I know this is not a popular topic with some Star Wars fans. A lot of people hold the books in the Extended Universe near and dear. The Thrawn Trilogy, the Courtship of Princess Leia, the Jedi Academy Trilogy. They’re all classics. And I’m sure the authors of those novels feel equally close. So losing them as part of the story line comes as a heavy blow. But there are a lot of good things about Disney leaving that universe behind. Here are mine.
- The Extended Universe is big. There are a lot of books to keep up with. And comics. I went over to Wookiepedia and tried to count them all and I lost track around three hundred. And that’s just novels. That doesn’t even get into the Dark Horse comics or the original Marvel comics from the early, early years. For a new fan, that’s daunting. I’m not a new fan. I’ve watched the movies since I was a kid, but by the time I got to the novels, there were just too many to try to keep up. Of course, the same will probably happen with the new canon, of which there are only thirteen right now, but it will be some time.
- Chewbacca is alive. Sorry folks if that’s a spoiler, but Chewie bites the big one in the Extended Universe. So that touching moment in the Force Awakens where Han and Chewie run back onto the Millenium Falcon and Han utters the line, “Chewie, we’re home?” Yeah, you wouldn’t have that. He dies twenty-five years after the Battle of Yavin, saving young Anakin Solo, one of the three Solo children from the extended Universe. The Force Awakens happens thirty-three years after.
- Some of the books are . . . weird. Anyone who’s watched the Clone Wars Animated series knows what I’m talking about. Magic, mystical beings of dark and light, ancient rituals. The newer canon has a little bit of that – I’m looking at you Star Wars Rebels – but no where near the level of strange I’ve read in a few of the books. Granted, Star Wars has always been a science fantasy more than just straight science fiction, but some of the stories go way out on a limb. That’s not a criticism of the authors. That was the universe that was created and they ran with it. I really enjoyed Crucible, but it wasn’t the type of story I normally go for.
- Things get complicated. And I don’t mean like trying to figure out who Littlefinger supports episode to episode in Game of Thrones. I mean like casts of hundreds (maybe even thousands) spread over all the books. Go try to figure out Revan’s timeline if you get bored. I’ve played the games and I still have a hard time keeping everything straight. George Lucas himself couldn’t even stick to canon. In Dark Force Rising, book two of the Thrawn Trilogy, Timothy Zahn lists the Clone Wars as 44 BBY, but in the movies, it’s 20 BBY. And that’s just one issue. Zahn also says in that trilogy that the Clone Wars were started by unstable clones, and not just troopers. Jedi, dignitaries, everyone. The troopers were actually started by Thrawn himself. Sorry, another spoiler.
- Which brings me to Spoilers. The books have been around so long, it’s fairly common for fans to discuss the plots openly, assuming anyone who wants to read them, has. With the newer books out, a lot of the plot lines are closely guarded by fans who don’t want to spoil the surprise, but can’t wait for you to read it. It’s made the series exciting again.
- It’s not like Disney banished the Extended Universe forever. They’ve brought back a lot of characters and plot points. Thrawn (SPOILERS for Star Wars Rebels!) is the biggest one that comes to mind. They’re obviously pulling from the EU, it’s just no longer the same continuity, and that’s alright in my book.
- Because in the end, it means we get more Star Wars. More adventures and stories of some of our favorite characters. Sure if you loved Jacen or Jaina Solo, you’re not going to get those tales anymore, but you are going to get more Han and Leia, more Chewbacca, more Luke, and lots of new and fun characters to get to know and that we have yet to even meet. If anything, Disney, Lucasfilm and Del Rey have given new life to a beloved series and I can’t think that’s a bad thing.
Let me know what you think in the comments. Do you like the new canon? Do you hate it? Did I leave something out or put in a bad link? Be civil and leave spoilers for the new canon out of it. You have been warned.
If you liked this post, tell me. I’m thinking of posting weekly Star Wars discussions. I’ll review books, seasons of Rebels, etc.
Thanks for reading and may the Force be with you.