chapter  13
23 Pages

‘The First Step into a Smaller World’: The Transmedia Economy of Star Wars

ByWilliam Proctor, Matthew Freeman

Following the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney, fans of the Star Wars Expanded Universe (EU) were rightly concerned about the future of extra-cinematic narrative material. Despite George Lucas’s insistence that Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) was ‘the final piece in a generation-spanning cinematic epic’,1 the news that Disney would reawaken the dormant film series and continue chronologically with episodes Seven through Nine, alongside a further trilogy of spin-off movies, meant that the post-Return of the Jedi timeline was in peril. Unless Disney decided to adapt Kathy Tyer’s novel, Truce at Bakura (1994), or Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire (1991), as an authentic continuation of the Skywalker Saga, the fate of the EU stood precariously on the fulcrum between ‘Canon’ and ‘Apocrypha’ (the former sanctioned as official Star Wars ‘fact’ and the latter as speculative ‘what if?’ material).