It’s Not A Trap: Plot Holes Can Be Okay

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The Star Wars universe really is full of plot holes big enough to drive a Star Destroyer through. Lots of authors, tangled chronology, and large areas of the timeline off-limits make some of the earlier books confusing. Now that we have a complete Legends timeline, and the Story Group is working hard to maintain continuity in newly published material, we probably don’t have to worry about large plot holes any longer. However, sometimes it isn’t bad if things don’t quite line up.

There is actually good in-universe reason for some of these plot holes. When we re-read the Thrawn trilogy now, we know the actual timeline of the Clone Wars and the real ways to refer to Jedi who left the Order and the exact events that led to the rise of the Empire. However, at the time of the Thrawn trilogy’s publication, we had almost nothing. For all we knew, the Clone Wars could have happened fifty years ago rather than twenty-five, and everything we heard was indeed true. Perhaps the older members of both the Empire and the New Republic aren’t correcting the chronology because they know that the younger ones have heard several jumbled versions of the timeline, and don’t generally trust anyone’s accounts of history. The Empire has fundamentally altered the galaxy, and the New Republic’s challenges include learning to tell history the way it really happened. » Read more..

Frankenstein Continuity – Could Legends Have Been Salvaged?

“Igor! Is it done?”
“It is, master.”
“Look, it lives! My creation LIVES!”

Several months on from the Great Reboot, a set of questions linger over Star Wars fandom: Could the continuity have been made to work? Could there have been an excision point whereby a lesser part would be jettisoned to save the greater? Could the reboot have been avoided? The answers to these depend very much on how flexible you think filmmakers are willing to be and what kind of continuity SW should be.

I cannot say I was of the view it could never be done, but over time, I have become more skeptical and do not think it could be done and work for SW. The same moves would work for other franchises – Marvel/DC superheroes certainly, Transformers would likely pull it off, Doctor Who would find it laughably easy, but none of those are SW. So a further question is: What about SW stops these solutions taking effect? I will examine three excision points, points where a merge could be considered. The questions for each are those outlined above. » Read more..

Loose Canon – Examining The Reboot, Six Months Later

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This past summer, Del Rey released a “sampler” of its first four post-reboot Star Wars novels; those excerpts from A New Dawn, Tarkin, Heir to the Jedi, and Lords of the Sith were our first glimpse at the new canon, or New Expanded Universe if you will. Rebels was still a couple months off, but bits and pieces of promotional material had already revealed that Sienar Fleet Systems and COMPNOR, among other elements of the Legends EU, were nevertheless sticking around. Between those bits and the assorted references in that Del Rey sampler, there was already enough EU showing up that we thought it would be fun to count down to the release of A New Dawn with a special Twitter hashtag, #EUPurgeSurvivors, highlighting a different EU escapee every weekday for a month or so.

We did the same thing in the lead-up to Tarkin, and the plan at first was to keep the practice going with each new release, as the “survivors” continued to accumulate…but then we started actually reading Tarkin. As our respective lists crept into the range of one hundred entries—including literally dozens of EU planets, and in some cases weird situations where the Bilbringi Shipyards, say, were canon but not necessarily the planet Bilbringi itself—it started to appear that maybe a new paradigm was needed. » Read more..

New Depth for Star Wars Villains

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Ask any child who has seen Star Wars who their favorite character is and I’d give even odds that they say Darth Vader. I’ve never understood it but this was definitely the case with my niece and nephew. I have also trooped with someone dressed as Darth Vader and it is incredible to see how much the faces of these children light up when the see him standing there. No one else exists when Vader is around. Now ask those same children who their favorite Disney animated character is and I’d bet they pick a good guy. Why is that? What is it about the villain that is Darth Vader that has captivated audiences for over thirty years? What is it about Star Wars in general that has people clamoring over the villains? They don’t have better toys as both sides have lightsabers and awesome spaceships, not to mention the use of the force.

Realistically, I’m not here to answer that question and this opinion piece isn’t here to specifically address it or even focus on Darth Vader. This concept is something that has being bouncing around my head ever since my niece responded “Darth Vader” when I asked who her favorite character was in Star Wars over a year ago. I hadn’t quite figured out how to properly write up a piece concerning this topic until now. That is, until I read Tarkin. I didn’t quite realize what I was missing from the Expanded Universe until about halfway through Tarkin when a throw-a-way line caught my attention more than the entire book had so far. It was a lightbulb moment for sure. The EU had been missing depth in its villains. Even little lines about “flamboyant hats” and “frequenting the opera” give us a tiny insight into a character that otherwise we’d know nothing about. There is the depth to the Star Wars books that has been missing since the NJO. » Read more..

Why George Lucas is Not a Star Wars Fan

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Did you ever have a big project you were working on? Something that just sort of occurred to you one day, but without any serious desire for self-expression—reorganizing your record/comic book/movie collection, redecorating your living room, landscaping your backyard, things like that. My aunt decided to add a room to her house a few years back, and while it looks awesome now, it ended up being a logistical nightmare, and she spent more than a year with a gaping hole in the side of her house. Lots of people who have done major home renovations probably have similar stories, and I’d bet that as proud as they were of the final results, their predominant feeling by that point was more along the lines of “thank god that’s over with!”

The thing you need to understand is, filmmaking is not an art to George Lucas—it has no sacred creative spark, it demands no reverence. It’s a project. » Read more..

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