Im putting this up chiefly as a guide for people interested in EU, and wanting some details about what there is, where to start. This can also be used to answer some fundamental EU questions...
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Q. What is EU ?
EU stands for "Expanded Universe." It is the term used to describe the contents of different media(animation, books, games, comics) which are offiicially licensed by Lucasfilm. The basic aims of EU :
i) Flesh out what happens in the movies. eg. who are all those aliens in the mos eisley cantina ? This also includes the official character, location and technical guides etc.
ii) Describe events before, between and after the 6 films.
iii) Describe anything related to concepts/characters within the Star Wars Universe. eg. the history of the jedi/sith
Q. What time period is covered in EU ?
The time period covered in EU is vast. With the "Old Republic Era" comics being set 5000 years before the events depicted in "A New Hope" In the other direction, the adventures of the original trilogy's characters have been continued, up to a period of 30 years after ANH. The majority of EU material published concerns the events around the clone wars, and after "Return of The Jedi".
there is a handy timeline at the DARK HORSE
website, it only refers to the comics though.
Q. I'm interested in EU, where should I start ??
One often overlooked area of EU is the Official Radio Dramas. Back in the 80s, some members of the original cast were assembled to perform the radio dramas of the three films. There was significant elaboration upon the events depicted in the films, and entirely new material written by Brian Daley under George Lucas' direction. For those interested, this is available in a CD box set from most online retailers.
When it comes to books, theres a couple of considerations to make
i) movie stuff : if you want to fins out more about things you see in the films, try the short story anthologies. eg. Tales from Mos Eisley Cantina will tell you the what each of the characters in that shady cantina were up to. Its a great read
ii) You want to find out what happens after "Return of the Jedi" ? "Truce at Bakura" by Kathy Tyers is set immediately after ROTJ. If you want to read things in chronological order, then thats the obvious place to start. However, alot of people do recommend you start with the Thrawn Trilogy
Q. What is the Thrawn Trology ?
The "modern" era of EU began with the release of Timothy Zahns Thrawn Trilogy starting in 1990. It includes the three books:
*Heir to the Empire
*Dark Force Rising
*The Last Command
Alot of people recommend newcomers read this first as they are very much in the spirit of the films, and fill you in on what has happenned in the years after ROTJ. It is also the way many first became introduced to EU, thus the recommendation
Q. Who is Thrawn ?
Thrawn is an Imperial Grand Admiral. He is a master military strategist, who often devises his attack plans by studying the artistic works of a particular culture. He is easily one of the most memorable characters in all of the EU. Those who played the old "Tie Fighter" PC game may actually remember seeing Thrawn
Q. Who is Mara Jade ?
Mara Jade was also first introduced in the Thrawn Trilogy. She is an assassin trained by the emperor. Although she has force abilities and uses a lightsaber, she is not a sith. Mara becomes immensely important as EU goes on, with her becoming married to one of the films' main characters !
Q. Do Han & Leia get together ?
Q. I heard Boba Fett lives !!
yes, they get married ! They end up having 3 kids, all of which become jedi.
Boba was indeed resurrected orginally in the Dark Empire comic series. The story of how he escaped the sarlaac was further outlined in "The Bounty Hunter Wars" series.
Q. What is the "New Jedi Order" ??
The NJO is 21 book story arc set 20-25 years after "A new Hope". For more info on this series, go to the NJO specific thread
Q. What is Shadows of The Empire ?
Shadows was an unique multimedia project by Lucasfilm. Its story is based around the events occuring between "The Empire Strikes back" and "Return of The Jedi". The book was written by Steve Perry, but there was also a N64 game, a comic book and soundtrack ! As Han Solo is encased in carbomnite for the whole of the book, a "Han Solo type" character called Dash Rendar comes to help Luke and Leia. Dash is a mercenary and rides one of the coolest ships to appear in the SW universe, The Outider
Q. Does Dash Rendar Die ??
The book indicates that he may have died...but if you defeat the N64 game, you will learn that Dash indeed survives....
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Q. There are alot of names and places in EU...Whats a good online reference ??
These are the ones I cant go without !
*The databank at the official site www.starwars.com
*The Completely Unoffcial SW Encyclopedia (CUSWE) http://www.theforce.net/swenc/advsearch.asp
also has links to Time Tales, Tech Commentaries and "The Ultimate Timeline
*The Dark Horse website(see above)
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feel free to add others Qs and As as you see appropriate.
REMEMBER SPOILER TAGS !