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Star Wars has seven movies and the Clone Wars TV show as its main canon. Then there's Legends, which are a collection of stories that are not canonical.

In The Force Awakens, Rey claims she believed the Force was just a legend (a.k.a children's tales).

This raises the question: is what (as viewers) is considered to be Star Wars Legends, legends (or tales, family stories, etc) within the Star Wars Universe?

In other words, whether it did happen in canon or not, are the Legends in Star Wars Legends actual legends in-universe (i.e: stories that are passed down and no one knows how true they are)?

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    I always figured that's why they called it "Legends" in the first place - the characters in-universe would be talking about "Thrawn" and they'd be like "he's a legend, we don't know if those stories about him are true or not" or they could be like "he's a legend, we know the stories about him aren't true but it's a nice story we like to tell." – RedCaio Mar 28 '16 at 9:00
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    Pretty sure they can't have a legend about Leia and Han's nonexistent twin kids, Chewbacca's death, and those Forceless aliens trying to conquer the galaxy in ten years. – Slacklord the Terrible Mar 28 '16 at 15:41
  • 8 movies technically because the Clone Wars cartoon film counts too – NKCampbell Mar 28 '16 at 15:45
  • @NKCampbell No it doesn't. IMHO, The Clone Wars TV show barely even counts as canon in my book and the pilot episode(s) that aired in theaters in the form of a movie certainly don't count as one of the Star Wars feature films and no one will convince me otherwise. :) lol – RedCaio Jun 11 '16 at 22:53
9

In general, capital "L" Legends stories are not in-universe small "l" legends.

First of all, Disney called "Legends" a "banner" when Legends was introduced:

Demand for past tales of the Expanded Universe will keep them in print, presented under the new Legends banner.

Disney did not say that "Legends" was a collection of small "l" legends within the Star Wars universe. It's just the name of a banner that Disney has added to old Expanded Universe material to indicate that it is non-canon, e.g.:

example Legends book from the Disney announcement

Furthermore, let's consider a definition of the word legend:

a nonhistorical or unverifiable story handed down by tradition from earlier times and popularly accepted as historical.

Many Legends stories do not meet this definition. For example:

  • Legends stories continue to the year 138 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin). This would occur after Episode VII, which occurred in year 66 (the Battle of Yavin occurred in Episode IV, which was in year 32, so Episode VII occurred in 34 ABY). Such stories could not be "accepted as historical" in-universe because they haven't "happened" yet.
  • Some Legends stories diverge so sharply from the canon continuity that they are verifiably false (as opposed to a "legend", which is unverifiable). For example, the Yuuzhan Vong War occurred in Legends in 25-29 ABY (before Episode VII occurs), yet no character during the events of Episode VII would believe that there had been a galaxy-wide war against an extra-galactic alien species (which also involved the transformation of Coruscant) just a few years before. Such stories, if they existed in-universe, would more accurately be called an alternate history, such as the alternate history novels we have in which the Axis rather than the Allies won World War II (e.g. The Man in the High Castle).

It is possible for some Legends stories to be considered in-universe legends. For example, the exploits of the Sith Emperor introduced in Star Wars: The Old Republic could be considered a legend in-universe if canon characters were in fact aware of stories about him. He ruled thousands of years before the events of the films (making it difficult, in-universe, to verify them), and he could be the basis for Palpatine's statement in Episode III that "once more the Sith will rule the galaxy".

In general, however, capital "L" Legends stories cannot be considered in-universe small "l" legends because they just don't fit the definition of a small "l" legend. Moreover, I'm not aware of any reference to a specific Legends story in canon (e.g. a mention of the Yuuzhan Vong War). Even Palpatine's statement about the Sith ruling the galaxy before can't be tied to the aforementioned Sith Emperor character. Characters don't seem to be aware of Legends stories.

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    It's worth noting that many of the events in Legends material are only witnessed by a small number of people, who in Force Awakens are considered legends themselves, like Han and Luke (e.g. Luke was one of the few who saw Palpatine get reborn as a clone). So if those events happened, and the only witnesses were considered legends, then those events are probably legends too if word of them ever got out. – Thunderforge Jun 5 '16 at 0:24
4

No. There are legends (note the small l) that evidently exist within the Star Wars universe, such as the Tragedy of Darth Plageuis the Wise, the fabled history of the Jedi, passed down by the Church of the Force and the story of how Han Solo made the Kessel Run in less than 14 parsecs.

On the other hand there are Legends (note the capital L) that are an out-of-universe designation for any stories, books, games, TV series and feature films that are no longer part of the main canon.

It doesn't follow that anything that is a Legend is a legend within the Star Wars universe.

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    "It doesn't [necessarily] follow that" isn't as strong as "There's no evidence that" - can you reach that level? – Matt Gutting Mar 28 '16 at 11:17
  • @MattGutting - That's a toughie. By definition if a Legend gets mentioned in one of the film, it makes it a legend. – Valorum Mar 28 '16 at 11:19
  • So all you need to do is demonstrate that no one has ever said in a movie that [X, from the Legends] might be true. That should get you "There's no evidence". – Matt Gutting Mar 28 '16 at 11:25
  • Would make things less confusing if Kessel Run details and whatever were called Myths and not Legends. Myth is more absolute about being untrue/non-canon – Dan Shaffer Mar 28 '16 at 12:00
  • It's 12 parsecs! ;) – Neow Apr 26 '16 at 13:57

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