- Matt Wilkins
A New Discovery
On September 24th 2017, Star Trek will go where fandom has wanted it to return…back to the original “canon”. Month’s ago it was announced that the new series Discovery series was set in the “old universe” before the JJ Abrams re-boot.
Taking place between Enterprise and The Original Series, Discovery happens during the classic era fans loved most. It’s refreshing to see this bold move the company made, taking the franchise in a new direction apart from the universe being shown on the big screen.
For me, the new movies have been….ok. The first one was so-so and every Trek fan agrees with me on how horrible Into Darkness was. But Beyond was my favorite of the three and I look forward to future installments in the years to come.
What’s refreshing, however, is seeing Trek fans get new stories from a canon which was previously erased. Proving once again that a franchise can be contrived by more than one continuous story.
While Trek fans are used to having multiple universes to play with, Star Wars had only one continuous canon until Disney purchased the company and separated the Expanded Universe from the new canon set forth in Episode VII.
Though the new canon certainly entertains fans, restricting content for more EU stories seems short sighted as fans have shown time and time again that alternate stories stemming from the same universe can be successful.
The Walking Dead does this beautifully. Between comics and the TV show they utilize the same characters in the same world, yet having vastly different outcomes from each other. It’s great playing “What if” with characters and seeing the outcome. Like what happens when a character dies in one universe but stays alive in the other.
Compare the Expanded Universe and New Canon. In the New Canon Boba Fett and Han Solo are dead. But Chewie lives on. The EU still has Han and Boba alive and well, but our wookie is no more. Think of all the incredible adventures you can tell from these different circumstances that stem from the same universe created by George Lucas. The fountain of story lines would be endless!
DC has followed this concept for years. Choosing to keep their TV shows and Movie separate so that more story arcs can be told for the same characters. And the fans are loving it. Arrow and Flash have charmed audiences for years and though their cinematic universe could be better, Wonder Woman received rave reviews and looks to put DC back on track. And I don’t see fans complaining about the alternate universes either. So the question is, why isn’t Lucasfilm doing it as well?
New Legends novels opens a multitude of avenues in storytelling. Topics that are “off limits” in the new canon could be told in the Legends universe and fans have shown that they’d enjoy every minute of it!
One of the top complaints I hear about the new canon is the books having no impact or meaning. Writers are hesitant to create anything that could possibly be contradicted in the movies. This makes for potentially bland, boring storytelling and the fans deserve much more than that. I understand the reason for “playing it safe” so you don’t step on future installments of stories, but a constant string of repetitive and stale story arcs will impact any franchise over time.
It’s my hope that the good folks at Lucasfilm realize the value new EU stories would bring to the Star Wars fans and its Universe. A chance to revisit another timeline, like Star Trek fans will see this weekend.
Here’s to hoping Lucasfilm goes where no one has gone (in the past 3 years) and bring NEW Legends content into the mix!