Future of ‘Star Wars’ Will Rely Only on Past Movies, Animated TV Series

Lucasfilm and Disney have given “Star Wars” fans official insight into where they plan to take the sci-fi saga.

While George Lucas had built a world around “Star Wars” through movies, TV shows, comicbooks, novels, videogames and other forms of entertainment, storylines were developed by separate teams creating what’s been called an “Expanded Universe” that veered away from what was seen onscreen by audiences.

As a result of the plethora of “Star Wars”-related characters, creatures, spaceships and worlds created for those properties, Lucasfilm has formed a new story group to oversee all “Stars Wars” creative development, according to Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, that will connect all aspects of storytelling moving forward.

SEE ALSO: ‘Star Wars’: The ‘Sky’s the Limit’ for Disney’s Spinoff Opportunities

Onscreen, the first new canonical material to appear will be the animated series “Star Wars Rebels” (see a clip presented at WonderCon below), followed by the J.J. Abrams-directed “Star Wars: Episode VII,” set for release on Dec. 18, 2015.

In print, the first new books to come from the group include novels from Del Rey Books, such as the John Jackson Miller-penned “Star Wars: A New Dawn,” set before the events of “Star Wars Rebels” and offering insight into the backstories of key characters Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla, with input directly from executive producers Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg and Greg Weisman.

“A New Dawn” will be published in hardcover and as an e-book on Sept. 2, followed by “Star Wars: Tarkin,” by James Luceno, on Nov. 4; “Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi,” in January, by author Kevin Hearne; and “Star Wars: Lords of the Sith,” by Paul Kemp, in March.

SEE ALSO: Smart Promo: Nissan Recruits ‘Star Wars’ Stormtroopers to Hype the Juke in Japan

Lucas may have enabled other people to play in the world of the “Star Wars” Expanded Universe, but “he set the films he created as the canon,” Lucasfilm posted on the StarWars.com site Friday. “This includes the six ‘Star Wars’ episodes, and the many hours of content he developed and produced in ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars.’ These stories are the immovable objects of ‘Star Wars’ history, the characters and events to which all other tales must align.”

“We have an unprecedented slate of new ‘Star Wars’ entertainment on the horizon,” Kennedy said in a statement. “We’re set to bring ‘Star Wars’ back to the bigscreen, and continue the adventure through games, books, comics, and new formats that are just emerging. This future of interconnected storytelling will allow fans to explore this galaxy in deeper ways than ever before.”

That includes the launch of a new “Star Wars: Legends” banner that will keep tales from the Expanded Universe in print.

Lucasfilm added that elements from the Expanded Universe, like the Inquisitor, the Imperial Security Bureau and Sienar Fleet Systems created in role-playing games of the 1980s, are story elements in “Star Wars Rebels.”

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 39

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Daryl says:

    They mistitled this article. It should read: “Star Wars Fixed by Disney Intellectual Property Lawyers”

  2. DFox says:

    Works for me. With all the stuff presented in other media, it would be insane to try to slog through it all just to be able to write new films.

  3. This is all I’m familiar with anyway (and I’ve only seen a tiny fragment of animated Star Wars material), so this is fine with me. It would be way too complicated to try to navigate through all of the novels, comics, etc. when writing a new film. They are following the same model that Star Trek has, which has worked out pretty well for it.

  4. Spoon Divy says:

    Leave it to disney to MUCK it up. Face it Chewie is DEAD…ANKIN SOLO IS DEAD. JASON SOLO IS DEAD. MARA JADE SKYWALKER IS DEAD. Nut up disney an ACCEPT what has come Before you.

  5. If that means Mara Jade and the Solo children are no longer canon, along with that Yhuzzan Vhong garbage then I’m all for it.

  6. Zach says:

    So long as KOTOR and the Jedi Knight Academy series are still canon, I’m happy.

  7. Aleric says:

    This was nothing more than an extended ad for the new Rebel animated series that is coming out. never mind that Rebels looks TERRIBLE, has bad art work, bland characters and retread chips and stories. Leave it to Disney to take one of the best animated series off the air, Clone Wars, and replace it with a cookie cutter embarrassment.

  8. FartBlaster says:

    Ah, I can taste your hatred Yuuzan Vong fans…strike me down, for I have no weapon!

  9. storiesofanenglishmajor says:

    Reblogged this on storiesofanenglishmajor and commented:
    Good read on the direction of the Star Wars franchise

  10. ChristopherR says:

    Uh oh better be careful. This new group they made to keep track of all star wars canon can just as easily now be swept away if Lucas Films gets under new management. As a reader of the EU this pisses me off. I TRUSTED that the Lucas seal on the Star Wars books I read guarnteed that they were approved and part of HIS universe. If that seal means nothing then these movies potentially mean nothing. It is one thing to change a few lines, who shot first, and all that insignificant jazz but it is another to change thousands of years of pre determined star wars events and history. I have invested much time and money exploring the EU universe and now you are telling me it means nothing.

    I hope the book community calls the old universe ‘Prime’ like they did when JJ Abrams hijacked Star Trek.


    Severely Disgruntled Fan

  11. matt says:

    This is terrible. How could Lucas Arts do this?

  12. rw92 says:

    JJ did the same exact thing to Star Trek. Tossed decades of history into the garbage and just made it up as he went along. You Wars fans happy you got Abrams now?

    • s0krat3s says:

      What Abrams did to Trek was completely different. There was going to be a massive Trek reboot. Had it been a straight up reboot people would have blamed Abrams for ignoring the long and great history of the franchise. So instead he went in a direction that preserved everything that had come before, while allowing the studio to fulfill its wish of relaunching the entire brand.
      What LucasFilm is doing is different. They are saying that none of it (except the 6 films) ever happened. Not in any universe or existence. That it is now just a bad dream ala Dallas.

