The following constitutes what I believe to be the most comprehensive collection of Star Wars canon policy and policy-related quotes on the internet. This version of the list is in rank order, or chronological when rank is the same. The intent of this order is to make more clear which ranks are saying what. For a simple chronological listing or for other quote resources and discussion click here.
Origin: Lucas / Lucasfilm
George Lucas, Flannelled One
Origin: Lucas Licensing, Et Cetera
Expanded Universe Authors
David West Reynolds
The quotes are given in the state in which I found them, with regards to punctuation, italics, and so on. The only exceptions are the quotation marks I have placed around the quotes, and, in the case of answers to a particular question, the questions are colored for clarity when quoted. Links are provided to the sources whenever available. One exception to both the version use and linking is in regards to the Insider #23 quote, where the question and one element of punctuation were obtained not from the alt.starwars.fan FAQ I link to, but from Curtis Saxton's Technical Commentaries rendition of the quote.
You'll also see "(Direct Link)" underneath the source line for each quote. With this you can link directly to the quote if it is being used in a discussion. Just click it and then copy the page address (including what appears after the # mark), using that as your link elsewhere.
Last updated 02-21-08
"It wasn't long after I began writing Star Wars that I realized the story was more than a single film could hold. As the saga of the Skywalkers and Jedi Knights unfolded, I began to see it as a tale that could take at last nine films to tell- three trilogies- and I realized, in making my way through the back story and after story, that I was really setting out to write the middle story.
After Star Wars was released, it became apparent that my story- however many films it took to tell- was only one of thousands that could be told about the characters who inhabit its galaxy. But these were not stories that I was destined to tell. Instead they would spring from the imagination of other writers, inspired by the glimpse of a galaxy that Star Wars provided. Today it is an amazing, if unexpected, legacy of Star Wars that so many gifted writers are contributing new stories to the Saga. This legacy began with Splinter of the Mind's Eye, published less than a year after the release of Star Wars. Written by Alan Dean Foster, a well known and talented science-fiction author, Splinter was promoted as ”further adventure” of Luke Skywalker. It hit bookstores just as I was preparing to write my own ”further adventure” of Luke, in the form of a script called The Empire Strikes Back.
It seems only fitting, after all these years, that Splinter would be republished as I prepare once again to write another further adventure set a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..."
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, 1994 - Preface to "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" reprinting
"One of the characters that will eventually show up in the prequels is Boba Fett. The notorious bounty hunter has become a cult anti-hero ever since his introduction in The Empire Strikes Back.
I don't know why. [Laughs] I'm mystified by it. He is, he's a, I mean I think he's a, he's a mysterious character, he's a provocative character. He seems like an all powerful character, except he gets killed. Although he's gotten killed, the people who write the books, and everybody else, the comics, are all 'We cant kill him, we gotta bring him back!', you know, 'He can't die! We refuse to let him die!'"
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, 1997 - MTV interview as reposted in Boba Fett Fan Club site FAQ
(See also this page from a similar Boba Fett fan site. Also stated here.)
(See also my enhanced version of the BFFC video clip here (DivX 4, 2mb))
"Do you have a map of this universe, every single creature, where they come from, what they eat, what their society back home is like? Or are you just making it up as you go?
Well, I think somewhere in some of the dark recesses of my company's files there is something like that, but I've never seen it. And I don't really know. Even though I live this, and I know the worlds very well, and I know what everything in them is, half the time I'm in the fortunate position to just make it up. So, when somebody asks me a question, I just...I know what the consistencies are. I know what is consistent with a particular environment and what isn't. And really that's the job of the director, to keep everything in line. I can do that on the movie. But I can't do that in the Star Wars universe."
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, Summer 1999 - E!Online interview (A variant from Star Wars: Insider #45 exists, though the E! version was written by professional press, and would logically be unbiased.)
"I don't even read the offshoot books that come out based on Star Wars."
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, July 1999 - Film Night interview
"What would it take for you to do a third trilogy, with episodes VII, VIII and IX?
Each time I do a trilogy it's 10 years out of my life. I'll finish ”Episode III” and I'll be 60. And the next 20 years after that I want to spend doing something other than ”Star Wars.” If at 80 I'm still lively and having a good time and think I can work hard for another 10 years between 80 and 90, I might consider it. But don't count on it. There's nothing written, and it's not like I'm completing something. I'd have to start from scratch. [The idea of episodes VII, VIII, and IX] was more of a media thing than it was me.
Do you know how many fans would be willing to feed you Cream of Wheat and wheel you around in your chair if you did?
I don't think that's going to happen. Time catches up with you.
Yet novelists have written "Star Wars" sequels using the same characters and extending their stories.
Oh, sure. They're done outside of my little universe. ”Star Wars” has had a lot of different lives that have been worked on by a lot of other people. It works without me."
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, Nov. 2001 - "Matters of Life and Darth" interview in the Nov. 24-30 2001 TV Guide, pp. 24-25
"He also reiterated that there would be no third trilogy, despite what he said years ago about the whole story being a trilogy of trilogies. He said it was a joke, and The Rolling Stone printed the idea as fact. After Episode III, there will be only printed Star Wars stories from now on.
“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. They don’t intrude on my world, which is a select period of time, [but] they do intrude in between the movies. I don’t get too involved in the parallel universe.”"
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, July 2002 - as reported on the Cinescape site, from Cinescape Magazine
(In the magazine hardcopy, the preface to his comment reads: "And while rumors persist that an outline for a third trilogy exists (a joke Lucas made in passing to Rolling Stone, which then printed it as a fact), the director insists that the only continuation to the saga will be in the form of licensed properties.")
"Q: Do you supervise the development of all the off-movie stories? After all, Star Wars exists in books, comics.
A: You know, I try not to think about that. I have my own world in movies and I follow it. Of course that the people who expand this universe work for me, but I can't follow up all that they produce.
Q: Can you quote any good story other than the movies?
A: No, I don't think so. (laughs)."
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, July 2002 - From a TheForce.Net translation of a Brazilian site's interview (alt link)
The two quotes below are technically hearsay regarding Lucas's
statements, but they do independently confirm one another conceptually
and are included here on that basis. They refer to a Q&A
session from November 19, 2003 that was held after a viewing of Episode
I, a public event that was part of professor Drew Casper's USC class
"The Star Wars Phenomenon". This particular class
event featured Lucas himself.
"The question selected from The Furry Conflict poll was: How much does the Expanded Universe influence the movies?
As I asked him, Lucas leaned back a moment and said to me “Very little.” When he first had agreed to let people write Expanded Universe books, he had said “I’m not gonna read ‘em” and it was a “different universe” that he wanted to keep away from the time period of his saga. He jokingly complained, however, that now when he writes a script he has to look through an encyclopedia to make sure that a name he comes up with doesn’t come too close to something in the EU.
He later commented that the future of Star Wars may lie in other venues outside of feature film."
"Q: What do you think of the expanded
universe of books?
"Q: in that vein, is it possible we'll
see more Star Wars TV product.
"AP: After "Episode III," will you ever revisit "Star Wars"?
Lucas: Ultimately, I'm going to probably move it into television and let other people take it. I'm sort of preserving the feature film part for what has happened and never go there again, but I can go off into various offshoots and things. You know, I've got offshoot novels, I've got offshoot comics. So it's very easy to say, ”Well, OK, that's that genre, and I'll find a really talented person to take it and create it.” Just like the comic books and the novels are somebody else's way of doing it. I don't mind that. Some of it might turn out to be pretty good. If I get the right people involved, it could be interesting."
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, Sept. 2004, AP interview
"Lucas reconsidered going back and glamorizing the death of bounty hunter Boba Fett, a secondary character who became a cult favorite. He considered ”having Boba Fett survive and crawl out of the” mouth of the sand creature in Jedi. ”But that doesn't quite fit in the end.”"
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, Sept. 2004, USA Today interview with Mike Snider
"In the case of Boba Fett's death, had I known he was gonna turn into such a popular character, I probably would've made it a little bit more exciting.
