Franchise: Star Wars Expanded Universe
As expected for a film series this popular, the Star Wars Expanded Universe is immense; in fact, there's a very real argument to be made that Star Wars established the "Expanded Universe" concept as we know it. (While the concept certainly existed long before Star Wars, it was this particular EU that was the first to become a financial and mindshare juggernaut that in some ways became bigger than the films themselves.) Made-For-TV films, Animated Adaptations, a series of Radio Dramas, Video Games and a large series of novels all fall under this banner. Even with how massive the project is, Star Wars has one of the most elaborate, internally consistent canons in the history of media publication. It is also unusual in that pretty much every licensed Star Wars anything is entirely canon unless it is directly contradicted by the films, including the video games and comics. TV Tropes has a very incomplete list of the Star Wars Expanded Universe; see Wookieepedia for a really complete list.The canonicity of the Expanded Universe is a matter of some heated debate among the fans. Some take the view that since it's published, it's official. Others point out that George Lucas himself considered it a separate project apart from "his" canon. This has led to lots and lots of Fan Dumb from all sides. The fact that some of the installments of the Expanded Universe, most notably Dark Empire, not only had Lucas' direct involvement, he even suggested what goes into the story (or more accurately, what shouldn't go into the story) doesn't help the decisiveness of the subject, either, nor some of Lucas' flip flop decisions on canon in the movies themselves, for that matter.Unfortunately for fans of the Expanded Universe, after acquiring Lucasfilm in 2012, Disney decided to drop the hammer on the EU, as seen here, with the business end formally coming down on April 25th, 2014. While they are acting too polite to outright say "non-canon", the films will be moving forward with a different storyline. The last piece of this version of the Expanded Universe, the Dark Horse Comics comic line including Legacy Volume 2, concluded in August 2014. The new Disney-Lucasfilm group has created a dedicated Story Team that will ensure everything produced under the new regime, starting with Star Wars Rebels, is iron-clad and wholly consistent canon... but this necessitates the formal axing and cessation of the old EU and content for it. "Elements" from the EU will still appear in media after the split at the Story Team's discretion, but the EU as it was has been ended. Though the old EU continuity has been locked, it will remain in circulation under the banner Legends.For those of you interested in seeing what the the old, no-longer-valid "Canon Tier" system looked like, it can be found here, further down the page. Conversely, if you're looking for a list of works that are canon after the Legends Retcon, look here. If you're simply looking for the lore within the Star Wars Expanded Universe that is canon barring Legends, look here.Word of warning: the old Star Wars Expanded Universe is vast. Therefore, please only add works that have their own pages on this wiki. The books listed are each part of their own series. They are heavily outnumbered by standalones and two-part series. A list of all Star Wars media is here. Warning: Huge. To give you an idea, pretty much every background character seen in the films, even that alien guy just passing by the screen, has not only a name and a species listed, but a fully fleshed out biography. Typically no more than that, but still. Oh, and even the movie's background props have received their own stories. As of mid-2012, the list shows 2,337 items. Thankfully, a book has been published that ties everything published up to its release date into a neat timeline and has summaries of most of it. Conversely, the new Star Wars Expanded Universe established by Disney is easier to catch up on...for the time being.Please put works within each medium, wherever possible, in in-universe chronological order.
The old Expanded Universe (Star Wars Legends)Details on the the works that comprised the old Expanded Universe, and the tropes contained therein, will be covered here.
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The new Expanded Universe (Canon)
- Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999).
- Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002).
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005).
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977).
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980).
- Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983).
- Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015).
- Star Wars Episode VIII (2017).
- Star Wars Episode IX (2019).
- Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One (2016).
- Josh Trank's Star Wars Spin-Off (2018).
- Unknown Star Wars Spin-Off (2020).
- Dark Disciple (2015) - a novel staring Asajj Ventress and Quinlan Vos, adapted from an unproduced story arc of The Clone Wars.
- Lost Stars (2015) - follows two friends who find themselves on opposing sides over the course of various historical events; from the Jedi purge and leading into The Force Awakens.
- Lords of the Sith (2015) - takes place between Revenge Of The Sith and Rebels, detailing how Darth Vader and Darth Sidious take action when a rebellion on Ryloth threatens the newly-established Empire.
- Tarkin (2014) - featuring the character from A New Hope, battling a rebel cell, five years after the rise of the empire.
- A New Dawn (2014) - a prequel to the Rebels TV series showing how series protagonists Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla meet.
- Servants of the Empire (2014-2015) - focuses on the adventures of Rebels character Zare Leonis.
- Ezra's Gamble (2014)
- Several junior novels that tie in with Rebels (2014-ongoing).
- Battlefront: Twilight Company (2015) - A tie-in novel to the forthcoming video game.
- Heir to the Jedi (2015) - takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, told by Luke Skywalker in first-person.
- Smuggler’s Run: A Han Solo Adventure (2015) - Han Solo and Chewbacca fly the Millennium Falcon on a top-secret mission for the Rebellion. Set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
- The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure (2015) - Set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, the story finds Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, and R2-D2 stranded on a mysterious planet, and explores Luke’s first-ever duel with a lightsaber.
- Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure (2015) - Set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, the story follows the Princess Leia as she leads a ragtag group of rebels on a dangerous mission against the Empire.
- Aftermath (2015) - takes place in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Endor while the Rebels consolidate their gains and the Empire struggles to regroup.
Reference Books and Articles
- Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide - provides background details for the main characters and villains of Rebels.
- Star Wars in 100 Scenes - an illustrated overview of the six films, providing minor details and background info, along with naming many characters who had only been named in Legends.
