Lit Will people still read the old EU?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Xammer, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. Xammer

    Xammer Jedi Master star 3

    Jan 31, 2009
    Let's say, for example, ten years from now, when the ST is already an established part of history (like the PT was when the ST was announced) and there still is some Star Wars mainstream media constantly being released, like films or TV shows (probably more low-key than now, as the enthusiasm is kinda dying).

    Do you think people will still want to invest their time into old continuity-heavy pieces like KOTOR, NJO, LOTF?

    For example, even comparing today with one year ago I see much less discussion about the EU on the Lit forums.
  2. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    Well, they keep re-publishing them, so yes, they will. And we even have new Legends content from Marvel and ToR. So, yes, they will.

    Inevitably the differences between Legends and Canon will be relatively small, I expect.

    I mean, the ST is essentially LotF crossed with Dark Empire but set thirty years after Endor instead of fifty...
  3. blackmyron

    blackmyron Chosen One star 6

    Oct 29, 2005
    Do you think that people are still going to be talking about the "official canon" secondary material coming out now, 10 years from now?

    Personally, I would hope the distinction between old and new material will finally fall away and LFL adopts the multiversal approach officially... or fans to do so (which would lead to the former in any case)

    I've put Star Wars on hold for now because I'm waiting to see the development post-ST. But certainly I'll be back discussing the EU and adapting material from Disney canon to fit the EU... which, I would point out, is exactly what happened in Marvel Star Wars #108.
    ... and from a corporate perspective, who knows what Disney will even be doing with Star Wars in 10 years?
  4. DarthInternous

    DarthInternous Editor - Del Rey Star Wars star 3 VIP

    Feb 7, 2017
    There's little reason to suggest that they won't.
  5. Jeff_Ferguson

    Jeff_Ferguson Force Ghost star 5

    May 15, 2006
    This... is an interesting question. Will the old EU have as many new readers coming in every year as it did ten years ago? Maybe not. Will Heir to the Empire and Rogue Squadron still be considered classics that attract more new readers than you might think? Probably. Used book shops will still have a ton of old SW stuff in their SF/Fantasy sections, and even books like The New Rebellion and Scourge (remember that one?) will still easily be able to find their way into the hands of plenty of bubbly and eager SW fanatics. And old EU comics are still constantly being collected into those Legends Epic Collections omnibuses all the time.

    But there are other factors to consider. One is the lack of advertising and promotion that the old EU gets from and official SW social media and whatnot. With no new books being published, there isn't official attention being drawn to the old EU. There are no databank entries on EU characters, planets, and organizations like there were ten years ago. Fans who stick to the official site can't really fall into an EU rabbit hole like they used to be able to.

    And, despite what I said above, I can't imagine the print runs of old EU books like The New Rebellion or Tales from the Empire being what they were in, say, the Double Os. Obviously I'm speculating based on nothing even approaching evidence, but there are limits to what even a huge bookstore like Barnes & Noble or Chapters can designate as their SW section, and I'm guessing that more recent (and more canonical) stuff would win out.

    Then again, Wookieepedia is as huge as always, and it has more than enough EU rabbit holes to go around. And there are e-books to consider; even if older books like The New Rebellion aren't on as many bookstore bookshelves as they used to be (again, complete guesswork here, and sorry to keep slagging on this one book), their synopses are still there on, and they're only one click away from a purchase and a download. We've been reassured that "the old books aren't going anywhere" for five years now, and, well, it's true.

    Will people still read the old EU? Of course. For years and years to come. Will as many people read it? I would guess no, but I would also guess that the falloff won't be as much as you might pessimistically expect. Ten years from now it might be a different story. And let's face it we'll all still be here ten years from now to talk about it again.
  6. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    I might have to wonder if I am still moderating this madness ten years from now...

    Especially what with joining in 2004...
  7. Coherent Axe

    Coherent Axe Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 20, 2016
    That said, is the Databank itself actually as relevant as it was ten years ago? I think Wookieepedia's overtaken it as fans' first stop for lore, which even the OS acknowledged when it started linking to Wookieepedia articles with its former Encyclopedia section. Wookieepedia's much more Legends-friendly, I think; even browsing popular pages like Luke Skywalker or Han Solo shows a casual fan there are two continuities to choose from.
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  8. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 9, 2016
    Probably yes, the internet will keep things alive, but I don't think it might be as large as it used to be.

    I've had a bit of a hypothesis of what things will be remembered in the EU (I might start a thread) but things like KOTOR, The Thrawn Trilogy, Mara Jade, Kyle Katarn, the Yuzong Von, those things won't be forgotten, even if people never read the book.

