One of the biggest topics of speculation in the run-up to the new Star Wars movie is how it will fit in with the preexisting Expanded Universe. Well, now we have an official answer: It won’t. 

Lucasfilm has just issued a statement saying that the entire Expanded Universe is no longer official canon.

This may sound like a pretty brutal decision, but it was unavoidable. Spanning decades of novels, comics, video games, and more, the Expanded Universe is now too vast and complex to tie into a new trilogy of movies that will have to be accessible to new viewers. Until recently the Expanded Universe fleshed out hundreds of sequels to the original trilogy and beyond, but the arrival of Episodes VII to IX inevitably puts a stop to that. After all, LucasFilm was never going to make a big-screen adaptation of a series of tie-in novels published in the 1980s.

Rather than being some kind of epic disaster for old-school fans, this is basically what the big-name superhero comics have been doing for years: hitting the reset button to make way for new stories.

As of now, the official Star Wars canon consists of the six existing movies and the recent Clone Wars TV series. “These stories are the immovable objects of Star Wars history, the characters and events to which all other tales must align,” explained the announcement on StarWars.com.

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The Official Disney Movie Chart for 2014-2016

NOTE:  Notice that the WDAS movie in March 2016 is announced, but yet Zootopia was confirmed last year. Common mistake or is Giants going to be that March now? In fact, why isn’t there anything announced for WDAS in November 2016? O_O

Tech site Pando Daily has been providing amazing coverage of the Department of Justice antitrust invesigation and subsequent class action lawsuits over wage-fixing amongst Silicon Valley tech companies and animation studios. Described as the largest wage-fixing cartel in American history, it’s the story of how some of the most powerful figures in tech and entertainment, including Apple’s Steve Jobs, Lucasfilm’s George Lucas, Pixar’s Ed Catmull, and Google’s Eric Schmidt, conspired to illegally manipulate and suppress the wages of their employees.

In Pando’s most recent piece by Mark Ames, the discussion turns to the animation studios, which have not been covered as heavily throughout the scandal as some of the tech companies like Google, Intel, and Apple.

The major point that Ames makes is that the illegal wage-fixing extended far beyond the primary players, Pixar and Lucasfilm. Through the deposition testimonies of George Lucas and Pixar president/co-founder Ed Catmull, there is evidence that other studios like Walt Disney Animation Studios and DreamWorks/PDI participated in the illegal activities to keep their employees’ wages unnaturally low. The Walt Disney Company has emerged as a central figure in the scandal, especially now that they own both Pixar and Lucasfilm, and it should come as no surprise that as they worked to pay their employees less, their stock prices and profits shot to all-time highs.

http://www.cartoonbrew.com/business/disney-and-dreamworks-pixar-lucasfilm-wage-fixing-cartel-101197.html

Star Wars: Mara Jade //  model Shanon McRandle. Picture by Lucasfilms (1999)

Mara Jade is a character of the Star Wars expanded universe (a continuation of the Star Wars myths developed as prose and comic books). She’s introduced passing as a smuggler but secretly works for Emperor Palpatine with the sole mission of killing Luke Skywalker in a series of novels called The Thrawn Trilogy. She eventually falls in love and marries the Jedi. The character proved so popular among fans in the 90’s that Lucasfilm picked model Shannon McRandle to be the official image and face for her at conventions and events related to the brand.

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