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There's bittersweet news for fans of Star Wars. According to an announcement made by Lucasfilm on April 25 (via StarWars.com), the numerous books, video games, comics and other media that have been created over the last three and a half decades as tie-ins to George Lucas’ galaxy — collectively known as the “Star Wars Expanded Universe” — are now officially non-canonical.
In an attempt to streamline everything Star Wars-related, the powers that be have opted to effectively reboot everything outside of Lucas’ six movies and Cartoon Network’s animated “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” series.
“For over 35 years, the Expanded Universe has enriched the ‘Star Wars’ experience for fans seeking to continue the adventure beyond what is seen on the screen," the press release reads. "When he created ‘Star Wars,’ George Lucas built a universe that sparked the imagination, and inspired others to create. He opened up that universe to be a creative space for other people to tell their own tales. This became the Expanded Universe, or EU, of comics, novels, videogames and more.
“While Lucasfilm always strived to keep the stories created for the EU consistent with our film and television content as well as internally consistent, Lucas always made it clear that he was not beholden to the EU. He set the films he created as the canon. This includes the six ‘Star Wars’ episodes, and the many hours of content he developed and produced in ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars.’ These stories are the immovable objects of ‘Star Wars’ history, the characters and events to which all other tales must align."
This means, for one thing, that beloved storylines like Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy — a series of books set a few years after “Return of the Jedi” that many theorized could be the basis of the upcoming Star Wars sequels — are now pretty much glorified fan fiction.
And the same is true of everything released since the very first Expanded Universe novel, 1978’s “Splinter of the Mind’s Eye” by Alan Dean Foster.