Last week Lucasfilm and Disney announced a fairly seismic change to the Star Wars Universe.
In short, any book, comic, or videogame set post- Return Of The Jedi would now be released under the ‘ Legends ’ banner.
Or, as they put it: “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 Jed i Expanded Universe.”
Which is obviously pretty massive news. And here’s why.
No Grand Admiral Thrawn in Star Wars Episode VII.
Downside: Thrawn is easily the coolest villain in the Expanded Universe , he’s also the only alien to rise through the ranks of the (extremely alienist) Imperial army – that’s how bad-ass he is.
Hugely popular amongst fans, partly because of his tactical genius, partly because of his progressive attitude to his employees but mainly due to the fact he’s got a blue face.
We want him on the big screen. Now we’ll probably never get that.
Upside: We’re sure JJ and his team are currently crafting a brand-new villain just as iconic as Thrawn.
And there’s no reason their baddie can’t be blue too.
No Mara Jade Skywalker.
Downside: Like Grand Admiral Thrawn, Mara Jade is a fan favourite expanded universe character crying out for a part in JJ’s new Star Wars trilogy. An ex-slave turned assassin turned Jedi Master.
Oh, and she’s also Luke’s wife, which means that pretty much as soon as Episode VII was announced fans started speculating who could play her.
Sadly, their dreams of Christina Hendricks playing a Jedi will probably now never happen.
Upside: Mara Jade’s arc is deserving of its own trilogy, with so much backstory to fit in – so maybe it’s best she’s not a supporting character in a series that’s sure to revolve around Luke / Han / Leia.
No Solo / Skywalker kids.
Downside: In the Expanded Universe , Han Solo and Princess Leia are married, as are Luke and Mara Jade.
And they all have kids. But, obviously, all that Jedi-boffing happened post- Return .
Which means if that continuity really has been canned, there’ll be no Jaina, Jacen or Anakin Solo, and certainly no Ben Skywalker.
That shimmering you see in the air right now? That’s a bunch of Jedi kids vanishing, like Marty McFly’s hand in Back To The Future .
Upside: Some audience members might resent having to get to know another Anakin. Especially as the last one was so – sorry Hayden – rubbish.
And obviously, there’s nothing to stop other kids from popping up in JJ’s universe. In fact, we’re pretty sure Daisy Ridley is playing one …
They just might not be called Boba-Vader Hutt Skywalker-Solo.
No Jedi Academy on Yavin 4.
Downside: We really like the fact that Luke Skywalker sets up his own Jedi Academy in the Expanded Universe, inspired by Obi-Wan Kenobi’s final words. It’s actually the only academy to be set up post- Jedi , and is central to loads of key plots.
Upside: We’re fairly sure that Skywalker will still be inspired by Kenobi in JJ’s universe. And we imagine running a Jedi Academy involves loads of admin. Less time on paperwork, more time for adventures!
Downside: In the Expanded Universe, Chewbacca dies rescuing Han Solo’s son Anakin.
There’s literally no downside to this being written out of continuity.
Upside: WE LOVE YOU CHEWIE. NEVER DIE.