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).
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016).
- 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).
- Untitled Han Solo Anthology Film (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 rise of the Empire to the Battle of Jakku.
- 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).
- Adventures in Wild Space (2016)
- 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 the 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)
- New Republic: Bloodline (2016) - Set six years before The Force Awakens. To be written by Claudia Gray.
- Tales from a Galaxy Far Far Away (2016) - A collection of short stories based around alien characters from The Force Awakens. Individual stories will get a digital release in December 2015.
- 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 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 - 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Blade Squadron: Zero Hour
- The Perfect Weapon
- 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-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)
- Kallus' Hunt (April 2015)
- Return of the Slavers (May 2015)
- 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)
- Lando (2015)
- Chewbacca (2015)
- Shattered Empire (2015) - a prequel to the events of the The Force Awakens.
- Star Wars Special: C-3PO (2015)
- 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.
- Star Wars Uprising (2015)
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.
- 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.
- 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* . 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.)
- 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 the Emperor and his most prominent subordinate 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 features 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.