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Ahead of 'Star Wars: Episode VII,' Lucasfilm Kills the Expanded Universe

OK, let's get nerdy here. For the longest time, Star Wars has been broken up into different levels of canon. The movies carried the most weight, and nothing could contradict them. Then there was the Expanded Universe of books, video games, graphic novels and TV shows. They all counted at different levels. Fans of the Expanded Universe have held out out hope that Star Wars: Episode VII would pull from the lower levels of canon when director JJ Abrams and crew got to work on the Sequel Trilogy.

On Friday, Lucasfilm didn't just kill that hope — it killed the entire Expanded Universe.

"We have an unprecedented slate of new Star Wars entertainment on the horizon," Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement. "We're set to bring Star Wars back to the big screen, and continue the adventure through games, books, comics, and new formats that are just emerging. This future of interconnected storytelling will allow fans to explore this galaxy in deeper ways than ever before."

As of now, the only official Star Wars canon would be the actual movies, the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated show and the upcoming Star Wars Rebels animated series. Goodbye, Shadows of the Empire. Goodbye, Heir to the Empire. Goodbye, The Force Unleashed.

Despite the outcry on Twitter by fans who have spent decades and hundreds of dollars buying Expanded Universe books, this move shouldn't be a surprise. There was no way Disney bought Lucasfilm, brought in Abrams and is pouring millions into new Star Wars movies only to be stuck adapting the Expanding Universe.

Lucasfilm's press release notes, "Creators of new Star Wars entertainment have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe. For example, elements of the EU are included in Star Wars Rebels. The Inquisitor, the Imperial Security Bureau, and Sienar Fleet Systems are story elements in the new animated series, and all these ideas find their origins in roleplaying game material published in the 1980s."

We'll see elements of the Expanded Universe show up in Episode VII, Episode VIII and Episode IX, but they'll be used in ways that'll surprise Star Wars fans. Just don't expect Adam Driver to play Thrawn.
Ahead of 'Star Wars: Episode VII,' Lucasfilm Kills the Expanded Universe Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 4/27/2014 Rating: 5

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