Boba Fett was just another one of the minions, another one of the bounty hunters and badguys. But, he became such a favorite of everybody's that, for having such a small part, uh he had a very large presence. And now that his history has been told in the first trilogy, y'know, it makes it even more of a misstep that we wouldn't make more out of the event of his defeat, because most people don't believe he died anyway.
I'd contemplated putting in that extra shot in where he climbs out of the hole, but y'know I figure that's . . . it doesn't quite fit, in the end."
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, Sept. 2004, RoTJ DVD audio commentary (33:01)
"EW You're pretty definitive about not making the once-rumored third Star Wars trilogy -- episodes VII, VIII, and IX.
GL I'm not going to do it. I'm too old. I've got other movies I want to do. And I don't want anybody else to do it, so I've locked it up so nobody can ever do it. There may be TV offshoots from people, but the saga itself, the story of the Skywalker family, is over."
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, Sep. 24 2004, Entertainment Weekly #785, "Dear Mr. Fantasy" interview with Mark Harris
"Lucas touched upon a frequently asked question: what was the imagined storyline beyond Episode VI? ”To be very honest with you, I never ever thought of anything that happened beyond Episode VI,” Lucas said. ”It's the Darth Vader story. It starts with him being a young boy and it ends with him dying. The other books and everything kind of go off on their path, but I never ever really considered ever taking that particular story further.”"
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, April 2005 - StarWars.com report
"Being independent, to me, is everything. I can't stand to have some corporation bending everything you do . . . y'know, script notes coming out of the marketing department . . . that to me is not the way you make movies. That's not what movies are."
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, May 2005 - Interview with Inside Reel
"Creator George Lucas has confirmed he will shoot a tie-in TV series - and it will be made in Sydney.
The writer-director yesterday confirmed speculation about the series, once more praising Sydney - where episodes I and II of the film sensation were shot - as a location.
”I am looking forward to coming back and working there some more,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
"We're going to do a live action show based on minor characters in the Star Wars series.
”It's a spin-off, it doesn't involve any of the key characters. It's a different world unto itself between episodes three Revenge of the Sith; and four Star Wars: A New Hope.”"
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, May 2005 - Interview with The Daily Telegraph, as reported at news.com.au
"R Burke: Are you going to miss it?
George Lucas: I am not going to miss it. I love doing it, but it is 20 years of my life. I am anxious to get on and do other things. We are still doing a TV series, two TV series, one animated and one live action, so I am not going to do it myself, but I'll peek in from time-to-time. So I won't completely have lost the Star Wars experience.."
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, May 2005 - Interview with 'Static Multimedia'
"So if we'll never see it onscreen, what does happen to Princess Leia and Han Solo after they fall in love?
”Han and Leia probably did get married,” Lucas conceded. ”They settled down. She became a senator, and they got a nice little house with a white picket fence. Han Solo is out there cooking burgers on the grill. Is that a movie? I don't think so.”"
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, May 2005 - MTV interview
"Now it's all over, do you feel a sense of loss at all?
No, it's more like having your kids go off to college. They still come back when they need money and they'll be there for holidays. We're doing a couple of TV series, but I'm not really involved with it. One is an animated series about The Clone Wars; all the characters are in it but obviously there's not much character arc. And one is a live action series about minor characters in the saga. So it's still going to be around. I'm going to go off and do my thing, the company is going to go off and do theirs. But the comicbooks, novels and games that are out there are going to have a life of their own. So it is sort of like sending the kids off to college. Now it's on its own, doing its own thing. I just reserved the theatrical arena for this saga which, as I say, started out as a two-hour idea and turned into 12 hours of story."
"You've already returned to the first three films you made and tweaked those. Can you see yourself returning to these films in 10 years' time and making changes?
Well Episode IV was not really finished because I didn't have the money, the time or the technology to finish it. At the time I was kind of upset about it. People were going, ”It's marvellous! How do you feel?” And I was saying, ”I feel it's only 50 or 60% of what I wanted. I'm really disappointed, I'm really sad, it bothers me to watch it.” And to a minor degree, that was true on the next two films, partly because I was financing them myself and they were more complicated. I did those films in a Special Edition to finish them off the way I meant them to be. If nothing else I'm stubborn, dogmatic and persistent to get the movies the way I wanted to get them. The last three I've pretty much been able to make them the way I wanted. I haven't had much interference, I've spent as much as I've needed to spend to make them work. So now the whole thing is complete and it's pretty much the way I want it to be."
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, May 2005, BBC interview. See also the version in "TimeOut".
"”I feel very satisfied that I have accomplished what I set out to do with 'Star Wars,' ” he told CNN. ”I was able to complete the entire saga and say this is what the whole story is about.”"
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, May 2005 - CNN interview
"[...] a live-action TV show that will involve ”minor characters” (”It's not about Darth Vader or the saga, it just takes place in that world. It's like the spin-off novels. I'm not doing it, other people are doing it.”)"
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, June 2005 - Empire magazine
"STARLOG: The Star Wars Universe is so large and diverse. Do you ever find yourself confused by the subsidiary material that's in the novels, comics, and other offshoots?
LUCAS: 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 to keep it consistent. The way I do it now is they have a Star Wars Encyclopedia. So if I come up with a name or something else, I look it up 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 then 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, Flannelled One, Aug. 2005 - "New Hopes" interview in Starlog #337 (scans here)
"Lucas added: ”Lucasfilm is going more into television, but it's not a vision I'm running, either as executive producer or by laying out the groundwork.”"
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, Aug. 2005 - Sci-Fi Wire (see also TheForce.Net)
"Lucas also sounds off on the planning of his ”Star Wars” TV show, originally said to be for next year - in addition to a continuation of the animated ”Clone Wars” series.
”There will be a live-action show, but I don't know if it'll be in 2006,” he says. ”I haven't even started writing the script.”
He does know, however, that the show will take place between Episodes III and IV, and will focus on the little people - those weird-looking creatures you glimpse fleetingly in the background.
”It's all minor, minor characters [from the movies],” says the director. ”It's not the Skywalker story at all - that's going on in another part of the galaxy.”"
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, Sept. 2005 - New York Post "Feel the Force" interview
"Do you think you'd have other people continue the Star Wars saga past Episode VI or turn some of the other material into films?
But there's no story past Episode VI, there's just no story. It's a certain story about Anakin Skywalker and once Anakin Skywalker dies, that's kind of the end of the story. There is no story about Luke Skywalker, I mean apart from the books. But there's three worlds: There's my world that I made up, there's the licensing world that's the books, the comics, all that kind of stuff, the games, which is their world, and then there's the fans' world, which is also very rich in imagination, but they don't always mesh. All I'm in charge of is my world. I can't be in charge of those other people's world, because I can't keep up with it."
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, Mar. 2008, "George Lucas Talks Star Wars: The Clone Wars", StarWars.com
"Where is the live-action one going to fit into the overall Star Wars narrative?"
"It's completely separate. This one has all of the characters that everybody knows — everybody from Yoda to Anakin to Mace Windu to Obi-Wan — everybody's there. The live-action has nobody there, because it's after Episode III, so everybody's dead, basically, or hiding somewhere. You hear about the Emperor, just like you do in Episode IV, but it's mostly about a whole different world. I mean, there are a million stories in the big city — you've only seen one of them. [Laughs]"
"Yeah, but I guess there is stuff that you could imagine coming in between parts III and IV — for example, we never saw a young Han Solo."
"No, well, this has nothing to do with those series. Some of the characters from the features find their way in there, so it's not completely divorced. It's as if we just went down the street and told a different story. You know, we were doing, I don't know, 24, and now we're going to move down the street here and do The Wire. Same thing, it's just different people doing the same thing in the same city."
"With the same Emperor."
"And the same rules."
"Yeah, all the same rules, all the same places, all the same stuff, and a lot of the same species. So it's a familiar world, it's just that you're seeing a completely different side of it."
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, Mar. 2008, "George Lucas on 'Star Wars,' Indiana Jones", "The Q&A", EW.com
"A lot of people have been talking about online that the new Clone Wars cartoon and the new live-action show are actually going to be considered official canon of the Star Wars universe, what, uh, real stuff. Is that true?"
