Bed – Books – A/V – The original intent of the “Legends” banner

After 8 years of Legends becoming its own thing, separate from current media, I think we, and the folks at Lucasfilm, have forgotten what the supposed intent was to classify stories as “Legends” instead of just “Non-Canon “, it was that Legends stories could always be referenced whenever the creators wanted, like in “there’s always some truth in Legends”, it wasn’t necessarily canon, it was its own thing, but some parts could be ambiguous canon, hinting at parts of it being “recanonized” so to speak.

Over time we’ve seen parts of the world of Legends recanonized, but in a completely different way than what was hinted at at the start, we’ve had Thrawn, for example, but every time something Legends is “taken over” by Canon, it is not the same character or item from the original stories where it appeared, it is a new version, the Canon version and the Legends version exist separately, this Canon Thrawn is not the same Thrawn as in Outbound Flight, he hasn’t met Palpatine yet, and has a different relationship to the Prequel era, we don’t get direct references to the big EU stories that make them ambiguous, the more than we were Tarkin SEO cloak of deception, but honestly, it could be because the book was originally intended as a Legends (then EU) book, or Luceno was Luceno.

So the original intent (captions being something you could still consider Canon if you wanted to) slowly eroded as the new UE was being developed, as these new versions of the characters completely contradicted any possibility that the original versions existed, but it was still had its stronghold in the RPG area, which blended aspects of both continuities (with mixed success).

However, with the next KOTOR remake, I see a glimpse of a full return to that original intent: The new remake will apparently keep the original plot, with some expansions yes, but it will remain, somehow, separate from Canon , at least explicitly, but the fact that we get something like this, in addition to various hints of Revan in the TROS visual dictionary, seems to indicate a loose connection between the remake and current media, while they don’t adjust the story of adapting it better to the High Republic, essentially keeping it as legendaries, they indirectly reference it in Canon, and it gets the same spotlight as the rest of the Canon video games (even more so considering the popularity of KOTOR), so I think that’s an indication that they’re subtly telling us that KOTOR could be considered a legend that actually happened, going back to the original intent of Legends.

We’ve also had, over time, subtle references to the Tartakovsky Clone Wars TV show and a bit to the CW Multimedia Project, that even if they don’t refer to it directly, it leaves the possibility for someone to interpret it this way, as this post from @HEDGESMFG recounts:

So in a way I think we’re getting closer to what’s being done more widely with the KOTOR remake and these new books and shows coming out, maybe some loose references to current SWTOR media in the Upper Republic, or the next Tales of the Jedi series revisiting some places from the original TOTJ and referencing some of the wars, not directly canonizing entire sections of Legends, or mixing the two canons into one, but doing it in such a way that you can appeal to both people who want Legends and Canon kept separate, each with their own versions of events and lore, and people who want to direct their favorite Legends stories that have happened in current media as well.

For that, I think we should have fewer “recanonized” characters, fewer events reinterpreted and brought back from the grave, and more focus on just referencing these fully Legends works in a meaningful way, while working fully on new new characters and concepts, making the current Canon has more of its own identity and is independent, but respecting the legacy of Legends at the same time, instead of making a cheaper version of what came before that completely negates the original version ever Canon, at the very least, canonized versions of Legends characters should leave the door open for their Legends stories to still apply, like they did with Durge in the new comics.

Needless to say, I’m optimistic that they’ve been handling this in recent years, much better than in the early years of the current Canon.

But what do you all think? Do you think I’m too unrealistic? What is the best way to handle the relationship between Canon and Legends?

About Joey J. Hott

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