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Are Disney and Lucasfilm wiping the sequel trilogy from the Star Wars universe?

Grogu reaches out to a screen showing Luke Skywalker
Daddy’s Home: Grogu meets another Jedi. Pic source: Lucasfilm

Warning: This article contains spoilers from Season 2 of The Mandalorian, as well as the Star Wars Expanded Universe materials.

Are Lucasfilm, Disney, and Star Wars about to doom to licensed fan fiction its three most recent movies?

According to YouTuber Doomcock, who claims he has information from “a source that has demonstrated extraordinary access” at Lucasfilm, events in Season 2 of The Mandalorian have already begun to do just that.

Think it can’t happen? Retconning has taken place already with Disney-owned Star Wars.  It was considered a necessary step to make the sequel trilogies—The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and Rise of Skywalker—a reality.

It’s the tactic the IP used to wave away what was established by the Expanded Universe (EU) novels, which extended the franchise’s timeline past the end of Return of the Jedi, the last of the series’ original trilogy. The Extended Universe is now considered “de-canonized.”

Starting with the bestselling Thrawn trilogy in the mid-90s, the timeline saw Luke Skywalker married to a former smuggler and raising a son named Ben. Leia Organa Solo and Han Solo had three children: a son, Anakin, and fraternal twins Jaina and Jacen. Luke began a training temple for a new order of Jedi Knights and trained (but then battled) his nephews and niece.

The Star Wars universe is huge

Hundreds of novels and comic books became part of the universe, and many fans embraced the developments as a natural progression of the Skywalker story. Others turned away at various points in the story which they felt were out of character for the franchise, or chose to stay with the closing triumphant scene of Return of the Jedi as the final word in the adventures of Luke and friends.

According to Doomcock, the Lucasfilm “power balance shift” happened the moment when Luke Skywalker scooped baby Grogu into his arms and bore him off for training, with the blessing of his adoptive father, Din Djarin.

Doomcock asserts that the powers that be at Star Wars are “bitterly divided,” but that Mandalorian mavens Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, who have created the most popular streamed show on the planet, are running more than just The Mandalorian.

The pair, Doomcock says, are inserting into Star Wars canon whatever they want, without consulting Lucasfilm. He claims that they are, in essence, now acting as arbiters on the direction of the Star Wars universe.

This includes the stunning and emotional appearance of Luke Skywalker in the final episode of Season 2 of The Mandalorian.

A bitter and angry Luke was last seen in the sequel trilogies having shut himself off from the Force after his nephew, Ben Solo, became Kylo Ren, a member of the Sith. Luke then died from the effort of Force-projecting himself to enable the escape of his sister, Leia, and what remained of her Resistance fighters.

Star Wars fans upset about the death of Luke Skywalker

However, the officially sanctioned end of one of the most iconic heroes in cinema did not sit well with longtime fans, who felt that it was an inauthentic portrayal of the character. Even Mark Hamill, who took up the Jedi robes once again to play the character, voiced disapproval many times.

Instead of closing out George Lucas’ original vision of nine movies, then, the Disney trilogy caused a damaging civil war within the fanbase, and Rise of Skywalker ticket sales did not produce what one would expect for the close of the Skywalker saga. Although the trilogy introduced the franchise to a new generation and has its own admirers, many declared the IP ruined and dead.

But The Mandalorian, which streams on Disney+, has seemingly dragged the franchise from the financial and cultural grave. Those who were infuriated by the sequel’s treatment of Luke Skywalker celebrated his appearance at the end of Season Two, with many admitting on social media that they cried upon realizing that “real Luke” had made one more bow.

If Doomcock is right (and he is careful to caution that these developments are just rumors), we could see more of the Jedi Master—and indeed, a whole new future for the rest of his family.

The Mandalorian and all Star Wars media are now streaming on Disney+.

Proud aunt Mary Beth Ellis, MFA, is a freelance writer, college instructor, reader, and reality consumer in Cincinnati, OH. She is the author of "Drink to the Lasses," a memoir, and a contributor to...read more

1 thought on “Are Disney and Lucasfilm wiping the sequel trilogy from the Star Wars universe?”

  1. The Expanded Universe was never canon and Dave Filoni has stated this numerous times. Quotes below –

    “There’s this notion that everything changed when everything became Legends. And I can see why people think that. But, you know, having worked with George I can tell you that it was always very clear — and he made it very clear — that the films and the TV shows were the only things that he considered Canon. That was it.”

    Dave Filoni interview on ‘The Star Wars show’ [41.40 mark]-

    https://youtu.be/hcNXPNXOv2A?t=2500

    ..

    “That difficulty stems mostly from a misunderstanding on what those old tales were ever meant to be. The terminology of “Expanded Universe” was a careful one; it expanded on the world created in the core stories, but was never officially meant to be Star Wars canon, according to the Maker himself, George Lucas.”

