I’m With the Banned

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No, not that band. Try again. B-a-n-n-e-d.

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Yeah, these guys — I’m with these guys.

It’s Banned Books Week, which if you’ve ever read my other blog, you know I despise. As I said in this post, “The idea of banned books week was to promote awareness against censorship, chiefly of the sort where the government tells you what you can and can’t look at (such as the most censored book ever, the Bible). The reality of banned books week is that librarians and schoolteachers pee themselves to wave copies of Harry Potter under your nose while chanting, ‘I’M WITH THE BANNED!'”

The reality of life in the United States is that we don’t ban books. Books are “challenged,” which occurs when any individual or group asks for a book to be removed from a library or school system, but “challenging” a book does literally nothing to hamper people from accessing it anywhere outside of that library or school system.

Which is why it’s so very shocking that a company has, in a sense, banned an entire series from consumption. I’m obviously talking about Star Wars, and the fact that Disney has in a very real way “banned” the entire saga.

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The first Star Wars book was published before the movie, as it turns out: in 1976, Star Wars, from the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, ghost-written by Alan Dean Foster, was published under George Lucas’ name. And after the explosive success of Star Wars, more spin-offs under the series From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker began to appear: Brian Daley’s Han Solo trilogy, Alan Dean Foster’s Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, and L. Neil Smith’s Lando trilogy. By the time Timothy Zahn was commissioned to create the cornerstone of the modern Expanded Universe, West End Games had published loads of material on the Star Wars galaxy, and Zahn was advised to remain consistent with that information. Thus canon was born.

And because the films and its spinoffs — games, books, graphic novels, films, and animations — actually all grew together, interweaving with one another and growing into each other like the woshyr trees of Kashyyk, all these pieces taken together form what is Star Wars. And by removing the roots and branches, Disney has effectively killed the saga.

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That’s why I’m saying Disney has “banned” the EU. On April 25, 2014, when Disney said “nothing is canon except for the six films,” what they really said was “we aren’t doing Star Wars anymore. The saga is gone; we’re rebooting it; and we don’t care what you think or what you want.”

We’re not allowed to speak. We’re not allowed to say #GiveUsLegends. We’re not allowed to call nucanon the soulless trash-for-cash that it is. Disney doesn’t care what Star Wars fans want, and their campaign is to keep us silent and censured. They reprinted realcanon as “Legends,” but that banner is as good as a gag. It says “not real.” It says “outdated.” Where Disney could have built onto the existing saga and made a fortune beyond their most avariced dreams, they chose instead to reboot. And when we objected, we were mocked, abused, and silenced.

heircensored

Now you see what Disney lost: the goodwill of the fanbase and an enduring source of steady money. Would you like to see what we’ve lost?

  • Attack of the Clones Expanded Visual Dictionary — published only in Denmark
  • The Star Wars Saga returning to theaters (in 3D) — 2015 should have been A New Hope
  • Novels such as Sword of the Jedi, Imperial Commando 2, Blood Oath, and more stories in The Old Republic series
  • The realcanon version of Heir to the Jedi, the final installment of the Empire & Rebellion Trilogy, reduced to duology while Hearne’s book stagnates as nucanon standalone
  • Probable expanded visual dictionaries timed to coincide with film rereleases
  • Probable annotated annotated editions of E.U. books in the style of Heir to the Empire‘s special 20th anniversary edition

And that’s only naming a few — and the few that have names! Who really knows what we lost?

But what do I expect you to do about it? Well, the whole point of this post is this — don’t be silent. Don’t be censored. Tell Disney, tell Del Rey, tell Lucasfilm what you want: we want our universe back.

You can tell them by Tweeting them, or writing them on Facebook, or you can join the Disney/Lucasfilm Letter Writing Campaign and get information on how to contact them at their corporate addresses. You can also check out my Solidarity page to find out how to get wristbands and keychains to advertise the cause of realcanon. Do whatever you want — just don’t be quiet!

After all, we’re with the banned and bands just aren’t quiet!

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6 Responses to “I’m With the Banned”

  1. I’m going to have to disagree with you. I’m sorry, but this post just comes off as extremely entitled and whiny. “Oh no, Disney declares some books I like non-canon, so therefore let me overreact by comparing this to censorship” which is, by the way, still an issue, perhaps not as much in America but certainly in other countries. And last time I checked, the old EU books are still being printed and sold, so saying that they are being “banned” is a huge overstatement.

