Monday, June 6, 2016

Timothy Zahn Discusses the Expanded Universe Becoming "Legends"

Foto: Robson Fernandjes/ Fotos Públicas
By: Dominic Jones

Timothy Zahn will always be remembered as one of the most prolific and important Star Wars authors.  Back in 1991, Zahn was selected to restart the Star Wars publishing line with a trilogy of novels.  The books, Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command (collectively known as "The Thrawn Trilogy"), are some of the most beloved stories in the old expanded universe (known now as "Legends") and introduced fan favourite characters Grand Admiral Thrawn and Mara Jade.  Zahn took part in a fan Q&A at Awesome Con in Washington DC last weekend, and discussed the canon reboot as well as the potential for some of his characters appearing in future films and TV shows.

On the canon reboot, Zahn said,
I think about it kind of like the legend of Robin Hood. We tell stories even now about Robin Hood, or King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. They aren’t real, but it’s still fun to read. Imagine someone finds a letter under Stonehenge from Prince John to the Sheriff of Nottingham, saying “I’ve had it with this Robin Hood, he’s making a mockery of my Kingdom, and I want his head on a pike now!” Suddenly it goes from a Legend to factual history. That is what they have done by calling all of the expanded universe legends.

They are saying we can make any of this back into canon at any time. So the best of their options is set up. Bear in mind they have people like Pablo Hidalgo, Dave Filoni, and Kathleen Kennedy who have an extreme love for the Star Wars Universe. These people are not people who will go and demolish Star Wars. If they have to destroy part of the expanded universe, it will be because its not in line with what they want to do.

In a way its kind of sad that they call it “Legends,” and its not real anymore, but it was never really real in the first place. I think that the expanded universe, and Star Wars are in good hands.

Also bear in mind, that JJ Abrams, and Kathleen Kennedy, will not break into your house and take your books.

On the potential of characters he created appearing in future Star Wars media, Zahn said,
How do I put this? YES! I would love something of mine to show up in Rebels, or Rogue One, or the movies. I think my stuff would translate well.  Even if it’s just a passing reference. At the end of the Force Awakens, I was speculating about a grand battle to take place at the end of the trilogy where they say something along the lines of "We beat Palpatine, we beat Thrawn, we can beat this guy."

Zahn wish of seeing one of his characters appear on Rebels may be coming true very soon (perhaps even at Celebration!)  It's also always interesting to hear how someone who was so involved in the old Expanded Universe feels about the reboot.  It sounds like Zahn understands and is on board with it, even though he may be a little sad about it.  That being said, Zahn seems to have been on board with the reboot since day one, seeing as he was involved in the video announcing it (below).

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