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Star Wars | The Great Legends Purge

Max explores the purge of the Expanded Universe and the Legends we lost to the Force!

It’s been 6 years since the Star Wars expanded universe has been rebooted and I’m still feeling the after-effects. For many who don’t know (but 99% sure you do if you’re reading this), the EU was purged in 2014. Everything but the movies and The Clone Wars TV series were deemed non-canon and they literally started from a semi-blank slate. The reactions were very mixed. Some were furious, others didn’t care and a few even embraced it. I was heartbroken that some of my favorite stories were effectively deemed null and void.

Star Wars Legends

Over the last half-decade, a lot of stuff did make it into canon and if you are familiar with Schrödinger’s cat from physics, you might start to see Legends as Schrodingers canon. The stories are both Legends AND canon until the box is opened. Some things we gained from this change as a lot of stuff we’ve never seen in Star Wars before premiered. Vader went back to the Lars Homestead, Han Solo got an illegitimate wife, we saw creatures that could travel through hyperspace, teleportation, time travel. All these cool things were finally presented to us and it was all part of the storyline.

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Before the reboot, the continuity was very messy and there had to be a lot of retcons to maintain homeostasis for the Star Wars universe. A retcon is a retroactive plot hole “fix” for those unfamiliar with the term. If you ever surf Wookieepedia; the Star Wars wiki, you will see tons of super cool exotic stuff that you’d never believe existed in Star Wars. There is actually a Dyson sphere that appeared in the SWTOR MMORPG and many other technologies that you wouldn’t believe they had. Seeming this all is bittersweet because while I don’t like tech that could alter the main story without explaining it; it makes the galaxy seem a little smaller and I was sad that many of those things would probably never be “opened”.

Star Wars Legends - The Thrawn Trilogy

Many claim Star Wars is science fantasy and has no “science” in it; but if you explore Wookieepedia, you will be proven wrong. Since there are billions of cultures in Star Wars, it makes perfect sense that some civilizations have tech that other races do not. In the real world, when you go to different countries; stuff can be vastly different and if Wookieepedia taught me anything; is that even when a character says something is impossible; it’s actually likely it exists somewhere in Star Wars. I will provide a fun chart of stuff you’d never expect to see in SW later. Anyways, the new canon is definitely emptier but the story continuity is much tighter and streamlined. They gave up quantity for quality; (or so we tell ourselves). New canon has some advantages over Legends but it also does this odd phenomenon that I can’t fully say. It’s like a feeling that the world of Star Wars has been polished and made into a uniform size fits all continuity. All the races and planets are in sync. There is no mysterious Yuuzhan Vong or Rakata or Gree that is a precursor species with no ties to the main galaxy. Sure there could be Rakatans someday, but chances are, they’ll just be some random species that exist in the galaxy.

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Star Wars has been re-branded and while it does have a lot of positives; many things are missed. I missed the rules of hyperspace, to be honest. Disney is really flying by the seat of its pants with how it works and it creates a lot of inconsistencies. One thing that was corrected was the apparent lack of progression in science and technology. Things in the old EU seemed stagnant. That had the same technology for thousands of years. In new canon; we see noticeable differences over the course of the 9 movies. It so confusing how to feel about the Star Wars continuity. There is a lot to love and a lot to lament. Below are some highlights of both Legends and Canon things.

You are about to take your first steps into a larger world. Star Wars Legends awesomeness awaits beyond this point!

 

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Max Nocerino is a new addition to the Future of the Force roster. He is a passionate Star Wars fan and loves the literature of the galaxy far, far away. Follow him on Twitter @MaxN2100 where he channels his passion frequently!

 

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