Star Wars: Expanded Universe and Books

There have been a great number of arguments over what is official canon in the always popular Star Wars franchise ever since the prequels were released into theatres.

Those dedicated fans who have been faithful to the franchise since its inception have stuck by the original films, citing them as the real history of the franchise. Many would agree that George Lucas’s vision should, in fact, be kept by the Star Wars universe, no matter how expensive it might be. Among all the figures,legos,déguisements la guerre des étoiles and other toys available on the market, books and comics have always played a special part in the development of the saga!

Books, movies, comics…

tales-of-the-jedi-booksHowever, there are those who have transcended the movie by reading the books, the comics, and the graphic novels, absorbing what many upon many authors and artists have added to the story. The prequels did a fairly reasonable job of explaining some questions that were presented in the original trilogy, but the schism thrust between fans who are loyal to the original trilogy and those who were awaiting a new spin on the Star Wars universe was made noticeable after “The Phantom Menace”.

From that point on the rift between fans only grew wider as the prequels continually changed the universe and answered more questions than had originally been asked. As the Star Wars universe continued to expand, the ideals and expectations of Lucas’ creation began to shift.

The books that were written after the initial trilogy, masterfully written and detailing a story for the original characters that was compelling and even pleasing to the readers, became moot. Even a galaxy-wide invasion by a marauding alien species that could not be stopped by the vaunted and revived Jedi Order was scrapped when Lucas sold his creation to Disney. From that point on, the canon of Star Wars shifted for good.

While it can be said that the direction the franchise has taken is in fact interesting and engaging, it is also a very hard slap in the face to the literary fans of the story. Just imagine if Disney had picked up a series of books that came after the original trilogy, just to see what readers had become enamoured of, they might have had a far easier time moving forward. Just imagine if the story in the books had been unveiled, such facts as these would have garnered far more films than have already been conceived.

Here are just a few bits of information from the books:

1) Han and Lei married and had three children. Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin Solo all became powerful Jedi and eventually would reshape the Order.

2) Luke Skywalker married an assassin, Mara Jade, formerly the Hand of the Emperor. They had a son named Ben Skywalker.

3) Chewbacca died saving Anakin Solo’s life. He was crushed, along with the planet he was on, by a falling moon.

4) The entire Yuuzhan Vong invasion could have spanned another trilogy if not more, as these fierce, warrior-aliens were more than adept at destroying planets. They could even fight the Jedi to a standstill.

5) The Jedi Order is renewed under Jedi Grandmaster Luke Skywalker and includes many talented Jedi of all species.

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Female Leads In Star Wars

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With the release of The Force Awakens and the forthcoming Rogue One film, the use of a heroine in-lieu of the traditional male lead has caused a lot of head-scratching from the so-called devotees of the franchise. There are several reasons that this is the case, and perhaps it is time to shed a little light on the situation.

Star Wars, in general, has been comprised of numerous films spanning decades of time. While the original trilogy (4-6) featured a shared lead male role with Han and Luke, you cannot deny that the opportunities for defeating the Death Star, and ultimately the believed destruction of the Empire could not have been possible without Princess Leia.

But with Episode VII:

artworkThe Force Awakens, the franchise wanted to give its new audience a rebirth to a familiar story. Much like Luke in Episode IV, Rey comes from a low standing. She is someone that is unclear of her role in the larger picture but realises that she needs to do what she can to thwart The First Order (a mirroring of The Empire from the original trilogy).

This day and age, more than almost any other point in history, is about equality of women and men. The most significant and popular franchises of books and films currently are featuring strong female leads. With this changing tide, the upcoming films for Star Wars needed to follow suit.

Rey personifies the same kind of spirit and tenacity seen in the prequel trilogy with Luke and Leia’s mother, Padme. It would only be fitting that, with the vast belief that Rey is the daughter of Luke Skywalker, she might take after her grandmother and aunt.

All this being said, expect more strong female characters in the upcoming Rogue One and through the completion of this current trilogy. Finn is going to take on a supporting role to the abilities that Rey soon learns how to master, with the help of her new mentor of course.

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Rogue One: Needed or Not?

There is a camp of individuals that believe that the forthcoming release of Rogue One is an unnecessary addition to the Star Wars film franchise.

It has been deemed a movie intended solely to capitalize on the revitalization of the hit film series and nothing more.

However, there are some serious arguments as to why you not only need to watch this movie for yourself but as to why it deserves its spot in the filmography.

For one, the story sets the stage for what would be Episode IV: A New Hope. This new story (which isn’t new at all to those who follow the novelizations of the Star Wars canon) follows a group of rebellion fighters as they devise and execute the greatest heist in the galaxy.

a-shadowtrooperThese guys are going after the plans for the Death Star. So the first point as to why this is a legitimate and necessary film: the plot follows the canon and gives you some insight into just how the rebellion got those plans in the first place.

Secondly, Star Wars is a lot more than Jedi and Sith. While there have been numerous memorable characters that have shown that they can hold their own (even without the use of the force), this film is going to nearly exclusively steer away from the need to have Jedi or Sith involved. If you recall, almost all of the Jedi have been eradicated coming into Episode IV. So it’s about how substantial and crafty the growing rebellion was at this time.

Rogue One is going to be a great story that will be as informative as it is fun to watch. As someone who considers themselves an authority on all things Star Wars, it is quite exciting to see a little about the events that were done in the aftermath of Episode III, but what would set such an important course for characters that weren’t even introduced to the rebellion until Episode IV.

All in all, Rogue One will end up being revered to most as a welcomed bridge between the prequel trilogy and the original 3. With this film being a success, and only if it is successful, more of these in between films will likely be popping up in the years to come.

Watch the trailer of the upcoming star wars movie: