werent zahns books the first ones to be authorized by GL to use the starwars logo and be published? if so then that would lead us to believe that GL liked the zahn view enough to associate with it.
First of all, Zahn was not the first author licensed to write official Star Wars novels. Both Alan Dean Foster (Splinter of the Mind's Eye
) and Tim Daily (two trilogies about Han Solo and Lando Calrissian) wrote Star Wars novels before Zahn. Zahn's case was unique only because he was the first person given license to place his events after Jedi
From what I can tell, Zahn was licensed on the grounds that he was an award-winning sci-fi author (which seems to have been the only prerequisite for writing a Star Wars novel). He didn't submit a draft or a plot or anything before
he was hired, so the grounds for his hiring were not that Lucas "liked Zahn's view." In addition, Zahn was given strict orders to avoid talking about the period of time surrounding the clone wars because Lucas hadn't yet decided against making the Prequels (though he seemed to have ruled out sequels at this point).
GL has given them the opportunity to take his characters and plots and expand on them. but its not a one way street. EU stuff effects the movies (well the prequels anyways).
Marvel gave 20th Century Fox license to produce Spiderman
movies. In the Spiderman
movie, for instance, part of Peter Parker's mutation was that he developed the power to shoot webs from his wrists. In the comic book, Peter Parker had to design mechanical "web shooters." Just because it's in the movie, does that automatically change the continuity of its source material, the comic? Of course not.
Another example: Michael Crichton sold the license to produce a Jurassic Park
movie based on his book. He even wrote the screen play. However, in the movie, John Hammond lives, whereas in the book he died. When Crichton wrote his sequel to Jurassic Park
, The Lost World
, did he awknowledge the movie, or his prior publication? Of course, he awknowledged his previous book and wrote John Hammond as dead. When he wrote the script for the movie version of The Lost World
, he, of course, referred to the continuity of the previous movie and wrote Hammond as living.
Just because the source material of Star Wars books is a series of movies, does that mean that there should be perfect continuity between those movies and the books licensed? In both the cases of Spiderman
and the Jurassic Park
films, there is a distinct difference in continuity between the movies and their source material (comic books and a series of novels). The source material and the movies inhabit two different universes
Authors sell the licenses to their products; they don't sell their artistic vision. Just as the continuity of the Spiderman
and Jurassic Park
movies doesn't affect the continuity of their source material, the EU continuity doesn't necessarily affect the movie continuity. There is some crossover (2x lightsabers, Coruscant and Aalya Sacura, for example, and the 2x lightsaber and Aalya Sacura weren't included because of any conscious effort to integrate EU and movie, but because Lucas thought that a double-lightsaber and a twi'lek Jedi were cool ideas), but for the most part Lucas ignores the EU.
i dont think GL could hope for a better way to do 7/8/9 then with zahns stories. but thats just my opinion.
A storyline completely devoid of any trace of the monomyth? Completely devoid of any trace of the fantasy sensibilities that are so vital to the movie franchise? No, Lucas could do much better than Zahn's trilogy.
i wish in all honesty that nobody had ever coined the phrase "expanded universe" so that people wouldnt automatically believe there is some border seperating it from the movies.
All you need to do is read Zahn's trilogy (focussing on the parts about the clone wars) and then watch Attack of the Clones
to see that there is that border seperating the books from the movies.