News Article

Lucasfilm Decrees That All Star Wars Video Games Are Non-Canon

Posted by Damien McFerran

Forget they ever happened, people

The Star Wars "expanded universe" is packed with bold adventures and epic stories, and contains more than a few video game outings — such as Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, which is perhaps the most recent example of Lucasarts neatly adding to the already impressive lore of the famous Sci-Fi series.

However, parent company Lucasfilm has now issued a statement which renders all of these games — plus novels, comics and other media — non-canon.

[George] Lucas always made it clear that he was not beholden to the EU [Expanded Universe]. He set the films he created as the canon. This includes the six Star Wars episodes, and the many hours of content he developed and produced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. These stories are the immovable objects of Star Wars history, the characters and events to which all other tales must align.

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.

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.

Speaking of the new movie, much of the final cast has now been revealed, with returning stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker rubbing shoulders with newcomers such as Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings), Adam Driver (Girls) and John Boyega (Attack the Block). That's them in the photo below.

What do you think about this move? Has the Star Wars expanded universe become so unmanageable that this was the only route Lucasfilm could realistically take to ensure the new films made sense? Or do you think that the company has been too hasty to separate some of the amazing original stories from the main body of the series? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Thanks to Ryan Millar for the tip.

[via eurogamer.net, starwars.com]

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User Comments (78)

PvtOttobot

#1

PvtOttobot said:

I think this is fair enough, to try and put a leash on the millions of comics and games out there now would be an immense project! However I am hoping this isn't alluding to Mickey Mouse and co. joining the ranks while Yoda rings Luke on his Vodafone™ cell.

AndymanMessiah

#2

AndymanMessiah said:

This is a good decision. As much as I love Kyle Katarn, X-Wing vs Tie Fighter, Republic Commando and KOTOR2, this is one of those times when the bad far outweighs the good. It's a movie franchise and should be kept that way.

outburst

#3

outburst said:

I loved the Bane trilogy. For games, KOTOR. Anyway, it will soften the blow to me as I'm skipping EA's SW games.

unrandomsam

#4

unrandomsam said:

It isn't really a movie franchise any more it is anything but. (Same as saying Mickey Mouse is a cartoon).

If it ends up amounting to a reboot with all the games made by EA I don't want that.

I like Rogue Squadron / the 32X - Starwars Arcade game / KOTOR / KOTOR2 / The SNES Trilogy.

(I don't even like the prequel trilogy that much).

Technosphile

#5

Technosphile said:

Here's an idea:

Let's erase the prequels from the "canon" as well.

At least Shadows of the Empire doesn't, you know, suck.

Sean_Aaron

#6

Sean_Aaron said:

Here's an idea, let's remember that Star Wars is a made-up universe, so the idea of "canon" doesn't actually apply. I'm finding it hard to find anyone who cares about the fact they're making more of these movies myself - the Red Letter Media reviews are far more entertaining than the last three actual films themselves!

LightSuitGuy

#7

LightSuitGuy said:

At its core, Star Wars has always just been the six films. (like it or not PT haters, maybe lighten up too?) Nothing is really lost here; people will enjoy playing those games regardless of them being "canon" or not.

Lunapplebloom

#8

Lunapplebloom said:

Well that's... odd... I never really considered much canon besides a few of the games, but flat out saying everything is a bit extreme. I can still see lots of game stuff before episode 1 still fitting in, as well as a couple in between for the prequels.

I guess they are just covering themselves in case the new movies step on something that was established in the EU of Star Wars so they don't get major backlash.

Still, looking forward to seeing what they do with these new films. I'm a fan of Abrams Star Trek Films, so this could be interesting to see.

ledreppe

#9

ledreppe said:

Wait... Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are in the new films?! I knew their characters would be in the new films, but expected them to use different (younger) actors. Wow, I'm just that little bit more excited for the new trilogy now.

