Disney to rid Star Wars canon of spinoff books' "expanded universe"

And good riddance, writes Lee Hutchinson, "because almost all of it was crap."

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  1. daneel says:

    I dunno, I read the Thrawn stuff and it was better than Episodes I-III.

  2. mcsnee says:

    Arguably better than Episode VI, too, though I've gotta say I reread them recently and didn't like them as much.

    Anyway, this'll be great news for JJ Abrams, who can now turn Episode VII into a retcon story. Just think what a better universe Star Wars would be if a Death Star travelled through a time vortex and blew up Naboo before Episode I even happened!

  3. Dude, The Black Hole was better than Episodes I-III.

  4. You said it. I don't know who this Lee Hutchinson dweeb is, but when he says
    the chainsawing of canon is unequivocally a good thing

    he demonstrates himself to be ten kilos of Bantha pudu in a five-kilo bag. The only reason to do this is very simple: the sales of games and novels from the 80s, 90s, and '00s are flat; nobody's apt to spend any more money on the Thrawn trilogy or the Yuuzhan Vong invasion anymore. The post-ROTJ material is being discarded not because it was uniformly awful (because it wasn't), but because it stands in the way of Disney making fresh bucks off of fresh stories that could otherwise conflict with the EU. Greed and laziness, nothing more, but that was to be expected from the moment Disney made the $4 billion dollar investment.

    So why not be honest about it? Stackpole and Allston's Rogue and Wraith Squadron books were a hoot. Zahn's stuff earned every award it won. Barbara Hambly's Children of the Jedi was uncharacteristically awful, and the sheer volume of EU material guarantees that some of it's gonna suck Hutt ovipositor, but when I gave up on keeping up with the Solos and Skywalkers (2002, at Destiny's Way, which was most of the way through the New Jedi Order series), I'd read several dozen EU books that were each objectively better space operas than Phantom Menace ever was, to say nothing of Attack of the Clones.

    One can't expect all of the older stuff to be canonical anymore (like Alan Dean Foster's Splinter of the Mind's Eye, which is 36 years old now and had nothing at the time to avoid contradicting but one single screenplay and George's nebulous whims about what he might like to do later), but the licensed Lucasfilm novelists went to Herculean efforts to keep the EU as internally consistent as possible (far more so than George ever did), and crapping on their efforts and talents while welcoming Disney's chance to do it all over again is neither classy nor intellectually honest.

    Time will tell if Disney manages to commission better stories for Luke and Leia and Han and Chewie and the droids than the ones that already exist. Maybe they'll pull it off, and I certainly hope they do.

    But I'm not betting any money on it.

  5. My husband and I had a conversation about when our daughter could see Star Wars for the first time, which led me to ask the stupid question: "What movie would we start with?"
    Him: The first one.
    Me, incredulous: Seriously? That one sucked.
    Him: You don't like A New Hope?
    Me: Yes. But I thought we were talking about ...
    Him: It's not like George Lucas ever got around to making the prequels, after all.
    Me: ...
    Him: Yup. It sure is a shame that Lucas never got to make those prequels. I bet they would have been neat.

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