"Well, there's, the-, we say, we say that there's, there's three pillars of Star Wars. One is, uh, the features and the, and the films, and what I do, that comes from me. And then there's the, the licensing which are the books and the comics and the things which come from a bunch of other people, and then there's the fans, who make up their own stories and have/create their own Star Wars world. So those three versions of Star Wars are all out there and they don't always mesh but they always feed on each other."
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, Mar. 2008, "George Lucas Exclusive Video Interview – ShoWest", Collider.com
"The Star Wars universe has expanded far beyond the movies. How much leeway do the game makers and novel writers have? "
"They have their own kind of world. There's 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 different pillars don't always match, but the movies and TV shows are all under my control and they are consistent within themselves. Howard tries to be consistent but sometimes he goes off on tangents and it's hard to hold him back. He once said to me that there are two Star Trek universes: there's the TV show and then there's all the spin-offs. He said that these were completely different and didn't have anything to do with each other. So I said, "OK, go ahead." In the early days I told them that they couldn't do anything about how Darth Vader was born, for obvious reasons, but otherwise I pretty much let them do whatever they wanted. They created this whole amazing universe that goes on for millions of years!"
"Are you happy for new Star Wars tales to be told after you're gone?"
"I've left pretty explicit instructions for there not to be any more features. There will definitely be no Episodes VII-IX. That's because there isn't any story. I mean, I never thought of anything. 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, Flannelled One, May 2008, "George Lucas", 'TF Interview', Total Film Magazine
""There really isn't any story to tell there," the filmmaker said. "It's been covered in the books and video games and comic books, which are things I think are incredibly creative but that I don't really have anything to do with other than being the person who built the sandbox they're playing in."
In the non-film versions of the saga, for instance, Han Solo and Princess Leia marry and have three children, one of them named Anakin after his notorious grandfather. All of it has been popular with core fans, but Lucas doesn't see any upside to extending the tale past the leafy luau on Endor where Vader's corpse was torched.
"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 (Geoff Boucher)
“I am the father of our Star Wars movie world - the filmed entertainment, the features and now the animated film and television series,” he says. “And I’m going to do a live-action television series. Those are all things I am very involved in: I set them up and I train the people and I go through them all. I’m the father; that’s my work. Then we have the licensing group, which does the games, toys and books, and all that other stuff. I call that the son - and the son does pretty much what he wants.” He laughs. “Once in a while, they ask a question like ‘Can we kill off Yoda?’, things like that, but it’s very loose."
“Then we have the third group, the holy ghost, which is the bloggers and fans. They have created their own world. I worry about the father’s world. The son and holy ghost can go their own way.”
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, July 2008, "George Lucas: Mr Emperor strikes back", Times Online
"Q: I'm excited that Boba Fett is going to be in Episode II. Are we going to get more details about how he was once Jaster Mereel and killed another Journeyman Protector on the planet Concord Dawn before becoming a bounty hunter?
A: Highly unlikely.
My advice: Forget everything you knew, or thought you knew about the origins of Boba Fett. While none of us have seen a script of Episode II or have an idea of the direction in which George Lucas is taking the character, it's fairly safe to say that he won't be held to any of the back stories that have arisen over the years to try to explain the roots of this strong, mostly silent type. If there is any hint of Fett's beginnings, it will be all George.
At the same time, what you've read to this point was probably misinformation anyhow. A bounty hunter like Boba Fett has much to gain by having numerous myths of his origin in circulation among potential employers and potential victims. That is why the Star Wars Encyclopedia states: ”Many tales are told of his background and exploits, but there are very few verifiable facts, perhaps by design.”
Fett's short career as a law enforcement officer on Concord Dawn, and his perhaps-unjust downfall, was first told in Tales of the Bounty Hunters. Dark Empire II speculates that he was formerly a stormtrooper who killed his commanding officer. The Marvel Comics series has Fett as an ex-Mandalorian commando, a veteran of the Clone Wars alongside Fenn Shysa and Tobbi Dala. Marvel even went as far as showing the lush jungles of the planet Mandalore.
As many fans know, when it comes to Star Wars knowledge, there are degrees of ”canon.” The only true canon are the films themselves. For years, Lucas Books has stayed clear of characters, events, or the timeframe that George might want to deal with in the Star Wars prequels. While such things as the Clone Wars, the fall of the Jedi, and Palpatine's rise to power were on that list, Boba Fett wasn't considered to be of major concern.
But like any great storyteller, George starts to develop a script and it sometimes takes on a life of its own, with characters coming to life and demanding a say. He has told us that Boba Fett will have a role in Episode II--just as Fett first appeared in the second film of the classic trilogy--so we may finally learn the bounty hunter's true genesis. As for whether Fett really survived his descent into the cavernous maw of the Sarlacc in Return of the Jedi...what do you think?"
- Steve Sansweet, LFL/Fan Relations, April 2000 - "Are we going to get more details about Boba Fett's past?", StarWars.com
"Q: Did George Lucas ever have any idea for Episodes VII to IX, or did the Star Wars novels stomp all over possible thoughts he may have had for the Star Wars universe past the destruction of the Empire?
At one point early on, George Lucas talked of possibly needing nine movies to tell his tale of the Skywalker family. But as he actually worked through the story line, he realized long ago that the story he wanted to tell could naturally be told in six two-hour films. The nine-episode mantra, however, refuses to die...and we realize, never will. But George says that the story he has to tell will be complete in the six films, which can then be viewed as one epic saga. He says that he honestly has no story to tell now beyond the destruction of the second Death Star.
LucasBooks has always checked with the boss to make sure that none of its projects interferes in any way with anything that he is planning. And while plans can change, rest assured that the wonderful expanded fictional universe enjoyed by so many fans has in no way stomped or trampled on any of George Lucas's prerogatives or options."
- Steve Sansweet, LFL/Fan Relations, November 2000 - "Did George Lucas ever have any idea for Episodes VII to IX?", StarWars.com
"Q: I'm really confused about canon. Is Star Wars Gamer canon? What about the Marvel series? Are they now considered "Infinities"?
A: While issues like these are often best left to each individual's "point of view", here's what LucasBooks' Chris Cerasi had to say...
”There's been some confusion of late regarding the 'Infinities' symbol, and Star Wars Expanded Universe continuity in general. Terms like ”canon” and ”continuity” tend to get thrown around casually, which doesn't help at all.
When it comes to absolute canon, the real story of Star Wars, you must turn to the films themselves - and only the films. Even novelizations are interpretations of the film, and while they are largely true to George Lucas' vision (he works quite closely with the novel authors), the method in which they are written does allow for some minor differences. The novelizations are written concurrently with the film's production, so variations in detail do creep in from time to time. Nonetheless, they should be regarded as very accurate depictions of the fictional Star Wars movies.
The further one branches away from the movies, the more interpretation and speculation come into play. LucasBooks works diligently to keep the continuing Star Wars expanded universe cohesive and uniform, but stylistically, there is always room for variation. Not all artists draw Luke Skywalker the same way. Not all writers define the character in the same fashion. The particular attributes of individual media also come into play. A comic book interpretation of an event will likely have less dialogue or different pacing than a novel version. A video game has to take an interactive approach that favors gameplay. So too must card and roleplaying games ascribe certain characteristics to characters and events in order to make them playable.
The analogy is that every piece of published Star Wars fiction is a window into the 'real' Star Wars universe. Some windows are a bit foggier than others. Some are decidedly abstract. But each contains a nugget of truth to them. Like the great Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi said, 'many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our point of view.'
Returning to the question at hand. Yes, Star Wars Gamer is part of continuity, though as game material, there is room for interpretation. Only specific articles marked with the 'Infinities' logo within the magazine should be considered out of continuity.
Fans of the old monthly Marvel Star Wars comic will be heartened to know that LucasBooks does indeed consider them part of continuity. Decades of retrospect haven't been kind to all the elements of the comic series, but the characters and events still hold weight and are referenced in newer material whenever possible.
In order to allow unlimited freedom of storytelling, the Infinities label has been placed on the anthology series, Star Wars Tales. This means that not only can the stories occur anywhere in the Star Wars timeline, but stories can happen outside continuity. Basically, if an event happens in Tales, it may not have necessarily happened in the rest of the expanded universe. For some stories, the distinction is largely inconsequential. For others, it's the only way they could exist (for example, there's a Darth Vader vs. Darth Maul comic coming soon).”"
