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(Washington Post)   WaPo saying what every die-hard fan has wanted to say: why did Disney retcon all the best Star Wars characters and so many opportunities just to make lots of cash off fans?   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 270
    More: Hero, Disney, Big Star Markets, Star Wars, Expanded Universe, female characters, X-Wing, Mara Jade, asterisk  
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6094 clicks; posted to Geek » on 01 May 2014 at 11:43 AM (39 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-01 09:54:05 AM  
To achieve gender balance, all the lens flares will be played by women.
 
2014-05-01 10:49:21 AM  
Did anyone *not* think Disney was going to take a giant shiat on the Holocron?
 
2014-05-01 11:10:04 AM  
I will be disappointed if Ahsoka Tano doesn't show up in the new films, helping to train new jedi.
 
2014-05-01 11:15:23 AM  

UberDave: Did anyone *not* think Disney was going to take a giant shiat on the Holocron?


I dunno. I thought that they certainly couldn't do a WORSE job than Lucas. It looks like they're working hard on continuing his legacy.
 
2014-05-01 11:23:15 AM  
I love how the first two books they brought up were Courtship of Princess Leia (which is only good when it follows Luke) and Children of the Jedi (which is one of the two worst Star Wars novels, IMO (the other being Planet of Twilight which was written by the same author)
 
2014-05-01 11:25:14 AM  
Because the majority of the Expanded Universe was crap?  Anything that retcons Kevin J. Anderson out of existence is a good thing.
 
2014-05-01 11:25:29 AM  

ArkAngel: I love how the first two books they brought up were Courtship of Princess Leia (which is only good when it follows Luke) and Children of the Jedi (which is one of the two worst Star Wars novels, IMO (the other being Planet of Twilight which was written by the same author)



Sparkly Jedis?
 
2014-05-01 11:27:34 AM  

Blues_X: I will be disappointed if Ahsoka Tano doesn't show up in the new films, helping to train new jedi.

I'm actually disappointed that she wasn't killed off in The Clone Wars.
 
2014-05-01 11:47:05 AM  
Aside from a few notable exceptions (Thrawn etc) the EU is mostly awful. As much as it'll suck to lose Thrawn or Corran Horn it will be more than balanced out by deleting all the drek.
 
2014-05-01 11:49:21 AM  

Blues_X: I will be disappointed if Ahsoka Tano doesn't show up in the new films, helping to train new jedi.


That would be awesome.  And it would leave open what she was doing when Vader was working for the Empire.
 
2014-05-01 11:53:41 AM  
I was hoping the would follow the Thrawn Trilogy, I rather liked it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Zahn#Thrawn_trilogy
 
2014-05-01 11:55:07 AM  
Rogue Squadron, The courtship of princess Leia, and The Thrawn Trilogy would have been a gold mine.
 
2014-05-01 11:55:24 AM  

UberDave: Did anyone *not* think Disney was going to take a giant shiat on the Holocron?


Well truthfully, after the prequels, how much worse could they do.  Jar Jar was such terrible character.  There were plenty of logic holes and so forth but Jar Jar was like a nail driven into the brain.
 
2014-05-01 11:57:29 AM  

Science_Guy_3.14159: I was hoping the would follow the Thrawn Trilogy, I rather liked it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Zahn#Thrawn_trilogy


I agree, they should keep stuff like that and Stakpoles stuff and only get rid of the really bad books, but keep the rest
 
2014-05-01 11:59:07 AM  
So, I can stop waiting for a movie version of "Han Solo's Revenge"?
 
2014-05-01 11:59:54 AM  

ArkAngel: I love how the first two books they brought up were Courtship of Princess Leia (which is only good when it follows Luke) and Children of the Jedi (which is one of the two worst Star Wars novels, IMO (the other being Planet of Twilight which was written by the same author)


How could leave out crystal star?  It was one of the most amazingly boring SW books ever.
 
