Franchise / Star Wars Expanded Universe

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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 Star Wars 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.

The old Star Wars Expanded Universe, now Legends, is vast, which may lead to Archive Panic. 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 made up the old Expanded Universe, and the tropes contained therein, will be covered here.
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The new Expanded Universe (Canon)

    Films 

In addition, the following films have yet to be placed on the timeline:

  • Untitled Han Solo Anthology Film (2018).
  • Unknown Star Wars Spin-Off (2020).

    Books 
  • Dark Disciple (2015) - a novel staring Asajj Ventress and Quinlan Vos, adapted from an unproduced story arc of The Clone Wars.
  • Ahsoka (2016) - focuses on Ahsoka Tano in the early years of the Empire.
  • Lost Stars (2015) - follows two friends who find themselves on opposing sides over the course of various historical events; from the rise of the Empire to the Battle of Jakku.
  • Adventures In Wild Space (2016) - A young readers' series. Milo and Lina Graf, the two children of frontier explorers, go on a journey through Wild Space to find their parents, who have been abducted by Imperial agents.
  • 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.
  • Thrawn (2017) - the origin story of Grand Admiral Thrawn and his early career with 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) - a prequel to the Rebels TV series starring Ezra Bridger and bounty hunter Bossk.
  • Several junior novels that tie in with ''Rebels'' (2014-ongoing).
  • Catalyst (2016) - a prequel tie-in to Rogue One.
  • A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy (2015) - The first in a new series of film novelizations, by Alexandra Bracken. Adapts A New Hope.
  • 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.
  • Heir to the Jedi (2015) - takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, told by Luke Skywalker in first-person.
  • 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.
  • Battlefront: Twilight Company (2015) - A tie-in novel to the forthcoming video game.
  • The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to Be a Jedi? (2015) - The second in a new series of film novelizations, by Adam Gidwitz. Adapts The Empire Strikes Back.
  • Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure (2015) - Set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, the story follows Princess Leia as she leads a ragtag group of rebels on a dangerous mission against the Empire.
  • Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side! (2015) - The third in a new series of film novelizations, by Tom Angleberger. Adapts Return of the Jedi.
  • 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.
  • Aftermath Life Debt (2016)
  • Aftermath: Empire's End (2017)
  • Bloodline (2016) - Set six years before The Force Awakens. Written by Claudia Gray.
  • Tales From A Galaxy Far, Far Away Volume 1: Aliens (2016) - A collection of short stories based around alien characters from The Force Awakens. Four stories of the stories received a digital release in December 2015, while all six were released in print in April 2016.
    • All Creatures Great and Small
    • A Recipe for Death
    • The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku
    • The Face of Evil
    • High Noon on Jakku
    • True Love
  • Before the Awakening (2015)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) - The novelization of the film of the same name. Written by Alan Dean Foster, ghost writer of the original Star Wars novelization and writer of Splinter of the Mind's Eye, the very first EU novel (making this a Remake Cameo gig of sorts).

    Reference Books 
  • 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 - a guide based on the DK visual dictionaries.
  • Ships of the Galaxy - an upcoming visual guide dedicated to the many starships in the franchise.
  • Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know - a reference guide that highlights "anecdotal, quirky and obscure facts" about the franchise.

    Short Stories 
  • Kindred Spirits - a short story in Star Wars Insider Magazine 159 which features Asajj Ventress having an encounter with the pirate Lassa Rhayme.
  • 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.
  • Mercy Mission - a short story in the Rise of the Empire omnibus that features Hera Syndulla on one of her first missions as a rebel running supplies to her homeworld of Ryloth.
  • Bottleneck - a short story in the Rise of the Empire omnibus that features the first meeting between Grand Moff Tarkin and efficiency expert Count Vidian as they attempt to solve production issues at a vital Imperial factory.
  • TK-146275
  • 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.
  • Rebel Bluff - a short story in Star Wars Insider Magazine 158 which features Lando Calrissian on the planet Lothal pursuing a young woman who steals the pot of a sabacc game he was playing.
  • Voices of the Empire
  • 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.
  • Inbrief - a short story in Star Wars Insider Magazine 161 featuring Twilight Company during the battle of Allst Prime.
  • 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.
  • The Levers Of Power - a short story in the Rise of the Empire omnibus that shows the Battle of Endor from the point of view of Admiral Rae Sloane.
  • Turning Point
  • Blade Squadron: Zero Hour
  • Blade Squadron: Kuat
  • Blade Squadron: Jakku
  • Scorched
  • Bait - a short story in Star Wars Insider Magazine 162 that follows big game hunter Grummgar during a hunt on the planet Ithor.
  • The Perfect Weapon - Bazine Netal is hired by an unknown employer to retrieve a mysterious package from a retired stormtrooper.

