Well that was quick.
While Star Wars fans were digesting the announcement that Disney was removing all past Star Wars continuity from existence, they dropped three big announcements on us: The new actors in Episode VII, the ‘official’ continuity and the upcoming book release schedule.
The book schedule caught me most off guard. After just nuking what we know of Star Wars continuity, the rebuilding begins with what is now considered ‘true’ continuity.
Star Wars: A New Dawn is scheduled for release on September 2nd. The novel is written by bestselling author John Jackson Miller. The setting is just before the forthcoming animated series, Star Wars Rebels. A New Dawn will tell the story of how Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla crossed paths. (I’m going to take a shot in the dark and guess that is the two characters on the front of the book.)
The rest of the scheduled novels are:
Star Wars: Tarkin by James Luceno, set to release on November 4th.
Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne, set to release on January 2015.
Star Wars: Lords of the Sith by Paul Kemp, set to release on March 2015.
The spin is that all the new books and items pertaining to Star Wars universe will be run through Disney Publishing Worldwide and Del Rey Books in order to maintain consistency and accuracy.
The new official Star Wars Cannon includes Episodes I-VI, the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, the upcoming Star Wars: Rebels cartoon series and the new series of novels.
Books that are considered ‘Legacy’ will have a banner at the top of them when officially rereleased. We know for certain that the Thrawn Trilogy will officially be considered a ‘Legacy’ piece.
Episode VII ‘s cast was officially released with many little and unknown actors. Original actors Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker will be joined by John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow.
J.J. Abrams is Directing and worked on the screenplay with Lawrence Kasdan and music with the amazing John Williams. Shooting of the film will start in a couple of weeks.
If you read the comments made by Disney after Lucas was acquired, it felt like a disturbance in the force was coming. It was obvious that some of the stories that we have read/loved over the years were on the chopping block. On April 25th Disney made the official announcement and A Million Voices Crying Out is what you immediately heard.
I still don’t know how exactly to feel or react to it. I think I’m okay with it. It felt like many stories had been told and there wan’t much room for new stories that wouldn’t bump into the old continuity.
I started playing Star Wars CCG when it first came out. The Decipher game helped define many of the characters and attributes that we associate with many of the characters. The Truce at Bakura was the first Star Wars book I read. That was quickly followed by The Courtship of Princess Leia and then the Thrawn Trilogy. I remember not liking the idea of Chewbacca’s death and refusing to read any books set past the original Thrawn Trilogy unless it was written by Timothy Zahn. Within the past year I decided to catch up. I’ve listened to over 18 Star Wars books in the past year. While a large portion of the recent books aren’t that great, with two of them being turned off before even half way, I will still miss some of the characters I’ve come to enjoy reading about.
The Expanded Universe has grown to feel more like Star Wars to me than the actual movies. When Episodes I came out, I wanted to quickly forget it and remember Star Wars as the characters I was reading about.
I collect Star Wars comics and those stories will be hard to let go of. I have every Marvel issue and am missing only a handful of Dark Horse issues to have every Star Wars comic printed. These stories and characters meant a lot to me. The current Dark Horse books are great and stories like Purge are simply a great addition to the original trilogy.
DC Comics recently did a line wide reboot with the New 52 relaunch. This was my stepping off point from collecting DC comics. Will this be my stepping off point for Star Wars?
I doubt it, if anything, I’m excited to see where they go with the new direction. I have only seen a few of the Clone Wars cartoon episodes so I’ve got to catch up on those. I’ll be excited to listen to the new books when they come out and what Marvel Comics comes up with when they release their new comics starting in 2015.
I’m sad to see the loss of Thrawn, Mara Jade, the Twins, Darth Bane, crazy stories of IG-88, all the Tales of stories and books, Boba Fett stories, Legacy and Cade Skywalker, Knights of the Old Republic, The Fel Empire, and many of the traits/characters that Star Wars CCG help set into continuity.
I’m excited to see where the Star Wars Universe is going and what the new movies will bring.
No matter what Lucas/Disney tells us, many of us will still regard the EU as official to us.
Scott Church is the owner of CategoryOneGames. When Scott isn’t busy sorting cards or filling orders, he is coaching a basketball team or his kids soccer teams.