Star Trek’s expanded universe isn’t going out the way that the Star Wars EU did. In September, Simon & Schuster released Moments Asunder by Dayton Ward. The novel is the first installment of the Star Trek: Coda trilogy, which will serve as the swan song for the shared universe of Star Trek novels that continued the adventures of the characters from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager past those shows’ finales for more than a decade. That means Star Trek’s old post-screen continuity is getting a proper ending, which Disney never provided for the old Star Wars continuity that preceded its acquisition of Lucasfilm.
If you want a sense of how abruptly Disney’s ending of the Star Wars EU came about, the last novel published in that continuity was 2014’s Honor Among Thieves, intended as the second installment of a planned trilogy. The third book in that trilogy, Heir to the Jedi, was released a year later and is considered part of Disney’s new canon despite being announced in 2012 before Disney even revealed it would buy Lucasfilm. The closest the EU got to a finale was 2013’s Crucible by Troy Denning, which takes place farther into Star Wars’ future than any other Star Wars novel and sees Luke, Leia, Han, and Lando reunite for one last adventure. But most fans seem to agree that, while it’s a fine standalone novel, it didn’t quite carry the weight of a finale more than 20 years in the making, especially since it debuted almost a full year before the EU’s ending was announced.
Now marketed under the Star Wars Legends banner, the old Star Wars Expanded Universe gained notoriety in 1991. Eight years after Return of the Jedi ended the original Star Wars trilogy, Bantam Spectra published Timothy Zahn’s Heir to Empire. The novel continued Luke, Leia, and Han’s adventures after Emperor Palpatine’s defeat. Lat that same year, Dark Horse Comics began serializing Dark Empire, a new comic book series in the same continuity as Bantam Spectra’s Star Wars novels. Together, these new stories revived interest in Star Wars and establishing a shared universe of continuing adventures.