Wednesday, October 31, 2012

STAR WARS EPISODE VII Story Will Not Adapt from Novels

Since yesterday's bombshell news of Disney acquiring Lucasfilm and that Star Wars Episode VII would arrive in 2015, fans have been wondering if the new film's story would come from the popular series of novels set after Return of the Jedi.

A natural enough assumption, of course, considering the books were considered canon for over two decades, starting with Timothy Zahn's beloved "Thrawn Trilogy" that began with Heir to the Empire in 1991.  The novels continued the Star Wars saga in an Expanded Universe, marrying Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo, giving them the twins Jacen and Jaina and their younger brother Anakin, marrying Luke Skywalker to Mara Jade, giving the Skywalkers a son named Ben, killing off Chewbacca, having Luke train a new generation of Jedi Knights, and so on.

Well, guess what...These novels aren't the story you're looking for.

According to E! Online, a Lucasfilm source says the plot for Episode VII will be an entirely original story (based on a treatment by George Lucas mentioned in the Disney news) and not on any of the existing novels.  This also means you can forget about any of the Star Wars comic books and graphic novels previously published by Marvel Comics and Dark Horse Comics.  In addition, E! Online mentions that no director has been officially attached to the project so far.

So are the Star Wars novels and comics officially no longer considered canon?  Or will Lucas' original story treatment be worked into the Expanded Universe at some point in the timeline? 

If the plan is to bring original actors Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and even Harrison Ford back for cameo appearances or what have you, that probably sets Episode VII at least 35-40 years after the Battle of Yavin in Episode IV.  Looking at the timeline established in the novels, Episode VII could be placed between the "New Jedi Order" series of novels featuring the New Republic battling the invasion of the Yuuzhan Vong and the "Legacy of the Force" novels involving the secession of the Corellian system from the New Republic and the turning of Jacen Solo to the Dark Side of the Force. 

Plenty of interesting characters and situations here for Lucas to work into the treatment, but again, there's the very likely possibility that he may have his own ideas that wipe the Expanded Universe from official Star Wars continuity.  As a fan of the novels through "The New Jedi Order," I hope the characters carry over into Episode VII somehow or aren't contradicted at the very least.  Fingers crossed.


  1. I read back in 1980 that Lucas originally envisioned Star Wars to be 9 chapters, or a trilogy of trilogies. Perhaps these movies will be what Lucas originally intended, or were some of these canonical novels based of the "final three"?

    1. As far as I know, the novels were never based on any of Lucas' story ideas for Episodes VII - IX. They were just approved as official Star Wars canon.

      I'm sure Lucas has thought and rethought his ideas for a third trilogy over the past thirty years, so it's hard to say if they'll be what he originally intended. Maybe he's just working off an outline of plot points he wrote down back in the '80s.