The problem of disrespect of the Expanded Universe

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' started by BrlntDsgse, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. BrlntDsgse Registered

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    With the sale of Lucasfilm & Star Wars to Disney, what does it mean for the EU and it's fans? Since all announcements so far seem to indicate that episodes 7-9 will be an original story, possibly featuring the original cast, and NOT faithfully following the EU.....well doesn't that essentially spell the END of the expanded universe as we've come to know it over the past 2 decades? After all, if eps 7-9 are contradictory to EU lore, then all future Star Wars novels and comics will, i'm sure, be expected to be written in line with the NEW "official" continuity.

    While I'm VERY excited that Lucas no longer has control over Star Wars, I'm also very sad to hear that they are likely not going to be adapting the EU directly for the big screen. The Expanded Universe stories got more than enough disrespect and dismissal from Lucas over the years as something that "didn't count". If he was willing to let them be written and especially wiling to rake in tons of cash from them, then he should've been willing to acknowledge all the time and creativity that countless writers and artists poured into these tales by declaring them an official part of SW continuity. And now that Star Wars is no longer Lucas', it seems that these stories will keep being disrespected, this time to the point where they will be entirely discontinued when the continuity of the new films replaces them. Just a sad state of affairs all around.

    I'll still hold out hope that Eps. 7-9 will be announced as a direct adaptation of the "Thrawn Trilogy", with new actors taking up the roles of Luke, Leia and Han.....but it sure doesn't seem likely. So what are everyone else's thoughts on this subject?
     
  2. Gianakin_ SW Prequels Defender

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    A direct adaptation won't happen. But that doesn't mean they'll exclude everything EU-related. And Lucas has contradicted EU stuff before, but he's also used elements for his own movies (see Aayla Secyra, the mention of Quinlan Vos and the name Coruscant).

    I, too, wouldn't like the EU to be ignored, but the truth is that movies > EU.
     
  3. TheDreamMaster The Night He Came Home...

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    Despite opinions on her work, that disrespect if what eventually caused Karen Traviss to stop writing EU novels, in relation to Lucas overwriting the entire CW media event with the new CW cartoon. The official site kept promising for a long time that everything would fit, but considering Anakin was a Padawan through most of it and gained knighthood late in that timeline, I doubt it will ever fit comfortably. I think the old CW cartoon still counts, but thats up for debate.

    For what its worth, I figured they'd always ignore the EU for the most part if these films ever got made. I enjoy a lot of the EU, so I admit it sucks. However, if the original cast is planned to come back, I kind of think they'll move beyond established EU and just not touch it in the sequels. I mean, unless the flat out write over everything, the OT chracters should be right about where their actors are in age now. But if we don't start off with an established Jaina Solo and Ben Skywalker, etc. it won't mean a thing for the EU.

    I've heard a lot of people saying that the Disney acquisition would make Disney take the EU into consideration, because it is another source of cash for the Luscasfilm/Disney empire, but in terms of the Hollywood side, I doubt the execs are too worried about the established EU. The least amount of extra detail required to link the trilogies is all I expect Disney to worry about. It is disrespectful, but I pretty much expect it.
     
  4. Nerial Hopeless Sci-Fi Geek

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    I understand where you're coming from, but the EU has just turned into such crap, (starting just after The Thrawn Trilogy with Dark Empire and The Jedi Academy Trilogy), that I can't protest the idea of Disney ignoring it while making Episodes VII, VIII and IX.

    Don't get me wrong, I find this bittersweet, too; while I've always wanted new movies with Luke, Leia and Han, I also knew that meant the EU would most likely be ignored. And, despite the load of junk in the EU, there are things I do like--Mara Jade, Luke becoming a Jedi Master, Han/Leia's marriage, and many of the Jedi students.

