Loose canon: Why Lucasfilm's Star Wars reboot was the right thing to do
“We don’t reboot. We don’t start from scratch,” Leland Chee, Lucasfilm’s continuity database administrator, told Wired’s Chris Baker in a 2008 profile. “When Chewbacca died, he died.”
What a difference six years –– and $4.05 billion –– makes.
On Friday, April 25, Lucasfilm announced that it was restarting its tie-in literature program. The Expanded Universe of books, comics, short stories, and other material was declared an alternate universe, although EU titles will continue to be sold under the “Legends” banner. As of today, only the six films and The Clone Wars movie and TV series are canon. The Disney animated series Star Wars Rebels will be canon when it premieres, as will the four new books that Lucasfilm announced.
Let’s get this out of the way right now: I have been a big fan of the Expanded Universe for a long time. I own hundreds of books. I write for Suvudu, the science-fiction blog run by Star Wars book publisher Random House. I’ve met and interviewed numerous EU authors. I do not hate or bemoan its impact on the franchise. In fact, I think the ancillary material has performed a great service over the years. In the absence of the films, and before episodic television like Star Wars: The Clone Wars (and now Star Wars Rebels) was the norm, printed stories continued to give fans a window into the universe. It’s hard to understate how valuable that has been to die-hard Star Wars fans.
The problem is that, from the perspective of the most authoritative Star Wars storytellers like George Lucas and Dave Filoni, the window opened by the Expanded Universe looked into an alternate reality. After decades of books, comics, short stories, and magazine articles, the Expanded Universe was very expanded indeed. But those expansions altered the overall makeup of the EU, such that it shifted out of alignment with the universe in which Lucas and his associates were telling stories. As a result, there arose a disconnect between the universe as envisioned by Lucas and most fans and the universe as envisioned by EU fans.
If you were to ask George Lucas, “Who is Luke Skywalker’s wife?” his response would be, “Luke doesn’t get married.” Then, if you could somehow assemble everyone who called him- or herself a Star Wars fan and randomly select one of them, they would probably give you the same answer. Of course, EU fans would answer the question with the words “Mara Jade,” because as far as they are concerned, that is the correct answer. And to paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi, what they say is true, from a certain point of view. The Star Wars universe that is composed of the material they consume includes a character named Mara Jade who married Luke Skywalker nineteen years after the events of A New Hope.
The fact that neither of the answers to this question was truly incorrect gets to the heart of the matter: prior to now, Lucasfilm never clarified what was “really” part of the Star Wars universe. And although virtually nothing in the Expanded Universe came into conflict with Lucas-created material, there have been occasional continuity clashes. Some fans of the Mandalorians, a clan-based society whose best-known member is Boba Fett, were devastated to see the society “retconned” as a largely pacifistic community in The Clone Wars, overwriting much of what author Karen Traviss had described in her Republic Commando novels.
More recently, Jedi Master Even Piell died in an episode of The Clone Wars, contradicting and superseding his death in the novel Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight. The aforementioned Leland Chee, whom fans refer to as the Keeper of the Holocron because of the massive database he maintains, addressed the contradiction on Facebook. According to Chee, who is now a member of the Lucasfilm Story Group that coordinates trans-media storytelling, “The series always trumps what happens in the EU.”
As Chee’s words suggest, Lucasfilm’s official position has always been that The Clone Wars and other works with significant input from George Lucas trump the tapestry of stories in the EU. And as I said, in virtually every case, the EU and the story that Lucas was telling intermingled nicely. But the Chee quote above was only part of his response. In fact, that quote is only the first half of a sentence. The second half is, “but we try to salvage what we can.”
From a forward-looking standpoint, the second half of Chee’s sentence was the bigger problem for Lucasfilm and its new corporate parent. In the grand scheme of things, conflicts like Piell and the Mandalorians were few and far between. The larger problem –– the one that Lucasfilm evidently decided it no longer wanted to deal with –– was that the accumulation of material in the Expanded Universe limited the ability to tell new stories. Lucasfilm acknowledged this limitation in its canon announcement: “In order to give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe.” (Emphasis added.)
When George Lucas was the man in charge of Star Wars, he only cared about on-screen media, and because he didn’t pay attention to the work of the EU, it continued to accumulate in forms that did not jive with what he saw as the story of Star Wars. It wasn’t that Lucas actively disdained the EU; he just didn’t feel the need to get involved in the stories that the authors were telling. He saw it as a separate beast from the universe that he had launched in 1977, even if hardcore EU fans didn’t see it the same way. As a result, EU authors continued to produce new stories, but the disconnect that I discussed earlier (“Is Luke Skywalker married?”) always complicated discussions about what Star Wars was and what it included.
