When the new Star Wars trilogy was announced a few years back, it left one lingering question for hardcore fans: What is going to happen to the Expanded Universe stories? Well today, Lucasfilm made an official announcement that the new films won’t be telling the same exact stories that the EU told. Instead, there will be some elements pulled in, but for the most part, the new movies will be completely original. Here’s the most important excerpt from the announcement:

In order to give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the JediExpanded Universe. While the universe that readers knew is changing, it is not being discarded. Creators of new Star Wars entertainment have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe. For example, elements of the EU are included in Star Wars Rebels. The Inquisitor, the Imperial Security Bureau, and Sienar Fleet Systems are story elements in the new animated series, and all these ideas find their origins in roleplaying game material published in the 1980s.

Demand for past tales of the Expanded Universe will keep them in print, presented under the new Legends banner. On the screen, the first new canon to appear will be Star Wars Rebels.

In print, the first new books to come from this creative collaboration include novels from Del Rey Books. First to be announced, John Jackson Miller is writing a novel that precedes the events of Star Wars Rebels and offers insight into a key character's backstory, with input directly from executive producers Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, and Greg Weisman.

And this is just the beginning of a creatively aligned program of Star Wars storytelling created by the collaboration of incredibly talented people united by their love of that galaxy far, far away....

For those that don’t know what the Expanded Universe is, it’s basically a series of novels, video games, TV shows, and comics that expanded upon the Star Wars mythology outside of the films. The highlights included tales like Dark Empire, Shadows of the Empire, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, and the Heir to the Empire Trilogy.

In addition to focusing on characters from the original movies, the Expanded Universe also introduced the offspring of characters like Princess Leia, Han Solo, and Luke Skywalker. While some of those same ideas might make it into the new films, don’t expect the specifics to survive.

[via StarWars.com]