Star Wars : Expanded Universe

The term "Expanded Universe" has come into existence as an umbrella term for all of the officially licensed Star Wars material outside of the six feature films. This includes television productions, books, comics, games, and other forms of media. The material expands and continues the stories told in the films, taking place anywhere from 25, 000 years before The Phantom Menace to 120 years afterReturn of the Jedi. It officially began in January 1978 with Marvel Comics' Star Wars # 7 and was further expanded by Alan Dean Foster's February 1978 novel, Splinter of the Mind's Eye.

George Lucas retains ultimate creative control over the Star Wars universe. For example, the death of central characters and similar changes in the status quo must first pass his screening before authors are given the go-ahead. In addition, Lucasfilm Licensing devotes considerable effort to ensure continuity between the works of various authors across multiple companies.

Some purists reject the Expanded Universe as Apocrypha, believing that only the events in the film series are part of the "real" Star Wars universe. However, elements of the Expanded Universe have been adopted by Lucas for use in the films. For example, the name of the planet Coruscant first appeared in Timothy Zahn's novel Heir to the Empire before being used later in the prequel trilogy.


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