After a substantial reduction earlier in the year, the Star Wars extended universe is now rapidly expanding again, far sooner than fans anticipated. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new official canon has already begun its expansion: Star Wars Insider No. 150 announced that the previous issue, No. 149, is the first new material to be officially recognized within the canon. (A kind of weird retroactive way of telling people, but whatever.)
That means the two-part story “Blade Squadron,” which runs in issues 149 and 150, is the seminal expansion in Star Wars universe since Lucasfilm announced in April that the new J.J. Abrams-helmed films, and the various standalones that are sprouting like so many buds from Abrams’s project, would disregard everything established in the sprawling Star Wars universe except the six films, The Clone Wars series, and the Rebels series.
An April story in The Hollywood Reporter relayed Lucasfilm producer Simon Kinberg’s official statement:
“While Lucasfilm always strived to keep the stories created for the EU consistent with our film and television content as well as internally consistent, [Franchise creator George Lucas] always made it clear that he was not beholden to the EU,” the statement on the official Star Wars website explains, clarifying that the official canon for the franchise consists of the six movies to date, as well as the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars series. “These stories are the immovable objects of Star Wars history, the characters and events to which all other tales must align,” the statement states. The upcoming new animated series Star Wars Rebels is also identified as canon… It continues, “In order to give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe,” adding that elements introduced in the Expanded Universe material remain available for use in the future. Star Wars Rebels will feature concepts that first appeared in role-playing games related to the series in the 1980s, it points out.