- Steve Sansweet (and Chris Cerasi of LucasBooks), August 2001 - "Are Gamer and Marvel series canon?", StarWars.com
"Q: Did George Lucas intend for Boba Fett to die in the sarlacc, despite what others may say or print?
A: Yes, in George's view -- as far as the films go -- the baddest bounty hunter in the Galaxy met his match in the Great Pit of Carkoon where --unfortunately for Mr. Fett -- the ghastly sarlacc made its home.
However, Lucas also approved Fett's comeback in the expanded universe. And of course, by going back in time with the prequels, the Star Wars creator has brought Boba Fett back to life himself, albeit at a much younger age."
- Steve Sansweet, LFL/Fan Relations, December 2002 - "Does Lucas Consider Boba Dead?", StarWars.com
"In the original trilogy, Coruscant was not mentioned. But it appeared in the videogame Dark Forces and elsewhere. Was Coruscant invented by George Lucas?
The idea of a city-covered planet was in the early drafts of original trilogy scripts, but George Lucas wasn't able to get it onto the big screen until the prequels. Many scenes in Return of the Jedi were originally going to take place on the city-planet, but as the script evolved, they were later relocated to the second Death Star.
In these early drafts, the planet was called Had Abbadon. The name Coruscant came from author Timothy Zahn for his 1991 novel, Heir to the Empire. It's actually a real word that means ”glittering” or ”giving forth flashes of light.” When it came time to name the city-planet for Episode I, after considering several other names, Lucas decided to go with the already established Coruscant."
- Steve Sansweet, LFL/Fan Relations, June 2003 - Ask the Jedi Council, StarWars.com
(Other names considered for the city-planet in early drafts were Jhantor and Alderaan.)
Dicenso: "Sorry, I hate to ask this type of question, uh, buh . . . "
Sansweet: "Well, then, don't."
D: "Okay, well, fine! . . ."
D: " . . . It's a question of, uh, how canon is the Expanded Universe?"
S: "Well, Star Wars is one of the few properties out there that we really try to keep everything together and, and that, y'know, we even bring now Marvel Comics into the, the mix and try to explain, y'know, how there can be giant pink rabbits and things of that nature. Um, so, canon, I mean, there are degrees of canon, and the only thing that is at the top level of canon are the movies as they exist now, from George, and then, y'know, there are . . . everything else sort of makes up the rest of canon. Um, so, uh, it-it-it's it's a fairly big canon. We have somebody at Lucasfilm who is the keeper of the internal Holocron that has everything and, y'know, just sort of tries to balance things and if we see a glitch here, a continuity glitch there, we'll do something to sort of solve that."
D: "Okay, and, uh, if I could make it into a second part, here . . . "
D: " . . . where is the TV series gonna fall in this heirarchy?"
S: "Um, George'll be involved in the TV series . . . it'll be pretty, pretty close to the top of the heirarchy. The Clone Wars series on Cartoon Network is very much part of, uh, canon because it leads right up to Episode III, so these certainly will be too."
D: "So this'll, this'll be like on the level of the screenplays and stuff . . . okay, thanks."
- Steve Sansweet, LFL/Fan Relations, July 2005 - Comic-Con Q&A (with Mike Dicenso)
(Transcribed (with perhaps a bit too much precision) by yours truly from a recording of the event)
"Do you use any of the Star Wars books and guides when working on your designs? Do you look at the ”Expanded Universe” at all?
As designers we look at all kinds of stuff for inspiration and we have a crack research staff to help us with that. The Star Wars books serve as a starting point and guide for certain types of questions that arise in respect to certain cultures or technologies that have already been established in the movies. The Star Wars Chronicles book is our bible, the Incredible Cross-Section books provide a great starting point when we're adding to existing locations. We usually don't refer to the Expanded Universe materials specifically unless our research team finds something that directly corresponds to our assignment.
For Episode III we're going to a lot of new places and George Lucas has really pushed us to come up with new looks for vehicles, environments, cultures and characters. When we receive an assignment that deals with an aspect of the Star Wars universe that hasn't been nailed down in the movies, George likes us to keep a completely open mind and leave behind our preconceived notions or expectations for that culture or character. That freedom, coupled with the fact that we are such fans of the movies, can lead to some very interesting solutions.
The biggest single source of inspiration, though, are the movies themselves. We design for the that [sic] medium, for how things will look up on the screen, as part of the story."
- Ryan Church, Lucasfilms Concept Design Supervisor, August 22, 2003 - Ask the Jedi Council, StarWars.com
"Not only has Mr. Lucas succeeded in tying together the entire six-film cycle (and elegantly, too), but I've managed to weave in a significant amount of the Expanded Universe material in as well -- having started in the Star Wars realm as an EU author, after all. I was really trying to bring the whole Star Wars Universe together in this story, and while Mr. Lucas, in his line-edit, decided to excise a fair amount of the EU material, he also left a fair amount of it in... so I guess that makes whatever's left just a hair short of ”G canon,” for all the purists out there."
"As I said above, part of my aim here was to create a novel that would work as part of the EU as well as a companion piece to the film."
- Matthew Stover, Author (Ep3 and EU) and EU Guerrilla, Mar 2005 - "Inside Del Rey's Episode III Library" on StarWars.com
(Note: I list him in LFL's section due to the canonicity of the Ep3 novel.)
"”So how did Anakin get that scar, George?” asks John Knoll
”I don't know. Ask Howard,” says George, referring to President of Lucas Licensing Howard Roffman. ”That's one of those things that happens in the novels between the movies. I just put it there. He has to explain how it got there. I think Anakin got it slipping in the bathtub, but of course, he's not going to tell anybody that.”
- Pablo Hidalgo, Episode III set journalist, August 2003 - StarWars.com (as reported by Wayne Poe)
"Collectors will also be quick to notice that the new packaging clearly brands the line as "Star Wars" rather than "Clone Wars". Howard Roffman explains:
"We've stuck to a very clear branding strategy for the past decade. This is Star Wars. Individual movies come and go, as do TV shows, video games, books. They all contribute to the lore of Star Wars, but in the end it is one saga and that saga is called Star Wars. We've wanted to send a clear message to our fans that everything we do is part of that overall saga.""
- Howard Roffman, President of Lucas Licensing, Feb. 2008 - "Clone Wars Packaging Designs Unveiled", StarWars.com
"What's 'gospel' and what isn't?
'Gospel', or canon as we refer to it, includes the screenplays, the films, the radio dramas and the novelisations. These works spin out of George Lucas' original stories, the rest are written by other writers. However, between us, we've read everything, and much of it is taken into account in the overall continuity. The entire catalog of published works comprises a vast history -- with many off-shoots, variations and tangents -- like any other well-developed mythology."
- Sue Rostoni and Allan Kausch, Lucas Licensing, 1994 - Star Wars Insider #23
(see also Rostoni's job description in her own words from 1994)
"To keep it all straight there is 'the Canon,' a time line of major events and the life span of characters prepared by the continuity editors at Lucasfilm and considered the in-house bible of the Star Wars universe. When further reference is needed, there are also stacks of binders listing everything from starship blueprints to the biographies of characters..."
- Sue Rostoni, Lucas Licensing publishing department, 1996 - Preface to "The Secrets of 'Shadows of the Empire'"
"Canon refers to an authoritative list of books that the Lucas Licensing editors consider an authentic part of the official Star Wars history. Our goal is to present a continuous and unified history of the Star Wars galaxy, insofar as that history does not conflict with, or undermine the meaning of Mr. Lucas's Star Wars saga of films and screenplays. Things that Lucas Licensing does not consider official parts of the continuous Star Wars history show an Infinities logo or are contained in Star Wars Tales. Everything else is considered canon."
- Sue Rostoni, Lucas Licensing (LLP Managing Editor), Oct./Nov. 2001 - Star Wars Gamer #6
"In real life, the children's series of which you write was conceived and published before the official continuity policy was established. So the major events, like Han and Leia's wedding, are discounted. We've been able to logically and realistically incorporate some of the elements of the books into the established continity, as Tasty pointed out. But at the time they were written we had no idea whether people would even want to read Star Wars books and there was that chance that if the Zahn trilogy didn't do well, the whole program would have never happened."
