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How the expanded universe ruined the original trilogy.

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I believe the expanded universe put a damper on the original trilogy's thunder. It tool all of the fans imagination out of the plot. What's your perspective?

the force will be with you.. always

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I think it's inevitable that the sheer existance of the EU will do that. The more you expand and fill in the blanks, the less there is to imagine. I think, in some alternate universe, it would be awesome if there was no EU, no games, books, comics, no nothing, just the films--and what kind of crazy discussions we would be having. Everyone would have their own take on what the SW universe was like. For those who remember before the prequels: what the heck was the Clone Wars? No one knew, but we all kind of had our own version of it. I miss that. But, on the other hand if there was no EU I wouldn't have stuff like Rebel Assault II or Heir to the Empire or the SW Radio Drama, so it's a mixed bag.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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I do occasionally wonder if it would be better if the whole EU (barring maybe Thrawn trilogy and the Rogue Squadron series) was a series of one shots and Elseworld style stories. The sheer weight of all these various doorstopper series being interconnected turned me off quicker to the whole thing faster than the removal of the mystery'imagination element. 

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Sorry, don't share your opinion in the least. As a kid, the EU flared my imagination, if anything; the smallest mention/glimpse of the ancient Jedi, the Clone Wars, the Jedi Purge, etc. would send my mind into a whirl of endless questions and infinite imagined possibilities. And I loved experiencing the greater SW Universe, loved seeing the further adventures of Luke, Han, and Leia, loved getting to meet and know characters never even seen in the films. IMHO, the EU did nothing less than compliment the OT, expanding on and enriching it.

“Okay, I’m goin’, takin’ off. See ya… bye….” — Chip Douglas

“This concludes our broadcast day. Click.” — Chip Douglas

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I turned my back on the EU while reading the Kevin J. Anderson books of the "Jedi Academy". I tried twice to read the second book but never managed to finish it. It was just too... "who cares"?

BUT there are really good ones like the Thrawn trilogy (which comes as an audio play this year in Germany; all dubbing actors from the OT will be there, Williams' music and the original soundeffects, I'm excited as hell), or "Truce at Bakura" or "Shadows of the Empire". I even enjoyed the short story collections on Jabba's palace, the cantina and the bounty hunters. But the more books came the less I got interested.

Now I am really annoyed when a new episode of Clone Wars comes out and someone cries "b... but they're destroying the canon" because of something that doesn't compute with one of the books. In the mid 90s it was said that the books aren't canon, they where just authorised by GL. Canon was everything on film. So for me the OT and TCW are canon, and when someone turns the Moving CGI-Storyboard that was called "the prequels" into movies, they may be counted to my canon, too.

So IMHO, enjoy the stories if you like, but don't call them true.

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Okay I'm glad others share my opinion. It's just the sheer amount of information given by the EU just obliterated the the epicness of the original trilogy. You want to think that that section in history in the Star Wars universe was the pinnacle of history or the climax of their time. But now knowing that so much happened before it all. Even the character back-stories takes away from the experience. And all of the holes that the prequel trilogy created just made it worse even though they were supposed to be part of the natural flow of the story. 

the force will be with you.. always

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A limited EU is best.  I enjoy a few books as canonical, then disregard the rest in my mind.

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Add me as a second who sees the EU differently.  I can't speak to most of it, but the Foster, Daley, and Zahn EU is what saved me as a Star Wars fan.

I came here eight years ago looking for a way to preserve the only Star Wars thing that I was a fan of.  That was the 1977 film. 

In the process, this community reintroduced me to two things I'd lost touch with over the years.  The first was the NPR Radio version of Star Wars, which I'd not heard since it first aired.  It went on to replace the film as my go-to for the original story.  The second was Splinter Of The Mind's Eye, which I'd partially read when it was first released.  Both led me into EU - with some much needed and much appreciated peer pressure from several of the members here.  ;-)

Those were both written by people who had a much better command of the characters Lucas had created and the world they existed in.

I last watched Star Wars (the film) in 2006 and it was really just to see how I felt about the DVD.  It was fine for me, but for the most part I'd already moved on from the 1977 film.  My EU is somewhat narrow focused, but it's rich and deep.  It's become what the film was for me in 1977. 

Contrary to the thread title, the EU didn't ruin the original films.  It replaced them as my personal canon.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”

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When I was a kid some of the Marvel comics really got my imagination fired up (the House Of Tagge, the Wheel, The one with Leia undercover on the over-industrialised planet, the Alan Moore ones... etc). 

Ultimately it's not the existence of an EU that's the problem, it's which direction it points.

Does it truly 'expand' the universe or does it contract it.

In that regard ROTJ and the PT are more of a problem than most of the EU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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Bingowings said:

it's not the existence of an EU that's the problem, it's which direction it points.

Does it truly 'expand' the universe or does it contract it.

In that regard ROTJ and the PT are more of a problem than most of the EU

That's it in a nutshell.  Star Wars inhabits an endless universe.  Some writers have a much better grasp of it than others.  Oddly enough, Lucas has one of the weakest understandings of what made it connect with people's imaginations in 1977 - if he even understands it at all.  In my opinion, by the way, he does not.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”

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chosen1 said:

I believe the expanded universe put a damper on the original trilogy's thunder. It tool all of the fans imagination out of the plot. What's your perspective?