2014-05-01 12:00:59 PM  
I guess the same reason they "retconned" the fark out of H.C. Andersen's Little Mermaid and just about every other caracter they've bought, stolen, and borrowed over the years: They suck at coming up with original creations, so they'll just take others' and do to them whatever it takes to make them fit whatever insipid story, they're trying to tell.
 
M-G
2014-05-01 12:02:38 PM  
Why are they doing this?  Maybe because they want to make a mainstream movie that appeals to more than hardcore Star Wars geeks?
 
2014-05-01 12:06:16 PM  
It's not really a question if you answer it in the headline, subby.
 
2014-05-01 12:07:09 PM  
So let me get this straight... a person should not be accepted into a school simply because they are a minority, but they should add characters in a story simply because they're another gender?

How many black people are in Ep 7? Hispanics? Chinese? Why is this article selfishly only asking for more women?
 
2014-05-01 12:08:56 PM  

Cybernetic: So, I can stop waiting for a movie version of "Han Solo's Revenge"?


If they turn any Brian Daley books into movies, they should start with the Coramonde books.
 
2014-05-01 12:09:25 PM  
So the article writer is mad there should be more women protagonists and antagonists? I completely agree with that, but cutting out the expanded universe shiat is a fantastic choice as 90% of it was smoke-filled coffee house crap.
 
2014-05-01 12:11:03 PM  

sure haven't: So let me get this straight... a person should not be accepted into a school simply because they are a minority, but they should add characters in a story simply because they're another gender?

How many black people are in Ep 7? Hispanics? Chinese? Why is this article selfishly only asking for more women?


Why would there have been Chinese a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away? Are they craftier than I thought?
 
2014-05-01 12:11:04 PM  
Am I the only Star Wars nerd who never had any interest in the expanded universe? I probably just grew up before any of that got started...
 
2014-05-01 12:12:17 PM  

exick: Blues_X: I will be disappointed if Ahsoka Tano doesn't show up in the new films, helping to train new jedi.
I'm actually disappointed that she wasn't killed off in The Clone Wars.


The last season was abbreviated before that could happen (or not happen). I was hoping it would be a contributing factor to driving Anakin over the edge.

Dave Filioni indicated that she may make an appearance in Rebels, the new animated series.

If she is in the new trilogy, she would be quite old, unless her species is space elves or something.
 
2014-05-01 12:12:47 PM  

sure haven't: So let me get this straight... a person should not be accepted into a school simply because they are a minority, but they should add characters in a story simply because they're another gender?

How many black people are in Ep 7? Hispanics? Chinese? Why is this article selfishly only asking for more women?


Same answer it always is: eye candy, tits and ass, and vaginaboobs.

Would like to see them go the Frozen route and have more than one strong female lead.
 
2014-05-01 12:13:17 PM  
I liked the Zahn trilogy, but at that point we were so ridiculously starved for anything Star Wars related that my memory may be skewed. The rest of the EU stuff I read was really, really bad.
 
2014-05-01 12:15:22 PM  
FTA:

As Han Solo and Leia Organa get pulled apart by the pressures of helping run a new, democratic government, Leia considers accepting a marriage proposal driven by strategic considerations rather than love. Han, who has never exactly been good about being a responsible grown-up, freaks out and basically kidnaps Leia for what is supposed to be a romantic getaway. A scene in which he tries to cook her dinner is worth the purchase price alone.

There is a spaceship crash  (spoiler: the Millennium Falcon does not get more reliable) and a lot of the aforementioned nonsense. But, substantially, "The Courtship of Princess Leia" is about what it takes for two adults with incredibly high-pressure careers to make it work in the middle of a war.


The author seems to be laboring under the impression that Star Wars fans want episode 7 to be a rom-com.
 
2014-05-01 12:15:33 PM  
I think that headline was caught by Principal Sayof.
 
2014-05-01 12:17:25 PM  

sure haven't: So let me get this straight... a person should not be accepted into a school simply because they are a minority, but they should add characters in a story simply because they're another gender?

