Clearly, someone over at Lucasfilm hates The Old Republic.
The Old Republic era of Star Wars, spanning three to four thousands years before the events of the original trilogy, has always been a beloved setting for fans of the franchise. However, despite its popularity, Lucasfilm continues to avoid supporting this period of Star Wars, much to the frustration of fans with no new projects or announcements outside of The Old Republic MMO. Star Wars Celebration 2023 has wrapped up and there was barely any reference or mention of The Old Republic among the avalanche of announced Star Wars projects. Just a simple logo for it on the timeline and nothing else.
Granted, I know there is James Mangold’s film project that was announced, Dawn of the Jedi, but that takes place around 25,000 years before A New Hope. But this is going way, way, WAY too far back for this era. The Old Republic is around 3,000 to 4,000 years before A New Hope. We got three films announced that advance the Star Wars timeline in different directions, but the silence surrounding “TOR” at this point is deafening. Why is that exactly? Well there can be a couple of reasons.
One reason for this lack of acknowledgement may be due to the fact that the Old Republic era is heavily tied to the Star Wars Legends continuity, which was deemed non-canon by Lucasfilm. While elements of Legends have been incorporated into the new canon, such as the character of Thrawn and the planet of Mandalore, the Old Republic era remains largely untouched.
Another reason may be that Lucasfilm is simply focusing on other areas of the Star Wars universe. In recent years, they have released a number of films and television shows set during the original trilogy era, including The Mandalorian and Rogue One. With so much content being produced, it’s possible that Lucasfilm simply doesn’t have the resources to explore the Old Republic era at this time.
But then again they went out of their way to create an entirely new timeline with The High Republic (set about 200 years before A New Hope) which is supported by comic books, novels, a game on the way, and a new kid’s show. It would have been probably easier to just focus those resources on TOR.
However, fans of the Old Republic era, such as myself, remain hopeful that Lucasfilm will eventually acknowledge this period of Star Wars. In fact, there have been a number of hints and nods to the era in recent years.
For example, in the novel Master and Apprentice by Claudia Gray, a character makes reference to a “Great Scourge of Malachor,” which is a direct reference to events that occurred during the Old Republic era. Not to mention that the Malachor system was introduced in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II. Additionally, Darth Revan, a central character in the first KOTOR, is mentioned canonically in Pablo Hidalgo’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary where it is stated that one of the sith trooper squads is named after Revan himself.
Furthermore, it is impossible to ignore the ongoing massively popular MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic, developed and maintained by Electronic Arts. While the game is not considered part of the canon timeline it has received numerous story expansions and updates well after the reset of the Star Wars canon.
The online game has generated close to $1 Billion in revenue back in 2019 (when the last data was available) and has most likely surpassed that since then! There is money to be made here and they are kind of just leaving it on the table. Think about all the fans out there who absolutely adore Revan. There is a KOTOR remake on the backburner now, but there is definitely interest in the property still!
Much like Anakin’s feelings of not being granted the rank of Master, I too feel that Lucasfilm avoiding TOR is “Outrageous and unfair. How can you be part of the franchise and not be canon?!” Do you feel disappointed and slighted by this as well? Maybe I’m just making a mountain out of a molehill and the Old Republic era is just not important to the franchise’s future? Sound off in the comment section below. Be sure to subscribe to Geek News Now here. As always, stay geeky out there!
May 26, 2023 at 4:00 pm
Because it was never a part of the canon when Lucas owned Star Wars anyways.
It was EU only, and the EU was never a part of the Official Star Wars canon by George Lucas’s own telling.
“George Lucas says there has never been any war between the Jedi and the Sith in his Star Wars Canon” – An excerpt from StarWars.com‘s oral history of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace:
Everybody said, “Oh, well, there was a war between the Jedi and the Sith.” Well, that never happened. That’s just made up by fans or somebody. What really happened is, the Sith ruled the universe for a while, 2000 years ago. Each Sith has an apprentice, but the problem was, each Sith Lord got to be powerful. And the Sith Lords would try to kill each other because they all wanted to be the most powerful. So in the end they killed each other off, and there wasn’t anything left.
“But anyway, there’s a whole matrix of backstory that has never really come out. It’s really just history that I gathered up along the way. It’s all based on backstories that I’d written setting up what the Jedi were, setting up what the Sith were, setting up what the Empire was, setting up what the Republic was, and how it all fit together I never really got a chance to explain the Whills part.”
