Miller’s novel, titled “A New Dawn“, will precede the events of Star Wars: Rebels. and will tell the story of how two of the lead characters came to meet. It will contain input from executive producers Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, and Greg Weisman and will be released in hardcover and e-book on September 2, 2014. The next book, titled “Tarkin”, will be released on November 11, 2014, and both “Lords of the Sith” and “Heir to the Jedi” will follow in March 2015.
Michael Brown is a comics nerd and a father who lives in small town Tennessee. When he’s not making his players mad in his “Shadowrun” RPG or experimenting with new and inventive uses of duct tape on his children, you can find him checking out the latest comics and movies for SCIFI.radio!