StarWars.com just added some clarity to the Star Wars Expanded Universe and Star Wars: Episode VII confirming the films will not follow the Expanded Universe stories, but may pull details from the Expanded Universe when need be.
In order to give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe. While the universe that readers knew is changing, it is not being discarded. Creators of new Star Wars entertainment have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe. For example, elements of the EU are included in Star Wars Rebels. The Inquisitor, the Imperial Security Bureau, and Sienar Fleet Systems are story elements in the new animated series, and all these ideas find their origins in roleplaying game material published in the 1980s.
Demand for past tales of the Expanded Universe will keep them in print, presented under the new Legends banner.
Classic Star Wars books will be reprinted as Star Wars Legends:
Kathleen Kennedy on the new storytelling method:
“We have an unprecedented slate of new Star Wars entertainment on the horizon,” said Kennedy. “We’re set to bring Star Wars back to the big screen, and continue the adventure through games, books, comics, and new formats that are just emerging. This future of interconnected storytelling will allow fans to explore this galaxy in deeper ways than ever before.”
Wow, that’s exciting and an excellent choice in terms of methodology. Letting the films fuel the novels is awesome in my opinion, as a film “first and foremost” fan.
This really hits the spot:
On the screen, the first new canon to appear will be Star Wars Rebels. In print, the first new books to come from this creative collaboration include novels from Del Rey Books. First to be announced, John Jackson Miller is writing a novel that precedes the events of Star Wars Rebels and offers insight into a key character’s backstory, with input directly from executive producers Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, and Greg Weisman.
I absolutely love the idea that the books and the films interconnect now. It means the choices being made in print will be carefully constructed pieces that tie in to the bigger choices being made on-screen.