At the end of 2012, George Lucas did what we never thought we’d see; he sold LucasFilms to Disney.
Since the $4.05 billion sale, and Disney’s subsequent announcement of three more Star Wars films, fans have been on the edge of their seats waiting for anything that resembled news; sadly we’ve only been getting rumors and speculations here and there, with one or two on-set teaser pictures from the movie that they’re promising us at the end of 2015.
At least, this was all true up until the other day – between April 25 and April 26, the internet was an avalanche of news stories and blog posts about Disney’s sudden choice to effectively nuke everything that we know and love.
It was announced this past weekend that anything written and televised about the Star Wars Universe after the death of Darth Vader is now officially canon. Everything from the six Star Wars movies that have been released and the animated TV series, The Clone Wars, have been labeled as “official storyline”. What does that mean for the rest of everything? What about all those books, comics and, of course, videogames that have been released since the ’80s? Well, Disney is saying their stories just aren’t part of Star Wars; in fact, they have gone so far as stating that from here on out, anything that they consider to be Extended Universe material, will now be published under the banner of Star Wars Legends.
LucasFilm and Disney have already stated that they will begin building a taskforce who will be making sure that all future Star Wars cartoons, comics, books and videogames fall in with the official storyline. “Now, with an exciting future filled with new cinematic installments of Star Wars, all aspects of Star Wars storytelling moving forward will be connected,” said the press release issued by Disney. “Under LucasFilm President Kathleen Kennedy’s direction, the company for the first time ever has formed a story group to oversee and coordinate all Star Wars creative development.”
So what does that mean Star Wars: The Old Republic and Knights of the Old Republic? What about the Jedi Knight series of games? As far as Disney is now concerned, they don’t exist in their universe any longer.
Sorry Revan, Disney just doesn’t like you anymore.
Disney is hoping to take this chance to sculpt a new, more interesting era in what is now their franchise; as such, Disney will not support any future Extended Universe material and has said that if fans want their old EU to continue, it’ll be up to them to keep it alive – but make no mistake, their EU does not reflect on the official storyline that will take place in all future Star Wars material.
LucasFilm doesn’t want us to worry though, promising that they will try to take certain names and events from the EU and bring it in to the Star Was franchise officially. How nice of them.
Star Wars fans are understandably upset. George Lucas sold LucasFilm without much warning, and is now working alongside Disney with these movies. When all of this was announced on Friday, fans didn’t know how to take the news that nearly three decades’ worth of lore was just being thrown away; the denizens of social media have been in a haze of both rants and fervent nostalgia, with what seemed like millions of voices suddenly crying out in terror over Disney’s decision. Writers of past Star Wars books have even spoke out on social media, with Paul S. Kemp saying “I’ve only written three Star Wars novels, but I don’t think at all about the canon/non-canon distinction. I just try to write good stories.”
What do you think? Do you agree with the new structure that Disney is putting into Star Wars? Are you excited to see what they come up with? Many fans are clearly fearful of what could possibly happen to a series that is so well loved, and with May 4 – International Star Wars Day – just around the corner, we can only speculate on what else Disney and LucasFilm is going to throw at us.
Let’s just hope that Jar Jar Binks isn’t part of their structure.