    Comics 
  • Obi-Wan & Anakin - (2016) - a five-issue limited series set between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones dealing with the early years of Anakin's training in the Jedi Order.
  • 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 (2015-2016) - 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.
  • Star Wars Rebels Magazine comic strips (2015-ongoing):
    • Ring Race (January 2015)
    • Learning Patience (February 2015)
    • The fake Jedi (March 2015)
    • Kallus' Hunt (April 2015)
    • Return of the Slavers (May 2015)
    • Eyes on the Prize (June 2015)
    • Sabotaged Supplies (July 2015)
    • Ezra's Vision (August 2015)
    • Senate Perspective (September 2015)
    • Becoming Hunted (October 2015)
    • Assessment (November 2015)
    • Ocean Rescue (December 2015)
    • Secret of Sienar (December 2015, due to being released every four weeks)
    • No Sympathy (January 2016)
    • A Day's Duty (February 2016)
    • Ice Breaking (March 2016)
    • ''Vulnerable Areas (April 2016)
    • Academy Cadets (May 2016)
    • Escaping the Scrap Pile (June 2016)
  • Star Wars: Story Before The Force Awakens (2015-ongoing) - A Korean webcomic that acts as a prequel to, and then adaptation of, the Original Trilogy. Considered Broad Strokes canon by Disney.
  • 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.
  • Vader Down (2015) - a crossover between the Star Wars and Darth Vader series.
  • Lando (2015) - a five-issue limited series showing Lando Calrissian before he became Baron Administrator of Cloud City, in which he steals a starship that turns out to be Emperor Palpatine's personal yacht.
  • Han Solo (2016)
  • Chewbacca (2015)
  • Shattered Empire (2015) - a prequel to the events of the The Force Awakens, showcasing Poe Dameron's parents.
  • Star Wars Special: C-3PO (2015)
  • Poe Dameron (2016-ongoing) - an ongoing series that follows Poe Dameron and a squadron of Resistance pilots as they search for Lor San Tekka.

    Animated Shows 

    Video Games 
  • 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: Galactic Defense (2014) - a Tower Defense game based on first six films.
  • Star Wars Commander (2014) - a strategy game for smartphones.
  • Star Wars Uprising (2015)

In addition, the following games have yet to be placed on the timeline:


