Petition of the 2000: Preserving the Integrity of the Star Wars Saga
Dear Mr. George Lucas, As we approach the 35th year since the debut of the groundbreaking Star Wars, the legacy of this monumental film and its sequels/prequels encompass innumerable achievements, from the way films are now made and merchandised, to the way they’re supported by fans. One of Star Wars’ most impressive achievements is the ever-growing body of literature that sprang out of the imagination of authors, editors and illustrators from your imagination as embodied on the big screen. Since 1978, these intrepid men and women—some of the greatest names in Science Fiction & Fantasy—have striven hard to harmonize, not only with the astounding vision laid out by you, but with the works of their fellow writers, artists and visionaries, creating something that’s rarely ever been seen in the history of literature: a body of work that—despite its enormity and diversity of media—is, for the main part, consistent within itself, a vast web of interlocking tales. This high level of continuity has been one of the greatest draws of this universe for new and old fans, as it equates to a legitimately functioning, alternate history. That is truly an admirable achievement, and it is owed to you for conceiving it, and for employing a strong, smart staff to keep track of it all, and ensure its consistent high quality. Recently, however, there has been serious concern that this unified tapestry is under threat due to a seemingly relaxed attitude to continuity—particularly as it relates to the much welcomed Clone Wars animated TV series. Many of the contradictions that the show has created could have been identified and rectified without sacrificing the narrative, quality or impact of the storylines. Since much of the enjoyment of the Star Wars universe comes from the verisimilitude of the saga—that necessary aspect of congruous historicity—a loss of this, whether intentional or not, creates a domino effect of contradictions, and erodes the ability for newer and older fans to confidently move forward in their support of the saga. A fictional universe where different stories controvert one another is not one that can long survive, as has been demonstrated over the years by various franchises which—taking little measure to ensure congruity—plummeted. We, thus, politely request that tighter measures be put in place to help protect the history present in the established Expanded Universe as embodied in all its past stories (with the exception of the 'Infinities' tales, which are intended to be outside continuity), be they films, novels, comics, short stories, live-action and animated TV series. We understand that, at times, a change is necessary, or comes about through human error. However, with the talent and creative minds at your disposal, these can be minimized or retroactively fixed so that years of novels and comics aren’t rendered null and void, creating the division and resentment that has recently burst forth amongst the fan community. Star Wars has enjoyed over three decades of outstanding story-telling, allowing the universe to blossom into the unique and wildly successful franchise that it is today. From the first sighting of a Rebel Blockade Runner, through the dark times of the mid-‘80s, to the birth of the new era of stories in the ‘90s, up to the prequel trilogy and Clone Wars animated series, many have loyally followed the franchise, and many more continue to jump in. Rather than seeing these stalwart enthusiasts alienated, feeling that their hard-earned money was wasted on something that’s been rendered incongruous, we would wish to see them encouraged to delve even deeper. Star Wars can continue to grow and expand for another 35 years and beyond, but only if you set the example that story matters, inherent in which is respect for what has come before, the prior stories and their authors who’ve striven hard to live up to the high watermark that you set. We feel confident that, while this may be challenging, your creativity and imagination, along with those you employ, are up to this task, and will result in even stronger, more imaginative tales to come. We appreciate you taking the time to hear our suggestions and thoughts.