About the Timeline
This timeline came about after many years of trying to keep my books in order on the bookshelves and using the timeline page on the inside of the hardback books. If you're like me, you like to have your Star Wars books on your shelf in chronological order; it's an obsession, I admit, but I know I'm not alone! Everything was fine until I came across a reference to a story in the Jedi Academy trilogy in which I was unfamiliar. I realized after some research that it was referring to the comic Dark Empire. Now before this, I never cared about the comics and their stories; those were lesser stories in my opinion. But now that the books were referring to those stories I figured I'd better check them out. I realized I was missing a huge part of the Star Wars epic by overlooking the comics. And now I had to figure out where those comics fit into the chronology.
I found a timeline on theforce.net that really helped me out and I used it for a long time until it stopped updating. Then I found Joe Bongiorno's website at timelineuniverse.com and it was a treasure trove of information. Through that website I discovered Nathan P. Butler's Timeline Gold, a very detailed and exhaustive timeline that also summarizes each work of fiction. I was satisfied with using them for a while but I never knew when Joe Bongiorno would update his site with new fiction and the Timeline Gold is only updated once a year. I wanted something that would be updated immediately when something came out and also wanted it under my control. I have used a mixture of these websites to help me construct my own, with some tweaking of my own where needed. I have color coded each work of fiction as it helps me remember which story is a comic, a short story from a magazine, a game, etc...
I set out to not only create this timeline but to read through the entirety of the Expanded Universe, not only for my own enjoyment but to make sure everything was correct. I have come to the conclusion that there can be no "correct" timeline as the Star Wars universe does not always fit with itself. The best example of this is the entire Clone Wars era. Prior to the Clone Wars television show on Cartoon Network there were books and comics that established a story set during the Clone Wars. Then, the animated series came along and basically trampled all over those stories. Anakin was a Jedi Knight now way sooner than had been written about before, which made many of the stories take place much earlier than what they actually stated. I had no other way to make the timeline work than to ignore what certain books, such as Jedi Trial, said about the placement in the timeline, and placed it instead where it made sense. Some would balk at this notion, but in my opinion it's either that, or have two different timelines, creating a multiverse that I and many Star Wars fans would rather not see exist. I believe that I have done a pretty good job of making the Clone Wars readable in such a way that the story flows, even if the stated time placement is off.
Now, with Disney owning Star Wars, they complicated things even further by taking all of the EU and calling them "Legends", essentially making them non-canon. Anything that is published from now on is considered canon and will be placed in the "canon" timeline. Any new materials will not be included in the Legends timeline and any of the Legends material should not be read along with the Canon timeline. Make sense? Good. It angered a great many EU fans, myself included, to lose all of these stories as part of what we considered to be part of the canon, but Disney and Star Wars have the chance to do it right, to create a cohesive story that works together to make one single unified story where one author doesn't contradict another one, where if a character dies in a book, they're dead in the movies as well. It will be interesting to see how this works. It's a good time for Star Wars fans!
P.S. Concerning little kiddie books like the Level 2 and 3 readers and so forth, those will not be included in the timeline. Young adult novels, yes, but no little kiddie books. Sorry, I just can't do it. Also, anything that simply retells one of the Clone Wars or Rebels episodes won't be included.
HEY!! I do this out of my love for Star Wars, and I love organizing this timeline website! But it does take a little bit of money to pay for the hosting and some other administrative things, so if you feel so inclined there is a DONATE button below to link you to PayPal. A few dollars adds up, so thanks in advance for anything you can do. Thanks!!
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