    Update: I did start a thread on that actually
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  9. Soontir-Fel

    Soontir-Fel Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 18, 2001
    Additionally with the more that they bring in legends concepts to games and shows, people are going to be interested into the sources. Like where all the x wing miniatures come from
  10. ANormalMetalSheevite

    ANormalMetalSheevite Jedi Youngling

    May 1, 2019
    It will be cool. If they decided to adopt the multiverse thing. But, I do think that's very unlikely.
  11. The Positive Fan

    The Positive Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 19, 2015
    But how relevant will Wookieepedia itself be ten years from now? They're a great source for Legends lore, but - love it or hate it - canon is now the bread-and-butter of Star Wars, and the Wook has had ongoing problems with ensuring canon articles receive the same level of editorial care and respect that Legends ones do. If they can't pick up their game on that side of the continuity, I just can't help but wonder if fans will still be making it their first stop - and through it discovering those great old Legends stories - in years to come.
  12. Coherent Axe

    Coherent Axe Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 20, 2016
    All that takes is for fans to pick up any slack they find. It's a "we" rather than a "they", whereas the OS is basically off-limits to us.
  13. SyndicThrass

    SyndicThrass Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 25, 2016
    I suspect that the classics of the EU will always remain relevant, and in some cases find a new life with younger readers coming in. Something like Heir to the Empire probably received a new wave of readers based on Rebels, for instance.
    Jeff_Ferguson likes this.
  14. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 8, 2016
    One hope of mine is that even if people aren't diving into the NJO, the essential guides will provide enough of a baseline so that anyone interested will be able to delve into the EU even ten years from now.

    In the best case scenario, a multiverse or similar arrangement might come to be.
  15. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    I haven't really paid any attention to the new EU stuff, or the reaction to it, and even I have noticed that a lot of new people checked out the Thrawn Trilogy after Thrawn's appearance in Rebels. I haven't watched a single second of Rebels, or paid any attention to it, but I know Thrawn was in it, and people looked up Legends Thrawn as a result.

    I think SOLO may have led to new people looking up the old Han trilogies.

    I've also heard of people checking out the Legends Post-ROTJ because they're so disappointed with the ST. They want to give the other version a try to see if it was better.

    The Thrawn Trilogy, the Han trilogies, and even JAT can act as gateways to the wider Legends world.

    Will it be what it once was? Of course not. Dreams pass in time.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  16. Lord Sith Harloxzz

    Lord Sith Harloxzz Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 27, 2016
    Well right now I'm reading all the post ROTJ novels because I'm disappointed of the Sequel trilogy
    Maybe some people do the same as me and then they will discover the EU
    Wookieepedia can also help since every article of a character there is a section called "Legends"
    I believe that the EU will remain alive but its community will become very niche
    That's why every time I talk about Star Wars I always talk about the EU People are always surprised when I say that there are books where Han Solo has 3 children and things like that.
    I do not want the EU to be forgotten and and that's why whenever I can I try to introduce the EU to new people
  17. Noash_Retrac

    Noash_Retrac Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 14, 2006
    I read through several of the NJO to deal with the combatant lists for several Yuuzhan Vong War battles, Fall of Coruscant for starters, on Wookieepedia. I still don't think much of the post-NJO except for Aaron Allston and Kathleen Golden's books. Karen Travis' love of the Mandos turned me off and Denning was...well...Denning.
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  18. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

    Jan 3, 2013
    This question confuses me every time I see it asked. Most people don't read books because of continuity labels - they do it because of their own interests, or word-of-mouth, or whatever. Very few people who were going to pick up HTTE will decide against it because it's not what 'officially' happened, IMO.
  19. Jeff_Ferguson

    Jeff_Ferguson Force Ghost star 5

    May 15, 2006
    I think there's some truth to this. Discussions like that deep-dive one about the remnants of the Empire in Legends we recently had in another thread used to be par for the course around here, but more and more users have dropped off throughout the years, and I somehow doubt that tooooo many of new registrants over the next few years will have in-depth knowledge of the Legends post-Endor timeline, or the pre-2008 Clone Wars timeline, or more than a passing familiarity with any Essential Guides. As the new EU fills up, and it becomes the EU on which a new generation of fans has grown up, it'll start to dominate the online discourse.

    One might opine that the same would have happened even if Disney had never purchased Lucasfilm: a generation of fans growing up with Jaina Solo and Ben Skywalker in 50 ABY wouldn't know or care too much about EU stuff that came before --- but the difference there is that what that new generation would be reading would be completely informed by what came before, and it would still reference it and feature returning characters, planets, organizations, etc. And Essential Guides would still be coming out that tied the old and the new together. Older EU wouldn't be an artifact of another era in quite the same way as it is in the current reality.

