I’m living in the Expanded Universe


I sometimes read Star Wars books based upon the Expanded Universe, that is, books written by authors about characters in the Star Wars movies but not officially sanctioned by LucasArts.  Being a Jedi, I like to read stories of my order's history.

But the one thing that annoys me about the expanded universe is that it's virtually impossible to kill off a popular character.  Other writers bring them back to life!  Observe:

  • Boba Fett drops into the Sarlacc pit in Return of the Jedi.  Yet in the Expanded Universe, Fett survives and lives to hunt another day.

  • Emperor Palpatine dies in Return of the Jedi, but in the Expanded Universe, they bring him back with a clone.
  • LucasFilm animation created the Clone Wars animated TV series in 2003 and had a Sith-like character named Asajj Ventress.  Anakin Skywalker kills her in a battle, yet in the Expanded Universe, it wasn't a death blow and she survives.
  • The one exception is Grand Admiral Thrawn.  Timothy Zahn invented him and almost brought him back to life in Specter of the Past/Vision of the Future with a clone.  Luckily, the clone died before it could be resurrected.

I bring this up because a similar situation happened to me.  Over a year ago, I came up with an idea for a feature.  Being a Program Manager, I have to make decisions about what projects live, which ones are postponed and which ones die.  Sometimes after doing a cost/benefit analysis, a feature is just too expensive to develop.  The amount of time it would take to create the feature, coupled with the monopolization of dev resources in the face of competing projects sentences a project to the death bed -- strong are we in resources, but not that strong.

This feature I came up with over a year ago first got postponed.  But towards the end of the year we tried to bring it back.  But the cost/benefit analysis of it was too high.  It started to spiral out of control and we decided that it was too expensive to bring it through to fruition.  I decided to strike it down, assuming it wouldn't become more powerful than I could imagine.  And that was that, or so I thought.

Yet, rather humorously, just this past week, the feature resurrected itself.  Customers are demanding a solution, and this is one we had in the archives (apparently we forgot to erase it from there).  And just like that, it looks like this feature is going to come back because it does represent the best way to fix this problem.  Yes, we know it's going to be a big project to develop... but the other options are less appealing and I guess we have to do it.  Just like the Expanded Universe, a feature that I thought was dead has now come back.

Just so you know, I'm not complaining.  It really was a cool feature.  But I did think that the analogy to the Expanded Universe was amusing.  Now, this is not the post you are looking for.  Move along, move along.

Comments (3)

  1. Norman Diamond says:

    The feature was struck down and then the feature resurrected itself?  Are you sure that feature isn’t spam?

  2. Dan Stewart says:

    The Force is strong with the feature.

    In software, no often means not right now.

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