When Disney purchased Lucasfilm, they made the controversial decision to scrap the massive extended Star Wars universe that had been growing for over three decades. The six movies (seven if you count the Clone Wars movie) and the Clone Wars TV show were declared “the immovable objects of Star Wars history” according to Disney, and so the novels, comics, video games, and any other piece of Star Wars lore were wiped.
On one hand, it was a confusing time for Star Wars fans who may have held some of those stories, now called “Legends” dear. For others, it was a fresh start. When it came to Lucasfilm veteran Leland Chee, the keeper of the Star Wars Holocron (the official Lucasfilm Star Wars database), he saw it as a necessary purge. It came down to the movies needing the feel of the originals and being coherent for non-uber fans. And that meant certain characters couldn’t be dead. Like Chewbacca, who was killed after a moon fell on him.
Yes, a moon fell on Chewbacca and killed him. It puts any critique of The Last Jedi in context.
In an interview with SyFy, Chee expanded on the shift to a new throughline for the galaxy far, far away:
“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. 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.”
Chee goes on to explain that there are seeds of the old EU everywhere. Rebels has locations and characters originally found in the old books, and the creators of the new stories are using them as needed in order to flesh out their own tales of the pre and post-Return of the Jedi world.
The only question is why they got rid of the Knights of the Old Republic. That stuff happened thousands of years ago, let it be there. Right? Unless they’re going to revisit that setting…