A dedicated legion of ‘Star Wars’ fans are pleading with Disney and Lucasfilm to bring back the space saga’s 'expanded universe’.
Such is the seriousness of their passion that yesterday a billboard ad went up in San Francisco as a direct request to the filmmakers.
It reads: “Dear Lucasfilm, Please continue THE ORIGINAL EXPANDED UNIVERSE — The epic story that existed from 1976-2014. Thank you.”
Some background – the 'expanded universe’ has existed since around the time of the first movie back in 1977, comprising spin-off novels, comics, role-playing games and suchlike.
The first notable text was the novel 'Splinter of the Mind’s Eye’ from 1978 by Alan Dean Foster, taking place between the action of the first 'Star Wars’ movie 'A New Hope’ and 'The Empire Strikes Back’.
Since then, it had flourished, introducing new worlds and new villains aside from the Empire.
However, in 2014, two years after Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4.06 billion, it was announced that the expanded universe material was to be declared 'non-canon’, thus not officially part of the new 'Star Wars’ universe.
Instead, it would be re-branded as 'Star Wars Legends’, with the new Disney division 'Lucasfilm Story Group’ taking control of the new 'Star Wars’ universe to ensure there is no contradictory storytelling going on.
Delving into the SWEU, as it’s known, it’s something of a minefield, with various levels of 'canon’ and sub-series texts having been established over the years.
The custodians of the campaign, known as Give Us Legends, initiated a crowd-funding push to raise money for the advert, with just under $5000 coming in donations to pay for the billboard, found on the corner of Steiner and Lombard in San Francisco.
Whether it make the slightest bit of difference, however, is unlikely.
More than ever, Disney is likely to be much more stringent on who is penning 'canon’ and 'non-canon’ stories in the Star Wars universe, particularly with many more films in the offing.
A valiant effort from fans, then, but one more than likely to fall on deaf ears at Disney.
Image credits: Twitter/Del Rey Books