    Now in all honesty I never cared for the EU nor considered it canon, but I do feel sympathy for the people who did enjoy it. I know that it sucks to have it all declared non-canon, and I understand why you would be upset about it. What I don’t understand, however, is why you can’t simply consider it canon anyways and move on. Even if Disney says otherwise can’t you personally just consider it canon and keep enjoying the books? I understand being mad for a little while, but do you guys really need to dwell on it this much? Don’t you have more important things to do?

    Like

    • Whether you consider it not canon is not the point. The fact is 1: it was sold as canon. There were many many quotes of the people in charge saying it was all one universe and in fact some of that expanded universe was revealed in the prequels. GL did not name Coruscant, or invent that twilek Jedi, or even that short line between Anakin & Obi-Wan about Vos and Boz Pity in Revenge of the Sith. It all came from the books and comics. He chose to tie it together. 2. Even if it is not canon there is no reason not to do the fans the courtesy of wrapping up (if not continuing) the stories they have literally already paid for. People bought books like Republic Commando series as well as the game and naturally expected an ending. They did not get one.We had heroes left in mortal danger, holding our breath for the next book that never came. They bought The Force Unleashed, whether book, comic or game, and expected an ending..Vader was a prisoner at the end. They did not get one. They left Vader a prisoner. We have already paid for a story that is begun, it’s not unreasonable to be upset that they didn’t even bother to give us an ending. How would you feel if you went to see the Empire Strikes Back and never got Return of the Jedi to show Han freed from the carbonite? That is how it is for us. Our heroes were left in danger. And there is no reason for it, for Disney could easily have done what so many other franchises do and have an alternate timeline for it. And that is the worst of it: they have no excuse whatsoever for doing this to the fans. Some of the stories they cancelled were already written or in progress. The game 1313 was almost completed and ready to go and instead of figuring, hey, why waste the money if its this close to gun? Lets wait and let this be Lucasarts grand finale? They killed it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • First, it’s less entitled and whiny than your comment rebuking my post for existing.

      Second, all books promoted for “Banned Books Week” are in print and readily available for purchase and reading — ever heard of Alice in Wonderland, Catcher In the Rye, Ulysses, or To Kill a Mockingbird? All “banned.” The point is not that they have been made inaccessible by federal interference — which is impossible in the United States — but that the general population has been discouraged from reading them by a governing authority.

      Third, whether or not you considered it canon is strictly irrelevant. It was canon. Perhaps you’d like to read my defense of canon to find out why.

      And finally, what I don’t understand is why you don’t simply move on yourself. Okay, you don’t care very much about Star Wars. That’s your prerogative. It’s my prerogative to be so impassioned about Star Wars that I pay a yearly fee to maintain a domain name for my blog dedicated to my passion for Star Wars. Because Disney is in the process of strip-mining Star Wars for parts to go in their trash-for-cash, I will talk about it.

      Only being “mad for a little while” implies that evil is only evil until you get used to it. But the corporate monster that Disney has become will be evil as long as they pursue their at-all-costs entertainment empire, and I will speak out against it as long as it is evil.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Bjørn Melbøe Says:

    By having what was canon before relabeled as Legends leave a bad taste in my mouth. Suddenly the Star Wars universe is so small and tiny and not for me at all. I grew up with Star Wars and now I find I’ve outgrown it, but not by choice. Worst of all is the fact that no new material, like books, comics or games, are being published but all the worlds and characters I’ve loved for all these years might very well end up in this tiny, small and childish universe, posing as a beloved character. But I will not be fooled, I will not submit and I will not stand for this rebooted star wars. I read Star Wars.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. People do whatever they want with their time. and if they want to let their opinions be heard, they can do so anywhere. this is internet, HURRAH. Moreover, the discontinuation of the True Expanded Universe is a wound that will mostly never wholly heal for people who spent 30+ years investing and immersing themselves in the stories that followed the movies and that ONCE were considered, sold as, and promoted as canon. George Lucas even said so and participated directly or indirectly in a few titles. The fact that Disney stripped the franchise of a whole universe is clearly only for capitalistic sake, and is a literary theft made legal, as we clearly see many TrueEU elements being cherrypicked and inserted in the “newcanon” and they think the fans won’t notice. well, CASUAL fans (which are Disney’s primary target” WON’T. The other largest part of the SW fanbase definitely will.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. John Simone Says:

    This is truly, truly sad! I grew up with the EU. First exposure to it was the video game Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. Everywhere I go I see promotions and trailers for the “New Canon”, and to be honest, it’s getting on my damn nerves! I don’t care what Disney says, the EU will forever be CANON….. at least to me it will, and the majority of hardcore fans! I’m already forced to go see the new film, which after that, I’ll be even more pissed!!! Star Wars is not just the six films, it is a whole entire universe made up of comics, games, novels, and RPG’s.

    Liked by 1 person

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