How many black people are in Ep 7? Hispanics? Chinese? Why is this article selfishly only asking for more women?


There's a huge discussion (well, fight, really) in sci fi writing right now about message fic and diversity... and yes, a good chunk of the sci fi power circles really are pushing the idea that authors should go out of their way to not just include but focus upon characters out of the mainstream.

TFA isn't saying Disney is doing this for cash, she's basically decrying the loss of strong females we see in a good chunk of the EU. Problem is, some of the works she holds up as ideals are crap. Sure, Stackpole's X Wing series is fantastic but Children of the Jedi was mediocre at best and Courtship of Princess Leia was so-so.

I agree that losing Mara Jade, Ysanne Isard, and Mirax Terrik is a loss, but not solely because they were strong women. They were just good characters (even though Isard is pretty two dimensional, but so were the rest of the SW universe villains). I do think Disney will be good for it (let's face it, they can't do any worse than Episode I, to say nothing of the Star Wars Holiday Special) and I am withholding judgment on the new movies until I actually see them.
 
2014-05-01 12:17:53 PM  

cgraves67: exick: Blues_X: I will be disappointed if Ahsoka Tano doesn't show up in the new films, helping to train new jedi.
I'm actually disappointed that she wasn't killed off in The Clone Wars.

The last season was abbreviated before that could happen (or not happen). I was hoping it would be a contributing factor to driving Anakin over the edge.



Same here. Clone Wars Anakin was MUCH more believable than the movie Anakin.
 
2014-05-01 12:18:10 PM  
even ignoring the EU mostly being garbage, contradictory and completely covered in power creep... when they make a new movie set after the OT, its going to automatically void the EU by being different, so whats the big deal with starting fresh?
 
2014-05-01 12:18:17 PM  
They're killing the Expanded Universe because it has low popularity and appeals only to a limited demographic.  They want a cleaner future slate to work from to create characters, worlds, and plot lines that they can build larger movie franchises from, and create more open space for writers.  They don't want to deal with "book vs. new movie" nerd rage every time they do something, so they're canning the entire thing and starting from scratch with the end of Return of the Jedi.

It's a good move.  EU has very few good areas to build a full "next gen" world.  It's highly contradictory, niche, and creates too many arbitrary constraints.  Can it, maybe salvage an item or two of use, and move on.  Give them the freedom to create.
 
2014-05-01 12:18:22 PM  
Also, do we even know which parts the actors have gotten?  It could be that the actress they've cast is going to play the lead role.
 
2014-05-01 12:18:55 PM  
The EU was never official.  Get over it.
 
2014-05-01 12:19:00 PM  

lamecomedian: FTA:

As Han Solo and Leia Organa get pulled apart by the pressures of helping run a new, democratic government, Leia considers accepting a marriage proposal driven by strategic considerations rather than love. Han, who has never exactly been good about being a responsible grown-up, freaks out and basically kidnaps Leia for what is supposed to be a romantic getaway. A scene in which he tries to cook her dinner is worth the purchase price alone.

There is a spaceship crash  (spoiler: the Millennium Falcon does not get more reliable) and a lot of the aforementioned nonsense. But, substantially, "The Courtship of Princess Leia" is about what it takes for two adults with incredibly high-pressure careers to make it work in the middle of a war.

The author seems to be laboring under the impression that Star Wars fans want episode 7 to be a rom-com.


Not to mention that is something that would only happen right after Return of the Jedi. Post- menopausal Leia and Han "get off my lawn" Solo would prob already be married for a number of years in ep. VII.
 
2014-05-01 12:20:50 PM  
Not sure if any of you farkers were around, but TheForce.net used to have just EPIC flamewars of people arguing over whether or not the EU was real SW canon. Yes, people sat around actually debated over whether something "actually happened" in the SW universe.

I stopped hanging out there around the time Episode 3 was released, but holy crap would those get ruthless.
 