      • Kestrel says:

        I love both Star Trek and Star Wars. I’ve practically been a fan since the day I was born in ’77. I think Abrams does a good job with the material. I don’t understand the umbrage people have with this. The new movies were fun. You can claim outrage at bad directing, plot holes, and poor writing all you want, but come on… we gotta travel back in time to save some whales? It’s not like the ‘Old’ Star Trek series and films were perfect. My point is, we loved them despite their imperfections. I’m not sure why people aren’t willing to do the same with the new work.

      • Eric Tan says:

        Whoa, there are still people waiting to see the further adventures of Picard et al? Abrams’ Star Trek movies might not be loved by many, but from Paramount’s viewpoint, they have made new fans and loads of money, much more than the ST:TNG movies put together. It was watching those extended TV episodes on the big screen that put me off Star Trek for years. The new movies might not be to everyone’s liking, but they’re quite successful when it comes to the bottom line: money.
        And Abrams is not behind this Star Wars let’s-keep-it-consisitent decision. It was Kathleen Kennedy and the Lucasfilm and Disney top brass. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lucas himself had a say.

      • Aleric says:

        Yeah keep defending JJ, never mind that he raped the Star Trek universe with his bad directing and even worse stories full of massive plot holes and bad writing. Not sure how bad he plans on screwing up the Star Wars universe but at least he cant used his old Time Travel gimmick, but then there is always the DREAM Sequence he likes to explain his story mistakes.

  13. Luke Jolly says:

    This is great. It’s time for a fresh slate for the franchise. A new start. Now if only he could remove the prequels from canon… Nah, I guess that’s asking for too much.

  14. jj says:


  15. Tarantulus says:

    Hey . . . I know . . . let’s take our most devoted and loyal fanbase, the folks that read the novels and kept the buzz about the movies alive between Episodes IV and I, and tell them to go fuck themselves with a chainsaw . . . let’s toss 90 novels, perhaps half of which are fantastic and could be adapted to the big screen easily while maintaining the ability to throw in twists, turns, new characters et al as needed, so that we can indulge in rewriting everything as we wish because Disney never screws anything up by making it PG claptrap . . . chances that Disney is not going to completely drop the ball and screw the pooch with Star Wars: 0% Chances of ongoing imminent projectile regurgitation by any sentient fan: 100%.


    • Luke Jolly says:

      This is a good thing. The books are still there. But now it’s not as confusing of whats canon and whats not. You can still enjoy the EU even if it’s not “official.” Why does them being official matter anyway?

      • s0krat3s says:

        because LucasFilm just took credible authors and credible works and made them fan fiction.
        A LOT of EU fans put that much time and effort into the EU because they wanted to learn as much as they could about that universe. They are now being told it was all a lie.

  16. Stacy Ladas says:

    What I don’t understand is if Lucas contends his movies are canon (which indeed they should be) then how do you resolve the conflict of Lea telling Luke she remembers her mother in flashes, her face, voice, etc,, when it is established in Ep 3 that Padme died while giving birth to Luke & Lea ?

    • Lea does have Jedi blood. If Luke can have premonitions and visions why can’t Lea?

      • rw92 says:

        Not the same thing at all. Leia didn’t say she dreamed of her mother, she more or less said she actually knew her mother.

    • Daniel B says:

      Simple – I don’t know why people keep bringing this up.Leia didn’t know she was adopted, for secrecy’s sake the Organas brought her up as their own child. That still leaves the question of having Luke grow up with his dad’s family who know that he’s Anakin’s child, which is pretty poor secrecy, but at least it’s not a contradiction.

  17. jm5150 says:

    this is for one reason and one reason only… J J abrams… Abrams wants FULL artistic rights, AND he is known for big twists and secrecy. If the movies relied on the EU then anyone who has read the books would know what secrets are forthcoming.. Abrams WILL NOT HAVE THIS. this and this only is why the movies will not follow the EU.

    • Eric Tan says:

      Interesting your hatred of Abrams is. If the sequel Abrams will ruin for all, then blame him you can. But if not, wrong you will be. How many people this EU have others followed? Is it more than those who have only the films seen? About that you must think. High expectations we all have.

      • steve says:

        i still blame lucas, and if disney sticks to the clone wars canon about mandalore i might boycot the new movies no matter how good!

    • s0krat3s says:

      remember, Arndt, their original writer wanted the film to be the kiddy-friendly story focused on the children of the original trio. If anyone would need the death of the EU, it was him. Abrams wanted to focus on the original trio, which has a lot more open-ended potential, with or without the EU.

    • Austen says:

      Not necessarily “only” for Abrams. It’s a plus, sure, but in reality… the Star Wars canon has been a mess for so long. It’s long overdue for the fresh, clean slate it’s now receiving. The new material forthcoming, like novels and video games, will have all sorts of creative freedom now.

  18. Burak Kanar says:

    From what I’ve heard on these videos, the EU material will be streamlined into one coherent storyline and thus, for the first time ever, officially included in the next-gen Star Wars movies, unlike George Lucas who always preferred to keep them separate. The title suggests just the opposite.

  19. Burak Kanar says:

    From what I’ve heard on these videos, the EU material will be streamlined into one coherent storyline and thus, for the firsFrom what I’ve heard on these videos, the EU material will be streamlined into one coherent storyline and thus, for the first time ever, officially included in the next-gen Star Wars movies, unlike George Lucas who always preferred to keep them separate. The title suggests just the opposite.t time ever, officially included in the next-gen Star Wars movies, unlike George Lucas who always preferred to keep them separate. The title suggests just the opposite.

More Biz News from Variety