TheLohoped

#10

TheLohoped said:

Those who say that Star Wars are just six movies at its core have no idea how huge and much more interesting than most of the movies the Expanded Universe is.

Nintendo_Ninja

#11

Nintendo_Ninja said:

Ehh... The expanded universe was okay, but never as good as the main movies. I just hope the movies are good.

GougeMan

#12

GougeMan said:

I trust J.J. Abrams with Star Wars. He did an awesome job rebooting Star Trek. This time he will have Disney's pocketbook to keep the story going.

SheldonRandoms

#14

SheldonRandoms said:

You mean to tell me that Star Wars: Rebel Assault, Dark Forces, Jedi Academy, Rogue Squadron, Battlefront, Star Wars Chess, Lego Star Wars, Star Wars: Puzzle Blaster, Star Wars: Pod Racer, Jar Jar Binks Bingo, Death Star Builder 3.0, Chewie Wookie Cookie Cookin', Stormtrooper Tennis, Jabba's Farts Unleashed (that was a good one), Wedge's Wedgie Attack, Fishing for Ackbars, Super Sith Toss: Tournament Edition, Boba Fett's Name Game (find his name in the freaking movies), and Governor Tarkin vs Count Dookie! are not canon? LUCASFILMS, YOU'VE BROKE MY LEG!!!

Kirk

#17

Kirk said:

After the three new films came out the whole Star Wars franchise lost much of it's magic for me.

IV-VI are still great films but I'm really not that interested in the upcoming films to be honest.

wombatkidd

#18

wombatkidd said:

People really expected them to follow the EU in new movies? A movie has to appeal to the broader audience, not just the hardcore fans who read all the books and comics and stuff.

Besides, star trek having an official canon never stopped its expanded universe from rolling on.

Kirk

#19

Kirk said:

@GougeMan
No, he really didn't.

He basically sh*t all over anything that the actual fans of Star Trek loved about it in the first place.

If you basically changed the character names, his films could be from any decidedly average sci-fi universe.

SpookyMeths

#20

SpookyMeths said:

I never really considered them canon anyway. You have to separate films from secondary media for the reason that most of the audience of the films has never played a Star Wars game or read a Star Wars book. You can't make movies assuming that people know what happened in Knights of the Old Republic. You CAN make a movie about those events, but you have to make the movie assuming that it's all fresh and new to the audience.

But the old rule still applies - everything is canon, until it isn't. Until the movie establishes something as canonical fact, there's really no harm in considering whatever EU material as canon.

Whopper744

#22

Whopper744 said:

I think I agree with @Austroid here. I'm a fan of Star Wars but I think a lot of the "hardcore" Star Wars fan are the hardest group of people to please, and I think could lighten up a bit.

ToxieDogg

#23

ToxieDogg said:

It just strikes me as iffy that now EA have the Star Wars license, there's an announcement from Lucasfilm that all the other games (I'm assuming they don't mean the ones that are directly based on the movies as well? ;) ) are 'non canon'....or in other words, nothing asides from what EA now puts out for the forseeable future is considered canon.

How would everybody like it if EA got the license for making Marvel games, and then Stan Lee put an announcement out saying that only the recent movies and any games EA put out from now on are considered canon? It kind of spits in the face of the fan base who've supported the Star Wars franchise for many, many years if you ask me.

ikki5

#24

ikki5 said:

@GougeMan

urg... he didn't do a good job with Star Trek, he destroyed the Star Trek timeline and universe. His latest movie (Into Darkness) He made star ships obsolete as Khan just transported from earth to Qo'noS.

TreonsRealm

#26

TreonsRealm said:

Funny thing is that Shadows of the Empire was made "cannon" by Lucas himself when he released the special editions which incorporated Swoop Bikes and the Outrider so that's a positive if we're stuck with the prequels as cannon. I thought Lucas also made The Force Unleashed cannon in the story as well. Hell, it was part of how it was advertised and Lucas himself gave his stamp to it. And the original animated Clone Wars (the 2D one and not the 3D TV Series) was supposed to be cannon and directly explained why General Grevious was breathing like he had a crushed rib cage (which he did) and was the direct minute for minute lead into Episode III. Creator or not, Lucas cannot keep randomly changing the story like a spoiled kid on the playground if he wants the story to mean anything in the end.

