Star Wars killed a universe to save the galaxy

In the spring of 2014, on the editor forum of one of the internet’s most comprehensive encyclopedias, a project was underway. Mere days before, more than 90 percent of the content on the wiki, representing almost a decade of work by tens of thousands of volunteers, had been rendered obsolete by the corporate parent of their favorite franchise. The question put to the wiki’s stewards was whether to delete these artifacts from the site — in which case they would inevitably find their way onto some other, less-noticed quadrant of the web — or to allow them to remain as a shrine to the stories and characters that had nourished a fanbase for decades but had now seen their last days pass by. The Star Wars Expanded Universe was dead. Time to prepare for what was to come next.

But first, the matter of the archives. After several days of hand-wringing and politicking among the concerned, there was a vote. It was as unanimous as these things can be. The Star Wars universe so many had known for nearly four decades was to be relegated to a separate tab; a second vote later ensured that it would be secondary to the new canon, a new set of true and historical facts within a fictional universe. The stories adding color to the Battle of Endor or tales of how the Millennium Falcon became such a hunk of junk would be quarantined with the likes of fanfiction and unlicensed knockoffs.