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Unless you had been hiding under a rock this week, you should have heard about the revelation that the Star Wars Expanded Universe is no more. The EU has been reclassified as non-canon and rebranded as "Legends". This puts many fans in a difficult situation, not least the dedicated editors of Wookieepedia who now have the tough challenge of recategorizing thousands of articles that have been suddenly been deprecated. On a personal level I am quite fond of the EU, after all I started reading the New Jedi Order before I'd even seen the original trilogy (yes, really), and my early experiences with the online Star Wars fandom brought me to the Books & Comics section of the old official message boards. The Expanded Universe was not perfect by any means; dubious plot lines and unbelievable characters ran alongside the inevitable continuity error, making the EU a difficult beast to handle at times. But the level of detail that took the galaxy far far away beyond that world we see in the movies made it a fascinating universe to explore, seemingly limitless and almost impossible to know every detail of. When Episode VII was announced, EU fans everywhere were apprehensive about the future of our beloved franchise, and rightly so. There are many stories in the EU that would have made brilliant adaptations to film, but they wouldn't add any mystery or suspense for fans, which is part of what a good movie needs to work. Now we need to look to the future and remember that the stories we have enjoyed over the years will always stay with us, along with the friendships we have made through our mutual love of the Star Wars universe. Mourn them do not, miss them do not. The books will be with us, always.
No expanded universe elements will be making their way into Episode 7, according to screenwriter Simon Kinberg (who's working one one of the stand-alone films, as well as Star Wars: Rebels). He states "the canon is the canon, and the canon is the six films that exist." So I guess there goes all the rumors and expectations about seeing our favorite EU characters in Episode 7. That is, if Kinsberg is being honest and not throwing us off... Whether this will still be true for 8 and 9, is yet to be seen, obviously. However, when asked about the solo project he's working on, of which films are planned for Han Solo, Boba Fett, Yoda, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Kinberg didn't rule out the possibility of using the EU, basically saying "it's not off limits." And that he's taking inspiration from everywhere for Rebels. Could this mean that Boba's life will be portrayed past Ep. 6 where he 'died'? Video interview with Simon Kinberg Six films only canon for Episode 7
According to a report from Jedi Temple Archives, Lucasfilm has informed Hasbro to stop making new expanded universe figures, or even re-releasing old ones. So far there are only a few exceptions to this instruction; rereleases of Bastila Shan, Darth Malgus, Republic Trooper, and Starkiller have all been given the go-ahead due to poor distribution on their original run. Hasbro will instead be focusing on the new Star Wars: Rebels line and classic trilogy characters, and while the prequel era is not off-limits we can expect to see a decrease in activity there too. It could be that this is just a precaution while the Lucasfilm Story Group consolidates canon into one cohesive continuity, but it does seem to back up earlier rumours that the Star Wars expanded universe as we know it has its days well and truly numbered.