Honestly I'm getting to a point where Star Wars is becoming more and more meaningless as time goes on. This random switching of what is part of the story and what is not part of the story is getting out of hand since it changes constantly at this point.

hylianhalcyon

#29

hylianhalcyon said:

@Kirk I'm with you on that. He did not do a great job of rebooting Star Trek.

I'm very indifferent towards this new trilogy to say the least. And I can't say I'm thrilled that a lot of awesome media are now not canon (such as the Thrawn trilogy, which was really top notch). But I can't say I'm too surprised.

MikeLove

#30

MikeLove said:

@ToxieDogg

Comics aren't 'cannon' though. There have been all sorts of alternative storylines, deaths, rebirths, reboots, etc, for most every character. It's not like Spider Man has one cohesive storyline throughout his existence.

It has nothing to do with EA either. It's Disney that made this call because they are making a new trilogy and want to follow their own timeline, not a bunch of books and comics that have come out since 1983.

DinoFett

#31

DinoFett said:

If anything Shadows of the Empire should stay somewhat cannon because all the characters fought to get Han Solo out of carbon freeze and it will always tie into what Lucasfilm called an 'Interquel' putting Empire Strikes Back into the mix.

DinoFett

#34

DinoFett said:

I'm for that,but the story of Palpatine can be redone as well as the clone troop origins because they are needed for the original trilogy.

Midayle

#38

Midayle said:

My sympathies go to the editors and readers of Wookieepedia. They must of spent endless amount of time to trying to understand the expanded universe of Star Wars only to have all become officially meaningless.

jc3bull

#40

jc3bull said:

I've never heard of the term "canon" and since it's being used in conjunction with this news I'm wondering what does it mean?

Yorumi

#41

Yorumi said:

@jc3bull more or less it means official. It's saying anything that's canon is recognized as part of the material and anything outside it isn't official so official material can contradict it and assume it never even happened.

In this case there are dozens of licensed star wars books and games using the universe but they're not recognized as officially part of the story. Thus lucasfilm has no need to recognize any of the events happened or are ever going to happen, the choice remains theirs.

Of course when there are massive, glaring, and obvious contradictions in the prequels it kind of shows you how seriously george lucas took the canon of star wars.

pukka-pie

#42

pukka-pie said:

I was only thinking the other day that the abysmal Episodes I, II & III shouldn't be considered cannon, because quite frankly they're an embarrassment.

noctowl

#44

noctowl said:

So happy about this. Trying to have a conversation about Star Wars and someone's like "well in the EU the emporer didn't really die" or "well the EU says..."

I bet the forums for the old republic mmo are going nuts. Going to grab a seat and check it out later.

bobbypaycheque

#46

bobbypaycheque said:

But the prequels are? I call BS if the prequels are canon but Dark Forces 2 and the Jedi Knight series isn't. How about they stop 'decreeing' what is canon and what isn't and release the theatrical versions of the original films, pre lunatic Lucas edits, on bluray.

bluecat

#48

bluecat said:

Fair enough. I think we all kinda knew if another film was ever made this would probably have happened anyhow.

Yorumi

#49

Yorumi said:

I'm just surprised anyone thought the EU was canon, I mean yeah a lot of it is better than Lucas' latest work but I've always seen the EU referred to as non-canon.

Melkac

#50

Melkac said:

LOL big deal. Don't get me wrong, KotoR is one of my favorite games of all time, but why would I even care if they're considered canon or not?

[Looking at the fans of the EU books]

It's not like they have anything to do with the movies. The KOTOR games happen thousands of years before the Prequel and Original trilogy.

