Science-Fiction Weekly – Solo, Monsters, What Happened To Star Wars' Expanded Universe

by Andrew Reiner on Jan 16, 2018 at 04:58 PM

I recently told a friend that, in 10 years time, everyone in Hollywood will be linked by a Marvel, DC, or Star Wars film. The speed to whih Disney and Warner Bros. are pumping out films is somewhat terrifying for fans, but has to be exciting for actors and people who work in the business. If I were an actor, I would be thinking "Any day now, I'll get the call. There's no one left but me. Please don't be a DC movie...unless it's Aquaman 2." Matt Damon was in Thor, people. Matt Damon! Why? Because no one is left. It was either him or Tom Cruise, I bet.

Gareth Edwards is now one person who is linked for all eternity to Star Wars. Before he was transported to a galaxy far, far away, he made a great low-budget creature feature called Monsters. The critical success of that film launched his career, and landed him the directorial duties on the Godzilla reboot. Deadline is reporting Monsters is now being adapted for television by Vertigo Films for UK's Channel 4. This is a great fit for a series, as part of the brilliance of Monsters was how little it actually showed. As viewers, we learned the world had changed dramatically when aliens arrived, and were given a small glimpse into how life changed after that moment. The new show will likely expand that glimpse to the full picture. Let's just hope it gets the budget to handle the monsters properly. I'm guessing the show will build off of the movie in some capacity. You can view the film trailer below, but if you haven't seen the movie yet, skip the trailer and watch the damn thing right now. It's damn good, especially for how it had practically no budget.

Speaking of continuity, remember when Lucasfilm ended the expanded universe to create a clean runway for the future of Star Wars? That move didn't go over well with fans, but we assumed Disney and Lucasfilm had good reason to nuke hundreds of stories. What if there was just one reason? What if that one reason was Chewbacca? I'm guessing there's more to it than this fuzzy copilot, but his death in the expanded universe clearly complicated things. Lucasfilm story group editor, Leland Chee, wasn't around when the decision to end the expanded universe was made, but did offer fans his take on the situation in a recent interview with Syfy. Here's what he said:

"For me it came down to simply that we had killed Chewbacca in the Legends — a big moon had fallen on him. Part of that [original decision] was Chewbacca, because he can't speak and just speaks in growls, he was a challenging character to write for in novels. Publishing had decided they needed to kill somebody, and it was Chewbacca,."

"But if you have the opportunity to bring back Chewbacca into a live action film, you're not gonna deprive fans that," he added. "There's no way that I'd want to do an Episode VII that didn't have Chewbacca in it and have to explain that Chewbacca had a moon fall on his head. And if we were going to overturn a monumental decision like that, everything else was really just minor in comparison."

This is alarming for a number of reasons, mostly the "publishing had decided they needed to kill somebody" part. That's a disturbance in the Force if ever I felt one. A group deciding someone should die – not necessarily the storyteller (or George Lucas) – is a red alert in my book. I have a feeling Disney operates in similar ways, but both J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson have said they had creative control over their scripts. Let the storytellers tell their stories. Don't force deaths upon them.

Long before Chewbacca was crushed by a moon, he didn't know who Han Solo was. We're going to learn how they met in this summer's Solo: A Star Wars Story movie. Big Shiny Robot obtained a press kit from Disney that contains the first description of the film:

"Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in Solo: A Star Wars Story, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga's most unlikely heroes. Solo: A Star Wars Story releases in U.S. theaters on May 25, 2018."

Nothing out of the ordinary jumps out there, but it does confirm the film delivers the first contact between Han, Chewie, and Lando. Now we just need to know why Han looks like a Star Trek character in the leaked artwork pictured above. If you haven't seen this art before, take a close look a the Falcon. A Lego set confirms this is how this legendary vehicle looked when it made the Kessel Run, which we'll also likely see in the film.