Hardcore Star Wars fans put up a billboard to demand #GiveUsLegends

There’s a rebellion happening within Star Wars fandom, and Disney is most certainly the Empire in this situation. There are a slew of Star Wars fans who have been around (and buying things) since the very beginning in 1979 and a subset of those super fans became very attached to the various novels, comics, and video games that added to the story of the Star Wars universe beyond the movies.

When Disney bought LucasFilm, everything that wasn’t one of the six George Lucas produced films or something that appeared in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series was declared non-canonical from a storytelling standpoint. Everything that had previously existed as the “Expanded Universe” was re-branded “Legends.” Fans in love with the Legends content have been building momentum since the sale of LucasFilm to Disney and they recently activated their first major public relations move: it’s a billboard.

A group who is amassing under the hashtag #GiveUsLegends used IndieGoGo to raise a little under $5,000 to buy a billboard in San Francisco, home of LucasFilm. The campaign to fund the billboard ended in January, when the hot sting of The Force Awakens’ massive success was still on the forefront of everyone’s mind, but they’ve finally delivered with the following honest-to-the-Force-real-life billboard:

In the style of the opening “A long time ago” and opening crawl titles from the Star Wars movies, it reads: “Dear LucasFilm, please continue the original Expanded Universe, the epic story that existed from 1976-2014. Thank you.”

Which is much more polite than I was expecting from a bunch of angry Mara Jade and Grand Admiral Thrawn fans.

The mistake I made, and the mistake a lot of the people who see this billboard will make is to write off #GiveUsLegends fans as crazy people who want to resurrect a bunch of crazy Star Wars events. Instead, it’s important to note that the #GiveUsLegends crowd isn’t pissed that their favorite stories and characters aren’t cannon, they’re pissed that they’re not going to continue.

As the group says on its website:

While there may be some debate about the status of canon and what many want to happen there specifically, one thing is agreed upon. The Star Wars Legends timeline can be continued alongside Disney’s canon as a separate universe. Acting on this idea would be a nearly universal win with the Star Wars fandom as all fans, new and old, would again have new adventures to look forward to in a galaxy far, far away…

Which doesn’t sound like such a big ask, until you realize that there’s no way Disney is going to pay authors, comic book artists, and video game designers to work on a competing Star Wars universe.

The author of Star Wars: Aftermath, a canonical Star Wars novel says that the #GiveUsLegends best chance is to embrace fan fiction themselves for the Legends characters.

That seems to be the way things are going to have to go for these poor billboard makers, as Pablo Hidalgo, one of the members of the LucasFilm Story Group who is in charge of all Star Wars yarns, just seems entertained by the whole thing.

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