MORE POSTS 
 

Star Wars oil painting exhibit "Sandstorm" opens

Breakneck boredom: an old time Star Wars fan's thoughts on Star Trek Into Darkness

They put me on the news to talk about Star Wars

More from Steve Sansweet on Star Wars and gay marriage

Carmine Infantio has died

I can die happy: I've been interviewed by Dungeons & Dragons

Star Wars Episode 7: All My Children?

What JJ Abrams needs to really succeed with Star Wars 7

Star Wars: The Old Republic is gay--on one planet at least

Tongal and Pringles bring us DYI desecration of Star Wars

Reminiscences about West End Games' Star Wars Roleplaying Game

Here's the biggest Star Wars news of 2012

Stephen Quinn interviews me about Star Wars on CBC Vancouver

Star Wars: modern myth or global franchise?

Parents turn child's 1st birthday into extended Lucasfilm/Hasbro advert

Me reading from A Long Time Ago

Highlights and lowlights of the upcoming Star Wars Celebration VI

Grown men (mostly) dressed up as Lando Calrissian

Beggar's Canyon Toys offer Star Wars toy "restoration" service

Blog's t-shirts banned by Zazzle

Will the real David Prowse please stand up?

LaserSaber: Unlicensed, dangerous and yours for only $99

Is this the future of Star Wars?

Is Star Wars link bait?

Dissent not tolerated at the Prequel Appreciation Society

TSOT discovers its nemesis

Comme des idiots: Star Wars teams up with poncy fashion house

US Christian activist attacks SWTOR for being gay

Yodaphone--the latest product pitch from Star Wars Inc.

Attention tortoise-fanciers: do you like Star Wars?

History of Star Wars as related by a bot

Is Star Wars a travesty of science fiction?

Luke Skywalker and company on the Muppet Show

Yoda now shilling instant soup in Japan

Commander who?

$6000 for a toy you can't even play with

Star Wars underwear

Retro Star Wars decor in my son's bedroom

Phantom Menace 3D: Now With Plot

Star Wars and disco: the forgotten love affair

Will Muschamp: What a guy!

Oi, fanboy: grow up! A reply to Darren Franich

 

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Entries in expanded universe (4)

Tuesday
Mar122013

Star Wars EU as feature creep

A smart piece by Mark Wilson. Here's an excerpt, but go read it all:

BusinessWeek argues that the Holocron [the database storing all information about the Star Wars Expanded Universe] added a lot of value to [Disney's] acquisition. And to the suits, I have little doubt that it looked different than any other lucrative list of copyrights and other IP. But I can’t help but wonder if there would be more narrative value without the tome. Every planet and character is a component of feature creep within an otherwise beautifully streamlined universe. It’s unedited imagination, wonderfully inventive but narratively untenable. There are just too many ideas in one place.

Star Wars has become a product crafted not for Star Wars fans (or, everyone), but a very particular breed of Star Wars uber fan.

Is Star Wars the Ultimate Victim of Feature Creep?

Tuesday
Mar122013

Disney and Lucasfilm just murdered billions of people

Or so says Abraham Riesman in an ever-so-slightly overstated piece on Motherboard entitled (you guessed it), "Disney and Lucasfilm Just Murdered Billions of People". He is reacting to the cancellation of the Clone Wars television series and other signs that Disney is abandoning the Expanded Universe in favour of its own efforts. 

Somewhat disappointingly, Riesman's article is not quite as insanely hysterical as the title he gave it. But it's still pretty excitable, and Riesman doesn't shy away from his genocide theme: 

Here we are, where no serious Star Wars fan ever thought we’d be. But at what cost? The metatextual mass murder of fictional billions? Is that a price we’re prepared to pay? 

Last week, George Lucas implied that the Holy Trinity of Ford, Fisher, and Hamill are this close to signing on for the J.J. Abrams-helmed Star Wars: Episode VII. Let’s assume for a moment that it’s all true, that the ink dries, and that the wardrobe department starts getting their measurements. What are the implications? 

