After the conclusion of the original trilogy of Star Wars films, fans relied on various novels and comic books in the Star Wars Expanded Universe realm of mythology to hold them over, though Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy's recent comments about the future of the franchise seemingly refutes the notion that those storylines could be used to develop new films in the series. While she might not outright dismiss the possibility of some elements being revived, when discussing the process of developing new Star Wars films, she notes that there isn't an extensive library of canonical adventures that could easily be translated into a live-action experience.
"Every one of these movies is a particularly hard nut to crack," Kennedy revealed to Rolling Stone about developing Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. "There’s no source material. We don’t have comic books. We don’t have 800-page novels. We don’t have anything other than passionate storytellers who get together and talk about what the next iteration might be. We go through a really normal development process that everybody else does. You start by talking to filmmakers who you think exhibit the sensibilities that you’re looking for."
What might be confusing about these comments to some fans is that there are, in fact, dozens of novels and hundreds of comic books that held fans over throughout the '80s and '90s that could be used to inspire new stories. However, the context in which Kennedy is discussing source material is likely a reference to one consistent, canonical timeline for the entire galaxy far, far away that would lend itself to an obvious adaptation.
One point of contention among some fans is that, when Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, it relegated everything but the six live-action movies and Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated adventures to the "Star Wars Legends" corner of the franchise, erasing them from official canon. Since Disney began developing new stories for the franchise, it has accumulated various novels, comic books, video games, and animated series, which would call Kennedy's comments about there being "no source material" into question.
Among the various stories that have been told about the saga, none of them have explored the time frame of The Rise of Skywalker or beyond, which is likely where her comments stem from. As opposed to something like Marvel, who has decades of stories that can be lifted and tweaked to craft the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Legends realm doesn't seamlessly fit into official canon. Even the stories that have been created by Disney in various mediums are meant to fill in the gaps of the franchise's mythology, with any adaptation of those elements for a film likely being an opportunity the studio would avoid.
Despite Kennedy's comments making it seem doubtful Legends stories would be adapted for films, that's not to say those elements have been avoided completely. For example, the animated Star Wars Rebels has utilized a number of characters that were previously erased from canon, like Grand Admiral Thrawn, and given them new life within official canon, inspiring new stories for the characters.1comments
As far as what fans can expect from Star Wars films, don't expect any project or filmmaker to dig too deep into the pass to push the franchise forward, as the studio president has revealed they focus on finding storytellers over established stories.
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