We’ve heard a lot about the proposed Star Wars spinoff films – the standalone movies set to be released in the years between the release of the Episodes VII, VII and IX – which is to say that we’ve heard a whole lot “coulda woulda shoulda”, but nothing actually concrete. Well, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has finally shed a little bit of light on their plans. Unfortunately, she may also just have brought some bad news to fans of the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
While in Singapore recently with the rest of the company’s bigwigs to celebrate the opening of the Sandcrawler Building – the new iconic looking home of Lucasfilm’s Singapore division – Kennedy spoke to the Straits Times (via Toys Revil) about whether or not the release of these standalone films would be “distorting the story threads laid down in the original saga,” as recent rumours surrounding a Boba Fett film with a tweaked origin story suggest.
“George [Lucas] was so clear as to how that works. The canon that he created was the Star Wars saga. Right now, Episode Seven falls within that canon. The spin-off movies, or we may come up with some other way to call those films, they exist within that vast universe that he created… There is no attempt being made to carry characters (from the standalone films) in and out of the saga episodes. Consequently, from the creative standpoint, it’s a roadmap that George made pretty clear.”
While Kennedy isn’t exactly clear on what she’s trying to say, there are still two things we can take away from that. Firstly, the standalone films will be doing just that, standing alone, and won’t be following the Marvel model of having a movie feature a single character and then that character shows up later in the bigger film. This may also imply – although this is admittedly reaching a bit – that characters in the standalone movies are ones that will not feature in the new Episodes at all. Which means that yes, those rumours about the first two films focusing on a young Boba Fett and Yoda are still going strong as those characters died on screen and thus will no longer be part of the main story.
And this is where my fellow Star Wars fanboys start demanding that I hand in my fanboy card, because as every self respecting fan knows, Boba Fett did not in fact die after falling into the Sarlacc pit in Return of the Jedi, but actually escaped in the Dark Empire comics. And this leads me directly the the second point that Kennedy’s statement raises.
This seems to be the first and thus far best sort of unofficially official statement we’ve received from Lucasfilm that they will indeed be adhering to George Lucas’ well publicized beliefs that the only Star Wars stories that should be considered canon, are the ones that he wrote himself (he famously revealed that he has never read/seen a single one of the Expanded Universe stories).
By only regarding the original and prequel trilogy as canon, it allows Kennedy, JJ Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, Simon Kinberg and co to create brand new stories that will actually surprise diehard fans, without having to perform narrative gymnastics to get around already established characters/stories that these fans will already know by heart. The very saddening flip side, of course, is that it relegates the last +-35 years’ worth of EU stories to nothing more than glorified fan fiction.
Last Updated: January 20, 2014