- Sue Rostoni, Lucas Licensing (LLP Managing Editor), May 13, 2003 - StarWars.com forum post
"The Insider #68 ICS article's preface has something funny, it says the ICS books are canon. I thought that was only the movies, and maybe the film novelizations, scripts, and NPR radio plays? (Sue Rostoni and Allan Kausch mentioned the last three in Insider #23)
Just wondering where that came from.
Canon -- confusing sometimes.
Basically, everything except those items marked with an "Infinity" logo (i.e. the Star Wars Tales comics) is considered canon.
There is a heirarchy -- the movies, novelizations, radio dramas come first. Then everything else. If something in a novelization contradicts the movies, then we defer to the movies. IE, the ROJ novelization says that Obi-Wan and Owen Lars were brothers. This wasn't in the movie, and has since been discounted. Maybe it was a cover they used at one point... who knows.
The one area that's constantly in dispute are the Marvel comics and the Davids' middle grade books (The Glove of Darth Vader, et al). For these, if something ADDS to the universe, and does not contradict either already-established facts or SW sensibility, we accept it and add it to the lore. If it does, we disregard it. At the time these products were published, the idea of a continuous history hadn't been established.
I hope this helps.
- Sue Rostoni, Lucas Licensing (LLP Managing Editor), May 30, 2003 - StarWars.com forum post
"The ICS books are cannon. They don't carry the ”Infinities” icon, so are considered part of cannon." [sic]
- Sue Rostoni, Lucas Licensing (LLP Managing Editor), May 30, 2003 - StarWars.com forum post
"Does the main storyline for boks and comics go through Lucas to make sure it isn't going to conflict with future movies?
No. George doesn't give us much information about his future movies until he's making them. In general, George does not take the EU into account when he's making his movies. I feel like I ALWAYS have to qualify myself because there'll be somebody out there who will say ”BUT WHAT ABOUT....” and then go on to say that we're wrong and covering up..... It's why none of us really give you ”facts.” When we do, there's those one or two that blast us into silence.
It's our job to manipulate the EU into fitting George's future movies, which often contradict stuff we've done. Not our ONLY job, of course."
- Sue Rostoni, Lucas Licensing (LLP Managing Editor), July 17, 2003 - StarWars.com forum post
"For Sue Rostoni,
I've noted an evolution of your use of the term ”canon” over the years. In 1994's Insider #23, you referred to the canon ('gospel') as most people do now: movies, novelizations, et cetera, and employed the term ”continuity” to refer to the EU continuity you and Ms. Wilson had decided upon previously. That same year, in a Del Rey interview, you described an in-house ”bible” of the EU timeline maintained by Lucas Licensing. By 1996, as seen in the preface to ”Secrets of ”Shadows of the Empire””, you were referring to that bible as ”the Canon”, and ascribing it to Lucasfilm (I presume this meant Licensing). (cont'd)
Skipping to 2001's Gamer #6, you were using the term ”canon” to refer to the list of EU books that Lucas Licensing considered factual parts of Star Wars. And, of course, back in May, you identified the ICS as canon because it didn't have an Infinities logo, which suggests that all non-Infinities EU material is canon. Mr. Chee was kind enough to point out a difference between ”movie canon” and what he called ”Lucasfilm canon” (which, again, I presume means Lucas Licensing, and which would include the ICS). I'm curious to know, though, how you decided to make use of the term ”canon” to refer to the EU, instead of the more common terms like continuity, ”official continuity”, ”EU continuity”, and so on. Thanks in advance for your answer.
Continuity versus Canon
It's pretty much the same -- sounds better to say that we try to maintain the continuity of the universe, rather than saying the canon of the universe."
- Sue Rostoni, Lucas Licensing (LLP Managing Editor), Sept. 2003, StarWars.com forum post
"I know that GL doens't create the storys and cocepts for the SW novels, but does anyone know if he approves overall story ideas
In general, George doesn't see the overall story ideas or concepts. If there is a sensitive area, or if we are developing backstory for a character he's created or mentioned in an interview, we can query him to get more information, his approval, or whatever. And yes, we always query him if we're doing something drastic to a film character. I believe he does read the concepts for the games though."
- Sue Rostoni, Lucas Licensing (LLP Managing Editor), Jun 2004, StarWars.com forum post
"So GL doesnt know all of the things in the comics? that would make it possible for fans to know more about Star Wars in General than him and that is scary because I always thought of him(and still do) as the "source"
He knows the comics very well -- after the fact. He reads the comics. George knows more about Star Wars than we do. He doesn't see the extended universe as ”his” Star Wars, but as ”ours.” I think this has been mentioned previously, maybe in other places, but it's not new info, as far as I remember."
- Sue Rostoni, Lucas Licensing (LLP Managing Editor), Jun 2004, StarWars.com forum post
"Sremmy, a question. Do you work as a bridge for both Lucasfilm/books/arts and Del Rey/Arrow publishing, or just one or the other?
I work for Lucas Licensing, a division within Lucasfilm Ltd."
"Would that be the publishing department, a.k.a. LucasBooks, or is there some separation? Just wondering, since with Mr. Rinzler identified as a Senior Editor at LucasBooks on the main site (at least as of last summer), I figured that you'd have a similar association. >
Yeah, LucasBooks is our publishing imprint and we both work in the publishing department of Lucas Licensing."
"The books have to follow the same continuity the films do, as they are an integral part of the overall story of Star Wars that Lucasfilm LTD. recognizes as a legitimate continuation of the films, right?
Yes, the books follow the continuity of the films as best we can taking into account that George follows his own continuity, and rightly so. He's the filmmaker.
As far as ”legitimate continuation of the films” -- If George had continued making SW films past Return of the Jedi, I don't think they would have reflected what the SW authors have written. The books, comics, etc., are a ”legitimate continuation” of the Star Wars saga as we define it. I'm not certain of the context of your question -- somehow I feel like I'm walking into something here...."
- Sue Rostoni, Lucas Licensing (LLP Managing Editor), Jan 2005 - StarWars.com forum posts
(Included in the above are questions by myself and Wayne Poe. Poor Sue.)
"Define ”powers that be”. Aren't you pretty much the top of the food chain?
No, not really... Ideas pass through me, the director of publishing, the director of licensing, and the president of licensing before we try to "sell" them to Del Rey (in the case of adult fiction). We all have input into the publishing program as a whole. Once things get ironed out and progress to the actual creative process, then the author, Shelly (at Del Rey), Leland (Tasty), and I work on the manuscripts, with input when needed from the bosses (and others, like Pablo or folks at LucasArts, depending on the content and the questions). We all work as a team, hoping to produce the best possible books. That's the abridged version."
- Sue Rostoni, Lucas Licensing (LLP Managing Editor), Mar 2005 - StarWars.com forum post
"Within the issue of Starlog magazine with the War of the Worlds cover is an interview article with George Lucas. He stated something which he had said before, which is that he doesn't follow the SW EU, he doesn't read the books or comics. He also said that when they started doing all this (which is allowing other storytellers to tell their own SW tales), he had decreed that the Star Wars Universe would be split into two just like Star Trek (I don't know nuts about Star Trek, so don't ask me about that), one would be his own universe (the six episode movie saga), the other would be a whole other universe (the Expanded Universe). He continued to say that the EU tries as much as possible to tie in to his own universe, but sometimes they move into a whole other line of their own.
Yeah, this is pretty much what I've heard, except that people have said he reads the comics."
- Sue Rostoni, Lucas Licensing (LLP Managing Editor), Sept. 2005 - StarWars.com forum post
"The whole Tricolas saga isn't part of the official continuity.
Who says? Sure, certain events may not have transpired as described in those books (ie., Chewbacca was not the best man at Han and Leia's wedding), but any of the characters, creatures, locations, and technology created in those are certainly fair game.
So, yes, Jabba has a father named Zorba, Kadann was the Supreme Prophet of the Dark Side, and Whaladons are found on Mon Calamari."
