Sunday, September 6, 2015

When Fanimals Attack!

I was 10 years old, when Star Wars came out. (And, it was just Star Wars, back then. Not Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope.)

I saw it in the theater, numerous times. I bought the toys, trading cards

(Some of the cards had partial pictures on the back. When you out them together, they formed a "poster." I would tape them together, and hang them on the wall.), models, t-shirts, and comic books. Basically, if it was Star Wars, I had to have it. I bought, and read, Splinter of the Minds Eye by Alan Dean Foster, the first ever original Star Wars novel. (It was intended to be the basis for the sequel, but, after the success of the original movie, and access to a bigger budget, things went in a different direction.)

I went to the theater to see The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi (Originally Revenge of the Jedi, until it was decided that Jedi do not believe in revenge.), The Star Wars Special Edition, and The Phantom Menace. Sadly, the trauma of seeing The Phantom Menace brought my Star Wars theater viewing to an end. I have seen the other prequels, just not on the big screen.

Just off to my left, I have two shelves of Star Wars Novels (With some toys mixed in, for good measure.). I own the Family Guy Star Wars Trilogy.

I have numerous table-top Star Wars games. On Force Friday (Sept.4th, 2015), I bought a Kylo Ren action figure. (I wanted a Captain Phasma, too, but they didn't have any.) I also picked up Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig

(The first "grown-up" novel , in the new canon, that takes place AFTER Return of the Jedi.) (Full disclosure:I bought the book two days before it was officially released.)

I tell you all of this, so that you will understand that I am a Star Wars fan.

You see that word, up there? "Fan." Short for fanatic, defined as: "A person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal." Nowadays, when we call ourselves a fan, we usually mean we really like something. "I'm a fan of Pumpkin spice candles."  Fine. Are you a "fanatic" for the aforementioned candles? I doubt it.

What does this have to do with Star Wars?

There is a group called  Alliance To Save The Star Wars Legends, Expanded Universe.

For those who don't know, with Disney's acquisition of the Star Wars property, and the announcement of Episode VII, a new "canon" was started. Initially, this included the six films, and the Clone Wars TV show. Since then, they have added the Rebels TV show, half a dozen "grown-up" novels, many books for kids and young adults, as well as a new series of comic books. All of the books and such that came before is now labeled "Legends."

What this means is that all of the stuff carrying the "Legends" banner is no longer part of the "official" Star Wars story.


The Alliance To Save The Star Wars Legends, Expanded Universe refuses to acknowledge any of the new canon. It seems that they have even gone so far as to start a campaign to flood Amazon with 1-star reviews, for Star Wars: Aftermath. There's a good chance that none of them have even read the book.

From an article on The, regarding the new novel Tarkin by James Luceno: "This isn't Star Wars. this is nothing more than lies," wrote Matt Wilson, in a comment that had 25 likes at press time. "#GiveUsLegends or simply leave what is already a great universe, alone. #BuyLegendsOnly people, it won't be the real Star Wars unless it is Legends. GiveUsMoreLegends."


"I hate the fact that I have to hate this," one of the movement's members said in the comments of the Tarkin Facebook post. "This has all the makings of a good story, then you guys have to go and ruin it by making it not art of Legends."


A good story is a good story. What does it matter, if it's not a part of "Legends?" I may have mentioned that I am a Star Wars fan. I'm disappointed when there is a bad story, within the Star Wars universe.


I love it when there is a great story, as well. Canon, not canon, it doesn't matter. I've still got plenty of "Legends" books to read, but I'm gonna read the new stuff, too. (I've already finished Star Wars: Aftermath.) Because I want to read good stories. And, for the most part, these are good stories.

And, That's just what these things are: stories. No one is rewriting history. This is fiction. Something to be enjoyed, when done right. Something to share with your family and friends, in a simple "Hey, that was cool" kind of way. Read the books. Watch the movies and TV shows. Play the games. Dress up as your favorite characters. But, remember, it's only a story.

(I'm not even going to get in to the people who are upset that the new canon has introduced gay characters.)

Finally, just to incite some nerd rage, I will quote William Shatner (In a Star Wars article? NO!): "Get a life!"

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