– by Joseph Jammer Medina

It’s been over five years since Disney took the reins of the Star Wars franchise by acquiring Lucasfilm. From there, it didn’t take long before the studio executed Order 66 on the entirety of the Expanded Universe of Star Wars. This meant that all the story fans had been reading for the past few decades were now null and void.

No longer were characters Jacen and Jaina Solo part of the actual canon of this world, and no longer would stories like Shadows of the Empire hold any weight in the current continuity. In addition, the moniker of this multimedia content was changed from “Expanded Universe” to “Legends.” While many fans were upset by this move from Disney and Lucasfilm, it made a lot of sense. The waters were already muddied with contradictory stories, and the last thing they wanted was for their new trilogy of films to be hindered by what came before, especially since most mainstream audiences have never even touched a book.

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However, it while that’s a good enough reason in and of itself, it sounds like Chewbacca was a key reason as to why Lucasfilm opted to wipe the Expanded Universe clean. Speaking with Syfy, longtime Lucasfilm employee Leland Chee said:

“For me it came down to simply that we had killed Chewbacca in the Legends — a big moon had fallen on him. Part of that [original decision] was Chewbacca, because he can’t speak and just speaks in growls, he was a challenging character to write for in novels. Publishing had decided they needed to kill somebody, and it was Chewbacca.”

“But if you have the opportunity to bring back Chewbacca into a live action film, you’re not gonna deprive fans that. There’s no way that I’d want to do an Episode VII that didn’t have Chewbacca in it and have to explain that Chewbacca had a moon fall on his head. And if we were going to overturn a monumental decision like that, everything else was really just minor in comparison.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi have both hit theaters since then, and in both films, Chewbacca had a fairly important role. As with the original trilogy, Chewie is able to live on in fandom thanks to this move from the studio.

Do you think this was the right move for them to change to the Expanded Universe to Legends? Let us know down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.