While I spent a good deal of time discussing Star Wars with my circles and my friends and family, I never really blogged about Lucasfilm’s assimilation by Disney. After I’ve had some time to let this settle in, I’ve got something that I really hope happens when it comes to the Star Wars franchise. You may disagree, and that’s cool, but here it is.
What I’m hoping for, with the impending shadow of Mouse Domination is for a simple thing, really. I hope that Disney relaunches the Expanded Universe (books, comics, games, etc) in such a manner that, from the get go, they don’t contradict the movies or anything else deemed “important canon.”
Why do I care? Mainly because I like consistency. I also like a company to have respect for it’s own IP. I’m not implying that all Expanded Universe material was bad. Far from it. Some of it was, some of it was great. However, the overwhelming feeling I got, whenever Lucas himself was involved, was that Lucas had no respect for any other storytellers. They could play with his toys, and Lucas Licensing would drop the hammer on creators that didn’t play nice with each other and with other properties, but he would never worry about anything they wrote, and he would even grant “special” projects primacy if he threw out a few ideas for that project (Shadows of the Empire, the Force Unleashed, et al).
It created a really weird hierarchy. At least with Star Trek, you knew that one author’s work had nothing to do with another author’s work. You knew none of it was canon, but nobody was forcing them to have some weird alternate timeline that had to work with everything else, except the stuff that came from on high.
Even worse, once something came from on high, to keep playing with the toys, you have to find a way to explain how the new canon is primary, and how stuff that just happened, and was okayed by Lucas Licensing, didn’t happen the way it happened.
On top of all of that, if Lucas really had a lot of these details hammered down, some of the details that only existed in his head seemed like they would be important to share with others. We were told that he warned authors away from some characters or time periods, but then he allowed other authors to mess with something that just as likely to cause problems if it was touched upon.
I mean, really George, you couldn’t tell anyone that Jedi can’t get married? Your supposed “I only look at outlines to okay general storylines” stance on novels and comics never led you to notice that Luke had been married for twenty novels or so before Episode II came out? Or that in the Visual Dictionary for Episode I that there are married Jedi and Jedi that hold political office on various planets? You were really that unconcerned about products associated with your IP?
So I’m ready for Disney to say nothing but the movies, the Clone Wars cartoon, and maybe the Old Republic game history has happened. I’m fine with that. It’s not that I don’t like the Thrawn Trilogy or other stories that would be wiped out. It’s that those stories have built in problems from how the IP was managed up to that point.
I would love it if Grand Admiral Thrawn, Mara Jade, and Talon Karrde ended up in this theoretical new continuity. But I don’t expect the whole trilogy to survive. Heck, I think the Vong could be made into some really interesting villains for future Star Wars movies, but I would never expect the whole NJO storyline to make it into “new canon.”
I would love to see a line drawn, and to have future products clearly delineated as “this is all as compatible as we can make it.” I’d love to see old elements repacked to work in this new Star Wars universe, in a way that doesn’t cause some major tap dancing to explain when a new movie or TV series comes out.
Now that the people in charge may not be playing their “brilliant ideas” so close to the vest , maybe all of the Star Wars media can play nice with every other form of media, without weird “levels” of canon and declarations of primacy.
Oh, and Disney? Please kill Star Wars Detours. I have a bad feeling about this.