“We let Marvel Comics do the stories they wanted as long as it didn't interfere with the upcoming movies, and they went in some bizarre directions,” said Howard Roffman, the president of Lucas Licensing, in Leland Chee’s Wired profile. The leporine smuggler Jaxxon, who debuted in 1977, was one of Marvel’s “bizarre” creations, but he was far from the only example of the EU interpreting Star Wars in, ahem, unique ways. Almost forty years later, the EU is home to a massive collection of oddities and minutiae, and once again Lucasfilm finds itself with new movies on the horizon.
It appears that after George Lucas retired in October 2012, the company he founded, led by new president Kathleen Kennedy, decided to address the continuity issue. The significance of Lucas’ departure cannot be understated. For the first time ever, the people in charge of telling Star Wars stories cared about off-screen media and valued its ability to contribute to the universe. Never before has the person with the power to put all authorized content on the same level of canon also had the desire to do so. Now that this is the case, we’re seeing that desire put into action. The announcement of Lucasfilm’s new continuity plans, combined with what little we know about the Lucasfilm Story Group, suggests that Kathleen Kennedy and her top lieutenants are serious about creating and expanding a unified fictional setting.
Given the changed attitude toward canon that Lucas’ departure brought about and the growing problem that the EU posed to storytellers, I think it’s pretty clear both why Lucasfilm decided to reboot the universe now and why this was a smart business and creative decision. But the content creators are only half of the story, even if they are the half that shapes the story. Producers produce for consumers, who need to keep consuming if the producers are to remain employed. So, having considered the reboot from Lucasfilm’s perspective, let’s evaluate it based on what it means for fans.
Most people won’t stress out about this new state of affairs, but the transition will be tough for those fans who derive special gratification, on top of whatever they like about a particular story, from the belief that that story fits into the overall Star Wars universe. The most important thing to remember is that you can continue to enjoy every single story you have purchased regardless of what the new movies, TV shows, and literature bring. Just because something is no longer an authoritative part of continuity, that doesn’t make it a bad read. Nothing will disappear from your physical or digital shelves. If you liked a plotline or a character from an EU story, you can reread that book or comic as many times as you want and it will remain the same. Meanwhile, some of the material that you read and loved will survive, becoming more visible and more popular, as Lucasfilm integrates it into the new canon.
I have no doubt that this reboot will bring benefits to fans and creators alike. Look at the four books that were announced along with the canon news. Luke. Vader. Palpatine. Tarkin. Those are some of the most interesting characters in the Original Trilogy. And this is just the start.
Lucasfilm rebooted the universe because they were increasingly lacking the creative freedom necessary to tell great stories, and Disney paid a lot of money to be able to do just that. Now that the slate has been wiped (mostly) clean, longtime fans should look forward to fresh stories, which is always a good thing for a franchise that is several decades old. In the new continuity, many elements will feel familiar, and that familiarity, those links with the past, will reinforce one simple truth: this is still the Star Wars universe you love.
Furthermore, in the coming years, the Star Wars universe will welcome many, many new fans. Those of us on the inside often forget how impermeable this vast web of stories can seem to people who aren’t already invested and paying attention. A convoluted fictional universe like Star Wars can prove intimidating to potential fans. Anyone could take the time to watch the six films and say that they enjoyed Star Wars, but the scope of the EU tended to make diving in further a daunting prospect. Given that fact, reboots can be a useful tool for expanding a franchise’s fan base. “Clever preservation of original story elements retains the old fans,” Chris Baker wrote in his Chee profile for Wired, “and streamlining and modernizing lets newbies spend their hard-earned quatloos, too.”
Ever since Disney bought Lucasfilm, I’ve seen people foaming at the mouth at the prospect of a reboot. To be honest, I feel bad for those people. If you care so much about how canon a story is that this reboot actually sours your enjoyment of the story itself, that’s a little bit worrisome. It suggests that you have been spending too much time worrying about how all the material fits together and not enough time enjoying the material for what it is. If your attitude toward Lucasfilm sours because you believe that they don’t value their readers highly enough, that’s a perfectly reasonable belief, and you’re entitled to it. But if this reboot makes you want to throw out your books or just never read them again, that’s sad.