Dark-Link73

#51

Dark-Link73 said:

Personally I never read any of the books about the expanded universe so this doesn't really bother me. In regard to the cartoons, I found the current Clone Wars series rather dumb and never considered canon. However, the original Clone Wars miniseries SHOULD be considered canon because, not only starts where Ep. II ends and ends with the Battle of Coruscant where Ep. III begins, but also shows how Anakin got his scar, the reason for General Grievous' cough throughout the movie, and how Palpatine was capture by Grievous.

As for the video games, I don't why the Rogue Squadron series can't be partly canon. After all, a good part of the game's content if straight out of the Original Trilogy.

Hortencio

#52

Hortencio said:

@TreonsRealm
I love Star Wars, though not nearly the "fan" that thousands of others are (I've experienced movies, television, and games only...). But you pretty much summed up my growing feelings of the franchise; you can't just pick and choose what is "true" and what is spin-off! It cheapens the series and makes [Lucas] look like a fool, one who didn't have a grand plan and was just making stuff up along the way, then deciding in hindsight (blasphemous as a writer, IMO) what's part of the canon and what isn't! Then as fans, you're left feeling sort of stupid for following the stories and characters as closely as you do/did.

Caryslan

#53

Caryslan said:

@bobbypaycheque Because the prequel movies like them or not, tie into the storyline of Episodes IV-VI and help establish several things from those trilogies. While I don't agree with whitewashing the video games or novels from the canon, I think the gold rule of Star Wars Canon was that the movies were always the top source, no matter what. Which means erasing three films that played a huge role in establishing the back story and events of three other films in the same series is not a good thing, regardless of someone's personal opinions of the prequel movies.

Why does everyone want to erase the prequel movies from canon? Even if you don't like them, you can't deny the prequel movies set the foundation for the downfall of the Jedi order, the Republic's downfall, the transformation of Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader, and the rise of the Empire. Like them or not, the prequel films are canon since their events directly lead into Episodes IV-VI. What would be the benefit of erasing them from the canon?

rjejr

#56

rjejr said:

My Star Wars canon consists of the "Star Wars" film shown in theaters in 1977. Not part 4, not New Hope. Star Wars.

I'm not a lunatic about it, I've seen and somewhat even enjoyed some of the other films. Some but not all. But really w/ all the well documented changes made to the first movie over the years, and other changes made to the original trilogy, Lucas is talking about "canon" w/ a straight face?

I'll probably take my kids to see these films, but "canon"? Puh-lease.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7fjDS0jKiE

Capt_N

#57

Capt_N said:

@TreonsRealm: , & @Hortencio: I agree with both of you. This back, & forth canon, not-canon is taking a serious toll on my interest in the franchise. Also, yes, Lucas did make TFU "canon". I think to myself that's a funny thing too, as that was only a few years ago it was released, & made official. Now he's saying everything non-movie is non-canon.

@Everyone: I am not surprised by this, as I have been hearing about J.J. Abrams, & the other writers being in conflicts on plots, the writing, & such. I heard, whether this is true, or not I don't know, that the arguing was getting to the point of possibly resulting in the movies not being made, due to plot conflicts. However, I can almost guarantee Disney not allowing that to happen, as there's profit to be had in the franchise.

Edit: I think the main issue here, is that, while many games/comics/books/etc. did not follow SW canon, that a lot of EU material has been made to fit in with the official canon. Also, now that the games are officially non-canon, a more traditional KotOR3, can be made. This effectively gives Disney/LucasFilm the power to not be bound by any stories in their SW games. They can make any SW game they want, with any plot. This is all about money.

bobbypaycheque

#58

bobbypaycheque said:

@Caryslan I hate the prequels, they aren't needed and they are poorly made in almost every way. Characters are rubbish (aren't even really three dimensional characters) but I would never say it isn't canon. But I don't think the, frankly, better stories told in some of the games should be dismissed either. Remember, since the edits Han Solo in the official canon didn't shoot first. Same with the other changes. The corporately approved 'canon' doesn't include the original trilogy either, as they were seen in '77, '80 and '83. So I think we can all safely agree that Star Wars, outside of the original edits of the original trilogy, has basically been bastardized beyond belief. It's sad because the original trilogy used to be awesome. Too bad you can't get the original trilogy on bluray. So, I wouldn't really put much faith in whatever corporate calls 'canon' because they de-canonized the original films that started the fandom to begin with. The prequels can be canon but they are still garbage.