    But the problem is, so much of the EU has left a sour taste in my mouth. If I can ignore some stand-alone books like "The Crystal Star," and "The New Rebellion," I'm still left with "Dark Empire" that changed the course of the books (althoug it's a comic that ignores the books), the New Jedi Order series, which is where I pretty much stopped reading after the brutal death of Anakin Solo, and then the Legacy of the Force crap, where Jacen Solo basically goes nuts, kills off the only EU character I actually cared about, Mara Jade, and then leaves Han/Leia with only one kid and the knowledge that their son turned into a monster before he died. If I were Leia, I'd probably kill myself at this point.

    I've read dozens of EU books in hopes that they're going somewhere, and it's ended up reminding me more of watching a cat chasing its own tail. Disney can't disrespect the EU more than the EU has disrespected itself.

    I say, either ignore the EU altogether, or take little bits and pieces of the only trilogy that was actually good, The Thrawn Trilogy, and use elements of that.

    I feel your pain, but 99.99% of the EU sucks, anyway.
     
  5. BenKenobi Registered

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    You have to keep in mind George created a universe and gave writers and artists a chance to tell their stories in his world. However, that being said it is still his story and it can be understood that, he's not going to bend his story to fit everyone else who wants a part of it. But this isn't anything new, the EU info on the Clone Wars, a lot of aspects of Darth Vader and Ben Kenobi's past, Boba Fetts history, ect all were effectively undone by the prequel trilogy.

    Anyway, they'll probably just declare a kind of star wars multiverse kind of like Marvel and DC.
     
  6. metr0man Registered

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    The problem with respecting the EU is that so much of it has been established by mediocre writers and editors.

    To me, it's a crime to have to hamstring Star Wars movies because of the inventions of mediocre novelists and editors. Lucas made it pretty clear he considered the EU it's own thing.

    Lucasfilm writers should write the movies however they want. Then, do a quick EU comparison for overlaps (if they wrote Han/Solo having a daughter, maybe change the name to Jaina. etc).
     
  7. thorstone Registered

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    The books and comics should be treated similar to how comics are treated in films based on their respective characters. You make allusions but you don't follow the literal story.

    The EU books are really paperback pulp. They try again and again to come up with a strong villain to drive interest but nothing sticks. The EU has had at least six attempts at trying to create new major villains and all of them have been failures.

    Nobody should be surprised if in the new movies there are no Solo twins and Luke Skywalker has a daughter instead of a son.
     
    #7 thorstone, Dec 8, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  8. mr. peasant Registered

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    Not really. To the best of my recollection, both these characters' back stories weren't really touched upon prior to the prequel movies as Lucas had a mandate that they were off limits without his direct involvement and approval.


    I disagree completely on principle. If Lucas (and by default, the Star Wars franchise) was willing to reap the rewards and profit from the material, they need to be responsible for what they had sewn. Considering they were willing to accept people's money and sell the books under the Star Wars name, they should very well bear the consequences for their actions as well.
     
  9. Thundercrack85 Registered

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    Didn't the EU start off as teen novels?

    But yeah, I never expected any sequels to go along with little-known works written by dozens of writers over the course of decades.
     
  10. MistaBinks Registered

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    No, the modern EU started with Heir to the Empire and Dark Empire.
     
  11. BATZARRO WWD Campeador Boricua

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    If I where handed the writting reigns to Star Wars, the only two things that could ruin it would be getting handed a bunch of EU book to adapt and not getting payed. I could understand elements and characters from it making it into the films. But to not follow it strictly is not disrespect, perse. The EU is so wide that at surely the movies couln't do all of it, if it could.

    Avengers did not have strictly follow a particular Marvel continuity, and you'd be hardpressed to find anyone who thinks it direspects the originals. Only that I guess in this case it would be like claiming the comics not following on movie continuity as disrespect, correct?

    Personally, I think if we can't do better than EU, are sad.
     
  12. mr. peasant Registered

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    The difference here being that the Marvel Cinematic Universe was never marketed and claimed as being the same as any of the comic book universes; where as the Star Wars EU was marketed and sold as an expansion and continuation of the Star Wars story.

