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Desslok

The Impending Death of the Expanded Universe! (thread 2.0 because I'm a dork)

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Actually, I'm mildly astonished that the original films aren't being rebooted.  I assumed that was the whole point of getting Abrams on board.  I mean, who wouldn't want see Shia LaBeouf as Luke, Tom Cruise as Han, Kristen Stewart as Leia? 

 

Kristen Stewart as Leia?? Does that mean Jedi will sparkle?!?!?

 

 

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tumblr_m9b3l3AwZY1r9ixyz.gif

 

no-effin-way.gif

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I would like to see new things or even a reboot, I just give them an opportunity. I can always ignore them or try to forget it...

like with Dragon Ball movie... XDDDD

 

If its good, well, if not then... let the Silence fall.

 

Please, I need a Dalek that EX-TER-MI-NATE! that movie! XD

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Actually, I'm mildly astonished that the original films aren't being rebooted.  I assumed that was the whole point of getting Abrams on board.  I mean, who wouldn't want see Shia LaBeouf as Luke, Tom Cruise as Han, Kristen Stewart as Leia?

 

Kristen Stewart as Leia?? Does that mean Jedi will sparkle?!?!?

 

Friendly reminder when replying to me: I can't see pictures. I can guess the meaning by file names like "no effin way" but I feel all pouty now because all those likes means it must have been funny and I didn't get to laugh. :P

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As someone that's never been a Star Wars fan (I like the originals well enough but never been passionate) I am completely missing the bigger picture here. I am coming from Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 which also have an enormously bloated universe a generation old, but GW never concerned itself with dividing litterature and other media into canon and non-canon (that's one of the reason why I love 40k).

Could someone explain to me why Disney is concerned about the story of some barely remembered comic or novel (as others have pointed out I very much doubt Disney will make large sweeping changes removing major games or high-profile storylines)? Why not just focus on making whatever movie they want? Why does a super corp out to make money deign itself to feel constrained by a bunch of books?

This might seem like a snide remark but I am asking in all honesty.

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This might seem like a snide remark but I am asking in all honesty.

Well, Games Workshop also completely re-invents their games every so often, and have pretty much axed parts of the backstory from prior editions.  For instance, Squats (aka Space Dwarves), which will get posters banned from the GW forums for bringing them up.  Also, Sigmar from Warhammer Fantasy was originally a Space Marine that crashed on the WFRP world, which was itself set in the same 'verse as WH40K.  Both of those elements were removed.

 

Star Wars is actually fairly unique in that it tried to incorporate everything; Paramount for instance pretty much puts any Star Trek stories that weren't in a TV show or movie as "non-canon," and even some TV episodes get put into the non-canon bucket as well.

 

There's also the very simple fact that as fans of the Expanded Universe, we've gotten attached to certain characters, concepts, and stories over the years.  It'd be akin to Games Workshop suddenly deciding that Tyranids never existed in WH40K, or that the dwarves and elves have been buddy-buddy since time immemorial over in WHFantasy, or that Necrons weren't robots with uploaded memories, but rather rail-thin organics clad in robot-looking battle armor.  It's a radical change to elements of the 'verse that some of us are not only used to having around but have become very attached to.

 

For you, it's no big deal, and that's fine.  Obviously some of us feel very differently.  If nothing else, it has the feeling of being disrespectful to those authors that have taken the time and energy to craft some excellent stories and characters, ones that truly mesh with the Star Wars universe if those stories and characters are summarily deep-sixed "just because."  Even George Lucas caught heat for that, though in his defense he'd said from the beginning that his concern was "his version" of the setting (the films) and that everything else was not relevant,

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As someone that's never been a Star Wars fan (I like the originals well enough but never been passionate) I am completely missing the bigger picture here. I am coming from Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 which also have an enormously bloated universe a generation old, but GW never concerned itself with dividing litterature and other media into canon and non-canon (that's one of the reason why I love 40k).

Could someone explain to me why Disney is concerned about the story of some barely remembered comic or novel (as others have pointed out I very much doubt Disney will make large sweeping changes removing major games or high-profile storylines)? Why not just focus on making whatever movie they want? Why does a super corp out to make money deign itself to feel constrained by a bunch of books?

This might seem like a snide remark but I am asking in all honesty.

It's about money and defense of an IP in civil court.  In order to maintain control of an IP an owning entity has to show a clear pattern of defense of that IP in court to be able to hold others responsible for infringing on it.  They have got to go after everything because if an entity stops showing concern about what some comic book company does it becomes  harder to sue a cereal company or someone else from making references to things in your IP if you don't demonstrate that clear defense of all elements of it.  They have to go after even the use of names and concepts from their IP or things that even give the impression as having come from their IP.