Canon Policy

In 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.
  • Anachronic Order: Star Wars could qualify as the king of this trope.
    • First, we have the prequels, which were released 16 years after the Original Trilogy.
    • Then there is The Clone Wars, which was released after the prequels but takes place between episodes II and III.
      • The Clone Wars actually qualifies twice, at least in the first 2.5 seasons. The earlier episodes were released anachronically — with two of them taking place before the movie that preceded the show.
    • Rebels takes place almost fifteen years after Episode III but a few years before Episode IV — and was released in 2014.
    • The sequel trilogy — probably the only entries in the franchise post-OT to be aired in proper order (both in their numbering scheme AND in Real Life time) will be released in 2015, 2017, and 2019...and the Anthology films will serve as prequels to the original trilogy, and will be released in 2016, 2018, and 2020.
    • This isn't even getting into the novels, comics, video games, and other media that the franchise has spawned — not to mention future material.
  • Anyone Can Die: Several characters, most notably:
  • Broad Strokes: Creators within the new continuity (many of whom also wrote for the "old" EU) often take the broader details of previous EU works by themselves or others in this sense. For instance, the novel Tarkin by James Luceno clearly takes the broader plots of his previous three novels as still having happened, and Kanan makes some veiled references to the events of the novel Shatterpoint. And in general, while the post-Endor slate has been wiped clean, there also seems to be less need or desire to retcon Prequel-era material.
  • Canon Immigrant: 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. (Perhaps the most obvious example is that many background characters only given names by the Legends continuity have kept their names, and in some cases their backstories, in newer works.)
    • In probably the biggest immigrant since the Disney reboot, Grand Admiral Thrawn will be joining Rebels.
  • Continuity Reboot: A massive one, as detailed by the description above.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Alderaan (Leia's adopted homeworld), & the Hosnian System (The New Republic's temporary Capital)
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: Numerous characters has noted that they felt cold in the presence of the Dark Side:
    • The first time this trope is in The Empire Strikes Back, when Luke describes the cave on Dagobah as cold.
    • On Rebels, Ezra felt cold after his brush with the Dark Side. Later, both him and Kanan also described the presence of Vader as such.
    • In Shattered Empire, Leia felt cold when entering the hangar of the Royal Palace of Theed, sensing the lingering presence of Darth Maul.
  • Famous Last Words: See here.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: Several, including:
    • The Clone Wars had several, including the CIS wiping out the Dathomirian Witches (except for Asajj Ventress, Mother Talzin, and Shelish), while in Dark Disciple, they destroy the Mahran convoy fleet, & attempt to wipe out the last remaining remnants of their civilisation from their home-world.
      • The CIS also attempted to create (or re-create) biological weapons in an attempt to eradicate ENTIRE species and cultures during the war. Notable examples include Nuvo Vindi's Blue Shadow Virus, Lok Durd's Defoliator, & the Techno Union's own weapon Organic decimator.
    • Rebels revealed in one episode that the Lasat (Zeb's race) were also victims of this, thought it's later revealed that "millions of Lasats" had survived back on their actual home-world of Liresan.
    • Darth Vader had an early issue were a character states that Geonosia was first on the newly created First. Galactic. Empire's list, after initially kick-starting the Clone Wars, with "all its queens and hives" being wiped out, as a result.
    • One Thousand Levels Down has Alderaanians being victims of this after their Home-world's destruction. The Herglic & Mon Calamari are also victims of this, to a certain extent.
    • Uprising has the Nothoiin Aristocracy that once ruled the Anoat Sector suffer this at the hands of the empire, and that only a select few, including their leader (known as "Her Majesty"), had managed to escape the purge.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Tarkin reveals Emperor Palpatine's first name is Sheev.
  • The Purge: Various, namely:
    • Revenge of the Sith ends with the Sith's victory over the Jedi Order, via this near the end.
    • The Force Awakens reveals that Luke's newly re-created Jedi Order was wiped out by a joint First Order/Knights of Ren strike force, led by none other than his nephew, Ben Solo.
  • 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 the Emperor and his most prominent subordinate doesn't mean that the entire Galactic Empire collapsed overnight.
  • Serial Escalation: Each generation of the franchise tries to outdo the previous in terms of special effects, characterization, and sheer awesomeness.
    • A New Hope was The Hero's Journey by way of Space Opera, with some Japanese and Western elements blended in. The Empire Strikes Back introduced lots of tragic elements, and helped flesh out the mythology a bit more. Return of the Jedi acted as a Grand Finale for the Original Trilogy with strong themes of redemption and a good sense of closure (at least at the time).
    • The Phantom Menace was little more than the groundwork for the following five films, yet had significantly better special effects than had been seen in the series to date; it also introduced Anakin as a young, unassuming protagonist who was thrust into extreme circumstances. Attack of the Clones introduced much darker elements, as well as expanded upon the roles of a Jedi Knight and Padawan Apprentice. Revenge of the Sith turned the dark elements Up to Eleven, and simultaneously gave us some of the most expansive battles (both literal and spiritual) the series had seen up to that point.
    • The Force Awakens was a retread of A New Hope, but with several elements from across the franchise and pumped up on steroids.
    • This could also be seen in the series' trademark weapon, lightsabers. The original weapons were simple, single-bladed swords with blades of plasma or lasers, depending on who you ask. The swordfights in these films were equally simple — probably because knowledge of how to wield them had long since been lost. The Phantom Menace introduced us to double-bladed lightsabers, while simultaneously portraying Jedi and Sith wielding the weapons extremely competently. Attack of the Clones introduced lightsabers with curved hilts wielded by an Old Master, only for Revenge of the Sith to one-up this by giving us a cyborg who quadruple-wielded his. The Clone Wars then went ahead and gave us animated saber duels, with one of its arc villains Dual Wielding double-bladed lightsabers. It still wasn't enough. Rebels gave us the Inquisitorius, whose double-bladed lightsabers can spin on an axis, while The Force Awakens gave us crossguard-sabers with unstable blades, wielded by a Psycopathic Manchild with a flair for the dramatic. And now, the Season 2 finale of Rebels has shown us there is still more to come, with the revelation that the aforementioned inquisitors can use their spinning lightsabers to fly. It's anyone's guess what the franchise's most iconic weapon will be capable of next.
  • 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 features the first lesbian character in the new canon - who, interestingly, is also an Imperial.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: General Cassio Tagge, Admiral Ackbar, and Chewbacca all have escaped their original EU fates.
  • 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.

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