Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Future of Star Wars

It's been a while since I've posted, mostly because I wasn't sure how to react to news that Disney is going to possibly throw out parts of the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

Disney has decided to put together a group to go over all of the Star Wars literature and decide what constitutes actual canon and what does not.

How much will be lost, how much will stay remains up in the air.

Admittedly there is "a new hope" for die hard fans of the EU, in that Leland Chee, the LucasFilm's "Keeper of the Holocron" has been added to the group.

In the article linked in the first sentence, Josh Parylak makes some compelling reasons as to why this overview might be successful.

This review would allow old outdated material to be thrown out, but it means some of our favorites could be on the chopping block.

And, to me the worst part is that while books and comics and games are all in question, the movies aren't.

I have nothing against the movies themselves.

I think they are a wonderful part of the Star Wars universe.

But what I want to know is why it's possible that the Disney overlords could erase Mara Jade from the story lines, but I still have to live in a world where Jar Jar Binks still exists.

Just sayin'!

(That last bit was for my wife. She loves Jar Jar)

I am torn about this because it could be a very good thing.

Maybe this will finally add some continuity that admittedly was needed.

I just hope Disney doesn't forget the true fans.

If they are alienated too much then they will not continue buying the movies and comics and books and games that made George Lucas a very rich man!

There have been many examples of works where the fans have been ignored to the detriment of the final product, ie. the recent Green Lantern movie.

Even the recent Hobbit movies might have gone so far away from the original to turn off true fans of the book.

On the other hand, when the fans are considered, the final project can be amazing.

Fortunately, the most recent example of this is the Marvel adaptations like The Avengers which again was run by Disney.

Here's hoping Disney keeps that pattern going in the near future!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Dark Horse Losing Star Wars

Well, we knew this had to happen and there's been a great deal of speculation. More on when rather than if Star Wars would move back to Marvel which was bought by Disney several years ago.

The announcement came out on StarWars.com last Friday. Marvel would be picking up the Star Wars story lines in 2015. For those keeping track, that's also the same year Episode VII is scheduled to be released.

The news that Dark Horse is losing Star Wars is bitter sweet.

For more than two decades, Dark Horse Comics were integral in the expanded universe of the movie franchise.

Dark Horse Comics was the first to take the expanded universe 5,000 years into the past with the Tales of the Jedi series. The stories moved through the history of the Star Wars universe including the movies and ending 150 years into the future with the Legacy series.

Recent accomplishments of Dark Horse include going even further in the past with Dawn of the Jedi which dates about 25,000 to 36,000 years before the birth of Luke Skywalker and a new ongoing series of Star Wars from the original trilogy shortly after the Battle of Yavin (the first Death Star destroyed).

It looks like all of the ongoing pieces will be phasing out this year from Dark Horse, and whether they will be taken up again by Marvel remains to be seen.

The joy I found in reading the Dark Horse Comics was because authors stayed true to continuity which is so important to the Star Wars Expanded Universe. I think our first view of how Disney will handle the issue of continuity in the new films will likely be answered by the first books produced by Marvel next year. I certainly hope Disney and Marvel don't throw out 40 years of stories just to try and reboot the franchise.

On the plus side, I think its important for the Star Wars title to be under one umbrella as a lot of changes are about to happen very quickly.

As Dark Horse comics editor Randy Stradley put it:

"With a new film scheduled every year, and a new television series, it is likely that there will be a lot of comics pages devoted to adaptations and direct spin-off stories in support of the films and TV shows. That's not where my interests lie, and it has never been Dark Horse's strong suit"

It  has been a great run with Dark Horse, and I will certainly miss it. But I do look forward to a new future with the Star Wars franchise.