BY: James Whitbrook
When a franchise is around for four decades, it can get impossibly unwieldy to try and grasp its lore — and Star Wars canon is no exception. Here’s a guide to the origins of Star Wars Canon, the rise and fall of one of the most prominent Expanded Universes in fiction, and where the saga stands with Disney today.
When Star Wars first came out, nothing much was expected of it — especially on the merchandising front, which is why the in-hindsight extremely savvy move of Lucas retaining much of the rights to merchandise for the film ultimately turned into a huge source of revenue for the creator. But as the film series exploded in popularity with the release of what would later be called A New Hope, there was very obviously no real plan for spinoff and tie-in merchandising. It eventually happened, of course, thanks to the rampant desire for more Star Wars — but it was scattershot and hectic, all standalone, separate projects — you had novelisations of the movies, audio drama adaptations, Marvel’s line of comic books, one off stories like infamousSplinter of the Mind’s Eye. Lucas didn’t really care about any sort of canon — he only cared about the movies he made, everything else was ancillary (a belief Lucas has carried ever since).
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