Star Wars' Expanded Universe 'unified' by Lucasfilm to create 'consistent' story

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy formed a "story group" that will oversee the Star Wars franchise's creative development spanning games, TV, films and more, according to a post today on the saga's official site.

The space opera's story began in 1977 with the release of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Since then, Star Wars expanded to comics, novels, television shows, video games and more. The newly formed group will be responsible for overseeing universe's future, which will continue expanding with the upcoming Star Wars Rebels animated TV series and the Episodes VII-IX films, across various types of media.

The Lucasfilm story group's position is that the films and the animated Clone Wars series serve as the universe's canon, which it will oversee going forward.

"We have an unprecedented slate of new Star Wars entertainment on the horizon," Kennedy said. "We're set to bring Star Wars back to the big screen, and continue the adventure through games, books, comics and new formats that are just emerging. This future of interconnected storytelling will allow fans to explore this galaxy in deeper ways than ever before."

The state of the Star Wars universe as it developed before the third trilogy was announced, however, needed to be addressed. Many tales set in the Star Wars universe took place after Return of the Jedi, the last chronological, canonical entry in the series. Those stories, which have become known as the Expanded Universe, will still exist but be referred to under the "Legends" title. According to the YouTube description of a video released alongside the announcement, the former EU content will be "unified like never before," while the story group will codify the upcoming narrative to be "consistent and cohesive" across mediums like comics, novels and video games.

Disney announced its $4 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm in October, 2012. By April 2013, Disney revealed that it was closing LucasArts, Lucasfilm's long-running video game subsidiary. The following month, Disney and Electronic Arts announced an exclusive, multi-year licensing agreement for the company to publish Star Wars games by BioWare, EA DICE and Visceral games. Earlier this month, Visceral vice president and general manager Steve Papoutsis announced that former Naughty Dog creative director Amy Hennig joined the studio as creative director for the studio's upcoming, unannounced Star Wars game.

For more on LucasArts, be sure to read our coverage of a GDC 2014 panel in which former employees looked back on the studio, whose credits include the Monkey Island series and various Star Wars games, including Star Wars 1313. You can watch the video above to hear the team at Lucasfilm discuss the future of Star Wars.

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