When Disney bought Lucasfilm back in 2012, the galaxy of Star Wars became a lot smaller. In preparation for their new trilogy (and spin-offs and even newer trilogies) the House of Mouse consigned decades worth of Star Wars novels, comics and video games to the trash compactor. This ‘old canon’, once called the ‘Expanded Universe’, would come to be known as ‘Legends’ among the fanbase. It’s distinct from the ‘true’ canon of the new movies (and novels and comics and video games).
According to Lucasfilm writer Leland Chee, who works in the ‘story group’ that oversees the franchise, it was one particular moment that convinced them the saga needed a clean slate.
That time Chewbacca died.
In the 1999 novel Vector Prime, Chewie sacrificed himself to save Anakin Solo – the child of Han and Leia in this continuity. For reasons too complicated to go into, a moon fell on his head. No really.
“Because he can’t speak and just speaks in growls, [Chewbacca] was a challenging character to write for in novels,” Chee told SyFy’s Fandom Files Podcast. But when Disney decided to make new movies with the classic characters, the situation changed.
“There’s no way that I’d want to do an Episode VII that didn’t have Chewbacca in it and have to explain that Chewbacca had a moon fall on his head. And if we were going to overturn a monumental decision like that, everything else was really just minor in comparison.”
It makes sense, but part of us really wants to see a version of Episodes 7-9 that tried to encompass all of those crazy EU stories. It might have looked something…like this.
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