I’m not going to mince words here: It is manifestly unhealthy to invest yourself so heavily in the continuity of a fictional universe that you lose your taste for the stories when the house of cards collapses. (This is not to disparage continuity wonks. It’s great to care about the cohesiveness of a universe. The problem arises when your insistence on cohesiveness inhibits your ability to enjoy the stories as stories.)
It’s not surprising that passionate people sometimes find counterproductive outlets for their passion. As Chris Baker observed in Wired, “The ecstasy of true fandom can, after all, approximate religion.” Thankfully, however, these fanatics are a minority of a minority. I suspect, and hope, that most EU fans will, like me, remain cautiously optimistic as we move forward.
Lucasfilm now has a vast, nearly empty universe to populate, a blank canvas on which it can paint new stories without having to confine its brushstrokes to decades-old outlines. I for one am excited to see what they do with it.
Thanks for the analysis. I look forward to hearing what you and Erik have to say about all of this on Friday.ReplyDelete
I admit I am sad about certain elements of the EU that I really enjoyed (the x-wing novels, thrawn, darth plaguies, the KOTOR games), but a large portion of the EU just wasn't very good. But I think I fall into the class of people that derives added enjoyment from understanding the backdrop. It's why I like the Silmarillion. I am optimistic about the new direction, and excited about all the new content.
Very well said. I enjoyed many aspects of the EU and I think this new direction is great. First of all, there will be an element of surprise to these films that the prequels lacked just because you knew the eventual ending.ReplyDelete
Also, in some ways the "old" EU felt like fanfiction. I enjoyed reading the further adventures of Luke, Han, and Leia, but the stories were cheapened a bit for me since they weren't Lucas'. Since this "new" EU will be part of one continuity, it will give a sense of legitimacy to the books, comics, etc. that they never had before.
Lastly, I have something to say about all the complaints people have made about wasting so much money on stores that "don't count" or whatever. My personal favorite piece of the EU is KOTOR, the video game. I enjoy that game immensely each time I play it, and the story can be completely different each time.
Light side, dark side, male, female, completing or not completing certain side quests, etc. This universe has been created and you are free to enjoy it however you interpret or wish. They say that once art is created it is out of the artist's hands. They cannot say what it means, it's all up to interpretation. The EU can still be whatever you want it to be, and I'm very excited for the future of Star Wars.
Great Blog .... The news that everything except the films and Clone Wars were not canon hit hard at first....(Having read a ton of the books).....But once you process it ......it doesn't really change the fact that you read and enjoyed those books...... At least the Star Wars movies won't be a true reboot in the sense that Star Trek was (I hated alternate universe trek) ....instead it is more in the fashion of Tron which did it right........It is a sequel that includes the characters from the original films as launching point for future adventures......I will always love the EU and I'm sure that I will have some conflict with stuff in the films if it departs drastically from it.......But at least Chewie doesn't have to be dead now.ReplyDelete
Howard Roffman, Lucasfilm [Formerly President of Lucas Licensing and the man who ran the EU operation] , 2017 interview.[Quotes and video link below]ReplyDelete
Audience #1: You got a rapid fan base, it seems like nowadays the way Disney handles Star Wars canon, very well controlled, very tight, but back in the ’90s when it’s a blueprint of books and games and other things, how did … Do you internally manage —
"That was one of my mandates, when I began the spin off publishing program it was a sacrosanct rule that everything had to relate to each other, be consistent with each other and be consistent with the movies, 'which were canon.'
We were pretty religious about doing that, our biggest problem was a guy named George Lucas, because he didn't buy into the spin off fiction and the game program and all the 'alternate universe' we were creating."
We wanted it to be one universe,we felt strongly that that's what it needed to be, but George as the filmmaker didn't want to be beholden to somebody else's creative vision.
So we would have very interesting skirmishes because we had a bunch of stuff that became, for the fans, pretty much canon [head-canon] about what happened after Return of the Jedi, what different places in the galaxy were called, lots of different things and if he was proposing to do something in the prequels that contradicted that we would have long debates which usually ended at least after the first session with "I don't care this is what I'm doing", and maybe after the 4th or 5th session sometimes "Alright 'maybe' we can change it this way"
Now that everything is controlled by one central committee [Lucasfilm Story Group] we can have canon that applies to everything.
Messing with a Classic — Howard Roffman, Lucasfilm, 2017 interview.
