Hello again guys and gals. I thought I would expend some energy this time on the Star Wars universe that exist outside the movies. For 30+ years this was covered by the EU, the Expanded Universe. Then, in 2014, Disney decided that those previous 30+ years didn’t count. They knew better than those of us who had spent years reading about the exploits of Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, and everyone else. They had a new vision, and for them to create it they needed to discard the EU. While this is not unique to Star Wars (see 2009 Star Trek), it turned the whole of the fandom against one another.
We, for the first time, had a divide that was wide. There were on one side people who thought that the EU was holy, and shouldn’t be discarded. On the other, we had people who argued that the EU was clunky and a mess. The sad part is that both sides started with good premises.
The pro-EU movement was right, the EU carried Star Wars when there was nothing else to carry it. Timothy Zahn created the future of Star Wars with the Thrawn Trilogy (pictured above). Grand Admiral Thrawn was a cunning enemy, one who the fledgling New Republic may not be able to beat. The series set off a lust for adventures outside of the movies. What happens next? That was the question on many readers minds.
The next 25 years or so brought us Kevin J Anderson’s books (Jedi Academy Trilogy and Darksaber), The Truce at Bakura by Kathy Tyers, and hundreds of other books. They also produced thousands of comics to go along with the books. Video games took on parts of the books and comics and expounded on it.
Then we come to 2014. Disney had bought Lucasfilms for $4b. They made a decision to axe the whole of the EU, simply acting like it wasn’t important. It, they said, was a jumbled mess. There were lots of contradictions and errors. John Chee, the Lucasfilms acting director of continuity for Star Wars, lied his ass off when he agreed with this. He knew that it wasn’t true.
Stories began to leak out that the real reason they axed the EU was so that they had a bigger playground to play in. They didn’t want to be bound by the existing story arcs, and the expectations by the EU fans. They felt that the current storylines would be unapproachable by newer fans. There is some truth to that.
Once the decision was made, EU fans were up in arms. They made petitions, they cried out to Disney to treat the EU with respect. Disney would not comply. They simply decried those who longed for the original EU as straphangers.
They commissioned new books, by new authors. These books have had mixed reviews. Some were bad and some were judged good. The real problem was the reaction to the bad. Any criticism was passed off as “sexist”, “racist”, or “homophobic”.
Instead of standing by the fans, and those who had legitimate criticism of the books, Disney sided with the authors. While there is some criticism out there that could be considered all of the above (no one is claiming perfection!), to dismiss all criticism as such was blatantly cross.
Disney has, through it authors, chosen to insult and attack those who disagree with their direction. As soon as EU fans started talking about picketing the new movie, Disney began their attack wave. There were slews of news stories about the evil EU fans. They were painted as unhinged, and dangerous. They latched onto the worst of the EU fans and used them as an “example” of the average EU fan. They marginalized the fans.
Now, with many of the newer books, comics, games, and even movie, facing a blowback, Disney has to make a decision. Do they make the right decision, and apologize for the treatment or are they going to stay course? If they stay course, they will never heal the damage that they caused in the community. At the end of the day, Disney is to fault for the damage. They could fix it by admitting what they are doing. They are stealing from the EU, which they claim is crap, at the same time as trashing it and the fans.
So, how do you feel? Is Disney at fault? Are they capable of fixing the damage? As always guys, be constructive and don’t be a dick.