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Lucasfilm Announces Break With Star Wars Expanded Universe 157

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-you-strike-me-down-now-etc. dept.
RogueyWon writes: "A recent blog post from Lucasarts had confirmed that the new Star Wars movies planned for release by Disney will formally break continuity with the Expanded Universe novels, comics and video games. They say, 'In order to give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe.' The news is unlikely to be a surprise, given George Lucas's previous pronouncements on the issue."
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Lucasfilm Announces Break With Star Wars Expanded Universe

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  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday April 26, 2014 @10:43AM (#46847749)

    We found out that by keeping the time- and storyline, we could not cram enough cuddly merchandising crap into the show. Expect a lot more fluffy aliens, cutsie droids, and if you thought that Episode 1 was an overblown trailer and ad for the podracer computer game, we have a big surprise for you in Episode 7!

  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Saturday April 26, 2014 @10:43AM (#46847755) Homepage

    I cannot claim to be much of a Star Wars fanatic and haven't read a Star Wars book in years, but I remember reading Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire [amazon.com] along with the rest of the Thrawn Trilogy as a child and wishing that someday that would be adapted for the big screen as future episodes of the film series. Judging from its critical acclaim, I imagine many had the same wish. Strange that Disney would leave that all behind when its storywriting work was already done for it.

    Perhaps not enough opportunities for tie-in marketing in existing plot material?

  • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stormy Dragon (800799) on Saturday April 26, 2014 @11:15AM (#46847921) Homepage

    Disney hasn't done this with any of the Marvel movies; why do people assume they are with the Star Wars movies?

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Saturday April 26, 2014 @11:27AM (#46847963)

    Perhaps not enough opportunities for tie-in marketing in existing plot material?

    Because a lot more goes into movies then just finding a good plot. They do focus groups on what will sell this year. Which words and titles are most popular. This is about making money, not art. Ever wonder why we get 3 movies released at nearly the same time with very similar plots? How many asteroid destroys the earth movies can we squeeze into one year? This year the hot topic seems to be Artificial Intelligence. A few years ago it was the earth getting back at us for polluting. Then there was the alien invasion summer.

    How can they use existing plots when those books were written decades before anyone would do a focus group to know what the public was currently panicking about? Without targeting the publics flighty paranoia, how are you ever supposed to make money?

  • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Saturday April 26, 2014 @12:16PM (#46848163) Journal

    I would think it has more to do with the fact that most of the writing and plotlines in the expanded universe are absolutely shit. I've struggled my way here and there through a few, and they're just terrible, most of it on the level of amateur fan fiction.

  • Re:Translation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by j-beda (85386) on Saturday April 26, 2014 @01:26PM (#46848503) Homepage

    Certainly the trailer for "Guardians of the Galaxy" does not look like it is going to be very consistent with the published comics.

    From what I've been reading, it is consistent, with the most recent version of the Guardians, not the Martinex/Charlie-27/Vance Astro/etc etc Guardians you're probably thinking of.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G... [wikipedia.org]

    Which is, I guess, an indication that being "consistent with the comics" at best can be understood to mean "consistent with some group of comics picked from fifty plus years of inconsistent storylines, restarts and re-imagings".

  • Re:Translation (Score:2, Insightful)

    by spire3661 (1038968) on Saturday April 26, 2014 @01:28PM (#46848511) Journal
    Letting only VISUAL depictions be canon is an INCREDIBLY limited way to tell a richer story.
  • Re:Translation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aix tom (902140) on Saturday April 26, 2014 @08:16PM (#46850431)

    Yep. Add Visions of the Past / Spectre of the Future to that.

    If you want to "breaks free of old conventions to tell a new story" just TELL a new story. If your new story needs to re-hash "old characters" to get people interested in it, then it's probably a not very interesting story to begin with.

  • Re: Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by schnell (163007) <me&schnell,net> on Sunday April 27, 2014 @02:30AM (#46851571) Homepage

    thank goodness that movies 7-9 won't be stuck in a little narrative box

    Thank you, precisely. I say this as someone who has read 15 or so Star Wars EU books and thoroughly enjoyed many of the video games: the EU was >50% shit sandwich.

    In fact, it was destined to be shit. Timothy Zahn kickstarted it with some very good (but not as good as some people believe) SF with the Thrawn trilogy. Lucas never thought he was going to go back to Star Wars, so he waved his hand "whatever" and was pleasantly surprised when the royalty checks started rolling back in. "Shadows of the Empire" was interesting (in part because it was the first time sexuality was openly introduced into the Lucas prudish universe) and a few other things. Star Wars video games were great, but who ever imagined those were canon when what you as a player did could impact them? ("History records that Darth Revan boned Bastila... wait, no he didn't. But she became his Dark Side apprentice... wait, no she didn't. It turns out Revan died in a casino on the underworld of Taris because he couldn't make any money playing Pazaak.")

    But mainly it just quickly descended into "resurrected or clone Empire person or weapon of the year" bullshit and just wanked itself (and milked its readers) for years.

    Then Lucas decides to make Episodes 1-3 and right there you have already invalidated 50% of the mythology of the EU. Spaarti cylinders? Whatsisface the Death Star designer? Using the Force is like some sexually transmitted disease? Jedis can't date? And, if Force ability was hereditary, WHY THE FUCK wouldn't you want Jedis to breed lots of little Jedis? Huuuuuhhhhhh? So the EU was already dead even then.

    For the record: despite all its story consistency failings, Episodes 2 & 3 were NOT THAT BAD. Episode 3, in fact, was a genuinely enjoyable movie! Episode 1 was exactly the steaming shitpile that everyone makes it out to be, except for the first 15 minutes, the pod races and Darth Maul's battle with Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon.

    But of course it still carried on, and of course the results were mixed. "New Jedi Order" was an interesting idea badly implemented, and I'm sorry but the death of Anakin Solo was a terrible idea. The later series had their ups and downs... take for example the latest, "Fate of the Jedi." There were very enjoyable parts, especially the "Luke and Ben road trip" aspects of visiting all the Force users across the galaxy. But a previously unknown super-Force-user had to be invented out of nowhere, and somehow they repeated the NJO "the bad guys must control Coruscant" story line, and it just ended up being a mess. Would you really expect a new Star Wars movie with Han, Luke and Leia to be constrained by the frequently awful story lines of the last 30 years?

    So long story short: the EU was kind of a hot mess and was destined to go away the second anyone tried to remake Star Wars. And even if I miss Kyle Katarn, Admiral Thrawn, the Witches of Dathomir and Mara Jade, it's a trade-off I'm willing to make for decent new movies.

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