    As such, retconning the EU books out of canon would likely cause people to no longer feel invested in and/or purchase future EU material as they no longer represent the continuation of the Star Wars story. Instead, they can potentially and very easily become discarded and so aren't worth the paper they are printed on.

    Honestly, the smartest thing for Disney to do is just set the new movies in a new age one/two centuries post-ROTJ. This way, it maintains the integrity of the existing literature and allows it to co-exist alongside the new movies, and gives the writers the freedom to tell their own story without being restricted by the EU.

    Think about it: the new movies have to be accessible to new viewers who've never seen Star Wars before, prequel trilogy viewers who've never seen the original trilogy before, and viewers who have seen all six movies (who will be in the minority). As such having the new movies be too derivative to previous work (especially from original trilogy content) reduces the accessibility to the former two groups.
     
    #12 mr. peasant, Dec 8, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  13. Victarion Iron Captain

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    A continuation of the Star Wars film franchise is still the same principle as adapting a comic series to film. Nolan's films didn't cause a drop in the purchase of Batman comics. Given how well developed the EU is, it will likely be difficult to break from it entirely when it comes to writing the story/scripts for the next trilogy. Therefore you can look at the upcoming saga as an EU adaption, either a loose or hardnosed adaption.
     
  14. mr. peasant Registered

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    An adaptation is not the same as an expanded universe. Wikipedia describes an adaptation as a retelling of the same story, typically in a new medium, but set in a parallel continuity. Meanwhile, an expanded universe is described as an expansion of the original franchise and continuity; with its continuity generally considered apocrypha. However, it then singles out that Star Wars' Expanded Universe is generally considered canon.


    And indeed, this has always been the stance of Lucas Licensing. Key excerpts, as obtained from this article include:

    As you can see, the stance of the company and the Holocron (the internal lore database used by Lucas Licensing) up until now is that the EU represents the continuation of the Star Wars saga and is part of the same continuity as the movies.
     
  15. Victarion Iron Captain

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    Okay. Still, just remember that they could sweep that under the rug if it benefits their business. I hold that adapting things from the EU that suite the story and ditching what doesn't is the best way to go.
     
  16. BATZARRO WWD Campeador Boricua

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    I sort of agree with this part, mostly. If not for contradicting the EU, but because I don't think a "what happened immediately after RotJ" aproach would be right. You leave some room between trilogies and have the audience learn what happened without necessarilly seeing it. Let the movie have it's own backstory. However, if Hammil, Fisher and Ford are going to be in I doubt they're going with that angle.

    To be frank, the idea of "the sons of everyone from Star Wars have new adventures " is something that doesn't appeal to me. It feels...I don't know how to put it in words. Cheesy? At least as protagonists for an official sequel film. I don't want them to bulldoze the EU or anything (even though eventually the movies will contradict it in SOMETHING). It's just that concept I find troubling.
     
  17. BenKenobi Registered

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    For the most part yeah, but they still slipped things about them in. Like in Marvel Comics when they revealed Lukes fathers name was Tan Skywalker, we all know that not true. Or the toys that talked about how Vader fell into a gas chamber and how Palpatine arrived at the end of the battle, and Kenobi disappearing into the forrest. Lets not forget Jaster Mareel being Boba Fetts real name, Princess Leia, Boba Fett, and the Emperor being mentioned as important figures in the clone wars. The Clones being the villains in the Clone Wars, the time the Clone Wars took place. Palpatine being president of the Republic. Theres a lot of stuff that got undone or greatly retconned by the prequels.

    I see where your coming from, but you act like these writers didn't want to be able to write a Star Wars story, or go crazy in Georges playground he's created, with knowledge that Lucas could declare in non canon at anytime. Given that theres the whole "levels of Canon" and "G-Canon" over ruling all over levels, it is always an understood aspect both the writer and the reader are aware of. Unless it came from one of the TV-Shows, the movies, a mas multimedia campaign (Shadows of the Empire, Clone Wars, Force Unleashed) then it could be over-ridden at any point.
     
