Lucas & Comics

An interesting exchange amongst the Comic-Con panel, confirming stuff we already knew. For instance, George's interest in the comics (which apparently constitutes his primary intake of EU material).

It's interesting, too, to see how some people in the production staff keep trying to work EU material in, since it is almost absent from the Lucas stories.:

Sansweet: So you guys are pretty familiar with the comics and the novels. What happens when you present an expanded universe character who’s never really had much of a role in Star Wars? How did you come up with the idea of using Asajj Ventress as a major villain?

Gilroy: George is a fan of the comics. He would look through the comics and say, “wow, this is a really interesting character, visually. Let’s see that character.” There’s a few that I think the fans of the comics are going to love to watch the series. You’re going to see some of your favorite characters.

Filoni: We have to bring some of it in front of him too. We would work with a certain idea, and go onto Wookieepedia and print out all the pages and say, are you aware of all this material out there, and See what he wasn’t aware of and wasn’t aware of, and take what we wanted to do and try to do a version of something to keep it all together, because Star Wars has expanded so far. Every now and then you run into a Boba Fett scenario, where we didn’t know he was a clone, and the Jaster Mereel, and now he’s not, and now he’s a clone. And then we call Leland Chee and it’s his problem.

From the sound of things, we largely have George doing his own thing and then various folks bringing in EU stuff trying to get it in, with the exception of when he is enchanted by something from the comics (like hot blue Twilek chicks). Reportedly, a few aspects of EU backstory are going to make it into the show, such as Dooku's wealthy family from Serenno (which, in a similar manner, made it into the RotS novelization because the author was trying to keep EU continuity).

So on the one hand, vast portions of the EU are being trounced (much to the chagrin of assorted EU-philes, as noted in previous postings), but some convenient elements are coming in to the wider canon with George's blessing. Sounds good.

Yet Another Lucas Trinity-style Quote


“I am the father of our Star Wars movie world - the filmed entertainment, the features and now the animated film and television series,” he says. “And I’m going to do a live-action television series. Those are all things I am very involved in: I set them up and I train the people and I go through them all. I’m the father; that’s my work. Then we have the licensing group, which does the games, toys and books, and all that other stuff. I call that the son - and the son does pretty much what he wants.” He laughs. “Once in a while, they ask a question like ‘Can we kill off Yoda?’, things like that, but it’s very loose.

“Then we have the third group, the holy ghost, which is the bloggers and fans. They have created their own world. I worry about the father’s world. The son and holy ghost can go their own way.”

Lucas also discusses the live-action series, using terminology together that has previously been used as individual micro-snippets by journalists, which had left some confusion as to the canon status of the CW CGI series and the live-action series. To wit:

Lucas has now finished with the live- action films, although the wider Star Wars universe remains very much alive. In terms of fresh storytelling, Lucas has overseen production on The Clone Wars, a 3-D animated movie, out here next month, which will launch an animated television show on the Cartoon Network this autumn; and he has already started work on a live-action Star Wars television series, which will go into production in 2009.

“It’s completely separate from the Star Wars films,” he explains. “The Clone Wars has all of the characters everybody knows — from Yoda to Anakin to Mace Windu to Obi-Wan — they’re all there. The live-action series, meanwhile, has nobody there, because it’s after Episode III, so everybody’s dead, basically, or hiding somewhere. You hear about the emperor, just like you do in Episode IV, but it’s mostly about a whole different world. I mean, there are a million stories in the big city — you’ve only seen one of them.”

What we see above is the "completely separate" line, but also the "million stories in the big city" line. Before Lucas clarified things with the three-pillars/Trinity business, these statements had left things unclear. But then, his involvement was unclear at the time, too*, so who knows?

In any case, for the time being we have it with certainty that the live-action show will be Lucas-canon, with the same being true for the Clone Wars CGI show.

* This isn't our own ignorance . . . it really was up in the air. Take, for instance, these statements by Sansweet and CW CGI producer Catherine Winder:

Sansweet: Catherine, initially when you were hired, what was the expectations for George’s direct participation in Clone Wars, and how and why did that change?

Winder: Intially, I was told no one was quite clear
how involved George was going to be. We might see him once a year, once
a month, we’d find out as we went along. As we started developing the
project and he started seeing the material, he became more and more
excited by what we were doing and started coming around a lot, because
he was having lots and lots of fun with us. One of the eureka moment
was that we did a short little test where we lit Yoda with our new
painterly style, and he just walked across this one spot, and George
looked it and he went crazy. He was so excited to see what we were
doing, it was beginning to achieve that unique look that he was hoping
for us to come up with.