"Dave Filoni is better equipped to relay Lucas’ true feelings about the EU."ReplyDelete
~ Leland Chee
Dave Filoni Interview on that Star Wars show [quotes and link to video below and some more quotes]
"There's this notion that everything changed when everything became Legends. And I can see why people think that. But, you know, having worked with George I can tell you that it was always very clear -- and he made it very clear -- that the films and the TV shows were the only things that he considered Canon. That was it.*
"So everything else was a world of fun ideas, exciting characters, great possibilities, the EU was created to explore all those things.And I know and I fully respect peoples opinions about it that some of the material said 'the next canon part of it' [It wasn't canon].... But from the filmmaking world I was brought into, *the films and TV shows were it".*
~ Dave Filoni speaking about working with George Lucas
This is the actual video of when Dave Filoni said the above quotes during an interview on 'The Star Wars show' [41.40 mark]
*"The terminology of "Expanded Universe" was a careful one; it expanded on the world created in the core stories, but was never officially meant to be Star Wars canon, according to the Maker himself, George Lucas."* ~ Dave Filoni 2017
*"There is no more clear illustration of the difference between the Expanded Universe and the Star Wars created by George Lucas. The EU is a well of ideas, and there's what's on screen. They don't live in the same universe. Everyone wants to think so, I know… We just need to think of it all as a creative collection of fun ideas separate from what George Lucas has made."*
~ Dave Filoni 2012
"What George did with the films and The Clone Wars was pretty much *his universe* ,” Chee said. “He didn’t really have that much concern for what we were doing in the books and games. *So the Expanded Universe was very much separate."*
~ Leland Chee, 2017 - SYFY WIRE
*“Lucas’ canon – and when I say ‘his canon’, I’m talking about what he was doing in the films and what he was doing in The Clone Wars* – was hugely important. But what we were doing in *the books really wasn’t on his radar.”*
–Leland Chee, 2018
Lucas said of the Expanded Universe: 2005*
"I don't read that stuff. I haven't read any of the novels. I don't know anything about that world. *That's a different world than my world.*... *When I said [other people] could make their own Star Wars stories, we decided that, like Star Trek, we would have two universes: My universe and then this other one.* They try to make *their universe* as consistent *with mine* as possible, but obviously they get enthusiastic and want to go off in other directions."
“There are two worlds here,”* explained Lucas. *“There’s my world*, which is the movies, and there’s *this other world that has been created*, *which I say
is the parallel universe – the licensing world of the books, games and comic
~ George Lucas, Cinescape, 2002
"And now there have been novels about the events after Episode VI, which isn't at all what I would have done with it.* The Star Wars story is really the tragedy of Darth Vader. That is the story. Once Vader dies, he doesn't come back to life, *the Emperor doesn't get cloned and Luke doesn't get married..."*
~ George Lucas, Flannelled One, 2008
”The novels and comic books are other authors' interpretations of my creation. Sometimes, I tell them what they can and cant do, but I just don't have the time to read them. *They're not my vision of what Star Wars is.*
~ George Lucas 2004
"I like to refer to the Interview with Lucas in the Special Editions.When asked about the novels and what not, he simply says:
”Those are another author's interpretation of what I've created, *and not to be taken seriously, as far as what is really going on in the Star Wars world.”*
~ George Lucas
"Q: What do you think of the Expanded Universe of books?
*A: "The books are in a different universe. * I've not read any of them, and I told them when they started writing I wouldn't read any of them and I blocked out certain periods [they couldn't touch where the real story happens]."**
~ George Lucas 2003
*"Howard Roffman [President of Lucas Licensing], He once said to me that there are two Star Trek universes: there's the TV show and then there's all the spin-offs. He said that these were completely different and didn't have anything to do with each other. So I said, "OK, go ahead."*
~ George Lucas 2008
"TVGuide: Yet novelists have written "Star Wars" sequels using the same characters and extending their stories.
George Lucas: Oh, sure. They're done outside my little universe."
~ George Lucas, Flannelled One, November 2001 - TV Guide interview
"Q: Do you supervise the development of all the off-movie stories? After all, Star Wars exists in books, comics.
