When Lucasfilm announced that Star Wars: The Force Awakens wouldn’t be based on the old Star Wars Canon, some fans had difficulty understanding why. While many knew that it wouldn’t make sense to shackle the filmmakers of a new Star Wars movie with decades of story, some people still weren’t clear why twenty years of novels were discarded.
Bleeding Cool found an interview with popular EU author Kevin J Anderson where he explains it well:
“We were writing sequels to Return Of The Jedi because at that time there were not supposed to be any movies ever made so we wrote our own sequels, there were a hundred or some total novels in all different parts of the timeframe and ours were some of them. Well, as it so happens now there is going to be Star Wars 7 that JJ Abrams is going to be doing . Well when youâ€™re doing a brand new movie, starting effectively from scratch, blank slate, the person, JJ Abrams trying to do the movie doesnâ€™t want to have to take into account 100 novels that have been written by 35 different writers.”
That makes a lot of sense, and while you may see elements from the EU brought into the new Star Wars Canon the actual plots likely wont’ be. For example, Star Wars Rebels has already brought in EU elements such as the lightsaber fighting styles. Kanan uses “Style 3”. This is something small that was established in the EU that the Story Group as then made canon in the series. So going forward we’ll likely see more stuff like this. Concepts, planets, and the like will become canon while major characters and plot lines will probably remain Legends.
Personally I’m really excited about the new Star Wars Canon going forward, as starting from a blank slate is sometimes a lot of fun. That’s part of the reason why DC’s New 52 reboot was so successful for them a few years ago.