First, some background on the Expanded Universe
Since 1991’s release of Heir to the Empire, new Star Wars stories have been released pretty consistently. Books that cover, so far, about 44 years of adventures after the Battle of Yavin (which is the battle that takes place in A New Hope). This territory includes many adventures with the primary cast from the trilogy, as well as their children, the Empire, and changes to the known universe. A lot of great adventures that land all over the timeline. If a character dies in a particular book, any book that happens later on cannot have that character suddenly living as if nothing has happened. What people that don’t know, or understand, that haven’t looked into the Expanded Universe, is that it all happens on the same timeline. This means that a book that happens on the timeline between two previously written books can’t change things so much that the following story doesn’t make sense, so that there’s a logical progression.
Now, with new Star Wars sequels coming to film, how does that effect the Expanded Universe?
Today, there was official confirmation from the head of Disney Bob Iger, that there will be spin-off films in the Star Wars cinematic universe. What does this mean? Well, what we previously thought may not be true (that remains to be seen, with this news). We thought that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg were going to be the screenwriters on Episodes VIII and IX, and that might still be true, as no writers have been announced at this time for those films. They will be consulting on those films, as they are on Episode VII currently. However, they will be pretty busy developing their own screenplays following individual characters in the Star Wars universe.