Gaming in the New Star Wars Canon

In 2014, Lucasfilm revised its determination of what made up the Star Wars canon. Effectively, all the material released prior to that point with the exception of the six Star Wars films and the Clone Wars animated series were classified as Legends and no longer a part of the canon. Out the door went novels, comic books, and RPGs.

Not Admiral Ackbar
There was quite the fan outcry - which is not all that shocking given the investment - mental or financial - that many fans had put into the Legends material. Officially, the Legends material is available to be mined for ideas. An example of this appeared in this week's Star Wars Rebels, with several of the characters traveling to Shantipole where a Mon Calamari engineer was developing the B-Wing Fighter prototype. In the old D6 RPG, the adventure Strikeforce: Shantipole also dealt with the development of the B-Wing Fighter. By Admiral Ackbar, whereas by a different Mon Calamari on Rebels and Shantipole was a research station in an asteroid field instead of a dangerous planet. However, the inspiration is clear.  Similarly, Nar Shaddaa from Dark Empire has appeared in Marvel's new Star Wars series.

I suspect the clean slate was truly necessary to produce The Force Awakens. Yes, they could have leapfrogged the events of the Expanded Universe but I suspect they still would have been rather restricted in terms of the stories they could tell.

Regardless of if good or bad, what does it mean for gamers in the Star Wars universe? Essentially nothing. As far as I know, Disney will not send a squad of stormtroopers if you decide to feature Grand Admiral Thrawn or other Legends characters or situations. I myself reused the Minos Cluster from the old West End Games Tramp Freighters. There is always the risk of getting contradicted by later "official" events. For example, I nearly featured an adventure about obtaining the prototype B-Wing - a remaking of Strikeforce: Shantipole.

I've a hunch the period between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens will prove especially useful in Star Wars games, though we'll see more next month when the new movie finally comes out.

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