  18. Mace Dolex Powerful User

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    Just like DC and Marvel with their alternate universes that's how I see the Star Wars EU, basically if it hasn't been done in live action on film then I don't consider the EU that essential for a newbie to jump in.

    The Clone Wars, Droids, The Ewoks cartoons as well as Caravan Of Courage and Ewok Adventure can all fit into alternate universes.

    I can see how the novel writers seem stuck in a vacuum so as to not really explore drastic changes to the SW characters which is why they have to create new ones, Shadows Of The Empire was a good attempt but at the end it's back to basics when none of those events are mentioned in Return Of The Jedi.
     
  19. Destructus86 Registered

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    The EU has always been it's own universe...the movies don't need to respect the EU at all.
     
  20. MrGreen Registered

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    But, if you saw the movies in the 1-6 order, that's what the original trilogy is. The sons of Anakin having new adventures with Kenobi, Vader, Chewie, Yoda, Palpatine and the droids being the old characters from the Prequel Trilogy.
    This Sequel Trilogy should be the sons of Han and Leia (and maybe Luke) having new adventures with Luke, Han, Leia, Lando, (probably) Chewie, and the droids being the old characters from the OT.
     
  21. TruerToTheCore Registered

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    It would be pretty ******ed to not ignore the EU. I also don't think you should put in references to it. But since the whole Eu seems to be so big it's kinda unavoidable that some things will mirror the EU stuff even if not intentionally.
     
  22. mr. peasant Registered

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    With the Marvel comics, they were released prior to Empire Strikes Back and before there was a concerted effort by Lucas Licensing to maintain a consistent continuity. Moreover, any inaccuracies regarding Vader, Kenobi and the Skywalker clan were a result of Lucas changing his mind as all story elements pertaining to them had to come from the man himself.

    The only big change is Boba Fett's origins; which is again because Lucas changed his mind. Originally, he wasn't meant to play any part of the prequel trilogy (hence, why EU writers were allowed to write about his back story) but when it came time to develop the prequels, Lucas decided to include him anyway.

    Only insofar as they were hired to do a job. It's not like they went to LucasBooks with completed manuscripts seeking publication. Rather, it's the other way around; with LucasBooks hiring them to write novels for the Star Wars franchise.


    Also, something to consider is that when Disney bought Lucasfilm, a portion of that money was to acquire the intellectual property of the various books and assorted merchandise associated with the EU that Lucasfilm, and its various subsidiaries, had published. Meaning, to rendering it non-canon devalues said intellectual property; essentially burning the money they had spent acquiring said property in the first place.

    Even if this is calculated as an acceptable loss, Disney would likely want/seek to pull the existing copies off the shelf as they would be actively harmful to the franchise. The Star Wars EU is unique in that they are all for the most part in continuity and connected to one another; unlike most other EUs which consist mostly of separate, standalone books. If this continuity is not consistent with that of the new movies, it will confuse new fans who are unfamiliar with the existing EU franchise prior to the new trilogy. Worse, if continued to be available, it could discourage the new fans from buying subsequent EU merchandise that's based on the new trilogy (as they wouldn't know which individual books to buy).

    In short: Rendering the current EU franchise non-canon would cost Disney money; both, by diminishing the value of Disney's intellectual property and discouraging consumers from buying the new trilogy's associated merchandise.
     
  23. Destructus86 Registered

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    Disney won't mess with the EU...it'll go on as usual. But the EU and canon don't really have a place together. It's fine to borrow elements...but the two are completely alternate universes
     
  24. mr. peasant Registered

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    As far as the people running Lucas Licensing were concerned (prior to the announcement of the new trilogy), the movies, cartoon and EU were all one single continuity.
     
  25. Destructus86 Registered

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    No, they are all part of a single universe (the star wars univrse) but are not canon. There are multiple quotes stating this.
     

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