Star Wars Canon? What does it mean?
The term Star Wars canon refers to the collection of Star Wars media considered officially canon by Lucasfilm. Details regarding characters and events reflect the official depictions of the Star Wars story-line throughout the franchise. Long story short, It’s the official Star Wars history.
The official Star Wars canon consists of the six released Star Wars theatrical feature films, the Star Wars animated film and television series The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, and every other material released after April 25, 2014, unless otherwise stated by Lucasfilm.
What about the Expanded Universe?
When the Star Wars saga began, there was no formal organization of canon. The films, novelizations, comic books, newspaper comic strips, radio dramas, and spin-off novels were produced, but no standards of canon were set by George Lucas or Lucasfilm.
With the creation of new Star Wars novels in early 1991 with Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire, the publishing department at Lucas Licensing started a new publishing strategy: the new novels would tie-in to a continuous storyline. Thus was born the Expanded Universe.
On October 30, 2012, Lucasfilm was sold to The Walt Disney Company for $4 billion. After the acquisition, Disney and Lucasfilm established the Lucasfilm Story Group, a committee whose job is to keep track of, define and unify the “new canon” across all media.
On April 25, 2014, Lucasfilm officially revised and solidified the canon, stating that all previously released Expanded Universe works would be re-branded under the new Star Wars Legends banner and considered non-canon, in order to ensure a flowing timeline with the release of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. They also announced that all future Star Wars stories will be connected and on equal canon level as the films, with guidance coming from the Lucasfilm Story Group.