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[Star Wars Legends]
  Our Guide to Star Wars Legends

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"There are truths, and there are legends touched with truth, and all can teach you something."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi, A New Dawn
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The Star Wars Expanded Universe, or EU, is all the stories that expand and even enhance the Star Wars mythology beyond Geroge Lucas's vision contained in the six live-action films and The Clone Wars animated movie. Every EU story, whether it be a novel, comic book or short story must be officially licensed by Lucasfilm Limited. It began almost immediately after Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope) was released in 1977 as Marvel Comics published the continuing adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2 in comic stories and Alan Dean Foster wrote the "unofficial" sequel, Splinter of the Mind's Eye, in 1978. In 1991 the modern EU was born when Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire novel and Dark Horse Comic's Dark Empire series were released. Now, after 23 years of modern EU publishing there are over 400 novels, comic books and youth novels expanding, in their own manner, the galaxy far, far away.

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Star Wars #7 "New Planets, New Perils!" by Roy Thomas & Howard Chaykin from Marvel Comics (1977)
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Star Wars: Heir to the Empire
by Timothy Zahn (1991)
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One of the major differences between the Star Wars Expanded Universe and the EU's of other franchises, such as Star Trek, Spiderman, X-Men, etc, is that in the Star Wars Expanded Universe there was an intention to produce a single continuity rather than using the multi-verse model. However, Lucas himself was not beholden to the EU and as such the films could, and have, contradicted EU stories. And on the occasions where the EU contradicts itself, usually a result of poor editing, a retcon was created to fix those contradictions.

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The Solo family circa 6 years
after Return of the Jedi
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When Lucasfilm was sold to Disney in late 2012 and it was announced that they would be working on not only a sequel trilogy, ie Episodes VII thru IX, but also standalone origin-style films, the future of the EU was in question - for it was known that Disney/Lucasfilm was not required to incorporate any of the post-Return of the Jedi EU into their sequels. Never more so when on 18th March 2014 Lucasfilm announced that Episode VII would be set "about 30 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi". This created major dilemmas for the EU: by this time on the Star Wars EU timeline Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa were already married (4 years after Jedi) and had three children: Jacen, Jaina and Anakin (Anakin died 23 years after Jedi); Luke Skywalker had also married (16 years after Jedi), to Mara Jade - an EU created character - and had a son, Ben; even Chewbacca was now dead - he died herocially saving Anakin Solo (around 21 years after Jedi). 

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The Skywalker family circa 22
years after Return of the Jedi
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Thus, if Lucasfilm wanted to tell an original story in Episode VII then the events of the post-Return of the Jedi EU would have to be made obsolete. Moreover, the combined EU, all the stories published since 1977, including Marvel's original comic book series, short stories, children's animated TV series and other stories, approaches some 700 stories! So to resolve these and other issues regarding the EU, on 25th April 2014 Disney/Lucasfilm and the Lucasfilm Story Group announced that, in order to create a true unified story-telling approach, from that date all previously published EU material would be labelled "Legends".

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"There's always a bit of truth in legends."
- Ahsoka Tano, Star Wars Rebels
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This asserts that all EU stories, not just those post-Return of the Jedi, but everything from Dawn of the Jedi (set 1,000 generations before A New Hope) to Legacy (133 years after Return of the Jedi) may or may not have happened. In effect the EU was now an alternate Star Wars universe. In addition, no new Legends stories would be added.

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The announcement also asserted that there would only be ONE canonical universe, i.e. stories that actually happened within the Star Wars Universe, and these stories would be approved by the the Story Group. As of that date the new canon would comprise of: the six live-action Star Wars films, i.e. Episodes I thru VI; The Clone Wars animated movie; the six seasons of The Clone Wars animated TV series; and the forthcoming Star Wars Rebels animated TV series. The novelizations and other adaptations of Episodes I thru VI and The Clone Wars movie are canon, only in so far as much where the novel/adaptation's story aligns to that seen on-screen with the rest of the story being Legends.
Ongoing, all Story Group approved material will also constitute the new canon: beginning with Star Wars Insider short stories (from issue #149 onwards), the Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir comic book series from Dark Horse Comics, new novels from Del Rey (beginning September 2014 with A New Dawn), new comic series from Marvel Comics (beginning January 2015) and eventually Episode VII in December 2015. For convenience, and without any official term forthcoming from Lucasfilm, this site terms the Story Group approved canonical universe the "Star Wars Saga".

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What is a legend?

Dictionary.com defines legend as "a nonhistorical or unverifiable story handed down by tradition from earlier times and popularly accepted as historical". In essence a legend is a story that cannot be proved true and is probably not entirely accurate. Yet, a legend is a story that lives on and refuses to die. A legend is a story that is good enough to be retold regardless of what we know to be true.

 
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Star Wars Books & Comics identifies a Legends story by prefixing a story's Era of Adventure banner with Legends from, e.g. Legends from The Old Republic, Legends from The New Jedi Order, etc. Novel and comic book listings pages also identify Legends stories by means of a vertical Legends banner next to the book's cover image:

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Star Wars Books & Comics' guides to Star Wars books & novels and comic books & graphic novels will list Star Wars Saga and Legends stories side-by-side - Saga story listings will obviously not have the Legends from prefix or vertical banner. However, our timelines section will separate Star Wars Saga from Legends - in effect producing two distinct timelines.

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Star Wars Legends: Crucible by
Troy Denning (paperback, 2014)

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Star Wars Legends: Kenobi by John Jackson Miller (paperback, 2014)
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Going forward the Expanded Universe moniker no longer exists and any EU material that is re-published, either in print or electronic medium, will now have a "Legends" banner.
The first such material was the paperback editions of Crucible by Troy Denning, Kenobi by John Jackson Miller and re-prints of The Han Solo Adventures by Brian Daley and The Lando Calrissian Adventures by L. Neil Smith. Writers and artists creating new stories within the Story Group canon can still access material from any Star Wars Legends branded story and add it to the canon thus bringing that material into canon - n.b. should a Legends character be incorporated into the canon this does not validate any Legends story they appeared in or their Legends back-story, only the character themself.

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This "pick'n'mix" attitude to Star Wars Legends stories is the method advocated by Star Wars Books & Comics for new readers searching for a starting point into the expanded Star Wars universe. After nearly three and a half decades of story telling, the Star Wars Expanded Universe had become too large and it must be extremely daunting to look at the number of Star Wars titles on an online book retailer, or on the shelves of a book store, or even browsing through Star Wars Books & Comics and wondering, "Where do I begin?".

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Star Wars Books & Comics' resources to Star Wars Legends:

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