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Having just re-read the A New Hope novelization (credited to Lucas but ghost-written by Alan Dean Foster), I was struck by how different it is from the movie in several places (mostly dialog, but also some cut scenes or scenes in a different order). Further, it's a printing from the Special Edition era, though it appears to be the original text and not updated in any way.

I've read Disney considers only the six (er, seven) movies, the two animated series, and new books to be considered canon. It doesn't appear there's much in the way of levels of canonicity other than "canon" and "Legends."

I believe I've also read (but now can't find it, so I may be mistaken) Disney considers the prequel trilogy novelizations to also be canon.

So where does this leave the OT novelizations? Especially where significant differences may exist?

marked as duplicate by Valorum star-wars Nov 30 '15 at 16:04

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  • 1
    It's just an inevitable movement toward Dr Who levels of canon ambiguity. But, it'll be a pretty sweet ride until that point. – Slacklord the Terrible Nov 30 '15 at 15:39
  • @Axelrod - Actually Disney are keeping a pretty tight rein on continuity, including answering these sorts of questions for fans. – Valorum Nov 30 '15 at 16:10

There are enough distinct and significant differences between the film and novel that it should not be considered canon and would fall under the Legends category:

Examples: Luke's landspeeder has an enclosed cockpit unlike the open cockpit seen in the film.

C-3PO is described as bronze, not gold.

Jabba is described as if he is a fat biped

The garbage chamber's number is 366-17891 instead of 3263827.


There are however, YA novelizations of the original episodes that do qualify under the new canon:


  • Per my answer on the other question, Disney have made it clear that the novels are a sort of bizarre mixed canon; fully canon where they reflect what's happening on the screen and 'legends' canon where they conflict with the films. – Valorum Nov 30 '15 at 16:11

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