When Disney purchased Lucasfilm and announced that they would be making new Star Wars films, one of the biggest questions fans were left wondering about was the fate of the so-called Expanded Universe: the reams of semi-canonical content created over the years in books, games, comics, radio dramas, and the like. Last month the word was given: while the future of the Star Wars universe may pick and choose from story elements or characters from all that material, going forward the only canonical stories at this point are the six Episode films and the Clone Wars animated series. But what if some of the most beloved Expanded Universe tales got a direct adaptation for the big screen?
That’s the possibility explored by the “Star Wars: Legends” fan video up top, edited together by Marc Dominic Rienzo. It was originally intended to be finished in 2007 to tie into Star Wars’ 30th anniversary. The video repurposes clips from the official Star Wars fans, tons of different fan videos, and unrelated sources such as The Chronicles of Riddick, Event Horizon, Judge Dredd, Star Trek, and Serenity. It even makes clever use of more recent footage of the original Star Wars actors, such as shots of Harrison Ford from Ender’s Game.
What’s really noteworthy, however, is the narrator. That’s the late Don Lafontaine, whose unmistakable voice accompanied some 5,000 movie trailers and “other commercials, programs, files and other presentations.” Sadly, Rienzo’s Vimeo page doesn’t say how they got Lafontaine to participate, but it’s a very cool touch that makes this thing feel that much more genuine. Here’s what Rienzo does have to say about the video:
Originally planned to be finished in 2007 for the Star Wars 30th Anniversary, this edit went uncompleted for years. Now with Episode VII coming out, it had seemed pointless to finish. But in honor of the great, late Don Lafontaine donlafontaine.com/ who provided an AMAZING voice over, I had to get this out there even though it’s a bit rough around the edges. I could not let “THE VOICE” go unheard. Many thanks to the creators of original fan film works who provided footage for this edit.
…and while I love the EU, I eagerly look forward to EPVII. I think they have the best of the best in place on it.
There’s obviously a ridiculous amount of EU material out there, but Rienzo’s video imagines film adaptations of some of the very best. Included in that roster is Timothy Zahn’s acclaimed Heir to the Empire trilogy of novels, the Dark Empire comics, Kevin J. Anderson’s Jedi Academy Trilogy, Michael P. Kube-McDowell’s Black Fleet Crisis, and the sprawling New Jedi Order, which spanned across multiple books and stories between 1999 and 2003.
Of course, we’ll never get to see most of those stories on the big screen, at least not told exactly the same way. But we will be getting more Star Wars, and lots of it, with Episodes VII, VIII, and IX to be interspersed with standalone spin-off films allegedly focusing on characters such as Boba Fett and Han Solo. With Disney aiming to give Star Wars the same long-game strategy that has worked so well for the Marvel movies, we may not be getting the Expanded Universe we’ve had…but we’re getting a new Expanded Universe. And that’s pretty damn cool.