With Star Wars: Rebels coming out in October, and Episode VII hitting theaters at the end of 2015, there are some big changes in store for that galaxy far, far away. The Star Wars universe is expansive and vast, and includes a lot of stories and characters. The six movies George Lucas made between 1977 through 2005 are generally considered canon, while countless books, video games, and television shows are viewed as part of the expanded universe. Now Disney and Lucasfilm weeding through everything Star Wars in an attempt to determine what is and is not canon moving forward.
According to THR, Lucasfilm has formed a new collective of Star Wars aficionados responsible for separating the wheat from the chaff. The new group is called the Lucasfilm Story Group, which include Leland Chee and Pablo Hidalgo. The LSG will sift through everything that falls under the Star Wars umbrella to come up with a conclusive set of stories and characters that is considered canon. From Chee’s Twitter feed (via Bleeding Cool):
Star Wars Canon is now determined by the Lucasfilm Story Group which [Pablo Hidalgo] and I are both a part of.
Story Group has a hand in all facets of Star Wars storytelling, including movies, TV, games, and publishing. More so than ever, the canon field will serve us internally simply for classification rather than setting hierarchy.
[Disposing of the hierarchy and having one cohesive canon is] definitely a primary goal of the Story Group.
It’s interesting to think about what will be official and what will not. It’s most likely that The Clone Wars animated series and probably some of Knights of the Old Republic will become canon, while stories and characters that take place after Return of the Jedi might get tossed out and replaced with the upcoming trilogy.
Going forward the Star Wars spinoff movies will be part of Star Wars canon, even though they may not be directly related to the trilogies. Considering that we don’t know what these new spinoff movies will be, it’s unlikely that they will cover anything in the unofficial expanded universe. I trust that they will continue to be stand-alone movies until that well runs dry.
According to Chee, the group “has a hand in all facets of Star Wars storytelling, including movies, TV, games and publishing. More so than ever, the canon field will serve us internally simply for classification rather than setting hierarchy.” The LSG’s goal is to make sure everything works together, and to create synergy between the media projects.
We can already see that unification with the announcement that the Disney-owned Marvel will begin to publish new Star Wars comics. We’ve also seen that Star Wars is expanding into Disney theme parks and resorts with Star Wars Land at Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida. Moreover, this is an attempt to make sure Star Wars stays unified, and that there are no unlicensed, non-canon stories leeching off of the brand without Mickey’s okay.
Say what you will about George Lucas, he was generous with his fans about using Star Wars characters and imagery in non-official stories, parodies, and short films. He could’ve easily sued anyone for infringing on his property, but he never did. Now that Disney owns Lucasfilm, we’ll see how long that amnesty lasts. Disney is extremely tough and guarded about their brands.
What stories and characters from the Star Wars expanded universe do you think should be considered canon? Mara Jade? Jaina and Jacen Solo? The Dark Empire trilogy? Let us know in the comments below.