- Leland Chee, LLP continuity database admin, May 13, 2003 - StarWars.com forum post
"”Lucasfilm canon” refers to anything produced by any of the Lucas companies, whether it be movies, books, games, or internet. ”Movie canon” is only that which you see and hear in the Star Wars films."
- Leland Chee, LLP continuity database admin, May 30, 2003 - StarWars.com forum post
"After three years at LucasArts, I learned that the Publishing Department at Lucas Licensing was looking for someone to create a Star Wars continuity database. Two of the main requirements for the job were database skills and extensive knowledge of the Star Wars universe -- two things that I had immersed myself in during my time at LucasArts. Part of my interview process was a phone interview with Wizards' own Bill Slavicsek. As soon as I was hired, I began mustering up what resources were available to me for the database, and I began polling internal personnel about what features they'd like to see in a Star Wars database. Within a month, the database, dubbed ”the Holocron,” was up and running."
"Wizards: In addition to creating the Holocron, you're responsible for checking continuity, which -- as any Star Wars fan knows -- can be a major undertaking. How do you keep track of the details of an entire universe?
Leland: The most difficult part is tracking multiple sources being produced by two different companies at the same time. The books and games are always evolving and changing, so it's imperative that any changes in one source be reflected in any other sources currently in development. There are also ultra-obscure items that some authors tend to reference; finding and verifying their source can be quite a challenge."
"Wizards: Let's say that you come across two or more contradictory sources while chasing down a reference. How do you decide which one to accept as "canon"?
Leland: Everything is looked at on a case-by-case basis. Among the factors we consider: In how many sources does this particular fact appear? Which source has the largest audience? Which explanation is the coolest? Have we been told by George Lucas to avoid this topic? If, after weighing all those variables, the answer isn't yet clear, the issue is presented to an internal group that makes the final determination as to which source is ”correct.”"
- Leland Chee, LLP continuity database admin, Dec. 2003, Wizards of the Coast interview
"What is the Holocron?
The Holocron is an internal database maintained by Lucas Licensing that tracks all the fictional elements created for the Star Wars universe. The database includes material from the films, books, comics, videogames, trading cards, roleplaying games, websites, toys, cartoons, and just about every officially sanctioned fictional element of the Star Wars universe." (01-09-04)
"Are the entries in the Holocron sorted as cannonical & non-cannonical? Are there various degress of oficialness?
The database does indeed have a canon field. Anything in the films and from George Lucas (including unpublished internal notes that we might receive from him or from the film production department) is considered ”G” canon. Next we have what we call continuity ”C” canon which is pretty much everything else. There is secondary ”S” continuity canon which we use for some older published materials and things that may or may not fit just right. But, if it is referenced in something else it becomes ”C”. Similarly, any ”C” canon item that makes it into the films can become ”G” canon. Lastly there is non-continuity ”N” which we rarely use except in the case of a blatant contradiction or for things that have been cut.
I will not go into specifics as to what is considered ”S” canon or what items that are seemingly ”C” canon are actually ”G” canon." (01-21-04)
"Okay, I know that the novels are C-level, and I assume that most of the newer comics are also C-level. Where on the continuity spectrum to the Video games come in?
”...continuity ”C” canon which is pretty much everything else. ” By everything else I mean EVERYthing else. Novels, comics, junior novels, videogames, trading card games, roleplaying games, toys, websites, television. As I've mentioned earlier, any contradictions that arise are dealt on a case-by-case.
This has been our general approach to continuity since we began using the Holocron database to track it." (01-25-04)
"Are novelisations of the films considered G-level or C-level material?
In a nutshell, anything created by the author would be C-level. Anything in the the novels created by George Lucas (whether it comes from unpublished early script versions, unpublished author interviews with George, or George's revisions to the novelization manuscript) would be G-level unless contradicted by the films.
It gets a little more complicated when something is seen on-screen but not named. So the ”shuura fruit” mentioned in the AOTC novel would be G because you see it in the film, although the author came up with the name." (01-26-04)
"Is there anything post-Return of the Jedi that is G level?
Not in the database, no. If there is anything anywhere, only George knows." (01-26-04)
"Has George Lucas consulted/refered to the database for any Episode III work, and did he use it for Episode II?
Directly, no. If George needs EU reference, (ie images of Aayla Secura for AOTC or images of the EU character who will appear in Ep3), George will ask someone who will ask someone else who might be a user of the Holocron to provide the necessary reference." (01-26-04)
"Though I don't discuss specific continuity issues in this thread, I do want to the address the fact that in the Holocron, we track continuity by Holocron entry and not by source.
What that means is, a particular source would never be discounted in its entirety, only those elements of that source that are contradictory." (03-28-04)
"Might we discover what the non-obvious G-level elements are, some time after Episode III?
I don't forsee that happening. Sorry. I really wouldn't take too much stock into the difference between G-level and C-level because the lines between the two are so blurred." (04-02-04)
"which category (C or G) the Incredible Cross-sections, Visual Dictionary and the Inside the Worlds belongs?
Theses books are treated no differently than any other books; anything created by the author would be C-level. I would guess that 95% of the text info in those books is created by the author or is based on information created by another author other than George Lucas." (06-28-04)
"Are there different layers within the N, S, C and G levels?
The Holocron makes no such distinction." (06-29-04)
"Are deleted scenes considered G-level?
Yes, unless they conflict with something else seen in the films or if the reasoning behind deleting the scene keeps it from being continuity." (07-04-04)
"but don't you think that they [the Visual Dictionaries] should belong to a higher canon rating?
I believe I've addressed this issue elsewhere as well as the use of the word ”Lucasfilm” in this case. In short, whatever is created by the authors of the Visual Dictionaries is ”C” canon. No more, no less." (07-26-04)
Understand, that the Holocron's primary purpose is to keep track of Star Wars continuity for Lucas Licensing, and to some degree Lucas Online. To my knowledge, it is only rarely used for production purposes.
The primary use that I have for the G-level canon designation is for generating reports. (ie, someone needs a list of primary characters from the prequel films.)
The Holocron is not that complex. Each entry has a single designation. So in the shuura fruit example, it gets a G. The source of each new piece of information is noted in the description which is how they would know that the term shuura fruit came from the novelization and not from production notes, visuals from the film, or the script." (07-29-04)
"a clarification is needed if the C and G level are separated, i.e. do they form independent canon or are both part of the overall continuity?
There is one overall continuity." (08-04-04)
"Regard Mr. Lucas' in-universe preface to "Shatterpoint"; would this be "G" level canon, or is it an instance of Lucas simply writing C-level EU material?
G. Since we started the Holocron, there is no such thing as Lucas-written C-level material." (10-21-04)
"Most notably, are the details from SWHS considered 'G' canon?
Like the Endor movies, I have few resources differentiating between what George created and what was created by others. Thus, as a whole, it is not considered G-canon.
Has GL given any directive regarding the Holiday Special?
No, GWL has not given directives as to how things are entered in the Holocron." (12-17-04)
"...applies only to the Holocron, but is not the same as their standing in LFL's canon hierarchy.
I'm unclear as to the definition of LFL in this case. I know of no other internal hierarchy currently in use.
Though there is room for interpretation in the Inside the Worlds book, I don't know of any other official source that says that such a thing ocurred." (12-22-04)
- Leland Chee, LLP continuity database admin, Jan. - Dec. 2004, several StarWars.com forum posts in the "Holocron continuity database questions" thread
"The levels used in the Star Wars Timeline Gold are based upon Nathan's discussions with another member of Lucas Licensing who, as part of their agreement that he could use these levels, will remain anonymous.
That's funny, nobody ever gave me a list like this when I started the Holocron."
- Leland Chee, LLP continuity database admin, Oct. 2004, StarWars.com forum post
"”Parallel universe” suggests that each universe can go in separate directions which really isn't the case with regard to the EU. The EU is bound by what is seen in the most current version of the films and by directives from George Lucas."
- Leland Chee, LLP continuity database admin, Jan. 2005 - StarWars.com forum post
"And all G level would mean GL himself checks over it right?
G-level canon has nothing to do with GL checking over anything. It's anything that can be taken from the films or internal notes from him which can come from discussions, early drafts, or comments on GL-approved text.
