Old school Star Wars fanatics had a long wait between George Lucas’ original trilogy and the launch of his prequel trilogy in 1999. So, to get their Star Wars fix, many turned to the expanded universe of Star Wars-themed comic books, novels, toys, video games, and what have you. At this point there’s a wealth of Star Wars stories and Star Wars characters who have never actually appeared in one of George Lucas’ Star Wars films; stories and characters that have legions of fans in their own right.
The materials that get most often referenced by Star Wars geeks trying to educate newbies about the expanded universe are probably Timothy Zahn’s “Thrawn Trilogy” of novels, which take place five years after the events of Return of the Jedi, are already widely embraced by Star Wars fans, and have generally been thought of as the logical starting point if anyone were going to make Star Wars: Episode VII and beyond.
Now that Disney is in control of Lucasfilm and Episode VII is scheduled to become a reality, however, the time for talk is through and the time for coming up with a real plan is upon new Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and her crew. And, according to a Lucasfilm source that spoke to Eonline, the plan is to make the next three Star Wars films from story treatments conceived of by George Lucas himself; story treatments that are original and not adaptations of any pre-existing Star Wars novels, Timothy Zahn-written or otherwise.
Of course, a director has yet to be picked for this new Star Wars film, and there haven’t been any confirmations that an actual first draft of an Episode VII script exists just yet, so there could be a possibility that an element or two from the Star Wars EU could be present in Lucas’ treatments, or might get snuck in by whoever gets the job of actually writing the next three films; so the possibility of new versions of Zahn characters like Mara Jade or Grand Admiral Thrawn making some sort of appearance isn’t completely out the window—it’s just not very likely. Obviously, this will come as a disappointment to fans who have cherished those stories for years, but isn’t it more exciting to have completely new Star Wars stuff to experience anyway? Just a little?