George Lucas’ vision of the galaxy’s ancient times is clearly different from the Expanded Universe. Many wars between Jedi and Sith in the Old Republic era were told in games, books and comics. The current Lucasfilm’s canon didn’t explore this era yet.’
“There are two worlds here,” explained Lucas. “There’s my world, which is the movies, and there’s this other world that has been created, which I say is the parallel universe – the licensing world of the books, games and comic books.”
~ George Lucas, Cinescape, 2002
“What George did with the films and The Clone Wars was pretty much his universe ,” Chee said. “He didn’t really have that much concern for what we were doing in the books and games. So the Expanded Universe was very much separate.”
~ Leland Chee, Continuity Database Adminstrator for Lucas Licensing, SYFY WIRE Fandom Files #13 Interview,Jan.2018
“There’s this notion that everything changed when everything became Legends. And I can see why people think that. But, you know, having worked with George I can tell you that it was always very clear — and he made it very clear — that the films and the TV shows were the only things that he considered Canon. That was it.”
Dave Filoni interview on ‘The Star Wars show’ [41.40 mark]-
“Lucas’ canon – and when I say ‘his canon’, I’m talking about what he was doing in the films and what he was doing in The Clone Wars – was hugely important. But what we were doing in the books really wasn’t on his radar.”
~ Leland Chee, Continuity Database Adminstrator,SYFY WIRE Fandom Files #13 Interview,Jan.2018
Moraband, as seen in “Sacrifice”
“Sacrifice” features the first appearance of Moraband, the homeworld of the Sith, in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. During story development, George Lucas decided that he preferred the name “Moraband” over the previously used “Korriban”, and thus the planet is referred to as such in the episode.
“I don’t read that stuff, I haven’t read any of the novels. I don’t know anything about that world. That’s a different world than my world. But I do try and keep it consistent. The way I do it is they have a Star Wars encyclopedia. So if I come up with a name or something else, I look it and see if it has already been used. When I said other people could make their own Star Wars stories, we decided that, like Star Trek, we would have TWO universes: My Universe and than this other one. They try to make THEIR universe as consistent with mine as possible, but obviously they get enthusiastic and want to go off in other directions.”
~ George Lucas Starlog Magazine Interview, 2005 – https://ibb.co/Km1CcNs
“I get asked all the time, ‘What happens after “Return of the Jedi”?,’ and there really is no answer for that,” he said. “The movies were the story of Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker, and when Luke saves the galaxy and redeems his father, that’s where that story ends.””
~ George Lucas, Flannelled One, May 2008, “George Lucas: ‘Star Wars’ won’t go beyond Darth Vader”, interview with Los Angeles Times
“And now there have been novels about the events after Episode VI, which isn’t at all what I would have done with it. The Star Wars story is really the tragedy of Darth Vader. That is the story. Once Vader dies, he doesn’t come back to life, the Emperor doesn’t get cloned and Luke doesn’t get married.”
~ George Lucas,Total Film Magazine Interview, 2008
”The novels and comic books are other authors’ interpretations of my creation. Sometimes, I tell them what they can and cant do, but I just don’t have the time to read them. They’re not my vision of what Star Wars is.”
~ George Lucas, 2004
“I like to refer to the Interview with Lucas in the Special Editions.When asked about the novels and what not, he simply says:
”Those are another author’s interpretation of what I’ve created, and not to be taken seriously, as far as what is really going on in the Star Wars world.”
~ George Lucas, April, StarWars.com, 2004
“Q: What do you think of the expanded universe of books?
A: The books are in a different universe. I’ve not read any of them, and I told them when they started writing I wouldn’t read any of them and I blocked out certain periods.”
~ George Lucas – “The Furry Conflict and the Great ‘Beard‘ of the Galaxy”
(report based on a Q&A session with George Lucas which occurred at USC on 11-19-03)
‘The Star Wars Universe has expanded beyond the movies. How much leeway do the game makers and novel writers have?’
“They have their own kind of world. There are three pillars of Star Wars. I’ll probably get in trouble for this, but it’s ok! There’s three pillars: the father, the son, and the holy ghost. I’m the Father, Howard Roffman [President of Lucas Licensing] is the son and the holy ghost is the fans, this kind of ethereal world of people coming up with all kinds of different ideas and histories. Now these three pillars don’t always match, but the movies and TV shows are all under my control and are consistent within themselves. Howard tries to be consistent but sometimes he does off on tangents and it’s hard to hold him back. He once said to me that there are two Star Trek Universes: the TV show and than there’s all the spin offs. He said they were completely different and didn’t have anything to do with each other. So I said “Ok, go ahead”.
