Star Wars canon doesn’t matter in the slightest! I mean ALL of it; the stuff I like and prefer, the stuff you like and prefer. None of it matters… Because there’s something in all of it — the old and the new tales — for everybody. The sooner fans realize this, the closer we get to healing and reconciling the fanbase even a little.
My Way Or The Highway (Or Not)
I used to think my interpretation of Star Wars canon was the one which made the most sense, so I was very attached to it; perhaps even defensive at times. And honestly, that’s one of the big problems we face in the Star Wars fandom. We feel something special from our love of this thing which, in some way, has touched us all and then we get protective of it when something changes in little or large ways. We then react; big-time!
“But that’s not how the story goes!” some might say. “It doesn’t make sense for the direction to go that way when this here and this there are already established as that!”
We fear change to something so personally inspiring. But as Yoda warned Anakin: “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering!”
Hey, I’m sure that while I truly dig and prefer the way it used to be as far as I see it — for instance, Luke Skywalker not being a bitter quitter in order to make a new lead character shine where they lack character arc — there absolutely must be room for even this in Star Wars. Because if we don’t drop the hardcore desire to keep our ways of telling the story, it dies. For you, for me, for all of us because we’ll fight and tear it apart.
Then somewhere in-between, we get Star Wars content which is both new and constantly trying to appeal to new and old fans alike with much of it being hit-or-miss! People can defend the official canon of the Sequel Trilogy all they like, but you don’t have to be “as bad as the toxic fans” to critique these (or any other) pieces of Star Wars content.
Even the stuff I don’t care for, I admit that it works for and moves other people! For instance, while I see Rey as severely lacking in development I admit she is showing women and young girls out there that it doesn’t have to be a men-dominated world of heroes! The new canon may not be my particular cup of tea, but I have what lore of old drew me in to begin with. I say let everyone else have their fun!
It’s Not Canon (Let it Go) Pt. I
In one popular Star Wars canon: Luke established a New Jedi Order and trained the likes of Kyle Katarn and Luke’s own nephew and niece (twins Jacen and Jaina Solo), and married the brave Mara Jade with whom they had one son (Ben Skywalker). Han Solo and Leia Organa lived their own happily married life. They all dealt with such forces as the Shadow Academy led by Brakiss, the Yuuzhan Vong threat, and then the rise and fall of a new Sith Lord in young Jacen Solo (aka: Darth Caedus).
Yeah, not official canon. Not even loose canon anymore; infinitely more interesting though it was. And that’s okay!
In another Star Wars canon: a Jedi Knight named Revan rose to great power as a Sith Lord during the Mandalorian Wars, was redeemed, and sought to fight the Sith Empire with the help of the brave crew of the Ebon Hawk (Bastila Shan, Carth Onasi, HK-47, and others)! Well, Revan’s name and legacy as a great Sith Lord in the Old Republic managed to live on into today’s official canon as of The Rise of Skywalker (2019).
Daniel Nelson, a fan and poster on Geek News Now group The GNN Greats, posited his take on the use of what is and isn’t canon insofar as The Old Republic era tales:
“The bigger problem is picking through what is Legends and what isn’t.” said Nelson. “Most people don’t pay attention to everything to figure this out accurately. One major thing stood out when Disney took over. All projects got cancelled especially if it didn’t benefit Disney. By that metric, SWTOR should have been dropped.”
Nelson added: “That all being said, people want to say TOR content is Legends.” — Legends referring to the non-canon tales galore. — “The books and all are. The games…. not so much. Thrawn who is Chiss is from the Unknown Regions. The same lore talks about the Unknown Regions and the Wild Regions. Now Revan was ‘canonized’ by Luke, hammerhead cruisers ‘canonized’ by Rogue One (2016), there is a TOR Sith reference and ‘canonization’ in Solo (2018) and much more. People see the dots but are failing to connect the dots.”
It’s Not Canon (Let it Go) Pt. II
Of course, what many of us considered canon out of the former Expanded Universe (now called Legends) is, well, “canon”… Meaning while it lived in our hearts and headspaces, it was never officially Star Wars canon; most certainly once Lucasfilm and Disney got to work on the Sequel Trilogy. But Lucasfilm itself made clear in 2014 that none of Legends was canonical.
That said, the official post-OT (Original Trilogy) canon is not favored by some fans for reasons more than simple bellyaching or toxicity; the sooner the die-hard fans consider and accept this side of what’s important to Star Wars, again, the closer we get to fan reconciliation.
Whether Lucasfilm blends Legends material into modern Star Wars canon as time goes on or comes up with something new, there’s bound to be something for everyone. Much as I detest Kylo Ren, he did have a point about letting go. In this case, letting go of expectations that Star Wars canon will flow best my (or your) way.
A lot of Star Wars content exists with more to come over the years and there’s only one important question: what within it makes you happy? What stories move you? Because here’s the thing: Your Star Wars canon? My Star Wars canon? Neither really matters except to us as individuals. Lucasfilm (with Disney’s aid) will long continue to push new content: and good or bad, there’s something in it for everybody!
Do you think canon matters to Star Wars enjoyment? Comment below! Check out this Geek News Now article about saying no to micro-transactions in Star Wars games and yes to sequels! Also, subscribe to Geek News Now and give its Facebook page a like!