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Star Wars books and comics purged from series canon

Saturday - 4/26/2014, 2:10am  ET

lucasfilm_1200 (AP)
Kip Henniquan, who is in costume as a Jawa character from "Star Wars", restocks a shelf at the New Dimensions Comics store in Cranberry, Pa. (AP)

WASHINGTON --Lucasfilm has announced that all of the books and comics that have been published to extend the Skywalker story after Return of the Jedi in 1983 -- known as the the Expanded Universe -- will not be part of the official Star Wars canon.

Which means their stories will have nothing to do with the upcoming movies, which are sequels to the 1983 film. It's as if they never existed, according to a report by Chris Taylor on Mashable on Friday.

"In order to give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe," reads the official announcement on Starwars.com.

Taylor points out that this means the multi-million-selling trilogy by author Timothy Zahn no longer happened. "Neither its much beloved Imperial villain Grand Admiral Thrawn, nor the popular former assassin Mara Jade, future wife to Luke Skywalker," Taylor wrote.

Instead, Zahn's books, and hundreds of others, will be repackaged under the title "Star Wars Legends." Any future all Star Wars media, including new novels from Del Rey Books, as well as the upcoming Star Wars Rebels TV animated series and video games, will be among the first releases to tell new canonical stories, Star Wars officials said Friday. "While the universe that readers knew is changing, it is not being discarded. Creators of new Star Wars entertainment have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe."

But as Taylor points out, "they [post-Jedi books, comics] were always second-class citizens in Star Wars canon, occupying a separate tier below the movies and TV shows ... now they're not in canon at all."

Star Wars fans, let the lamentations and confusion commence:

But not everyone sees this as the end of the world:

To be continued ...

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Tags: star wars