The G/C/S-level canon stuff is a construct specifically for the Holocron. Non-Holocron users would have no idea what this stuff even means and I would say most of the people who use the Holocron don't use the field, instead looking specifically to the source of the material. Individual entries are not broken down by canon level.
This is how I use it:
- We need a list of characters from the films. I'll do a search of characters by G-canon.
- We need a list of some planets from the films and the EU. I'll do a search for planets sorted by canon to determine which ones are going to recognized by more people.
- Source A contradicts Source B. More likely than not, if Source A is from the films and Source B is from the EU, we'll use Source A. Of course, there can always be exceptions which is why the case-by-case determination is always in effect no matter what the Sources."
- Leland Chee, LLP continuity database admin, Oct. 2005 - from the "Holocron database continuity questions" thread at the StarWars.com forums
"I'd be interested to know what circumstances would allow the EU to overthrow the films. . .
Well, you've got the Boba Fett thing. Then there's stormtroopers where there's a bunch of sources released prior to Ep2 that said that they were human recruits. Hence we established that while most stormtroopers are clones, there are some that are recruits.
- Leland Chee, LLP continuity database admin, Nov. 2005 - from the "Holocron database continuity questions" thread at the StarWars.com forums
"I have some questions concerning the Holocron database & the canon policy. Is the "G/C/S" canon system that is used with the Holocron database the canon policy used by the entire Lucasfilm company, including Lucasfilm, Ltd. proper and George Lucas, or just Lucas Books & Lucas Licensing? Or do they (LucasFilm Ltd Proper & George Lucas) use a different policy, if they have one at all? If so, what is it?"
"Anybody can have their own perception of what is and isn't canon. The Holocron comes into play for anything official being developed for books, games, websites, and merchandise. For anything beyond that, it is simply a reference tool."
"1. George Lucas said in the Starlog magazine recently that the books, games, etc. are a "different world" than his films, and that "we decided that we would have two universes", with one being his films and the other being everything else. Does this mean that George Lucas (and presumably others, as evidenced by his use of "we" deciding...) does not consider the EU canonical?"
GL is certainly not bound by the EU, though he's certainly open to using things created in it (Aayla Secura and the Coruscant name, for example). On the other hand, the quote you provide makes it sound like the EU is separate from George's vision of the Star Wars universe. It is not. The EU must follow certain tenets set by George through the films and other guidelines that he provides outside of the films.
2. Does LucasFilm Ltd. itself actually have a Canon Policy? You said anyone can have their own perception of what is and isn't canon... which I take means that there isn't one single overarching "Canon Policy" used by every single Lucas entity. What is Lucasfilm Ltd. proper's canon policy, if it exists? Is it the same as used by George Lucas? (By Lucasfilm Ltd. proper, I'm referring to the company (or part of the company?) that produces the films.)"
No. I'm not exactly sure what the existence of such a thing would actually mean. Beyond the merchandise and online, I don't see how or where it would be applied. It's not like there's a document that exists that says "these are the things that are canon" that everyone in the company can look at.
If Greedo can shoot first and an old Anakin ghost can be replaced with a young Anakin ghost, then there's always room for things to change."
"I guess you could say there's an "in George's head at any given point in time" canon, which no one besides George knows."
"Against I have to say that there's no policy beyond the scope of Licensing's Holocron."
- Leland Chee, LLP continuity database admin, Dec. 2005 - posts from the "Holocron database continuity questions" thread at the StarWars.com forums
"Sorry Tasty, a rather long and boring question about continuity, canon and the Holocron…
Much earlier this year, I participated in a debate in the Can We Get "The Canon Argument" Out of the Way Now... thread on this board and had a long discussion with another poster on the canonicity of the EU.
The poster had argued that based on George Lucas’s quotes in Cinescape in July 2002 and in Starlog in August 2005, where he mentions the films and the EU and films being “two separate worlds” and the EU being a “parallel universe”, that there are officially two different Star Wars universes or continuities:
- George Lucas’ Star Wars universe, which is the ‘real’ Star Wars universe, consisting of the 6 Star Wars movies and only those films; the stories set out in the EU do not happen, nor are a part of that universe or story.
- The Expanded Universe’s Star Wars universe, which is not the same as the ‘real’ Star Wars universe, but is it’s own spin-off universe based on it; it does not reflect George Lucas’ vision of the story of what ‘really happens’ in Star Wars.
When I mentioned your statements about the different canonicity levels in Star Wars, he argued that they were only applicable to the EU Star Wars universe, and didn’t apply to George Lucas’ Star Wars universe. Further more he posited that since Lucas Licensing and LucasFilm Ltd are separate entities, that the statements of Lucas Licensing employees do not and cannot override George Lucas’ quotes, or the quotes of LucasFilm Ltd employees, since Lucas Licensing cannot know or comment accurately about the policies of LFL.
I on the other hand argued that there was only one official Star Wars universe or continuity, which is made up of both the Star Wars films and the EU and contains materials of different levels of canonicity as described in your blog. I contended that the quotes of Lucas where he mentions “two worlds” were not supposed to be taken literally; he was describing how his work on the films was ‘his world’ and he didn’t get involved in the EU which was ‘a separate world’.
Additionally, I argued that LucasFilm Ltd and Lucas Licensing, being divisions of the same company, worked together closely and thus each division was aware of and could comment with accuracy on the policies of the other.
I was wondering which of our arguments were correct? Or are we both off the mark in some way? Many thanks!"
"The only relevant official continuities are the current versions of the films alone, and the combined current version of the films along with whatever else we've got in the Holocron. You're never going to know what George's view of the universe beyond the films at any given time because it is constantly evolving. It remains elastic until it gets committed to film or another official source. Even then, we know there's always room for change. Though the Holocron is maintained by Licensing, it is utilized by folks throughout all the Lucas companies."
"A follow up question - of the two official continuities (the films alone continuity and the films + EU continuity), is one more 'official' than the other; which is the 'true' Star Wars universe?"
"You're asking the Keeper of the Holocron, so of course I'm gonna be a bit biased. The "film purists" aren't the types to be hanging out on the boards so it's unlikely you'll hear much official rebuttal around these parts. With that said, the reality is that a huge number of people who have seen all 6 Star Wars films have never played a Star Wars game, visited a Star Wars website, watched a Star Wars television program, read a Star Wars publication, or purchased a Star Wars action figure or collectible. It would be great disservice to discount these people as fans."
"On this site in August 2001, Steve Sansweet quoted Chris Cerasi about the canon policy. At one point, he mentions:
"The analogy is that every piece of published Star Wars fiction is a window into the 'real' Star Wars universe. Some windows are a bit foggier than others. Some are decidedly abstract. But each contains a nugget of truth to them."
My question is this: with the two different Star Wars continuities of Film alone and Film+EU, is the 'foggy window' of the EU materials as described above referring to a window into the 'real' Star Wars universe of the Film alone continuity, the 'real' Star Wars universe of the Film+EU continuity, or does it mean something else which I'm not understanding properly?[...]"
"Film+EU continuity. Anything not in the current version of the films is irrelevant to Film only continuity."
"And what goes in the blank timeline spaces of the Film Only universe – can we never know the history or background of that Star Wars universe like we can in the EU Star Wars universe?"
"Nothing. That's why it's film only."
- Leland Chee, LLP continuity database admin, Dec. 2006 - posts from the "Holocron database continuity questions" thread at the StarWars.com forums
(initial question here)
"Regarding The Clone Wars movie novelization, these were done a bit differently than our prequel trilogy novels (I'm not exactly sure how it was handled in the OT novels). For the prequel trilogy novels, each of the authors met directly with George Lucas to discuss story points and character motivations. The Clone Wars is more of an interpretation of the movie script (actually more like a hybrid of the individual episodic scripts which make up the movie including scenes that were done for the episodes but were cut from the movie as well as scenes that were created specifically for the movie that weren't in the individual episodes). There also wasn't any direct contact this time around between the novelization author and George Lucas or the writers and director."
