A group called Give Us Legends raised nearly $5000 to rent a billboard asking Lucasfilm to continue the “original expanded universe.”
Give Us Legends, a group of Star Wars fans dedicated to petitioning Lucasfilm to keep making stories within the Expanded Universe timeline, raised almost $5000 to rent a billboard on which they petitioned Lucasfilm to continue the “original expanded universe” (via /Film).
via Give Us Legends Facebook page
When the Expanded Universe, which served more or less as the canon history for events preceding and following the Star Wars film saga, was dubbed “Legends” in 2014 (a code word for “non-canon” unless future “canon” states otherwise), there were many fans who felt cheated. For almost thirty years, the Expanded Universe books, comics, and video games sustained the Star Wars franchise in between films. Many beloved (you might say “legendary”) characters, places, and events were created, and became for many inextricable components of the history of the Star Wars universe.
The group doesn’t want to negate the new canon that has been created; asking to do so would be completely pointless, since Disney has obviously chosen a different route. They do believe the EU can continue to exist alongside the new canon, however, as an alternate timeline.
Will this actually happen? I’m doubtful. Releasing new books in two different timelines would probably be confusing to many new readers. Sure, the Expanded Universe books would have the Legends banner on them, but someone picking up a Star Wars book for the first time probably wouldn’t know the difference and would be extremely confused once they started reading. The whole purpose of the new canon across the board of films and literature is to make Star Wars more accessible to both old and new fans, but the Legends aren’t as readily accessible; they contain a long and complex history that a novice fan would likely find confusing.
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If more stories in the Expanded Universe timeline is released, I could see Del Rey, the official publisher of the adult Star Wars books, publishing e-book only releases. This way, older fans could get their new content, and newer fans wouldn’t be confused by seeing a Star Wars book with a Legends banner on the cover in the “new books” display at Barnes and Noble.
Personally, I don’t need more Expanded Universe stories; but then, I wasn’t as invested in them as others were. I only read a select few Legends books, and while I was shocked to discover they had been rendered “non-canon,” I quickly came to appreciate the new effort at continuity.
On a more real world note: $5000 for one billboard seems excessive. As Jacob Hall of /Film pointed out, the group could’ve donated that money to Force For Change or something equally as charitable. Such an act of kindness would have at least given them more positive cred in the fandom. As it is, groups in favor of Disney creating more Legends stories have a bad reputation for a select few’s harassment of individuals like Aftermath author Chuck Wendig, who was rather unfortunate in that he was the first author to write a canon story post-Return of the Jedi contradicting the Expanded Universe (he wrote a polite open letter to Bring Back Legends groups, where he talks about all the negative attention he’s received). Give Us Legends claims they’re not the people who caused that tension, but sadly, the bad taste is still there and is only enhanced by the billboard.
What do you think? Do you want Disney to continue telling Legends stories in a timeline separate from the officially canon films, television shows, books, and comics, or do you think Legends needs to be put to rest for good?