Ladies and gentlemen, today the Earth quaked, the stars wept, souls were shattered, and even the Pillars of Heaven shook enough to make ol' Jack Burton run for cover.
That's right, the news that the fans have been demanding for weeks has been released...and all hell broke loose. You remember those carefree days, right? When fans said they were "owed" news by Disney? That they were sick of rumors and that they "deserved" something official? That was back on August 12th, 2013. Back then, a very wise, devastatingly handsome, and rather humble man said the following:
"Worse still, there is the knowledge (almost a certainty) that anything Disney reveals will be not only devoured by instant media, but shredded by it as well."
Sure enough, Lucasfilm released official news for the first time in a very long time.
Sure enough, the news was shredded before it was readily understood.
The Star Wars Expanded Universe has not been burned, dumped, shredded, pulverized, or targeted by the Death Star. It was never labeled as "canon" so nothing was lost today. What did Lucasfilm do? They paved the way for the same authors you loved yesterday to write the novels of tomorrow with nothing shackling them. Episode VII will not conflict upon any existing works.
Lucasfilm has cleared the way for decades of future stories. Even better? These stories will come without controversy. We won't have fanboys wondering how Chewie can be in Episode VII if he was killed in a novel. Authors everywhere are free to weave the post-Return of the Jedi story into a tightly cohesive universe we can all enjoy.
What most people (who are ready to jump off ledges) fail to understand is that the books you loved for the past twenty years are still there. The stories are just as epic. The characters are still compelling. The twists and turns that gripped you at two o'clock in the morning because you couldn't put the book down are just as powerful. They were never really canon, even according to Lucas himself, but if that one simple fact makes those pages turn to ash in your hand, then you have to wonder why you were reading them to begin with.
Great stories stay with you because they are great stories. Dumbedore's death made people cry. Boba Fett's escape from the Sarlaac Pit was the stuff of legends. Mr. Smith's filibuster is inspirational. None of that has changed. The substance, the essence, the very soul of the author's message still lives on our bookshelves and tablets.
I think noted Star Wars EU author (and future EU author) John Jackson Miller said it best on his Facebook page.
"Nothing's obsolete...but as I've said elsewhere, as a reader, what matters to me is not the status of individual stories (which are bound to occasionally change over time in any shared universe), but the fact that I enjoyed them."