- Leland Chee, LLP continuity database admin, Aug. 2008 - post from the "Holocron database continuity questions" thread at the StarWars.com forums
"Can you sketch out for us the editorial process that resulted in The New Jedi Order series? How involved was George Lucas in the details of planning and plotting the various books, and in the choice of writers? How much independence do the writers have . . . and how much do you have as editor?
We started our planning sessions with the agreement that we wanted to do a vast, multibook series. Then we brainstormed ideas: What kind of crisis would face our characters? How did we want to see both existing generations of characters develop through the series? What would we find most exciting to play with?
Once we'd come up with a sketchy outline of where we wanted to go, start to finish, we had to get it approved from on high. For example, as I mentioned earlier, we were told we could not kill off certain characters. We originally intended the enemy to be dark Force-users; we were told they had to be non-Force users. We had a certain plan in mind for one of the characters; we were told to use a different character for this particular plan.
That was about the extent of George's involvement -- unless there was more going on behind the scenes than I was aware of. The writers have all been chosen by mutual consent: some of them were suggested by me and approved by the folks at Lucas Licensing. Others were suggested by Lucas Licensing and subsequently approved by me.
We really work as a team. That said, the final say always lies with Lucas Licensing. The writers have a lot of independence in coming up with a story, provided they work in the plot points necessary to keep the overall story arc moving along. I have a lot of independence as editor: Lucas Licensing doesn't even see an outline or a manuscript until the author and I feel pretty confident that it's ready to be looked at for approval. If we disagree, we discuss the issue -- even argue it occasionally -- until we come to some resolution. But in the end, we make whatever changes Lucas Licensing requires. It's their intellectual property (well, it's George's, but it's their job to protect that for him), and they have every right to control its destiny."
- Shelly Shapiro, Editorial Director (Del Rey), Dec. 2000 - "Telling War Stories: An Interview with Shelly Shapiro" at StarWars.com
"What about George Lucas' reaction?
It's been really great. I heard that he said that it is Star Wars, which is what we set out to do: to create really cool action cartoons that fit into the Star Wars story. He's been really happy about it, especially because his kids like it too, which is important."
- Genndy Tartakovsky, Creator of Clone Wars, Feb. 2004 - Clone Wars Q&A at StarWars.com
"Do you worry though that events in the new movies will greatly contradict events in spin-off works, or do you picture Allan Kausch leaning over George's shoulder as he's writing and pointing out minor things that could keep the whole thing consistent? Just the minor change in the Special Edition of Jabba's appearance rendered the "Jabba the Hutt" comics visually incorrect. The Greedo/Han scene certainly changed a lot in the various retellings of that scene in Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina. They're all within Lucas' right because it's his creation, but they do impact the work of people who are essentially working with his permission.
PJ: It's not something we can really worry about, so we don't. Lots of people have been working on lots of SW extrapolations for the last twenty years, in good faith. There were never any promises from George Lucas or Lucasfilm regarding the acceptance of their work into some wider canon.
The examples you cite above, then, become merely shots across the bow: a warning that perhaps some folks are taking this far too seriously, and may have forgotten that fun and excitement was what fueled the SW phenomenon in the first place."
- Peet Janes, Dark Horse Comics Editor, Dec. 1998 - "Horsing Around" interview at EchoStation.com
"Bookpg SD: How much is Lucas involved in the novels?
Timothy Zahn: As far as I know, George Lucas himself is not involved. He has a liaison group that deals with the book people, the game people, etc. They do the day-to-day work. Occasionally, he will be asked a question and will give an answer."
"I did meet Lucas once for a few minutes."
"Question: I heard that George Lucas doesn't read the STAR WARS novels, or only reads a few. Has he read the Thrawn trilogy, and what did he think of it?
Timothy Zahn: As far as I know, he has not read any of the novels. From what I've heard, Lucas is a visual man. He likes comic books for the visual aspect. Frankly, I don't think he has time to read, so I'm not offended."
- Timothy Zahn, EU Author, Nov. 1997 - Interview in "The Book Report"
"Del Rey provides the current Star Wars reference material. The Essential Guides and Star Wars Encyclopedia are absolute musts. The Encyclopedia was such a lifesaver that I asked Steve Sansweet to autograph it for me at last year's Gen Con. More importantly, there's the expertise of everyone who reads the manuscript in its various drafts; Shelly, Sue and her readers at Lucasfilm, the copyeditors (and others) at Del Rey."
- Troy Denning, EU and Episode I novel author, January 2002 - "An Interview with Troy Denning"
"Which brings us to the often-asked question: Just what is Star Wars canon, and what is not? The one sure answer: The Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition -- the three films themselves as executive-produced, and in the case of Star Wars written and directed, by George Lucas, are canon. Coming in a close second we have the authorised adaptations of the three films: the novels, radio dramas, and comics. After that, almost everything falls into a category of ”quasi-canon.”"
- Steve Sansweet, Star Wars EU author and LL marketing, July 1998 - Preface to the "Star Wars Encyclopedia"
"<<"Once I heard that George Lucas was asked to comment on the many interpretations of Star Wars in book, comic, record, radio and TV spin-offs that grew from his original creation. 'The films are gospel,' he said, 'all the rest are gossip.' I like that.">>
Sounds like a typical George quote."
- Andy Mangels, EU Author, Dec. 1995 - rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc reprint of AOL SW forum posts
"Lucasfilm's stance on Marvel, as I've learned in the time I've spent writing for WEG, Topps, and (soon) Dark Horse (more on that at a later date), is that they don't have a problem with fitting the Marvel tales into current continuity, so long as it's not done ”in your face.” [...] In other words, writers are allowed to consider the Marvel series as part of the continuity... but more of a background continuity than a foreground continuity. I know that sounds a little screwy... and I can foresee some eyebrows raising over this post... but that's how the Marvel series currently stands."
- Rich Handley, Star Wars EU author, November 1999 - Usenet post to rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc
"The first two Incredible Cross-Sections books were conceived to explore bold new territory in the Star Wars universe, taking a rare look inside more vehicles and vessels than we had ever seen before, and doing in in unprecidented detail. These books would represent the most thorough research ever done on these vehicles and would receive Lucasfilm's formal imprimatur as canon. These volumes would henceforth be sent out to licensees as reference guides and would become useful manuals for Industrial Light & Magic, where some of the artwork influenced details in Episodes I and II."
- David West Reynolds, Star Wars EU author, May 2003 - Star Wars Insider #68, p. 36
"This and all other products that take place after the events depicted in Return of the Jedi are the author's vision of what may have happened. The true fate of the heroes and villains of the Star Wars universe remains the exclusive province of George Lucas and Lucasfilm, Ltd.""Long after the original Incredible Cross-Sections book revolutionized Star Wars ”nonfiction”, Dorling Kindersley continues to publish amazing resources revealing the secrets of vehicles, equipment, and locations. The latest offering is Inside The Worlds of Star Wars Attack Of The Clones: The Complete Guide to the Incredible Locations from Episode II. Illustrated by the veteran team of Richard Chasemore and Hans Jenssen, this was written by series editor Simon Beecroft, in consultation with Dr. Curtis Saxton.
- Author unknown, 1993 - "Star Wars: Dark Empire Sourcebook", West End Games
While this book deals with locations rather than vehicles, the challenge remains the same, in Beecroft's words: ”to accurately rationalize what's seen in the film and then extend the universe that little further.”"
- Unknown side-bar author, May 2003 - Star Wars Insider #68, p. 43 (as reported by Wayne Poe)
"The idea [licensing deal with Bantam] was passed to George Lucas, who agreed that Licensing could expand upon his films with original fiction set after /Return of the Jedi/."
"In the early days of the publishing department, Wilson worked closely with her administrative assistant, Sue Rostoni (now managing editor of the department as well as editor of all adult fiction) on the editorial projects. The two of them decided that to maintain quality, it would be crucial to monitor the storylines of all projects and ensure that none of their books contradicted one another. This continuity decision became one of the department's biggest challenges--and greatest successes."
- Author Unknown . . . from "Durandal" in a Usenet post. Attributed to Star Wars Insider #59, Jun. 2002.
"As George Lucas says, the movies are Gospel, and everything else is Gossip"
- Fantastic Films, vol. 3, no. 5, Dec. 1980 - Clone Wars Explained