I have been a Star Wars fan all my life. Growing up, me and my brother were heavily impacted and captivated by the mystery, power, and wonder of the Star Wars Universe. We were ( and still are) huge fans, and we own countless graphic novels, comics, RPG's, novels, guides, DVD's, VHS, encyclopedias, video games, etc. pertaining to the Star Wars world. We would even find ourselves spending hours on the internet immersing ourselves in this galaxy far, far away, learning as much as we possibly could.
By far the single most stand out and impactful part of Star Wars to myself (as well as my brother) was the canon; specifically, the Expanded Universe (what happened before, in-between, and after the original six films). The EU was a thousand times more detailed and interesting than the original films could have ever hoped to be, and I think Lucas realized this, the EU truly was the backbone of the Star Wars Universe. Lucas OK-ed the expansion of his original story by other artists, opening up Star Wars to be built on by others even more passionate about the story than himself. People would end up putting a huge portion of their time and creative skills in to crafting and shaping a coherent, extremely detailed Star Wars Universe by means of the Expanded Universe. The same one that me and my brother would come to adore.
Now, Star Wars was certainly never safe in Lucas' bumbling hands, I think a lot of Star Wars "purists" would say that. My main complaint being that several ways he handled his franchise was purely motivated out of pursuit of money rather than pursuit of a better Star Wars (remastered original trilogy, anyone?); he put money over passion. You can't knock him too hard though, as he is the "originator" of the main story a lot of us know and love, but by the time he sold Star Wars to Disney he had come to play a much smaller role in the Star Wars Universe than he did back in the 80's. He wasn't the only story teller anymore, in fact there were hundreds, if not thousands, of other people who had put just as much, if not more, time, passion, and creativity in to crafting the Star Wars Universe.
Unfortunately, when George Lucas sold Star Wars to mega-monopoly, Disney, Disney had zero intention of letting the cash cow that was the Star Wars franchise rest. Disney immediately made the extremely bold move to rebrand the entire Star Wars canon Expanded Universe as Star Wars "Legends". This may not seem like a very big deal, but essentially what was done, was that Disney had delegitimized thousands of other people's works and contributions to Star Wars simply for the sake of being able to re-write over it while keeping and using the details they wanted (without credit to the actual artists); all in the name of pursuit of the all-mighty dollar. I found this to be a little upsetting. The Star Wars I knew and loved had been stripped down to a skeleton.
Now people often try to tell me "well its Lucas' franchise originally you don't have a right to be upset about how he handles it or how who he sells it to handles it blah blah blah", but that's bullshit and I guess maybe these people just weren't as impacted by Star Wars as I was or didn't really immerse themselves in it. Star Wars had become something far more than Lucas' bare minimum films, and it wasn't just his franchise anymore. He had opened it up to thousands of other people who made Star Wars much more than six films, but an actual Universe with a detailed and rich history through every style of media imaginable. It's quite unfortunate that Disney decided to do away with it and rewrite other people's work. They will milk the Star Wars cash cow until it lactates nothing but bitter, blood; and that's kind of sad. A seventh movie was never necessary. Star Wars had become something so much more than that, and now we're back to the bare minimums, but the cash cow isn't any healthier. I could ramble about this more but I'm not going to.
Anyways, that's just one Star Wars fan's 2-cents on the matter.
released December 18, 2015
This is for everyone who contributed to the Star Wars Expanded Universe