The Star Wars Universe is a vast and occasionally confusing place: beyond the six blockbuster films, the universe also contains thousands of comics, books, video games, and even multiple TV series. While many franchises, sciences fiction franchises in particular, develop this way eventually, most are clear about the status of the extra media. Paramount, for instances, does not acknowledge the Star Trek Books as Canon and has said as much many times, and the Stargate series has similarly ignored its literature.
The answer for Star Wars has never been as clear cut.
The Official Rules, such as they are, have generally been that the movies occupy their own special place in the Star Wars Canon, and that everything that is not a movie falls into the “Expanded Universe” unless stated otherwise. For instance, the Star Wars Tales series of comics is purposely not canon. From this point, everything in the Expanded Universe forms the wider canon for Star Wars unless it directly contradicts information in the movies. Even this has been played with a few times, with the recent Clone Wars series being afforded the same level of canon as the movies.
In the decades that have followed the release of the original Star Wars, the Expanded Universe has become a very crowded place. With Disney set to launch a new trilogy (and beyond) of Star Wars films, the time has come for them to clean house. To that end, Disney has announced the creation of the Star Wars Story Group. The Group will be responsible for sorting through the existing stockpile of Star Wars fiction and deciding what can stay and be given the status of official canon, and what must go.
Once that enormous task is complete, they will need to make sure all Star Wars projects that follow, be they films or things that would have previously fallen under the Expanded Universe umbrella, fit snuggly into the same overall story line. The movies-rule-all hierarchy will be gone and all future fiction will be equal. It is unclear right now exactly how drastic the cutting of previous stories will be.
This is a good thing for the future of Star Wars, but understandably a sore spot for lovers of what has come before. With that in mind, here are five reasons why the Story Group is a good thing, and 4 reasons why it may not be.
This article was first posted on January 17, 2014