2014-05-01 12:20:54 PM  

Orgasmatron138: I liked the Zahn trilogy, but at that point we were so ridiculously starved for anything Star Wars related that my memory may be skewed. The rest of the EU stuff I read was really, really bad.


The Zahn stuff was well written but I thought a good chunk of it wasn't great story. Yslamiri? Dark Jedi clone? Really? That wasn't that necessary.

There were some brilliant moments in the EU books- if you haven't read Michael Stackpole's X Wing series you've missed out. I, Jedi is another great work. IMO, one of the reasons they're so good is because they don't focus on the main Star Wars characters... Luke and Leia's Wonder Jedi Twin powers aren't a deus ex machina in any of them and that lets other things take over to the benefit of the story. Same thing with the Han Solo backstory trilogy (not as good as X Wing, but still decent). Sure, there's a lot of dreck, but there's some gems in that pile of manure.
 
2014-05-01 12:20:56 PM  

M-G: Why are they doing this?  Maybe because they want to make a mainstream movie that appeals to more than hardcore Star Wars geeks?


I cannot be the only person who realizes that the Endgame® is to reboot the entire series.

First, you make these three- a continuation of the plot people know, with familiar characters that they loved from childhood. This "softens the blow" so to speak, of potential harm to those cherished memories, and financially desirable love for associated products. Of course everyone goes to see them.

Then, after everyone has gone to see 7-9, because they will no matter how bad they are, as the prequels proved- a reboot of the prequels is announced. FINALLY! say the fans. A take on Anakin's rise and fall not penned by Lucas! These are actually the most important movies to their whole plan, so they won't screw them up. But it won't matter either way, because everyone will go see them.

Riding high off of prequel reboot success, they follow them up with remakes of the original trilogy. Fanboys will gnash teeth, film buffs will weep for "art", and everyone will go see the first one and then want to see what they do with Empire.

And Disney will make billions. Which was the plan the whole time.
 
2014-05-01 12:23:30 PM  

Khellendros: They're killing the Expanded Universe because it has low popularity and appeals only to a limited demographic.  They want a cleaner future slate to work from to create characters, worlds, and plot lines that they can build larger movie franchises from, and create more open space for writers.  They don't want to deal with "book vs. new movie" nerd rage every time they do something, so they're canning the entire thing and starting from scratch with the end of Return of the Jedi.

It's a good move.  EU has very few good areas to build a full "next gen" world.  It's highly contradictory, niche, and creates too many arbitrary constraints.  Can it, maybe salvage an item or two of use, and move on.  Give them the freedom to create.


Agreed. That's why I'm withholding judgment. If they kept the EU there's just no room for them to work... they're either making movies of existing works (which they don't want to do) or trying to find room in there to tell these stories (in which case the writers are handcuffed). They need freedom to tell new stories off the original trunk of the story, pruning off everything else.

If they do away with Han and Leia's twins I'm going to farking applaud... way too damn much of the EU was those kids either getting kidnapped or close to it (kind of like Jack Bauer's daughter in 24). We can do without those little bratty MacGuffins.
 
2014-05-01 12:24:12 PM  
why did Disney retcon all the best Star Wars characters and so many opportunities just to make lots of cash off fans?

Asked and Answered.
 
2014-05-01 12:24:39 PM  

Khellendros: They're killing the Expanded Universe because it has low popularity and appeals only to a limited demographic.  They want a cleaner future slate to work from to create characters, worlds, and plot lines that they can build larger movie franchises from, and create more open space for writers.  They don't want to deal with "book vs. new movie" nerd rage every time they do something, so they're canning the entire thing and starting from scratch with the end of Return of the Jedi.

It's a good move.  EU has very few good areas to build a full "next gen" world.  It's highly contradictory, niche, and creates too many arbitrary constraints.  Can it, maybe salvage an item or two of use, and move on.  Give them the freedom to create.


