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Save the Star Wars EU: An Open Letter to Mickey Mouse

Star WarsDear Mr. Mouse,

First off, on behalf of my five-year-old son and myself…THANK YOU!

We are firmly in the “the more Star Wars the better” camp. Whether it is the Original Trilogy, the Prequels, Star Wars: The Clone Wars or a half-hour special made entirely of LEGOS, we’re fans. Massive fans. And without your generous purchase of Mr. Lucas’s greatest creation, we would not be waiting with bated breath for a new slate of canon Star Wars movies. 2015 can’t get here fast enough.

Now that the thank you’s are out of the way…

Please don’t negate the Expanded Universe. Pretty please.

Since Timothy Zahn dropped the Thrawn Trilogy on me in the early 1990s, I’ve read Star Wars EU novels religiously. Some are great. Some are average. A few are subpar. But the fact remains that the EU has been evolving for over 20 years, and that evolution shouldn’t be negated in one fell swoop. To ignore 20+ years of history, of stories most fans took to be canon, would be heartbreaking.

Heir To The Empire (cover)From 1983 through June of 1991 I lived in a world bereft of the continuing adventures of Luke, Leia, Han and the rest of the Alliance. It was a dark time. And then Heir to the Empire was released. It was as if my favorite movie had been paused for eight years, and then out of nowhere someone decided to push play. It was, in a word, glorious.

My heroes were living, breathing beings again. They were chasing adventure, courting danger and growing older. Marriages, children, death and loss—from 1991 to this day, the EU mirrored what was happening in the lives of so many kids that still, as teens and adults, longed to be transported to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Characters like Corran Horn, Mara Jade and Talon Karrde rightfully claimed spots in the pantheon. Ysalamiri and noghri became as beloved as mynocks and Wookies. The Jedi returned in force (forgive the pun). Battles raged. Planets and species were decimated. We traveled from the Core to the Unknown Regions. We flew with Rogue Squadron and learned in the Jedi Academy. The EU opened doors into the Star Wars mythology that many of us never knew existed.

Why waste it?

As casting information begins to leak out and rumors of plot threads float through the ether, I’m starting to worry you don’t understand the totality of what you bought. You’re a smart mouse. You can do everything from piloting a riverboat to making mops dance. Why can’t you see that the EU unequivocally should not be marginalized?

I’m not saying I want you to start filming the books. Far from it. But let them stand. Find your stories in the spaces between pages. Embrace the EU. Don’t abrogate it. If ever there was a time for fan service, this is it. You’ve hired J.J. Abrams to helm Episode VII. Great move. He was able to deftly meld together every Star Trek story ever imagined, while crafting a new direction for the series that was uniquely his own. There is no reason he can’t do the same with Star Wars. And if he doesn’t want to, make him. You’re “The Mouse.” You’re in charge.

Star Wars Expanded Universe

Any Star Wars is good Star Wars. But the best Star Wars is steeped in continuity. Throw us EU readers a bone, Mr. Mouse. Let us have our cake and eat it too. Maybe I’m worrying about nothing. Maybe Jacen, Jaina, Booster and Mirax have already been cast. Maybe somewhere on the fringe (forgive the pun) of J.J. Abrams’ imagination, a World Ship is already cruising toward the Outer Rim.

A boy can dream, can’t he?

Your pal,

Zack

P.S. Also, no 3D please!

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