~ George Lucas, TF Magazine Interview, 2008
‘Alot of our viewers and listeners are really big into the EU and are excited to see the Clone Wars fleshed out more, are the writers and yourself well versed with this period in the EU or are you just doing what best serves the story and than just letting Leland Chee have to figure out how to make it fit?’
“Lelands definately involved in that, that’s for sure! [Laughs]. It’s funny, to kill time between the movies I’d read the novels and I read the comics before coming on this job, so I’m aware of the EU, especially involving the clone wars [period], but much like the theatrical features [the movies], we can’t let that [the EU] get in the way of telling the story George wants to, or telling a story that just makes sense for the period of time we are involved with.
I take alot of that information that I’m aware of and bring it in front of George if we’re pitching an idea or if he has an idea and than I say, well this is from Wikipedia and this is from the dictionary if you want to take a look at this and he considers it or not,ya know, sometimes he hasn’t seen the material at all and he’s just kinda suprised, and sometimes it’s just not something that interests him because you know it wasn’t really something that he had invented and he wants to go a different direction.
Dave Filoni Comic Con 2008 Star Wars Action News
“The Yasalamari creatures are not something that we brought into the show [with Thrawn who was canonized for the first time] in the Rebels series], so he wont have those Force Bubble creatures. When I asked, actually, I had a talk at one point a long time ago at one point during the Clone Wars production with George and we were discussing those creatures and we both thought they were kind of an implausability because they were a part of life, they were alive, and things that are alive aren’t negated out of the Force so as we understood it, so I decieded to not carry that foward[into the show]… it didn’t seem logical with what we had in the films.”
[Pablo Hidalgo had said something similar once in that It didn’t make sense, The Yasalmari Force bubble, with the way George Lucas described the Force in canon.]
~ Dave Filoni, Star Wars Celebration Europe, 2016
“What we’re trying to do these days is have an immense collaboration at Lucasfilm. One of the things, I think, as we go forward that we really, really want to have, so that as fans, that you can really be certain that when things happen across different Star Wars IPs, ya know from comic books, to novels, to video games to new movies to TV or whatever, that it’s all part of the same universe. And that’s not been something that I think we really had prior to now. I mean, it’s always been like this is George’s universe – what he’s doing with the movies and his TV shows, and than there was what everyone else was doing and it’s too much too keep control of. And I know, I know more than anyone else how much consternation that has caused fans, because they’re like but ‘I love this character and I love this character’. And, I think what we’re trying to do now is to try and find a way to make everything to wotk more cohesively, so LucasArts is part of Lucasfilm as is Lucas animation and I’m very proud to say that there was collaboration with those guys because we were going to the same place.” [Referring to [1313 – Directly from George Lucas].
Dave Filoni, Episode XII: The Clone Wars Season 5 Finale Special, 2013
[Time stamp – [1:06 – 1:07] – http://fullofsith.com/archives/396
“I don’t even read the offshoot books that come out based on Star Wars.”
~ George Lucas, Flannelled One, July 1999 – Film Night interview
“In the old days, George Lucas saw his universe as separate from publishing [EU]. He wasn’t at all interested in connecting.”*
~ Pablo Hidalgo [Lucasfilm Story Group] 2016
“He [Lucas] only considers his movies and TV projects as his universe, and told the Clone Wars writers to only worry about those.”
~ Palno Hidalgo
‘In 2014, Disney declared the Expanded Universe was no longer canon. It became ‘Legends’. What do you think of this, seeing all of your work suddenly become non-canon?’
“Those of us writing the EU were always told, all along, from the very beginning (have I stressed that strongly enough?), “Only the Movies are Canon.” Sure, it was disappointing.”
~ Kathy Tyers, EU author [Truce at Bakura, Balance Point] Interview, 2018
Podcast Interview with Steve Perry, Author of Shadows of the Empire from the Expanded Universe –
Interviewer – ‘So what are your thoughts about your book and all the ones that came other than this last year are no longer part of the Official Star Wars Canon ever since Disney took over?
Steve Perry – “Ohh they never were! Nothing was ever canon other than the movies.”
The Ritual Misery Podcast with hosts Amos and Kent, 2015