Not to mention that the entire universe apparently revolves around like 10 people. Nothing makes the SW universe look smaller and more fake than endlessly using the same characters.
 
2014-05-01 12:24:57 PM  

M-G: Why are they doing this?  Maybe because they want to make a mainstream movie that appeals to more than hardcore Star Wars geeks?


So you're saying that there are people that like Star Wars movies but aren't completely geeky about it?

I don't know if I've ever met such a person.
 
2014-05-01 12:25:15 PM  
Lucas's biggest mistake with the prequals - bigger even than midichlorians and Jar-Jar - was attempting to be "cute" with the fan service.

"Let's put R2-D2 in it! Let's have young Anakin, a slave living in deplorable conditions, build C-3PO! Let's have Boba Fett, a very minor character in the original trilogy who became popular for whatever reason, be linked in prequels! Let's have constant references to the original trilogy to the detrement of telling the story!"

Not everything has to be connected so closely.

What worries me is that Abrams tried to be cute with the fan service in Star Trek. The whole Spock thing was kinda stupid, for example.

So, yeah. I'm worried that they're going to try and be cute. I'm worried that they're not just going to tell the story of rebuilding the Republic. I'm worried that they're going to have constant fan-service, in-jokes, and cute little references, to the detrement of the actual story.
 
2014-05-01 12:25:51 PM  
akula:

I agree that losing Mara Jade, Ysanne Isard, and Mirax Terrik is a loss, but not solely because they were strong women. They were just good characters (even though Isard is pretty two dimensional, but so were the rest of the SW universe villains). I do think Disney will be good for it (let's face it, they can't do any worse than Episode I, to say nothing of the Star Wars Holiday Special) and I am withholding judgment on the new movies until I actually see them.

I dunno, I read a fair few of the X-Wing books and I never cared much for Isard and Mirax.  Just because Iceheart was a woman in a position of power didn't make her a "strong woman" or a particularly compelling character - she never seemed very menacing (or all that diabolically clever).  And Mirax was competent, sure, but I never found either of the two especially interesting or compelling.

There were other female EU characters that were a lot more interesting.  The Jedi who had very little strength in the Force, but who became an expert in Jedi lore (Tionne?), Mara Jade (I never read much with her, but at least she has some real depth - divided loyalties, figuring out where she fits, etc.  Also, one of the few EU names that is legitimately cool and actually fits with the naming styles of the characters in the original trilogy).  And I know I'm going to take flak for this, but: Tenel Ka.  I know, I know, Kevin J. Anderson is the worst, but I was like, 12 when I was reading the Young Jedi stuff, gimme a break.  But TK had some really interesting development: she lost her arm due to her arrogance, but she learned from that experience and - in a neat side-stepping of expectations - didn't get a cybernetic replacement, because it violated her sense of her identity.  That was pretty cool, I thought.
 
2014-05-01 12:26:15 PM  
The only part of the EU I like is the Old Republic stuff anyway.  If they mess with that, I'll be angry.
 
2014-05-01 12:26:17 PM  
"...just to make lots of cash off fans?"

There's your reason.

And for what it's worth, I personally feel the extended universe was all garbage. Some if it was enjoyable garbage, but hoenstly, none of it was really "good".
 
2014-05-01 12:27:03 PM  

grinding_journalist: And Disney will make billions. Which was the plan the whole time.


Yeah, I don't know about that. I think I'm done with Star Wars. I'll wait for the reviews by the critics and the hardcore geeks before going to see this movie.
 
2014-05-01 12:27:35 PM  
meh. the best EU stuff was in the KOTOR games.
 
2014-05-01 12:28:10 PM  

Lando Lincoln: M-G: Why are they doing this?  Maybe because they want to make a mainstream movie that appeals to more than hardcore Star Wars geeks?

So you're saying that there are people that like Star Wars movies but aren't completely geeky about it?

I don't know if I've ever met such a person.


I kinda like the movies...
 
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