Reports of the EU’s demise have been greatly exaggerated

I got very, very excited when I saw that this week’s episode of Star Wars Rebels was called “Idiot’s Array.”

Sure enough, the episode came through for me: sabacc is now official Star Wars canon.

Sabacc is a card game where players gamble based on their hands (kind of a mix of poker and blackjack).  “Pure sabacc” is when the hand cards total +/- 23; the only hand that beats this is the “Idiot’s Array.”

Idiot's Array beats Pure Sabacc
Idiot’s Array beats Pure Sabacc

This is about all the detail that the episode went into about the game, so the rest of the rules (suits, randomizers, skifters, neutral field, etc. [the Han Solo trilogy by A.C. Crispin provides good detail])  may or may not be canon.  Sabacc is apparently also mentioned in the Rebels tie-in novel A New Dawn, which I have not read so I don’t know what detail is provided there.

My point with all this is: the EU is not dead.  There are people involved in making franchise decisions that love Star Wars as much as I do, and they actually know more about it than I do.  Someone made a conscious decision to put sabacc in Rebels.  That gives me hope.

I would not be surprised to see small things from the EU continuing to appear in canon, whether it’s books, TV, or movies.  Now, will we see Mara Jade on the big screen? No.  Will Korriban henceforth be known as Moraband? Yes.  We are going to have to reconcile ourselves to this.

But let’s rejoice in the small things.  For every Darth-Maul-on-robot-legs The Clone Wars gave us, we also got a Selkath named Chata Hyoki.  Selkath are an aquatic species created for the Knights of the Old Republic game, and they are now canon thanks to the TCW episode titled “Pursuit of Peace” where Chata Hyoki appears as a bounty hunter (perhaps not a distinguished view of the peaceful species, but better than nothing).  The series goes on to include several other Selkath.

Chata Hyoki, Selkath bounty hunter
Chata Hyoki, Selkath bounty hunter

Heck, the very name of Coruscant, the most important planet in the galaxy, was originally named by Timothy Zahn in his novel Heir to the Empire.  It was made canon in The Phantom Menace.

Who knows what we’ll see next?

6 thoughts on “Reports of the EU’s demise have been greatly exaggerated

  1. davekheath January 30, 2015 / 9:50 am

    That is a good point, Twi’lek and Durros as well as many others races names all come form the EU so some of it has to survive.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Megan January 30, 2015 / 5:06 pm

    Yes, but the major problem of this is that Disney is not crediting the people who created these things in the first place. I don’t like hearing “be glad they’re giving us something” when they had no right to take everything in the first place — and furthermore, the biggest, biggest issue in my book, it is a reprehensible way to treat the authors, artists, writers, designers, and others who spent the last 35 years building the Star Wars universe. “Coruscant” may be canon, but Timothy Zahn doesn’t get any credit for it anymore. By discarding the books but continuing to cherry-pick whatever they like out of them, they are committing outright plagiarism.

    Also, Disney cannot, does not determine Star Wars canon. They can put the golden logo on whatever they want, but they can’t make it Star Wars, just like I can buy a box of rats and write “CAT” on each one with a Sharpie — at the end of the day, they’ll still be rats.


  3. Garrett January 30, 2015 / 5:36 pm

    Here’s the thing, the name Coruscant was canon when Timothy Zahn created it. It got elevated to G-Canon when Lucas used it in The Phantom Menace, but it was still canon all along. It’s really no consolation to say that Disney is bringing some things from previous Star Wars canon into their new canon when we had a whole universe of amazing stories that all fit into canon before. So some stuff gets pulled into movies and TV shows from books? Nothing new, it’s always been that way. Not exciting. But I can’t accept Disney’s new universe when it overwrites the stories of the universe I’ve loved my whole life. I’m still a fan of Star Wars–but a fan of the Star Wars I’ve always been a fan of. A fan of the universe, not the logo.


  4. John Spain January 30, 2015 / 5:46 pm

    “Let’s rejoice in the small things?” Sorry. It’s much like somebody robbing your entire life savings, then turning around and giving you $5 a week to ” live on.” #GiveUsLegends


  5. Matthew Milbrodt January 30, 2015 / 5:53 pm

    You said it yourself: all you have is the hope that the EU is coming into the new false canon more than just occasional little insignificant bits. When they announce that someone will be playing Ben Skywalker in an upcoming film, as in the son of Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker, I’ll be back on board. Until then, these new movies are only a money grab with one hand and a slap to the faces of fans with the other, a slap which many seem to eagerly anticipate. I surrender my spot at the theater for Episode VII.


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