Many media franchises these days have an expanded unverse. And yet often times, the people behind the biggest part of that franchise can't be bothered to keep up with what the other people playing in their sandbox have been up to. So often, the official stance is, "The expanded universe is not canon," or the slightly better, "It's canon-ish if it doesn't conflict with my official canon, even if the contradiction is something I did later."

But have you ever come across a case where this non-official version of the story is the version you like better?

If so, tell us why! Include some sort of picture representative of the franchise you are wishing to discuss, and tell us what it is about the non-canon expanded universe you like better!

Here's my example:

Robotech

Advertisement

vs.

The novels have been declared non-canon by Harmony Gold, and even before that there were some elements (such as the "thinking caps") that were controversial amongst purists of the television show. But to me, the novels have always had a huge advantage in that even if you limit your reading to the twelve books that directly adapt the show, it holds together much better. The show has a lot of seams in it as a result of being cobbled together from three not-at-all related Japanese television series, and those seams vanished in the translation to the novel medium.

Advertisement

Beyond that, the novels give us a version of the sequel series, The Sentinels, that Harmony Gold was never able to complete past about three episodes worth of animation. And then beyond that, there are three additional novels filling in other holes in the narrative and one last novel that gives the saga an ending.

Meanwhile, all Harmony Gold has been able to do is give us an unsatisfying sequel that followed on from the non-existent Sentinels and posed many questions while not answering any pre-existing ones, which would have potentially be fine if they kept going. But since then, all they've done is an adaptation of a Mospeada OAV that was a glorified music video collection, and a spectacularly failed Kickstarter to make a new series that didn't at all seem connected to their previous attempt.

The novels give me a complete saga. The animation gives me a great 85 episode series (with some obvious seams) followed by the occasional still birth of a sequel attempt with no sign of any sort of satisfying ending in sight.

Advertisement

I'll take the novels, please.

Honorable Mention: Star Wars

Advertisement

It is maybe too soon to say, as Episode VII is not out yet... but even if I like it, I'll be surprised if it replaces the old Expanded Universe in my mind as what happens next after Return of the Jedi. Unless Episode VII is the most awesome thing since sliced bread, I'll probably always see it as a charming, "What if?"