A: "You know, I try not to think about that. I have my own world in movies and I follow it." ~ George Lucas, Flannelled One, July 2002 - From a TheForce.Net
EU Authors Quotes on the Expanded Universe and knowing it wasn't canon.ReplyDelete
"They’re there to be enjoyed as unofficial Legends. But, as Zahn also points out, the Expanded Universe wasn’t really ever official regardless of what the fans thought." ~ Timothy Zahn, 2017
“Those of us writing the EU were always told, all along, from the very beginning (have I stressed that strongly enough?), “Only the Movies are Canon.” Sure, it was disappointing.”
~ Kathy Tyers, EU author [Truce at Bakura, Balance Point] Interview, 2018
That means Zahn’s books won’t be directly adapted, but the author says that was always the case: “The books were always just the books.”
“It could be an entirely new storyline, but if he picks and chooses bits and pieces from the expanded universe, we’d all be thrilled to death.”
~ Timothy Zahn
"As far as I know, George Lucas himself is not involved. He has a liaison group that deals with the book people, the game people, etc. They do the day-to-day work. Occasionally, he will be asked a question and will give an answer."
~ Timothy Zahn, 'The Book Report' Interview, 1997
Question: I heard that George Lucas doesn't read the STAR WARS novels, or only reads a few. Has he read the Thrawn trilogy, and what did he think of it?
"As far as I know, he has not read any of the novels. From what I've heard, Lucas is a visual man. He likes comic books for the visual aspect. Frankly, I don't think he has time to read, so I'm not offended."
~ Timothy Zahn, 'The Book Report' Interview, 1997
Once I heard that George Lucas was asked to comment on the many interpretations of Star Wars in book, comic, record, radio and TV spin-offs that grew from his original creation. *'The films are gospel,' he said, 'all the rest are gossip.' I like that."*
- Andy Mangels, EU Author, Dec. 1995
EU Author Quotes about the Expanded Universe stating they knew it wasn't canon. PART 2ReplyDelete
"It's not something we can really worry about, so we don't. Lots of people have been working on lots of SW extrapolations for the last twenty years, in good faith. There were never any promises from George Lucas or Lucasfilm regarding the acceptance of their work into some wider canon."
~ Peet Janes, Dark Horse Comics Editor, 1998
"In the canon debate, it is important to notice that LucasFilm and Lucas are different entities. The only canon source of Star Wars are the radio plays, the movie novels and the movies themselves - in Lucas' mind, nothing else exists, and no authorized LucasFilm novel will restrict his creativity in any way."
~ Steven Sansweet, Lucasfilm Author - Director of Content Management and Head of Fan Relations at Lucasfilm Ltd.
"Steven Sansweet was asked specifically if any of the characters like Admiral Thrawn and so on would make appearances in AoTC or the movie thereafter, and he responded quite clearly that *all the EU material is ”taking place in a separate universe”.* [...] there were quite a few nasty mumbles from the audience when he (Sansweet) said what he said."
Steven Sansweet, EU Author - Director of Content Management and Head of Fan Relations at Lucasfilm
"When it comes to absolute canon, the real story of Star Wars, you must turn to the films themselves - and only the films. Even novelizations are interpretations of the film, and while they are largely true to George Lucas' vision (he works quite closely with the movie novelization authors), the method in which they are written does allow for some minor differences. The novelizations are written concurrently with the film's production, so variations in detail do creep in from time to time. Nonetheless, they should be regarded as very accurate depictions of the fictional Star Wars movies."
~ Steve Sansweet (and Chris Cerasi of LucasBooks), August 2001
"It is unfortunate that Karen Traviss is[EU author] moving on because of her opinion that canon is being changed. I guess the big problem is the assumption that her work is canon in the first place. After working with George on The Clone Wars series I know there are elements of her work that are not in line with his vision of Star Wars.."
~ Henry Gilroy, TCW series Head Writer/ EU Author [Comics] 2008
Dark Empire Introduction - Kevin J. Anderson -
"When you read Dark Empire, or any of the other novels [EU] remember that although Lucasfilm has approved them, these are our sequels, not George Lucas's."
"If Lucasfilm ever makes films that take place after Return of the Jedi, they will be George Lucas's own creations, probably with no connect to anything we have written."
But in the meantime, enjoy these graphic stories, read the novels of Timothy Zahn, Kathy Tyers, Kenneth Flynt, Dave Wolverton, and myself.[Kevin J. Anderson]"
EU Author Quotes about the Expanded Universe and they knew it wasn't canon.ReplyDelete
PART 3 -
"That said, I think George has always felt that the comics were an “alternate Star Wars universe” from the films. I don’t think he ever saw the comics as canon — although he did use them as a resource for ideas and images."