For the workaday filmgoer and the average Star Wars viewer, there are barely any, other than chuckles about a sexagenarian Skywalker and a self-proclaimed crazy Leia. For Disney and Lucasfilm, recognizable faces mean money in the bank, though their casting probably means little to the youngest generation of Star Wars fans, the ones who grew up actually enjoying Episode I and are now in the 18-25 demographic. 

But what about us? What about that small fraction of the world’s population who kept watch over the Star Wars universe’s post-Return of the Jedi development? What about the people who, decades ago, gave up any hope that there would ever be filmed sequels? How are we supposed to feel? 

To put it bluntly, we’ve been abandoned. Our purpose has been served, and we’re being unceremoniously downsized without so much as a “Thanks for Two Decades on the Job” plaque. 


We were the stewards of the Galaxy. Under 22 years of our watch, we’ve lived and breathed something called the Expanded Universe (EU), in which the Star Wars mythology grew and flourished to a size that Lucas could never have imagined. I mentioned fictional genocide because now, with the presence of Hamill/Fisher/Ford, much of the EU — and the countless characters, wars, species, and millennia of events the EU contains — will be wiped out at the stroke of a pen.

So Riesman is only referring to fantasy fictional people who don't actually exist in the real world but only in people's imaginations. Also, if you read along you'll discover that these billions of fantasy fictional murdered people haven't actually been fictionally murdered yet by anyone at all in the purely fictional fantasy world they fictionally inhabit. But still...

For more hyper-exaggerated EU fanboy angst about something that hasn't in fact happened, follow the link below. And if you too are badly in need of some perspective on the true gravity of the situation, try here or here or here.

Motherboard: Disney and Lucasfilm Just Murdered Billions of People

Thursday
Jun212012

Dinosaur Comics on the Expanded Universe

If you don't know about Dinosaur Comics, allow me to enrich your life in no small measure. (Pro tip: the red text is spoken by the Devil, an occasional character in the comic.)

Surf over to quantz.com for more dinosaur-induced hilarity. Warning: most Dinosaur Comics are not about Star Wars. If that troubles you at all, be consoled by the fact that Chewbac.ca redirects to Dinosaur Comics.

Tuesday
Sep132011

20th anniversary of the birth of the Expanded Universe

Entertainment Weekly has an interesting piece on Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire, a novel it credits with the birth of the Expanded Universe.

Twenty years ago Star Wars began its true second act. Not on the big screen, mind you, or the tube, but in print. It was eight years after Return of the Jedi, eight before The Phantom Menace, and while George Lucas was still filling legal pads full of notes about Gungans and midichlorians, author Timothy Zahn published Heir to the Empire and forever changed the way fans thought about that Galaxy Far, Far Away.

Rather than fill-in backstory to tales fans already knew, as earlier novels like Brian Daley’s Han Solo Adventures had done, Zahn set his cosmic yarn five years AFTER Return of the Jedi, then a completely unexplored part of the Star Wars timeline. Fans of the movies found out that, no, the Empire was not defeated overnight with the death of Emperor Palpatine and the destruction of the Second Death Star—in spite of that Jedi-capping orgy of drunken Ewoks. In fact, though the Rebel Alliance had become the New Republic and controlled half the galaxy from the Empire’s former capital at Coruscant (which Zahn himself named), the Imperial Navy was set to launch perhaps it’s greatest onslaught ever—led by the blue-skinned, red-eyed, art-loving master tactician Grand Admiral Thrawn.

I've never read Zahn's books. By 1991 I had mostly put Star Wars behind me. I wonder whether Zahn appreciates being credited with the birth of the Expanded Universe, with its ridiculous backstories on Jabba the Hutt's family ("Mama [the Hutt] favored her deceased son Ebor somewhat more than her son Ziro, and never knew that her husband had run off, or that he had died and was entombed on Teth") and similar nonsense.

EW.com: 'Star Wars: Heir to the Empire' at 20: An EW tribute