Lucasfilm, it's time to revive Star Wars Legends
Lucasfilm, it's time to revive Star Wars Legends
Why this petition matters
In 1977, George Lucas had filmed and released the original Star Wars film to grand reception, following that performance up with two sequels in the years to come. When those films ended with the release of Return of the Jedi in 1983, the fan base was left with nothing more to look forward to on the big screen. There were rumors, many from George himself, about the development of the prequel, and eventually, sequel trilogies in the future. Of course, at the time that’s all they were, rumors. Fans were left with a comic series here and there, but nothing so gravitating… that was, until 1991.
Timothy Zahn came forward to write Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command, collectively referred to as the Thrawn Trilogy. The books would be bestsellers, and strike the hearts of Star Wars fans for many years. These books would pave the way to kick-starting what would become known as the “Star Wars Expanded Universe”, with a primary focus being on stories that would take place post-Return of the Jedi. New characters from those books, such as Mara Jade, Talon Karrde, and Grand Admiral Thrawn himself, would become icons, and show that the universe can expand beyond our heroic trio of Luke, Han and Leia. Eventually more books would follow, and as the years went on, more new heroes would be introduced. Jacen and Jaina Solo, the twins of Han and Leia Organa Solo would become mainstays along with their younger brother Anakin, and be primary protagonists in later books. They would be a main part of the stories that would carry the torch of the Expanded Universe in series such as the “Young Jedi Knights”, the “New Jedi Order”, the “Dark Nest” trilogy, and so on.
As a kid who was born in the late 90’s and grew up in the Prequel Era of the Star Wars franchise, it truly felt like a golden age for me to be a science fiction and fantasy fan. Sure, many fans of the Original Trilogy had their reservations about the Prequel Trilogy, and some still do, for me though, those films were fantastic, and helped form my childhood imagination. But when those movies were released, and no more were going to be produced, (said on many occasions by George himself), where was I to turn for new content? It was time for me to do what my predecessors in the generation before me had when the Original Trilogy finished: turn to the books and the Expanded Universe.
It was during this time that I had discovered the EU for the first time, not being aware of the books beforehand. Legacy of the Force was the beginning for me, and it continues to stand as being a true “Sequel Trilogy” in my mind, despite so many events happening between Episode 6 and those books. Jaina Solo was so much a hero in my mind, that years later, I would push my sister to name her second daughter after her. But a few years went by, and something very heartbreaking happened in 2014, Disney, after purchasing Lucasfilm two years prior, had re-branded the Expanded Universe as “Legends” and declared those previous works non-canon. This was terrible for me. No more stories with those characters that I had come to love in the books I had previously read. Still, I held on to hope that perhaps the Sequel Trilogy, which had also been announced to be moving into production amidst the Disney acquisition, would try to adapt some of those stories and characters into their movies, a move that has worked exceptionally well for Disney/Marvel in their movies for their Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Of course, as we all know, that never happened, and the characters of Jaina Solo, Jagged Fel, Kyp Durron, Corran Horn, Tenel Ka, and so many others, would fall into the past of a non-existent canon, no longer mattering to the larger narrative.
Years have gone by since those days, with a new Sequel Trilogy released featuring brand new characters and a somewhat unoriginal plot line (the plot of The Force Awakens is far too similar to A New Hope, the original film). While many of the storylines that have come out shortly before those films, during their run, and even now afterwards have been good in their own right, there are still a number of fans who would love to see those old characters from what is now called Legends be portrayed tackling new plots in new stories.
With the mixed reception that Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker has received, and the audience dislike towards Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, there have been many petitions and “leaks/rumors” (none of which are true) calling for the removal of the Sequel Trilogy from the new established Canon. To ask a multi-billion dollar company to eradicate three films, all of which made a combined box office revenue of 4 billion dollars, is quite honestly preposterous. But there is another solution, which is why I am writing this petition.
Star Wars Legends came to a conclusion with a book called “Crucible” which was released in 2013, along with several comics and short stories released throughout 2014 and 2015. Those stories portrayed a very different Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Leia Organa Solo, differences that are not far off from what fans had been expecting in the Sequel Trilogy, a big reason why they demand the Sequels be retconned in the first place. So why not take an approach that is similar to Marvel? Similar to how they keep their Marvel Comics and Marvel Cinematic Universe running simultaneously, can the same not be done with Star Wars Canon and Star Wars Legends?
I write this petition in the hopes of asking all Star Wars fans who may see this, would this be a welcome alternative? These books have, and still can portray the heroes you wanted to see so badly in the Sequel Trilogy but never did. I personally would love to see a continuation, so Disney and Lucasfilm, what do you say? Troy Denning, Paul S. Kemp, Christie Golden, and other authors already had plans to continue more books after Crucible, so why not let them see those plans through?
I hope others may feel the same way as I do. Legends had so many great books, video games, and comics, not just the Thrawn Trilogy, but Knights of the Old Republic, the Old Republic MMORPG that (fortunately) continues today, the post-Original Trilogy books, and The Force Unleashed. There was even a book called Death Troopers that pitted our heroes against ZOMBIES. To see those stories continue would be such a wonderful alternative, a move that is certain to bring any dismayed fans back into the fold with this “Alternate Universe” of Star Wars storytelling.
Please Disney, hear this plea from a fan, bring Legends back to coexist with Canon.