Tom Veitch, EU Author, Dark Empire Trilogy 2016
Question: I'm excited that Boba Fett is going to be in Episode II. Are we going to get more details about how he was once Jaster Mereel and killed another Journeyman Protector on the planet Concord Dawn before becoming a bounty hunter?
Answer: Highly unlikely.
"My advice: Forget everything you knew, or thought you knew about the origins of Boba Fett. While none of us have seen a script of Episode II or have an idea of the direction in which George Lucas is taking the character, it's fairly safe to say that he won't be held to any of the back stories that have arisen over the years to try to explain the roots of this strong, mostly silent type. If there is any hint of Fett's beginnings, it will be all George."
~ Steven Sansweet, Head of Fan Relations at Lucasfilm, 2000
Other EU disclaimers -
https://ibb.co/GRvmV7V - Jonathan W. Rinzler is/was an author and editor for Lucas Licensing's book division. In 2005, he was hired to write three Star Wars guide books, respectively Star Wars: Visionaries (although he only wrote the introduction of this one), The Art of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and The Making of Star Wars Revenge of the Sith. He later went to write The Art of Revenge of the Sith that same year. In 2007, he wrote and published The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film amongst many other such works for Star Wars . This speaks to Lucas Licensing even knowing the EU wasn't canon. - They were merely deceptive in their wording, to try to make it look like the EU had more legitimacy than it really did for profit reasons. There were tons of clues that it wasn't canon even than tho.
Regarding the Disney Announcement itself. - They never said they were 'decanonizing the Expanded Universe'. They never even said they were making anything that was canon, not canon.ReplyDelete
In fact, not only do they not say there were 'decanonizing the Expanded Universe', they literally point out that it was never canon in the first place and that George Lucas himself set the canon at the 6 movies and TCWs [2008 interation] .
"While Lucasfilm always strived to keep the stories created for the EU consistent with our film and television content as well as internally consistent, Lucas always made it clear that he was not beholden to the EU. He set the films he created as the canon. This includes the six Star Wars episodes, and the many hours of content he developed and produced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. These stories are the immovable objects of Star Wars history, the characters and events to which all other tales must align."
I urge everyone to use that link and read the full announcement, it's not that long. All they said was they were not going to use those stories, they never said a word about decanonizing anything.
This was shared with Lucas himself, when he wrote his Sequel Trilogy in 2011 a year before he sold Star Wars. He sold them his ST, initially they were going to use it, but they changed their minds. While they didn't use his storyline, they did use some aspects/plot points from his ST.
These links will lead to you sites that have the best information on what Lucas's ST would have been and you will see from them that he was going to do the same exact thing. There was nothing from the EU in it, it makes it impossible that anything from the EU could have survived but Lucas always said that the EU was a 'parallel Star Wars universe', that they were seperate from each other.
"I don't read that stuff, I haven't read any of the novels. I don't know anything about that world. That's a different world than my world. But I do try and keep it consistent. The way I do it is they have a Star Wars encyclopedia. So if I come up with a name or something else, I look it and see if it has already been used. When I said other people could make thier own Star Wars stories, we decided that, like Star Trek, we would have TWO universes: My Universe and than this other one. They try to make THIER universe as consistent with mine as possible, but obviously they get
enthusiastic and want to go off in other directions."
~ George Lucas, August, 2005
“There are two worlds here,” explained Lucas. “There’s my world, which is
the movies, and there’s this other world that has been created, which I say
is the parallel universe – the licensing world of the books, games and comic
~ George Lucas, Cinescape, 2002
"Q: What do you think of the Expanded Universe of books?
A: *"The books are in a different universe.* I've not read any of them, and I
told them when they started writing I wouldn't read any of them and I blocked
out certain periods."
~ George Lucas 2003
"TVGuide: Yet novelists have written "Star Wars" sequels using the same
characters and extending their stories.
"Oh, sure. They're done outside my little universe."
~ George Lucas, Flannelled One, November 2001 - TV Guide interview
George Lucas’ Episode VII - https://medium.com/@Oozer3993/george-lucas-episode-vii-c272563cc3ba
George Lucas' Ideas for His Own Star Wars Sequel Trilogy - https://io9.gizmodo.com/george-lucas-ideas-for-his-own-star-wars-sequel-trilogy-1826798496
STAR WARS: The Original Plans for the Sequel Trilogy - YouTube -