- Ultimate Star Wars - an upcoming guide based on the DK visual dictionaries.
- Ships of the Galaxy - an upcoming visual guide dedicated to the many starships in the franchise.
- StarWars.com articles - several blog posts which reestablish some Legends material as canon.
- Die Wanna Wanga: Encounters of the Twi'lek Kind
- Meet the Creatures of Dagobah
- The Nightsisters From Dathomir: A History
- The Trade Federation and Neimoidians: A History
- Yub Yub: Meet the Ewoks From Endor
- The Jedi Council: Meet the Masters
- Felucia: Cellophane Flowers of Yellow and Green and Rancors
- Tusken Raiders: Meet Tatooines Menacing Desert Dwellers
- Yavin 4 Rebels: Guardians of the Hidden Fortress
- We've Spotted Imperial Walkers: A History of Legged War Machines
- Music in the Star Wars Galaxy: the Modal Nodes vs the Max Rebo Band
- Orientation - a short story in Star Wars Insider Magazine 157 that takes place in the middle of Lords of the Sith and features an Imperial officer attempting to assassinate the Emperor.
- The End of History - a short story in Star Wars Insider Magazine 154 which follows a member of the Corellian Resistance on the run from the Empire who encounters a man with several Jedi artifacts.
- One Thousand Levels Down - a short story in Star Wars Insider Magazine 151 that takes place on Coruscant shortly after the destruction of Alderaan, following two refugees from the doomed planet in their attempts to escape persecution from the Empire.
- Last Call at the Zero Angle - a short story in Star Wars Insider Magazine 156 which focuses on a group of TIE fighter pilots drinking at the Zero Angle.
- Blade Squadron - a two-part short story in Star Wars Insider Magazine 149-150 which focus on a squadron of B-Wing pilots during the Battle of Endor and their attempt to destroy a Star Destroyer.
- Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir (2014) - a four-issue limited series based on unused scripts for the Clone Wars TV series. This holds the distinction of being the only canonical comic book to not be published by Marvel Comics.
- Kanan (2015-ongoing) - an ongoing series featuring the backstory of one the lead protagonists of Rebels, explaining how the young Jedi was able to go into hiding following Order 66 and was eventually able to strike out as a rebel leader.
- Several short comics published in Star Wars Rebels Magazine (2015-ongoing):
- Ring Race (January 2015) - The Ghost crew compete in a race against a vicious crime lord.
- Learning Patience (February 2015) - Ezra must conquer his impatience to help the Ghost escape an Imperial attack.
- The fake Jedi (March 2015)
- Princess Leia (2015) - a five-issue limited series showing Leia Organa's attempt to find and unite all surviving Alderaan refugees following the destruction of the planet.
- Star Wars (2015-ongoing) - an ongoing series taking place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, shown from the perspective of several different members of the Rebel Alliance.
- Darth Vader (2015-ongoing) - an ongoing series that takes place in the same timeframe as the 2015 Star Wars comic series, showing how Darth Vader rebounded from his defeat at the Battle of Yavin.
- Lando (2015)
- Star Wars: Journey to The Force Awakens (2015) - a prequel to the events of the The Force Awakens.
- Star Wars Journeys (2014-2015) - a series of retellings of the first six films.
- Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions (2015) - a platformer for smartphones.
- Star Wars Commander (2014) - a strategy game for smartphones.
- DICE's reboot of Star Wars: Battlefront (2015-2016note ).
- Untitled Visceral Games Project (forthcoming).
Canon PolicyIn April 2014, virtually all of the Expanded Universe was declared non-canon to the upcoming third trilogy. Only the films, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and new material released after this point will be considered canon (as listed above). However, the old Expanded Universe remains a resource used as a frame of reference for future material, at the discretion of their writers and the new Lucasfilm Story Group. In fact, the "new" Expanded Universe is in and of itself a misnomer - everything from this point on is simply being referred to as being either "Canon" or "Legends" in order to reflect the fact that everything is being approved by Lucasfilm.
Tropes used throughout the new Star Wars Expanded Universe:
- A Day in the Limelight: The Leia limited series expands upon how she responded to Alderaan's destruction, and what she did immediately after A New Hope.
- Broad Strokes: Any new works that are influenced by works that were made in the Legends continuity utilize this trope, reworking old characters (and iconic ships) into the new setting.
- Continuity Reboot: A massive one, as detailed by the description above.
- Famous Last Words: See here.
- Named by the Adaptation: Tarkin reveals Emperor Palpatine's first name is Sheev.
- Reality Ensues: As with the old EU, the new EU makes it painstakingly clear that just because the Rebels blew up a major Imperial space station, destroyed a good portion of their fleet, and killed two of their most prominent leaders doesn't mean that the entire Galactic Empire collapsed overnight.
- Society Marches On:
- It was frequently mentioned in Legends that women in the Imperial Military was an extreme rarity. However, likely as a result of women taking greater roles in real-world militaries, there has been a substantial increase in the amount of women passingly mentioned as serving in the Imperial Navy, including a female captain of a Star Destroyer. Although even at the time of the Legends continuity this was partially a matter of making the Empire a Politically Incorrect Villain, since the New Republic military had a fairly large proportion of female personnel.
- Lords Of The Sith will feature the first lesbian character in the new canon - who, interestingly, is also an Imperial.
- Villain Episode:
- Lords Of The Sith, starring Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine.
- Tarkin, starring the titular Grand Moff.
- The Darth Vader comic, starring... Well, guess.
- Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir, which picks up where The Clone Wars left Maul. Also features Darth Sidious and Mother Talzin.