    ~ Dave Filoni Comicbook.com interview, Sept. 5th, 2017
    Star Wars: Dave Filoni Explains George Lucas and Lucasfilm’s Relationship with Legends [EU]

    https://ibb.co/ZLK4hYc

    ..

    “There is no more clear illustration of the difference between the Expanded Universe and the Star Wars created by George Lucas. The EU is a well of ideas, and there’s what’s on screen. They don’t live in the same universe. Everyone wants to think so, I know, and there is alot of effort to make it all work, but it’s pretty clear when you start really looking at it that when you take ideas from the printed realm and bring it to screen, it’s not the same. They relate. There are similarities. I still enjoy alot of those stories. I think there are a lot of great ideas. They influence you. They inspire you, which I think is the whole point of having an EU. We try to honor things when we can, to give nods to things, but at the end of the day there is a difference between what you see in the Star Wars films and TV series and what you see in those books.
    [..]

    We just need to think of it all as a creative collection of fun ideas separate from what George Lucas has made.”

    ~ Dave Filoni, Star Wars Insider # 134, July, 2012

    https://ibb.co/BL1y11V

    ..

    ‘You had mentioned in the press conference that when you were doing The Clone Wars you could take stuff from Legends [Expanded Universe than], like you made Darth Bane canon, thank you for that by the way!,and at one point you were gonna get Darth Revan in there [that never happened tho, it was cut from the Episode during the Mortis Arc at George Lucas’s order], but you guys were the only game in town at that time [canon],so you were able to pulls things from it [EU] and make them canon [In The Clone Wars series][..] Now when you pull things from the new canon, it’s history. So is that overwelming now?’

    “Honestly, it’s not very different from how I worked before. You know my main concentraition is of course the stories I’m telling and the films. I think what we are more careful about now, as you know, before, we were the only thing really happening in canon when we did Clone Wars.[2008 iteration] – Now, you do have to say ‘is anyone doing anything with that?”No, okay, can we put some flags around that so we have that so when we’re ready we can get that..’and everyone is pretty good at doing that.”

    ~ Dave Filoni Interview with’Jedi Council.net’, 2015

    Video link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd-xeroG_is

    ..

    “In all honesty, when I worked with George, George’s only concerns were the films and the TV series that we were making at the time. That was the continuity we stood by. I think that’s why, as we’ve gone forward with Lucasfilm, we’ve had this attitude of: we have the films, we have The Clone Wars — those are all the canon elements. And as we move forward with all the films and with TV series like Rebels, we’ll make sure they’re all in continuity.”

    ~ Dave Filoni, Cult Spark Interview, 2014

    https://ibb.co/zVFbr7X

    ..

    “The nice thing I can say is, it’s all more connected than it’s ever been at Lucasfilm. Before, we would change something in Clone Wars and people would be like, “Why are you changing canon?” We’re like, “Actually, we’re not. This is the way George wants it.” Now, that is a unified approach where I’m talking to several different people on different projects, and we’re all aware of what each other’s doing. We all get great ideas from each other and share ideas, so it’s a much more unified effort.”

    ~ Dave Filoni, IGN Interview, 2014

    https://ibb.co/xFKpcwZ

    ..

    How early on did you know that the show [Clone Wars series] would be considered canon?

    “Everything that I’ve worked on at Lucasfilm has been considered canon. Working on Clone Wars, it was always canon. I never really worry about it. I always figured that most things that are done in a cinematic form, whether it be television or movies, are the only things that George considered canon because it was the stuff that he helped produce. So,it made sense that this would be, as well.”

    ~ Dave Filoni TV Interview, 2014
    https://collider.com/star-wars-rebels-easter-eggs-episode-7/

    ..

    ““For me and my training here at Lucasfilm, working with George, he and I always thought the Expanded Universe was just that. It was an expanded universe. Basically it’s stories that are really fun and really exciting, but they’re a view on Star Wars, not necessarily canon to him. That was the way it was from the day I walked into Lucasfilm with him all through Clone Wars, everything we worked on, he felt the Clone Wars series and his movies were what was actually the reality of it all, the canon,” Filoni said, “then there was everything else. So it wasn’t a big dynamic shift for me mentally when there was this big announcement saying the EU is now Legends. I’m like, ‘Okay, well, it’s kind of the same thing to me because that the way I work.’ What George and I always used to do though is look at what was out there, and you would see characters like Ventress and go, ‘My gosh, what a great character.’ People love this character. He saw Aayla Secura; He puts her in the film. So there was this great collaborative way where you could take these ideas, but you have to always kind of apply the Star Wars Cinematic Universe of what the canon is to those characters when you translate them.”

    ~ Dave Filoni, ComicBook.com Interview, Sept 5th, 2017
    https://ibb.co/fppPqv4

    https://comicbook.com/starwars/news/star-wars-lucasfilm-legends-expanded-universe-george-lucas/

    ..

    Do you considerThe Clone Wars canon or part of the Expanded Universe? Is the old Cartoon Network show canon? How do the two relate and where do the two series fit in the Star Wars Universe?

