From The Princes of the Universe Facebook page, January 22, 2017:
By: Matt Wilkins
In my YouTube videos, I’ve spoken about what my thoughts were when#Lucasfilm was sold to Disney. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. It felt unreal. How could Lucas do this? WHY would Lucas do this?! Were the questions running through my head. It was also at that moment when I knew the Expanded Universe would come to an end. In an early video I did about the buyout, I even mentioned my feelings about what would happen to the stories I’ve enjoyed for over 25 years and which made me the Star Wars fan I am today. I loved those stories more than the movies themselves.
If you were to ask me “What is Star Wars?” back in 2012 my answer would have been clear. It’s the Expanded Universe, then the movies. I felt the comics, novels and short stories raised the bar set by the original trilogy of films. The prequels? Those happened BECAUSE of the EU. But I’ve spoken about that already before. What I wanted to do today was give you a glimpse of my thought process for leaving the new canon completely behind. So many times I get asked “When will you be reading/watching the Disney stuff?” The answer is “never” and here’s why.
I remember speaking with Bruce about the future of the EU in 2013 and he agreed, things did not bode well for the stories. Come April of the following years, my fears were confirmed and the entire Expanded Universe was declared “non-canon” so Disney could make more money off the fans by retelling stories already told in the EU new stories of their own.
I wasn’t buying it. Literally or figuratively. As discussed in Princes of the Universe Episode #0, I told Bruce of my intentions to leave the Star Wars fandom once the new Disney stories took over. I was “going rogue” so to speak, and would only be concerned with stories that interested me. (namely the Expanded Universe) Bruce told me he intended to continue on with the new stories and see how they were and we left it at that.
Honestly, I had no idea our level-mindedness would be so rare, seeing how many people online seem to despise one another for making such choices. I was shocked (and still am) by the number of “Gatekeepers” within the fandom who ridicule, mock and abuse others online who do not share the same interest as them. These Gatekeepers even come from well-known fansites who should be leading by good example of being more accepting to others instead or trying to drive a wedge in, dividing them further. Another topic I’ve already discussed so I digress yet again. Though I made my decision to leave the Disney Canon (or D-Canon as I call it) I wondered how hard it would be and if I’d eventually cave in.
My first test would come in following issue of Star Wars Insider. The first publication of a D-Canon story would be Part 2 of a previous one titled Blade Squadron. I decided to read it since it holds the unique category of being both Legends and D-Canon material. Since I accept the 6 movies and the sub-par Clone Wars series by Filoni, Blade Squadron was easy to accept. It was the next story after which wherein the true test would be held. I forget the name of the story because I threw the issue away but when it came in my mailbox that day I flipped nonchalantly through the pages until arriving at the short story….and then threw it away. I had no interest in reading it at all.
Rogue 1 – D-Canon 0
But that had been an easy test I thought. A short story (which probably will never be referenced in the new canon ever again) was simple to overlook. A novel on the other hand was a whole different story. John Jackson Miller was set to release a book about the upcoming show #Rebels called A New Dawn.
Reading about Rebels I knew from the start would be a no-brainer for me to ignore. As I’ve said before Dave Filoni’s Clone Wars hardly impressed me and the art, story and descriptions of the characters from this new show, didn’t appeal to me at all. I knew I was going to avoid the TV Show (as 3.5 million other fans have since the Clone Wars days) but avoiding a novel?! Could it be done?
My answer came early when speaking at a Star Wars panel at #DragonConI was offered an advanced copy of the book….I ended up giving it away to the fan who could answer a question about the Expanded Universe for me.
Rogue 2 – D-Canon 0
Weeks later the book came out, Rebels shortly followed and besides its opening episode it not only has failed to capture my interest but the interest of millions of other fans who watched the Clone Wars back in the day. In fact, Rebels still gets less than a third of the viewers today as it when #CloneWars rating were at their lowest.
Now I’m not here to bash Rebels, I have no idea what the show is like and if you enjoy it I’m happy for you. I’ve been on the “minority side” many a time to tell you that it doesn’t matter what other people think. If you love it, that’s all that matters. John Carter of Mars and Independence Day: Resurgence, I’m looking at you!
Rogue 3 – D-Canon 0
With all that behind me, the challenges were set to increase. Marvel was getting ready to fire up a new comic series and they pulled out all the stops for it to be big. With over 100 variant covers and an advertising campaign bigger than the Death of Superman, Star Wars #1 would hit newsstands and comic book stores with a big bang. Fans who had no idea what a comic book was, were snatching up several copies of this soon to be “million dollar” collectable in the future. (to date, you can still buy most of the variants of the issue for cover price or lower) And with all this hype I once again was put to the test of if I’d read it or not.
Rogue 4 – D-Canon 0
Up next was a big challenge, James Luceno’s new book “Tarkin” was set to hit stores. This one caused further issues in being that it was from an author I loved, from a story originally intended to be Legends when first conceived. (I later discovered that Luceno knew well ahead of time about the change and easily adjusted his draft to accommodate new canon changes that were going into effect.
This book posed the question on whether I could/should combine canon stories together when they didn’t interfere with one another. I felt confident I could go without it but I admit to having the lingering thought “what if” it connected to the old story as well.
Thankfully it didn’t. Reports from previous editors of #StarWarsEUinformed me that Tarkin’s history had been changed completely and that his new background was different than before. Strengthening my resolve I awaited my final test, Episode 7.
Rogue 5 – D-Canon 0
This was it. The big one. Episode 7. Could I withstain from watching an actual MOVIE about Star Wars. Not only was this marketing more than Christmas that year but it was the only thing on everyone’s mind the entire month leading up to its release. Everyone I talked to had something to say about the upcoming movie. What would it be like? Who was it about? What was going to happen? Why am I not wearing pants?
Ok the last one was a joke but you get the point. This movie was BIG. And being a Star Wars fan, you have to watch it. Or at least that’s what everyone told me.
On my YouTube channel I constantly got harassed by people telling me a “had to see it or I wouldn’t be a fan” Even better were the ones who mocked me over it. “Shut up, you’re going to watch it and you know it”
Funny how I don’t hear anything from them now. I was traveling with my company when the movie was released but I remember not being at all concerned with its release. As I’d said previously, Star Wars wasn’t about the movies to me, it was about the #ExpandedUniverse which had developed and grew the story into something more meaningful and deeper than all of the movies combined could have done.
At this point going “rogue” as a Star Wars fan seemed effortless. I wasn’t about to be bullied or shamed into watching it from the deplorable people of the web and I had now confirmed within myself that I had accepted my choice and was happy to live with it.
So to me, #Disney #StarWars was free to go about and do whatever they wanted with the story. I won’t mind. A lot of my friends love it and I’m happy for them. I don’t care if they don’t see things the same was as I do. After all, it’s their choice on whether they want to see, read or hear things about the new canon.
I’m not upset. Sure, I’d like to see more #EU stories in the future and would pick them up at the drop of a hat if they ever felt like printing more, but I’m happy to move on to other interest in life. Going rogue was a decision I’m not only happy about but can live with as well.
Final score Rogue 6- D-Canon 0
Looks like I win in a shutout.