Saturday, January 11, 2014
Star Wars Canon About to Get Major Overhaul: What was "Real" May Not Be Much Longer
The news just keeps coming and if I do say so myself, it keeps getting more and more infuriating because they keep telling us things without actually telling us anything. I just came across this article HERE that basically tells us that there will now be an "official" canon that will be followed for the movies, and a lot of what currently exists won't be included.
In some ways, this can be a good thing. The Star Wars universe is quite complex and between novels, graphic novels, comic books, video games, role play games, children's books, adult books, ebooks and what have you, there is an awful lot of story to keep straight. And I'll be honest when I say that at times it seems downright annoying to try and make sure it all ties together and happened in the same universe in the same timeline. Like, gee, how many times did Boba Fett die?
I can't help but feel a little bit cheated, though. It sort of makes it like all of those books I've been reading for the past 20 years have been kind of pointless. Yes, I realize that's stupid. And the entire point of fanfic is that we can take these people and write the things we really want to see happen, and most of my favorite stories about my favorite characters have been written by people who were never paid a dime to do so. But I suffered through the bad parts of the EU probably partly because that was what I was told was "real" and what actually happened to these characters. Of course I was unhappy with a lot of it but I kept reading anyway.
My other fear, and I believe we've discussed this before, is the devil you know is better than the devil you don't. We all have problems with the EU as it currently stands, but we've gotten used to it. And at its core, the most important thing to any of our readers here is the notion that Han and Leia got married and had kids and 40-something years later now they still love each other and their one remaining child and their grandchild. It actually makes my stomach hurt to think that they might change that! Well, not the dead sons thing, but you know what I mean. And yes, I also realize it's stupid to get wrapped up and care so much about those little facts, but I do. And my frustration continues at the fact that after all of this time we still don't know what in the universe these movies are going to be about. I'll care a whole lot less if I find out that the story is set 100 years later. Then again even in that scenario I'll be annoyed if we find out that Han and Leia never got married. Or I'm given any indication that they didn't live at least some variation of happily ever after. Seriously, even if they aren't going to be in the movie at all either way that would bother me. And yes, I know I have problems.
Of course there is a chance there is a good thing. And as of now there is no indication of exactly how much of what exists now will be taken out of official canon. It could just be things that were already considered "lower-tier" canon (think the Glove of Darth Vader series or some comic books that contradict some other things that happened) or it could be everything that was never shown on a movie screen. This would also leave them free to write all kinds of books in all kinds of time frames and not worry about what happened before or since. Although I think it'd be odd if they started putting out a lot of random stand alone books that didn't really connect to anything else, so I'm not sure that really matters.
They did say that this frees up Lawrence Kasdan, the screenwriter (who also happened to write ESB) to write what he sees fit as a good story without having to worry about working within a framework of convoluted plot lines spanning years that he really knows nothing about. Again, this could be good or bad.
My personal reaction is just heaving yet another annoyed sigh. They keep threatening and changing things without actually telling us what they are changing it to. We have no idea the time frame the movies will take place. After being excited to learn that our favorite characters might be coming back we've been left hanging on any further news on that front for what now, a year? Possibly more. They won't confirm anything. For a long time I assumed that if they weren't going to be in them they'd have just told us by now because it seems odd to continue to not deny but rather deflect if they know ultimately they are going to have to tell us we won't see more of Han, Leia and Luke and we'll just be disappointed. Then again, given the screenwriter changing and shooting dates being pushed around it's also possible that they still haven't made any concrete decisions there, although I admit I'll find that hard to believe only because with all of the scheduling and planning that has to take place, they really do have to know by now. I also fear that what they were going to do with the first screenwriter was going to be awesome and now that they've changed it's going to suck. I don't know why I fear that, as Kasdan has written a scary amount of my favorite movies ever and you'd think we're in capable hands but I'm so used to disappointment lately that it's just what I've come to expect.
Apparently this is what has been going on for years in the Star Trek community, with an "official" canon and then books and things like that are sort of left free to do whatever they want without having to adhere to anything specific. Again, I suppose this could be cool and fun but at the same time it just seems like it could get confusing.
So, what do you think? Confused? Disappointed? Nervous? Excited? I'm going through a cynical streak right now in general so basically I'm setting myself up for epic disappointment, but as usual, it remains to be seen.