    However, I also think there's probably a lot of truth to the idea that Thrawn showing up in the new canon made fans interested in Heir to the Empire, or that Solo prompted them to check out Daley's or Crispin's trilogy. And if Rogue Squadron ever gets some love in the new EU, then badda boom --- more royalty cheques for Stackpole.

    But ten years from now, even if Heir and Rogue Squadron are still being picked up by new readers, will they still be the starting points for long intense read-throughs of Legends' entire post-ROTJ era? I would guess not. But then again, the Kindle versions of old EU books do have a lot of excerpts from other old EU books --- I seem to remember the few I read on my Kindle finishing the actual book at "70%" and then having the next 30% be excerpts. So you never know, they might even prompt readers to purchase The New Rebellion.

    I like this thread; I haven't gone into either post quite knowing what I was going to say and have just ended up thinking out loud. This is an interesting discussion.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  20. Nobody145

    Nobody145 Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 9, 2007
    I think some of it will have to do with convenience. Like I remember 10, 15 years ago I had a hard time finding some comics as they were out of print already (and wouldn't be collected in things like omnibuses for many years). Now I can buy a certain issue or an omnibus in a few minutes (digital or print even), play KotOR on my phone or download some an X-wing game from Steam or GOG to play on my current computer. Not to mention download a bunch of books onto my iPad for a long flight.

    It'll never be what it was, but I hope they keep the classics available for purchase. OT stuff should be easy to catch up on (Luke, Han and Leia running away from Vader), and Wookieepedia still has plenty of Legends information and summaries for the more complicated stuff.

    I guess it depends on how interested fans stay. Like if they see a TIE Defender in Rebels and then want to see every other appearance it has ever made, in old or new EU, well, then they'll start digging into the old EU. Or read more about Thrawn (though that would be more confusing, considering how much new EU appearances he's made compared to most). At least I hope people will stay interested. Not like new EU has been cranking out that much stuff. It'd be nice if the new EU reached that level of activity, and there are some encouraging signs now that the sequels are winding down.
  21. The Positive Fan

    The Positive Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 19, 2015
    You're quite correct. The culture change that will need to happen is pretty substantial, but it can happen.
  22. Lord Sith Harloxzz

    Lord Sith Harloxzz Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 27, 2016
    I think that SWTOR keeps the EU discussions alive for the moment if tomorrow they close SWTOR I am very sure that the EU discussion will become more smaller

    Let's be honest many people are interested in the EU only for the ancient stuff and if one day they close SWTOR and if the movies of the game of thrones directors turn out to be about the Old Republic era the EU will suffer a lot

    Characters like Revan or Nihilus can return as Thrawn and if that happens too it will be a rip for the EU for many

    EU fans will always be fans but potential fans will get lost over time
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
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  23. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    I will definitely continue to read and enjoy the old EU. Recently I re-read the Fate of the Jedi series because I wanted to revisit the father-son scenes with Luke and Ben. I especially loved the father and son relationship between them in Outcast. Fate of the Jedi wasn't my favorite series in the old EU, but I did appreciate the focus on Luke and Ben and also the idea of trying to figure out what had turned Jacen to the Dark Side. Those were the parts I enjoyed most.
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  24. CLee

    CLee Jedi Knight star 2

    Jun 18, 2017
    Probably not. New fans, unless really huge fans, won't be interested in reading novels that are really old, not only long from their era but not widely considered classics as the OT was, let alone novels that Lucasfilm decided to decanonize and replace with more-widely seen movie sequels. It's possible, though a bit of a longshot, that the old EU novels, at least some of them, can be considered precursors to and influence on the later sequel movies and gain status in that way but again, you'd probably have to be a huge fan to want to read and enjoy precursors to what's official canon. Then again, some young people who don't like the newer movies (not everyone does like everything of their own era) could seek and enjoy the novels as being sequels that were done better.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
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  25. Luna2112

    Luna2112 Jedi Knight star 1

    Jun 22, 2016
    I mean, like you said the transition away from the EU has already been happening. Sure, Lucasfilm is still publishing it under "Legends", as well as adapting EU stuff into canon, but I can't imagine most newer fans will go back to the source material. However, I don't think the EU will completely fade away. It still has a presence within the fandom with cosplayers and such, and older fans will keep it alive and introduce people to it. I've personally turned a few of my friends on to the EU who previously only watched the films, one of which only got interested in Star Wars after the massive TFA wave; and I know some people came to the EU after they were either disappointed with TFA/TLJ or just wanted to see an "alternate timeline". I think the more "popular" series, such as the Thrawn trilogy and Kotor, will continue to draw in new fans, but stuff like the NJO and the more "involved" aspects of the EU probably won't get a lot of newer fans to invest time and money.
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