The prolific 'Star Wars' author Timothy Zahn discusses why 'Episode VII' is a great idea… but will the Expanded Universe find its way into the sequel trilogy?
Best known for the utterly outstanding Thrawn Trilogy, Timothy Zahn has become a legend amongst fans of the Expanded Universe. But with 'Episode VII' just around the corner, there's one question on everyone's lips - will the sequel trilogy have anything to do with the Expanded Universe? Unfortunately, it seems that Timothy Zahn is as much in the dark as we are… at least, for now.
In an interview with Alison Baumgartner at ScienceFiction.com he revealed that Lucasfilm are keeping their cards close to their chest. "I know nothing about the movies," he explained... but this is where it gets interesting. "They actually don't want me speculating on what's going to happen."
The Unknown Regions are the future of the Empire
Of course, it's no surprise that Mr Zahn should be kept in the dark at this stage… after all, he's not exactly working on the film itself. But why don't they want him to speculate about 'Episode VII'? Could this be a thinly veiled hint that his work on the 'Star Wars' universe could be more closely linked to 'Episode VII' than we thought?
Whatever their reasons, it looks like Timothy Zahn is rather pleased that 'Episode VII' will be happening… and he seems to think it couldn't be in safer hands. "I can say that I'm excited about the new movies," he explains. "I think they've got the potential to be really, really good. Disney has a good history of acquiring properties like Pixar and Marvel and not screwing them up."
He goes on to explain that Disney now has a large talent pool at their disposal… and that can only be a good thing for the 'Star Wars' franchise. "The big plus of all this is that now Disney owns Lucasfilm, we've got the Lucasfilm genius people and the Disney genius people and the Marvel and the Pixar all under one roof where they can talk to each other."
While we won't know for a while whether Timothy Zahn's fiction will be referenced in 'Episode VII', there's another big question that needs an answer - will the Expanded Universe still be considered canon?
I have no qualms about accepting a useful idea merely because it wasn't my own
"When you write for Star Wars," he explains, "everything you do is Lucasfilm's property… whatever they want to do with it, that's their right - it's their property, they're allowed to do that. I have had fun playing in their sandbox." He goes on to explain that "It's been fun… I don't know what they're going to do. There's no reason they have to destroy the Expanded Universe, there's no reason they have to acknowledge the Expanded Universe. It's their property - they get to choose what they're going to do with it."
Of course, we've all heard the rumours that 'Star Wars: Episode VII' will see the rise of the Skywalker and Solo children… but with Zahn seemingly warned off from detailing his thoughts on this, could his characterisations of Jaina and Jacen Solo be the basis for the next 'Star Wars' film? I have to admit, I think that would be an excellent way to go… and I'm sure Mr Zahn would agree.
Do you think 'Episode VII' could include Jaina and Jacen Solo? What about Grand Admiral Thrawn?