Star Wars: The New Canon
Jeff Whitfield | Posted | Comments |
So, I just finished reading Star Wars: Aftermath. Good book! After reading it, I have some thoughts about all the new Star Wars books, comics, and TV shows since Disney acquired Lucasfilm.
Some weeks ago I decided to jump in and start reading all the Star Wars books that are part of the new canon. I've been reading all the new Marvel Comics books and have enjoyed them thus far...just hadn't read any of the novels.
For those that don't know, when Disney acquired Lucasfilm they decided to hit the reset switch on the Star Wars universe, effectively throwing out all continuity built up with previous books, comics, TV shows, games, and more. What was known as the Extended Universe now became the Legends continuity. Looking at the timeline of Legends media it's easy to see why Disney made that decision. Granted, some fantastic stories can be found within the Extended Universe. However, with hundreds of stories written there would be no way for new films to be created that fit in with that universe. As such, creating a fresh start is the most logical thing to do.
Upside of this is that a whole new audience can jump in and enjoy the new canon without having to invest a whole lot of time and money. I thought about jumping in on the Extended Universe books and comics but felt just overwhelmed by the sheer number of titles out there. The new canon feels a lot more approachable. Not only that but it feels like Disney and Lucasfilm are making a consorted effort to keep the timeline of canon media tidy and neat without screwing up the continuity of the universe.
Given that Marvel Comics is now in charge of the comics (Dark Horse Comics was the previous licensee for years) I wonder if Marvel's experience of managing large amounts of continuity is at play. Kind of feels like it, especially after reading Aftermath along with all the current Star Wars comics by Marvel.
Aftermath is interesting in that, while it has a pretty large story, it's not overreaching or presenting large ideas that could potentially create continuity problems. The goal seems to be to fill in the gaps between movies and show how the Empire tried to manage themselves and continue on after the destruction of the second Death Star as well as the death of both the Emperor and Darth Vader. It's good fun and gives us a solid series of stories that will eventually lead to the formation of the First Order...at least that's how it appears. Aftermath is actually the first in a trilogy of books so it'll be interesting to see what happens in the next two books. We might not necessary see the formation of the First Order but we'll at least get a glimpse into the continued downfall of the Empire that eventually led to the First Order.
And that's just Aftermath! The comics are even more fun! From the main Star Wars comic, to Darth Vader, to the various mini-series comics devoted to characters like Lando, Leia, Chewbacca, and Kanan (from the Star Wars Rebels TV series), the comics give us a more in-depth look at characters we know and love without completely stomping on the continuity created by the films. The latest issues of Star Wars have been particularly interesting, especially as they relate to Han and Leia's relationship. I'm not giving anything away. Let's just say that rather interesting wrinkle is presented that leaves Leia at pause as to what kind of a guy Han really is. Scoundrel!
So, what's next? Well, I'm already halfway into Before the Awakening and plan on reading The Force Awakens novelization. After that, probably will dive into The Rise of the Empire which includes both Tarkin and A New Dawn. Suffice to say, I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the new canon books. :)