 

There is nothing new about it either.  In 1978 20th Century Fox sued Universal claiming all manner of unique ideas were stolen by Universal to be used in Battlestar Galactica.  The merits of the individual actions notwithstanding combined they show a clear picture of copyright infringement being taken very seriously.  So exerting control over what is essentially the history of their fictional property is one of the most overtly clear demonstrations of that control they can display for all to see.

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None of you answered my question, or if you did I didn't understand the answer. Perhaps my question wasn't well put.

Why is Disney putting together a group of people - devoting time and money - to decide what is canon and what isn't?

It is perfectly fine to defend an IP without any canon at all. GW does it all the time.

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There is a chance, albeit small, that disney could say the christmas special is canon. Just to put things in perspective.

The Christmas Special IS canon. 

This is seriously a strange conversation to me. If anyone followed the Clone Wars novels and comics before the CG show came out in 2008, you'll know that that show overrode a lot of existing canon... but certainly not all of it. Indeed, even as they practically erased everything we thought we knew about charaters like Aasajj Ventress and Adi Gallia, the creators of the show also used character like Quinlan Vos without negating previous sources. 

I imagine Episode VII, the spin-off films, and TV shows like Rebels will be be much the same; the creators won't be slaves to previous canon, but they won't abandon it either, particularly when it's helpful. The fact that Rebels will have an Inquisitor is proof enough of that, and while they may end up re-writing some of what we know about Inquisitor, I would imagine a guest appearance by someone like Grand Admiral Thrawn (a character every bit as interesting and worth preserving as Quinlan Vos) wouldn't do anything to negate Timothy Zahn's beloved novel trilogy.

I have faith in JJ Abrams to build something new whilst showing deep respect for the old, and I have faith in Disney to protect their $4 billion investment by keeping the EU 90% intact at the VERY least.

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FUN FACT: Comic books are not a profitable enterprise and haven't been for quite sometime. However, comic book-related products like movies and t-shirts are hot sellers, so comic book companies are kept on life support by larger corporations. Why? Because they need people like us to keep the mythology alive. Pretty much anyone might buy a Spider-Man t-shirt, and when people with Spider-Man t-shirts run into lore-steeped geeks they're bound to ask questions ("What planet is Venom from?" "What would happen if he fought Batman?" "Who's more powerful, Green Goblin or Hobgoblin?"), and Marvel absolutely loves that.

Same thing goes with Star Wars and anything else. Rest assured, Disney wants to make us happy, because our love of Star Wars is what keeps their investment valuable.

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The beauty of the EU is for gamers that we have a consistent world to wander. But all the major jobs have been accomplished by the screen heroes.

Aaaaaand THAT is where the Old Republic comes in. 

Quick: who were the biggest heroes in the galaxy 6000 years before the movies? How about 8000 years? How about 15,000 years? Or maybe just 300 years...?

It's so easy to just point to a random point on the SW timeline that no one has touched.

Edited by JonahHex

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None of you answered my question, or if you did I didn't understand the answer. Perhaps my question wasn't well put.

Why is Disney putting together a group of people - devoting time and money - to decide what is canon and what isn't?

It is perfectly fine to defend an IP without any canon at all. GW does it all the time.

 

The final product will likely be an internal "lore bible" to guide creators and license holders in creating official content.

 

"Feel free to pull from EU materials A, B, and C; but ignore X, Y, and Z"

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There have always been "people" that determine what is canon and what isn't. Disney is just going to codify things into what they consider to be their canon.

Right, but Disney isn't people. They're a company. For a company the bottom line is all important. I was just perplexed why they think their bottom line would be helped by establishing canon.

Having a "lore bible" as Spjork calls it to guide their artistic vision makes sense I guess. Though I am still surprised the'll go ahead with it. I'd assume they would think a strong lead producer or the like would suffice.

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Lucas had people. Disney has people. They be all, some, or none of the same people. Either way, there have been and will be people to determine what is and isn't canon.

So you are saying that Lucasfilm have been doing this all along?

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There have always been "people" that determine what is canon and what isn't. Disney is just going to codify things into what they consider to be their canon.

Right, but Disney isn't people. They're a company. For a company the bottom line is all important. I was just perplexed why they think their bottom line would be helped by establishing canon.

Having a "lore bible" as Spjork calls it to guide their artistic vision makes sense I guess. Though I am still surprised the'll go ahead with it. I'd assume they would think a strong lead producer or the like would suffice.

 

 

I think it's a creative decision, rather than a bottom-line one. The thing with producers and editorial regimes, is that each generation is going to bring its own biases and head-canon into the decision making process. This is just an effort to create something more durable. Now, it could be that future producers and editors will still modify the bible to fit their own interpretation of canon. Then, as you've pointed out, this would be a fruitless effort.

