Thursday, June 6, 2013

Opinion: Can the New Film Trilogy Coexist With the Expanded Universe?

By: Amelia Luise

Since the announcement of Disney buying out LucasFilm and planning to make three more episodes proceeding Return of the Jedi, fans of the Saga everywhere, and in particular the fans of the Expanded Universe, have been pulling out their hair in concern of everything that could possibly go wrong.

Could they be Zahn’s well-loved Thrawn Trilogy? Fans both from the generation when the novels first came out and new generations wish hopefully. But that hope is also a fear knowing that our beloved Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher would be too old to play the roles, and replacing them with other actors is utterly unthinkable.

If one follows enough nerdom on the Internet, they may have noticed a common fear of the post-Return of the Jedi book fans: that if the original cast is in the new trilogy (Ford, Hamill, and Fisher all have been rumoured to be returning), it will take place just during the Legacy Era—and as a result, retcon the Legacy of the Force and Fate of the Jedi, possibly even all the novels leading up to it since Return of the Jedi. Twenty-plus years of novels and graphic novels, countless hours and months and years dedicated to bringing to life the story of the New Republic and the Yuuzhan Vong war and the rise and fall of Darth Caedus and Admiral Daala’s rise to power and the Jedi and Sith making an alliance all flushed down the toilet is a great fear.

But fear not, dear reader! In the Legacy of the Force and Fate of the Jedi novels, Luke and Leia are in the early 60’s, but looking good. Han is in his early 70’s, also not doing too bad, running around the galaxy, fixing up the Falcon, and shooting first. Though the actors themselves are around the age of their respective characters at the time, let’s say Space Magic (or in this case, bacta treatment) kept them looking young. So in the New Trilogy, if Disney brings back the Big Three, what if they threw in ten or fifteen years and used all three original actors? It could work—without retconning any novels.

Say it’s ten years. Jaina Solo Fel now would be in her early 40’s, a kid or three in the mix, most likely still married to Jagged Fel. In the Dark Horse Legacy graphic novels taking place around 130 ABY, it is revealed there is a Fel Empire that’s roots go back to Jagged Fel. Jagged briefly wore the title of Emperor, but to consist with the Legacy graphic novels he will at some point have to take up title as Emperor again and pass it on to a son, or daughter who will keep and pass on the family name of Fel.

Anyways, ten years after Fate of the Jedi—we also have Allana Solo, daughter of the late Jacen Solo turned Sith Lord Darth Caedus and the Hapan Queen Mother Tenel Ka Djo. For a time she was the ward of her grandparents, Han and Leia, under the pseudonym Amelia (thank you, Troy Denning). Allana has the potential to be a major plot in the New Trilogy. I mean, come on. She’s a princess, similar to the leading female roles seen in the previous trilogies, but also a known Force-sensitive—something not seen in Padmé and as far as films go, not revealed in Leia. Lead-female Force-sensitive roles may only be familiar in Ahsoka Tano for those who watched Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I’m sure most fans are ready to see a female kick some butt with a lightsaber in a film trilogy. Also, the character would be about 18—between the ages Padmé was in her films (14, 24, and 27) and just barely younger than Leia in hers (Leia was 19 in A New Hope). Male and female fans alike would adore having a lightsaber-wielding princess just about the age her grandmother and great-grandmother before her were seen, but with blasters.

On top of the fact Allana could bring in the regal kick-butt everyone loved in Princess Leia and Padmé, there is also the Throne of Balance plot that still needs to be resolved. Before the death of Darth Caedus (or Jacen Solo), he had a vision of his daughter Allana sitting upon the Throne in a reign of peace. Allana’s grandmother Leia also has a vision of Allana standing in front of the Throne. Luke Skywalker, Allana’s great-uncle, saw a vision of Allana in a reign of peace upon the Throne. A Sith High Lord also had this same vision, of a Jedi queen reigning in a time of peace, though he did not know who the Jedi Queen was at the time being. It was his fear she would prevent the Sith from taking the galaxy.

So the Throne of Balance presents quite some potential. It would not retcon any books, it would cast the Big Three in a reasonable time period while still passing the baton to a new generation, it would present an opportunity for a female to shine on the big screen in the galaxy far, far away.
Another important character to consider is Ben Skywalker. By now, he would be nearing 30. He could be married, or this could be an opportunity to meet his romantic interest (as long as he doesn’t compare her to sand). With his father growing old and senile it’s time Ben take up the torch…er, lightsaber…and lead the Jedi Order. In the past two series though his character has grown he hasn’t necessarily matured. From the beginning of Legacy of the Force to the end of Fate of the Jedi, he hasn’t grown in maturity. So it would be nice to have a more adult side (which he better have at 30).
Now these are just the thoughts and possibilities of one Expanded Universe geek, who in no way is affiliated with Disney or J.J. Abrams or anyone involved with the oncoming trilogy. This is just my words of encouragement to my fellow Expanded Universe fans who see no possibility of our beloved books remaining canon. Maybe there is another brilliant way the books will remain canon but not how I see, but these are the best possibilities that I can predict. Book readers, book writers, and the average movie-goer alike would all be satisfied.

This article is an opinion piece and represents the views of the writer, and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization.


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