- Reason 1: Everybody's dead.
- Reason 2: Everyone who isn’t dead has too much baggage.
- Reason 3: Disregarding part of the canon means breaking all of the canon.
- Reason 4: Star Wars needs a reboot.
I love the Star Wars Expanded Universe. I love knowing that the second Death Star was secretly controlled by the brain of the perpetually surprised-looking bounty hunter droid from The Empire Strikes Back. I love that the Gamorrean guard in Return of the Jedi survived being eaten by Jabba’s rancor because he found a magic talisman in its stomach. I love the fact that a creature drawn by a seven-year-old was a real, official alien species that existed somewhere in the Star Wars universe. Until they finally threw in the towel this past April, I loved Lucasfilm Ltd.’s stupidly insane insistence that every officially licensed novel, comic, videogame, short story, TV show, roleplaying game, and reference book, no matter how outdated or incongruous, fit into a coherent, canonical narrative.
The Star Wars Expanded Universe is a mess and I love it.
Some people seem to really hate the EU with the kind of passion that normal people hate racism or the Kardashians, and while I don’t know much about the European Union, I do know a thing or two about Star Wars. When I watch the original trilogy, I don’t think about how one day Luke’s going to fall in love with a ghost or Admiral Piett’s first name is “Firmus.” It’s possible to enjoy the movies for what they are and all the insanity, goofiness, and intricate continuity of the Expanded Universe for what they are, as well.
What made the Star Wars Expanded Universe unique among tie-in fiction was its inclusivity. In Star Trek, only the movies and TV shows count. In Star Wars, everything did, both the really great stories and the improbably awful ones. This expansive continuity could prove a hindrance to new tales at times, but more often than not it enriched the universe, and could make an otherwise forgettable story become something remarkable in its broader context.
The EU helped keep Star Wars alive between the movies, and it will always have a special place in my heart. But with a new trilogy on the horizon, the Internet is abuzz with speculation, no small part of which, until April 25’s Proclamation of Doom, involved the Expanded Universe and what role it was destined to play in the sequels. Now that question has been answered, and while it’s sad to see (some of) the EU come to an end, Disney made the right call in forging their own path, and here are four reasons why.→