Saturday, April 26, 2014

Brief Words of Mouth - The Star Wars Expanded Universe

Lucasfilm recently announced that it would not be considering the Expanded Universe stories found in the novels/comics/games when building the new trilogy of films.

My reaction to this is: Good. I read almost all of the books released through the mid 2000's, and aside from the fact that they're almost all bad to fun but mediocre, they took the universe in a direction that doesn't really reconcile well with what's in the films. Adhering to the stories within them would be a futile effort.

A big problem I have with expanded universe stuff is that it gives every background character an extensive history and makes everyone that should be minor have great universal importance. Not all of the books/comics do this, of course, but the ones that do really bother me. I think it's incredibly stupid that a random background robot in the bounty hunters scene in Empire becomes the brain of the Death Star II for some reason.

By over explaining every little thing, the books kill a lot of the mystery and the fantasy of the films. It's a series about family and faith with an expanded universe obsessed with cataloging and categorizing every aspect of it. The authors of these books do what Qui Gon did in Phantom Menace; instead of placing his faith in the kindness of young Anakin, he places his faith in a power meter and then tells Anakin he's bound to be the most important and strongest person ever, setting him on the course to ruin. Everyone's the Chosen One, everywhere.

The Old Republic has to fall to give way to the Star Wars universe people know and love. It was a bloated, complicated mess complicit in some terrible things (the senate turning a blind eye to slavery, the authors some really terrible, uncomfortable stories (Prince Xizor remains one of the worst things they've ever done.) In the decades following Return of the Jedi, a new bloat formed, with the same focus on mechanical classification that Qui Gon fell for. It needs to burn down to return Balance to the Force.

1 comment:

  1. The best SW analysis I've ever seen:

    Read through Bill's posts; the rest don't matter.