Photo from screenrant.com.
By Janelle Clausen
Staff Writer/Part Time Jedi
My life’s been a little consumed by Star Wars, lately. I clawed open my Special Edition Darth Vader PlayStation 4 and basically played “Star Wars Battlefront” for two days straight. I’m reading through “Shadows of the Empire” too. Meanwhile, every day seems to feature another “Force Awakens” trailer or update, which always makes me ask, “Where the hell is Luke Skywalker and his New Jedi Order!?”
My first instinct is to curse at Disney. They essentially wiped out thousands upon thousands of years worth of Star Wars history, invalidated the work of countless authors and are using one of my favorite series as a profit bantha.
Anger leads to the dark side, and we don’t want that.
I’m going to play Disney/Empire’s advocate. Purchasing the rights to Star Wars was a smart move from more than a business standpoint.
“A New Hope” was released in 1977. After the release of “Return of the Jedi” in 1983, several novels, comics and games were unleashed. There’s at least 270 books out there. This excludes small stories, television episodes, video games, eBooks and the vast array of comics, which there are hundreds and hundreds that I’m not dedicated enough to count. It’d be hard to keep track of all that. Much of it likely conflicts with each other.
Of course, nobody’s stopping you from reading all those books. You can obsess over the badassery of Kyle Katarn or call Kylo Ren, the new dark side antagonist, a Darth Revan (or Vader) wannabe. I still do. Furthermore, if the Yuuzhan Vong War and Solo twins are real to you, they are as real as whatever Disney considers “canon” (or real).
Plus, some elements are going to likely be integrated. The writers can still take inspiration from these adventures, which are now falling under the “Legends” tag rather than “Expanded Universe.” It’s not quite the equivalent of the Death Star blowing up Alderaan.
If everything counted, it’d be impossible to know where to start. Sifting through and integrating everything would produce a film catering to the obsessed more than the casual. Let’s face it—how many of us have read more than 10 books in a year, let alone Star Wars ones in total?
The original trilogy was popular for its simple, but compelling storyline. There was nothing restraining them– no other material they were pressured to stay to. The writers need creative flexibility.
Now, it needs to be digestible and accessible to the next generation. “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and “Star Wars: Rebels” have been just two examples of this. Enough analysis of each episode provides depth, while each little story can still keep a child’s attention.
Personally speaking, I also feel like I can actually keep up with all of the new book releases. “Tarkin,” the backstory of the man who could even control Darth Vader, is promising. “Battlefront: Twilight Company” could be the new “Star Wars: Republic Commando,” showcasing how capable the Rebel Alliance is. And of course there’s upcoming books like “New Republic: Bloodline” and the Aftermath trilogy that will fill in the gap between “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens.” In less than 2,000 pages, I can feel knowledgeable.
Plus, Star Wars is not the first series to find itself reset. Star Trek, like many other series, has rebooted itself for a new audience and done just fine. None of its previous stories have been erased. Comics go through resets all the time.
Am I still a little mad? Yeah, but I understand. I, like most of you, am probably going to see the new Star Wars movies anyway.
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