    “That’s one of the biggest debates in Star Wars, what counts? The idea of what is canon? When I talk to George I know that he considers his movies, this series and his live-action series canon.”

    But there’s never an implicit connection between the micro-series that Cartoon Network did previously and the series that we’re doing now.

    ~ Dave Filoni, SW:TCW, CBR Interview, 2008

    ..

    “I get asked all the time, ‘What happens after “Return of the Jedi”?,’ and there really is no answer for that,” he said. “The movies were the story of Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker, and when Luke saves the galaxy and redeems his father, that’s where that story ends.””

    ~ George Lucas, Flannelled One, May 2008, “George Lucas: ‘Star Wars’ won’t go beyond Darth Vader”, interview with Los Angeles Times

    ..

    “And now there have been novels about the events after Episode VI, which isn’t at all what I would have done with it. The Star Wars story is really the tragedy of Darth Vader. That is the story. Once Vader dies, he doesn’t come back to life, the Emperor doesn’t get cloned and Luke doesn’t get married.”

    ~ George Lucas,Total Film Magazine Interview, 2008

    https://ibb.co/x5q1RrQ

    ..

    “But Lucas allows for an Expanded Universe that exists parallel to the one he directly oversees. […] Though these [Expanded Universe] stories may get his stamp of approval, they don’t enter his canon unless they are depicted cinematically in one of his projects.”

    ~ Pablo Hidalgo, Star Wars: The Essential Reader’s Companion, 2012

    ..

    “What George Saw as Canon”

    “In the old days, George Lucas saw his universe as separate from publishing [EU]. He wasn’t at all interested in connecting.”

    ~ Pablo Hidalgo [Lucasfilm Story Group] 2016

    http://i.imgur.com/6ZOkAau.png

    ..

    “From Star Wars Insider [The Official Star Wars Magazine] – Issue 77 , Using Dark Empire & The Thrawn Trilogy As Examples.

    “So do episodes beyond Return of the Jedi exist? Nothing beyond possible story points and ideas, certainly not fleshed out story treatments or scripts. Fans often wonder if Dark Empire or the Thrawn Trilogy were based off those notes or are meant to be Episodes VII, VIII, IX. – That’s not the case.

    Those works are the creation of their respective authors with the guidance of editors at Lucas Licensing. They are not, nor ever were, meant to be George Lucas’ definitive vision of what happens next”*

    ~ Pablo Hidalgo, 2004 – https://ibb.co/K9PMgH3

    ..

    “I think people over emphasize the importance of the canon level. The intent of the canon levels was, as the main intent was ‘if someones looking for the ships from a film, they can than use those fields to check for them only in the films,and thus seperate that from what was in the EU. So we can look at it case by case. I think there is an over emphasis of what those fields mean and what they represent”.

    ~ Leland Chee, Continuity Database Adminstrator for Lucas Licensing

    “That ‘level of canon’ thus helps in terms of bookkeeping. Those ‘canon levels’ are for the holocron.”

    ~ Pablo Hidalgo

    ForceCast #273: The Galaxy Is Reading – Interview with Leland Chee and Pablo Hidalgo, 2013 Approximately the 1 hour mark so 1:00 – 1:02 mark

    http://www.forcecast.net/story/home/ForceCast_273_The_Galaxy_Is_Reading_154431.asp

    ..

    “What George did with the films and The Clone Wars was pretty much his universe ,” Chee said. “He didn’t really have that much concern for what we were doing in the books and games. So the Expanded Universe was very much separate.”

    ~ Leland Chee, Continuity Database Adminstrator for Lucas Licensing, SYFY WIRE Fandom Files #13 Interview,Jan.2018
    ..

    “Lucas’ canon – and when I say ‘his canon’, I’m talking about what he was doing in the films and what he was doing in The Clone Wars – was hugely important. But what we were doing in the books really wasn’t on his radar.”

    ~ Leland Chee, Continuity Database Adminstrator,SYFY WIRE Fandom F

    ..

    ‘In 2014, Disney declared the Expanded Universe was no longer canon. It became ‘Legends’. What do you think of this, seeing all of your work suddenly become non-canon?’

    “Those of us writing the EU were always told, all along, from the very beginning (have I stressed that strongly enough?), “Only the Movies are Canon.” Sure, it was disappointing.”

    ~ Kathy Tyers, EU author [Truce at Bakura, Balance Point] Interview, 2018

    http://starwarsinterviews.com/various/authors/kathy-tyers-author/

    ..

    Podcast Interview with Steve Perry, Author of Shadows of the Empire from the Expanded Universe –

    Interviewer – ‘So what are your thoughts about your book and all the ones that came other than this last year are no longer part of the Official Star Wars Canon ever since Disney took over?

    Steve Perry – “Ohh they never were! Nothing was ever canon other than the movies.”

    The Ritual Misery Podcast with hosts Amos and Kent, 2015

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2569&v=opbMcVJolSA&feature=emb_logo

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