The Reason 'Star Wars' Canon Is Being Rewritten

Star Wars Expanded Universe Vector Prime

The dissolution of the Star Wars Expanded Universe was a move by Disney and Lucasfilm that many fans didn't take lightly. Now we have some new light shed on the reason why it was removed and what we can expect.

When Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, one of the first things they did was remove the Expanded Universe, a vast collection of stories spanning over two decades, from Star Wars canon. The Expanded Universe was filled with many moments that some fans were glad to have lost, and moments that didn't mesh with Disney's overall plan for the future of the franchise.

One moment in particular and perhaps one of the most controversial stories was in R.A. Salvatore's 1999 novel Vector Prime, where we learned of Chewbacca's death after he sacrificed himself to save the youngest son of Han and Leia, Anakin Solo. The death itself wasn't the reason for massive controversy, but how he died: by having a moon dropped on him.

Leland Chee, part of Lucasfilm's story group, also known as the "Keeper of the Holocron," had this to say about the decision:

"For me, it came down to simply that we had killed Chewbacca in the Legends - a big moon had fallen on him. Part of that [original decision] was Chewbacca because he can't speak and just speaks in growls, he was a challenging character to write for in novels. Publishing had decided they needed to kill somebody, and it was Chewbacca."


Through much afterthought, and after the Disney acquisition, it was decided it would be easier to bring him back into the story:

"But if you have the opportunity to bring back Chewbacca into a live action film, you're not gonna deprive fans that. There's no way that I'd want to do an Episode VII that didn't have Chewbacca in it and have to explain that Chewbacca had a moon fall on his head. And if we were going to overturn a monumental decision like that, everything else was just minor in comparison."


Chewbacca's death

Other inconsistencies between the Expanded Universe and the new canon exist like Han and Leia's offspring, the outcome of the new Jedi Academy, Luke Skywalker's whereabouts, and more. However, one of the most loved villains in the Star Wars universe from Legends, Grand Admiral Thrawn, did make an appearance in Star Wars: Rebels.

Although many seemed to disapprove of Disney's actions in this, it did leave a lot of room for open creativity with the sequel trilogy and other works. The cool thing about the new Star Wars canon is Disney is definitely throwing a lot of nods towards original elements, even dating back to George Lucas' original script, including the Journal of the Whills for example.

So there you have it. Their intentions were not to upset fans, but it does make sense and does leave a lot of room for new story. Who knows? We'll probably see more nods to the Expanded Universe in future works. It doesn't seem like Disney is going to let up on the story anytime soon.

What do you think about the move to remove EU from Star Wars canon? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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