Let me start this blog by saying, I’m not one of those people who thinks Disney is out to ruin my childhood, destroy Star Wars, or alter it for some nefarious, agenda-pushing purpose. Those people are lunatics, and should be avoided just as if they’re handing out doomsday pamphlets at your nearest inner-city train station.
That being said, I’m not a fan of arbitrary changes, or changes for changes sake. And this recent “change” that Disney has made to Star Wars’ timeline seems to be just that.
Star Wars’ official Canon was reset a few years ago to clean up the movie timeline and establish a new series of events that would allow Disney to tell their own story within the Star Wars universe, without having to lock themselves into decades worth of Expanded Universe material, much of which wasn’t really that good (search your feelings, you know it to be true).
One that that has remained unchanged however (until now), was the in-universe timeline. Everything in Star Wars history has always used the Battle of Yavin IV (the climactic battle of the original Star Wars film), as “year zero”. This means that everything in Star Wars was either dated as “BBY” (before Battle of Yavin) or “ABY” (after Battle of Yavin), with a number attached. For example, Star Wars: The Force Awakens took place during the year 34 ABY… Until now.
Disney has reset the Star Wars timeline around the sequel trilogy. Every event in Star Wars history has traditionally been related to the Battle of Yavin 4, which took place in the first Star Wars movie. Thus Star Wars: The Force Awakens is dated 34 ABY (After Battle of Yavin). At least, it was.
With the release of Pablo Hidalgo’s new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Visual Dictionary, there comes a brand new dating system that centers itself around Disney’s sequel trilogy. The events of Episode VII (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) are referred to as the “Starkiller Incident,” and act as the new Year Zero. This means that the calendar is now marked in events Before Starkiller Incident (BSI) and After Starkiller Incident (ASI). For those keeping score at home, here’s how the movies are dated now:
- Episode I – The Phantom Menace – 66BSI
- Episode II – Attack of the Clones – 56BSI
- Episode III – Revenge of the Sith – 53BSI
- Solo: A Star Wars Story – 44BSI
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – 34 BSI
- Episode IV: A New Hope – 34BSI
- Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back – 31BSI
- Episode VI: Return of the Jedi – 30BSI
- Episode VII: The Force Awakens – 0
- Episode VIII: The Last Jedi – 0
- Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker – 1ASI
Does your brain hurt yet? Same. Granted, I guess I can’t blame Disney for wanting to re-center the Star Wars timeline around their movies (and not George Lucas’), but its still kinda jarring to read dates that aren’t dated around the most iconic battle in the entire Star Wars saga.
This ain’t the end of the world folks, but its definitely a little annoying. As someone who’s been through a few design courses – arbitrary changes are always kinda weird and offputting. What do you think of the timeline changes? Do you care? Could you care less? Yell at us on Twitter and let me know.
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