Last time on Continuity Nerds, we took a timely look into the chronology of Star Trek in commemoration of JJ Abrams’ latest entry into the series’ increasingly forked timeline. Now, in light of Disney’s much ballyhooed acquisition of Star Wars, as well as today’s announcement of the upcoming Star Wars: Rebels television series, let us take a moment to honor those who have devoted such painstaking efforts to codifying the history of a universe inexplicably set in the distant past despite its status as a science fiction mainstay: that of George Lucas’s Star Wars, and particularly its surrounding Expanded Universe.
For many years, Nathan P. Butler’s Star Wars Timeline Gold has been the authority on chronology within the Star Wars Galaxy. While the movies we all know and love or tolerate only cover a span of about twenty years, the rich collaborative history lent to it by novels, video games, and, yes, comics books (hopefully the TRO editorial board will have more on that soon) have taken the scope far beyond that: from the Old Republic Era of five thousand years before the battle of Yavin as depicted in the original film (which you may be familiar with from BioWare’s Old Republic video game series) to Dark Horse’s Legacy comics set over a hundred years after the Rebels [spoiler!] defeat the evil galactic empire in Return of the Jedi, and everything in between.
If you look hard enough, the timeline even features some interesting theories on how “long ago” the events of that galaxy far, far away actually are. (Hint: Star Wars‘ sister franchise Indiana Jones is involved.)
Would you believe that this singular project has cultivated its own devoted community? SWTG features a podcast, reviews, and even its own radio station. And with Disney expanding the franchise to fill the gap between the prequel and original trilogies, and extend it even further beyond, this mainstay of sci-fi nerddom will have its hands full for quite a while. May the obsessive compulsive data sorting be with you!