I wanted to address this separately and Bingo has discussed it as well.  Lucas took care of shutting the door on the fans' imaginations long before the EU was anything more than a few late 70s\early 80s novels.  Novels which, at the time, were almost completely unrelated to the original story other than an occasional name-check or reference to the first films. 

Lucas controlled what little EU was allowed so he could control the story. He decided what level of imagination was allowed, not the EU. If anything, the early EU - Foster, Daley, and Smith - was truly an Expanded Universe - new characters, new enemies, new adventures.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”

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It didn't ruin the OT because I refuse to let it do so.

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Anchorhead said:

chosen1 said:

I believe the expanded universe put a damper on the original trilogy's thunder. It tool all of the fans imagination out of the plot. What's your perspective?

I wanted to address this separately and Bingo has discussed it as well.  Lucas took care of shutting the door on the fans' imaginations long before the EU was anything more than a few late 70s\early 80s novels.  Novels which, at the time, were almost completely unrelated to the original story other than an occasional name-check or reference to the first films. 

Lucas controlled what little EU was allowed so he could control the story. He decided what level of imagination was allowed, not the EU. If anything, the early EU - Foster, Daley, and Smith - was truly an Expanded Universe - new characters, new enemies, new adventures.

 I gotta agree, the oldest EU is probably the best.  George had showed an inkling of the universe, and the early authors had a lot of fun in the remaining vastness of their imaginations.  At times it was silly or cheesy, but it was good old fashion fun.  I wish there could be some sort of EU reboot today, because as Bingowings pointed out so well, the EU contracts the universe rather than expanding it.  What brilliance the earlier writers had, what with the Corporate Sector authority, Mimban, etc.  I would love for someone to even make a fan film of Splinter of the Mind's Eye.  We could have nice look at the completely different direction Star Wars might've taken.

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Have you read the comic adaption of Splinter of the Mind's Eye? It had some pretty cool covers and the interior art was pretty good too.

Help back OMNO!

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I'm not really a big comic book guy myself (I know that was more directed to Ender, I'm just butting in).  Your excellent Goodwin/Williamson preservation site is the exception. That's a bookmarked, daily read. Love those - the stories, the art, the EU of it all. Really nice.

That said; While I most likely won't ever buy the comic book series of Splinter, you're right on about those covers. They are fantastic. I have some fairly high-res scans already, but I still occasionally sit and do a search just to see if anything new pops up.  

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”

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Anchorhead: Ever seen the Tales of the Jedi series? It was published by Dark Horse in 1993. The Old Republic era, before it was canonized. Maybe you won't like it, but it was and especially now is even moreso, very interesting. A glimpse at what writers thought the Jedi/Sith wars were like in the early 1990s. Worth a skim through, in my opinion.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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I must admit i like some aspects of the idea of the old republic. But i somewhat dislike how it was portrayed, however little, in the PT. Though it gave you a basic gist of what it was. It gave you no base to start your imagination.

the force will be with you.. always

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Zombie, there is a large comic book store that I drive in front of on my way home from work every day. Been there for decades.  I need to pull in there one day and see what they have.  If the stuff isn't too high, I might finally give some of these comic book series a look. 

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”

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Tobar said:

Have you read the comic adaption of Splinter of the Mind's Eye? It had some pretty cool covers and the interior art was pretty good too.

I haven't, but that could perhaps give me what I want.  I have it, so I'll have to read it and get back to you.

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IMHO, the SOTME comics have nice art, and the overall adaptation is faithful to the novel, but it has no real character - no real soul - in it at all. All comic book adaptations seem to have that as a problem, though, so it's not a factor I'd call unique to this one in particular.

“Okay, I’m goin’, takin’ off. See ya… bye….” — Chip Douglas

“This concludes our broadcast day. Click.” — Chip Douglas

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Speaking of comics, does anyone remember the Boba Fett comic series from the mid/late 1990s? I think it was around 1997. It was aimed at mature audiences and was pretty good. I bought the first few issues but I don't think it lasted long.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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I don't think Boba ever got his own regular comic series, but he did have his fair share of miniseries and one-shots back then.

“Okay, I’m goin’, takin’ off. See ya… bye….” — Chip Douglas

“This concludes our broadcast day. Click.” — Chip Douglas

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Anchorhead said:

 Oddly enough, Lucas has one of the weakest understandings of what made it connect with people's imaginations in 1977 - if he even understands it at all.  In my opinion, by the way, he does not.

 I was watching the extra features on a Star Wars DVD, and I remember George Lucas kept saying "laser sword" instead of "lightsaber."

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kamalayka said:

Anchorhead said:

 Oddly enough, Lucas has one of the weakest understandings of what made it connect with people's imaginations in 1977 - if he even understands it at all.  In my opinion, by the way, he does not.

 I was watching the extra features on a Star Wars DVD, and I remember George Lucas kept saying "laser sword" instead of "lightsaber."

I think that's because apparently it was supposed to be "laser sword", but Alec Guinness changed it to "lightsaber" cause it sounded more elegant.

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It just goes to show you how conceited Lucas really is.

“Okay, I’m goin’, takin’ off. See ya… bye….” — Chip Douglas

“This concludes our broadcast day. Click.” — Chip Douglas