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Novelists and comic creators used West End Games' supplements as reference material.
Sequels to the novels were being published as comics and vice versa, and the scope of the Expanded Universe grew at a prodigious rate.
The issue of which aspects are canon was one of the most hotly debated topics among fans. announced that in preparation for the upcoming sequel trilogy, the Expanded Universe would be retconned; past tales of the Expanded Universe will be printed under the Star Wars Legends banner, and a new continuity has been established that consists only of the original six films, the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series and film, and all future material from that point onward.
Though past elements of the Expanded Universe have been declared non-canon as a whole, they remain a resource for future Star Wars material to reference, thus bringing these elements into the new continuity as canon.
At the same time as Dark Empire's release in the early 1990s, Bantam Spectra published Timothy Zahn's The Thrawn Trilogy.
Widely publicized as the "sequels which were never made," Zahn's novels reignited Star Wars fandom and sparked a revolution in Star Wars literature.
All this development began to feed back and reference itself and create cross-connections.
The Expanded Universe had a continuity with few wrinkles.
The general rule was that nothing in the Expanded Universe was allowed to contradict any other part of the Expanded Universe or the films.
The films, however, do slightly contradict the Expanded Universe on occasion, and retcons were created in the Expanded Universe to fix these contradictions.
[…] Since our movies have their own internal continuity, we maintain that in the spin-off works.
Technically, George Lucas has been doing continuity all along by mapping out the nine films.