LightSuitGuy

#61

LightSuitGuy said:

@Joshers744 I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks so! SW fans are almost like the Sonic fanbase; a good amount is always displeased with every new game, TV show, comic, etc. They've both become a mess of a fandom; being split into dozens of subgroups.

Judging from a number of the newer comments, my suggestion to "hardcore" fans lightening up still stands.

ICHIkatakuri

#62

ICHIkatakuri said:

But what about shadows of the empire on N64? Which I think (though I could be wrong) was a book too?

odd69

#63

odd69 said:

blah blah. I liked the new star wars films. They are the reason i liked the star wars films cause as a kid i didnt even like star wars. Thats got to say something right?

Andremario

#64

Andremario said:

Who cares about what's canon? Let's just enjoy this movie and hope it's as good as the other 6 and that it doesn't get delayed past next winter. May the force be with you all.

xj0462

#66

xj0462 said:

i dont give a damn what the hell george lucs says!!!! there always were and always will be canon in my all superior mind. in my opinion georges opinions were renderd invalid after disney bought his lucasfilm company!!!

Obito_Tennyson

#67

Obito_Tennyson said:

Wait, so this is guy is saying that the Star Wars characters were never really LEGOs? Crap! Next, they're going to say the same about Batman! :(

XCWarrior

#68

XCWarrior said:

How about removing everything from canon, and just start blowing everything up without any regard for human life.

Oh my bad, I thought Michael Bay was directing. J.J. Abrahms has a 50/50 shot of getting this right.... so I'm keeping expectations low.

Zodiak13

#70

Zodiak13 said:

I have been on the fence about Disney getting Star Wars. This clears it up. I have not supported Disney owned companies, which is a lot of stuff. I was going to stick with Star Wars because of my immense love of the universe. But since the universe I have come to love (EU) doesn't count, there is no need to support Disney. I will start boxing my book collection up and when Dark Horse ends their run on comics, I can be done there as well. Lots of money to be saved I suppose.

Sinister

#72

Sinister said:

To me this is very close to kill any interest i had in the new Strar Wars movies. So many good stories that just got erased.

Zodiak13

#73

Zodiak13 said:

@8BitSamurai I consider myself very much a Star Wars nut (or was). I have almost every book of the EU, almost every comic, tons of lego sets, and toys, games. Si I am not a casual fan. The prequels did not bother me. Ep.1 was kinda boring, 2 had a cheesy love story, but otherwise was fun, and I LOVE Ep.3. My old boss had never watched any of the Star Wars movies, and we watched them in order of episodes, and he liked ALL of it. Sometimes I think people are hyper critical of things, including me. BTW 8bit, I am not calling you out specific, many people made the same comment you did, your was just near the bottom of the comments :).

bobbypaycheque

#75

bobbypaycheque said:

@Zodiak13 Which episodes I-VI do you love though? The new edits erase the original films out of canon as well, changing them drastically from what they were when they were originally seen (even episode one has seen some pretty drastic changes from the theatrical release.) The time to get angry about Lucas decreeing what is canon and what isn't was more than ten years ago. This is the just the latest atrocity to fans and film preservation.

AshFoxX

#76

AshFoxX said:

I was hoping for some subtle nods to the more popular EU stories in VII-IX such as references to Rogue Squadron and the Old Republic, maybe a mention of Starkiller, but I have faith that the movies will still be great as long as they don't turn into Star C-Span this time around.

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