April 25th, 2014
Earlier this year, an announcement rocked Star Wars fandom. Lucasfilm, having been acquired by Disney just over a year earlier, revealed that the Expanded Universe – the story lines from novels, video games, and other tales that evolved beyond the films – would now reside under the designation: Legends. The meaning of this move has been debated, bemoaned over, and misunderstood by the fan base. It was as if tens of bloggers suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly jaded by it all after.
Depending on who you ask, the Legends announcement seemed to strike a blow to the giant universe Star Wars fans had been dwelling in since 1991 - technically 1978 if you want to nitpick. Lucasfilm publicists very carefully worded the announcement, calling the six Star Wars films and The Clones Wars animated series “immovable objects of Star Wars history… to which all other tales must align.” They added that the upcoming live-action sequels “will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe.” Many fans took this to signify the death of the Expanded Universe (EU) or that George Lucas blew up the galaxy. Many feared the stories and characters developed in the negative space between films would be cast aside, become irrelevant or even be forgotten. Sounds like a great time to start a podcast about Star Wars lore doesn’t it?
Enter Loose Canon
The Loose Canon podcast started as a “what if?” daydream. Us three co-workers came together through our mutual devotion to Star Wars and came up with the idea of taking one topic within the Star Wars universe, researching its occurrences within the films and elsewhere, and then synthesizing the concepts into a one hour podcast. Taking cues from the podcasting giant Stuff You Should Know, our format began to take shape as if How Stuff Works was only about Star Wars. In the same spirit, we’re just three dudes with a breadth of Star Wars knowledge but not necessarily a depth within any singular entity and severe penchants for vocal snark for some of the ridiculous elements we’ve found.
Of course, researching topics like How Wookiees Work, Why Aren’t Droids Allowed in the Cantina?and How Sith Work led us time and time again into the Legends realm. It was unavoidable. To go into depth about Wookiee life debts and the Sith ‘rule or two” requires trips outside of the film and television canon to provide context. Hence our name Loose Canon signifies our cavalier attitude toward definitions of Star Wars canon. For more on the exact definitions of canon – before and after the Legends announcement – check out our What Is Canon? episode. There’s value in the Legends, and our podcast is taking great strides to mine for that wisdom like Lando mined for minerals on Nkllon.
What’s In Store For Loose Canon
“There are truths, and there are legends touched with truth, and all can teach you something” -Obi-Wan Kenobi, A New Dawn
That’s right, Obi-Wan basically endorsed our podcast format. The above snippet was from A New Dawn, the first fruits of the new integration every team at Lucasfilm has via the newly formed “Story Group”. This is the silver lining that minds clouded by the dark side are overlooking. For the first time since the original Star Wars trilogy was released, all arms of the Lucasfilm empire are working together to create cohesive story lines that intersect properly and, most importantly, don’t conflict with one another. We are able read brand new content from authors like A New Dawn’s John Jackson Miller that fits seamlessly with the upcoming Star Wars Rebels television series, which itself is nestled tightly between the events of Episodes III and IV. As we’re reading, we have to keep reminding ourselves that this is canon. It’s not t-canon. It’s not c-canon. It just is the story as it’s supposed be told. The hyperdrives of everyone’s imagination are traveling at class 0.5 speeds. It is a new era of Star Wars.
In this spirit, Loose Canon is parked on the cusp of the Unknown Regions. There are truths to be had within the Legends and we’re going to be tapping into the holocrons scattered throughout the lore. Our job is then to bring you this information (without dying first), making it both accessible for new fans and rich enough for fanboys to engage, not to mention providing enough fodder for us to poke fun at for millennia.
Admittedly, the focus of much of our first season has been a bit… retrospective. After all, that’s where the bulk of most of the lore of the Star Wars universe has come from–but now with the emergence of the new Legends banner, the path has been paved for so many great new things to fill the horizon. Obviously, we’ve got J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII to look forward to, but we’ve also got the spin-off films, the new video games, and whatever great new pieces of media Disney will present us with. The Star Wars universe is in a weird state of purgatory right now, wherein a lot of seeds are currently being sown by the big-wigs at Disney who are essentially appeasing the fans with a whisper of “just wait”. There’s clearly an energy that’s permeating throughout pop culture alongside this new slate of Star Wars material being whipped up and it’s no coincidence that our podcast is emerging right around the same time.
It’s clear that Disney’s acquisition of the Star Wars property shook things up and we want to be here to be your trusty guides throughout all of these new exciting developments–whether you’re a long-time fan that doesn’t know what to make of this slight franchise change-of-course or you’re one of the uninitiated. Each week, we hope to provide content that’s just as stimulating for those who scour Wookieepeedia or participate in raids in The Old Republic as it is for someone who only knows that “Harrison Ford was in the older movies and the characters fight with laser swords”. Our short-term goal is to have a swath of content recorded that can help lay a foundation of “why X thing is so cool” before we’re graced with Episode VII in December 2015. Meanwhile, our long-term goal is to eventually be able to record each episode while speaking only as Emperor Palpatine.
Why Now Is The Right Time For Loose Canon
When Episode VII was first announced, perhaps jubilation isn’t a strong enough word to describe the way we felt about having more from a universe we love. Regardless of feelings on the prequel trilogy, there’s one thing we can all agree on: when something holds a special place for you, you’re clamoring to have more of it. That’s the opportunity we’re being gifted with another trilogy and more.
We’ve wanted this podcast to be accessible and enjoyable for both people who are just getting into the world of a galaxy far, far away and those who die the hardest in their fandom. Hopefully, the first season has accomplished that. As we get closer to the release of more official Star Wars media, we feel bringing together fans of various levels is more important than ever.
These movies are going to make billions and billions of dollars. Not only is that good for the movie industry, but it’s good for the world economy as a whole. Thousands of people are working on them, there’s more Disney for everyone to love, and that means they’re going to matter to even more people than just those of us who love to watch bearded men in robes meditate. And that means we want to try to bring the world, tight canon or loose, to everyone.
So thanks to those of you who have listened so far, and if you haven’t you can check us out at the podcast site! May the force always be with you.