 

Just found this in my news feed. Here's an op-ed that takes a fairly positive spin on the news:

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/01/op-ed-disney-takes-a-chainsaw-to-the-star-wars-expanded-universe/

 

I'm not keen on the chainsaw and garbage chute imagery. No matter what stance Disney takes on canonicity, it won't erase 30+ years of lore embedded in fan-consciousness. It just means there may never be further acknowledgement of Thrawn, Jade, or the YV (assuming any of those are on the chopping block, which might not be the case).

 

For me, I won't be too fussed if my favorite parts of Star Wars EU get labelled "non-canon." My own head-canon tends to resemble those videos that Serif Marak posted on p1, anyway.

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So you are saying that Lucasfilm have been doing this all along?

It's been one of Lucasfilm's most notorious tasks for the past decade!
So this is just business as usual and nothing new at all! Lol! Reading through the thread and the linked article it seemed like a lot more was happening. Serves right me for reading the internet.

Thanks for the clarification guys. Especially Spjork!

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So this is just business as usual and nothing new at all! Lol! Reading through the thread and the linked article it seemed like a lot more was happening. Serves right me for reading the internet.

Thanks for the clarification guys. Especially Spjork!

What's new would be Disney seeming to assume/claim an oversight role over this process, and apparently the decision to have a simple binary canon/non-canon differentiation instead of a multi-tiered hierarchy.

 

As an example of Chee's role in prior canon categorizing, there's a seemingly throwaway line in Dark Empire about Palpatine telling Luke Skywalker that he'd had a history of transferring his consciousness from one clone body to the next, with the implication that this (and the death of his original body) began before the original trilogy, with the corresponding sourcebook treating this claim as truth and elaborating. However, in the mid-2000s Leland Chee declared that this was a lie on Palpatine's part, declaring that it's Palpatine's original body that's depicted throughout the original and prequel trilogies, that Episode VI has Palpatine's true "first death", and thus that his body-hopping (and eventually the need to switch bodies due to the clone bodies degenerating) only began after that.

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None of you answered my question, or if you did I didn't understand the answer. Perhaps my question wasn't well put.

Why is Disney putting together a group of people - devoting time and money - to decide what is canon and what isn't?

You asked a couple of different questions, and those got answered.

 

As to why Disney is bothering... it's probably because unlike you, those in charge of the Star Wars franchise are themselves fans of the property beyond just the movies, and like that a multitude of contributors have done much to flesh out the "galaxy far, far away."  But part of the problem, especially in the early years, there wasn't really anyone making an effort to form a consistent whole.

 

One of the comment complaints leveled against the EU is similar to one leveled against comic book series that have been running for a long time; namely there's a huge amount of material to try and digest if one wants to get up to speed, and things wind up changing or being revised, particularly when the prequels and the Clone Wars TV series were being released.

 

So, the people in charge of the IP at Disney want to try and keep things consistent going forward, both for the films and the various spin-off materials.  This way, it's less daunting for future fans (of which there will undoubtedly be a new crop when Episode VII hits theaters) who want to explore more of what Star Wars is beyond just the movies.  It also cuts down on the discussion/debates of what is and isn't canon, as the existing hierarchy system can lead to confusion as to how events did play out in the history of the 'verse. 

 

It also helps future filmmakers and script writers for the franchise if there's a coherent backstory to work from, particularly with Lucas having stepped down from direct control.

 

Again, just because you don't give a flying flip about the issue doesn't mean that Kathleen Kennedy (president of Lucasfilm) and others working under her feel the same way.  And Leland Chee's been the guy in charge of maintaining the various canon levels via the Holocron Continuity Database, so this really isn't a "new" thing for him, as the only real change is that instead of multiple levels it'll be simply deciding what is and isn't canon and that he's getting a bit more help in doing his job.

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Personally, I assumed it was an effort to refute what has come before as a way of establishing that this is a few beginning for Star Wars under a new license holder. I expect that Disney's creators did not want to be bound by anything that was created without their involvement.

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I think I have an answer, too... and my answer is a question: What is 40K?

 

40K, however good it might be, is based on a game, caters to the game players and that is a MUCH smaller audience. I've never heard of it before reading some menus here.

 

In contrast, there are a LOT of people from so many different walks of life who know and care about Star Wars. I know that, when I tried to get some knowledge of the EU, I was intimidated by it. Not by the amount of material but by how much discussion and debate there was around what's canon and what isn't.

 

Look at Star Trek for what happens when the powers on high mess with canon when the subject matter is so well known that it is a part of culture. However popular the reboot might be, I don't think you can have a discussion go more than 5 messages without someone saying how much they hate it for reasons from silly ("It's unrealistic!") to very, very personal ("I feel like I've been punished for being a fan for 29839283498324 years!").

 

BTW, this isn't an attempt to say one's better than the other. I know people can be very attached to their favorite stories. So I hope no one thinks that's even a part of anything I've said.

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