Star Wars Books held a chat with Leland Chee, Lucasfilm’s ‘Keeper of the Holocron,’ about canon and continuty and all that stuff. It went… Well, it went about as you’d expect. Skip the newbies and avoid the facepalming with our recap, below the cut.
Note: I have altered some comments, for the most part fixing typos and replacing abbreviations with full names.
Patrick Torres: Will there be an End Game type finale book? Where there is a definite end to the OT characters’ story?
Leland Chee: Will there be an End Game type finale book? Not sure what I can say about that. Let’s see what happens in Crucible.
Tim Veekhoven: The Rogue Gallery in the Insider has been a fantastic feature. Any chance we’ll see actual screenshots from the movies / TV spin-offs being used for the feature in the future (instead of promo shots)?
Chee: No plans to use screenshots for the Rogues Gallery feature, Tim. When doing these, I always try to start with a good, less seen image.
Janek Zech: Have you considered doing two separate timelines for the Clone Wars, one with the Republic comics etc and the other one only with The Clone Wars and its tie-ins?
Chee: The dual universe question comes up often. I know George Lucas has mentioned it being two universes, but that’s not how I see it. His vision is definitely not beholden to ours, but ours is definitely beholden to his.
SWAG 77: Did the True Mandalorians and Death Watch reach some kind of detente?
Chee: Some of the pieces of the Mandalorian “mess” start to fall into place, to some degree as we’ll see some Mandalore action in Clone Wars this season. And yes, we’ve certainly looked at ways in the EU to resolve some of the things that look like discrepancies.
Brenden Washington: Will anything be done to resolve the conflict between The Clone Wars and may other parts of Clone Wars EU where the EU will be left intact, for example Obsession and other Republic comics, Jedi Twilight, and much more?
Chee: Regarding Evan Piell, The Clone Wars version of events always take precedent. At one point, we actually discussed whether we change Coruscant Nights I in the reprint.
Charlie ‘Boston’ Westerdale: Can you give us anymore information about the timeline for the Star Wars live-action TV show that was promised a few years back?
Chee: Until we know more about what is to become of the live-action series, any discussion of timeline placement is premature.
Stephen Lornie: Any idea when we will get some new material to flesh out the huge gap in the timeline between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope (specifically thinking about the live action TV show here)?
Chee: Regarding the Ep3 to Ep4 timeframe, you’ll have to wait and see. 1313 will likely be a huge tent pole for that era.
Jeremiah Michael Stewart: Has there ever been a writer or person involved in the Star Wars EU that has given you a lot of headache when it comes to continuity? If so what was it like to deal with them and how do you handle such situations, especially if they have a lot of fans.
Chee: There are definitely certain writers who pull the most obscure references that make me do a little extra work to fact check. But for the most part, it is a hugely collaborative process between the editors, the authors, and myself. There are often times when we’ll say, you can’t do that, but if make this small tweak, we can make it work. One of the goals of my work with the Holocron is to make it so our authors don’t have to be super experts in Star Wars lore to be able to delve into the universe.
Trevor Davey: How much of your working day is spent actually ‘tending’ the Holocron and giving continuity advise to the various EU contributors?
Chee: On typical days, tending/feeding/filling/referencing the Holocron is the bulk of my day. I am constantly going through novel manuscripts, comic scripts, video game scripts, stats on merchandise, artwork all of which involves accessing or inputting information into the Holocron.
Daniel McFadin: Are there any plans for more novels in the same vein as Tatooine Ghost that connect the OT and Prequels?
Chee: I don’t think so. I think we made the connections we’ve needed to, and not always in their own book (accessing R2’s memory of Order 66 comes to mind). The story always needs to come first. But if there’s connections that logically fit, we’d certainly welcome it.
Thomas White: Will there ever be a sourcebook with more in-depth information about the first years of production of ships and when certain factions discontinued their use? IE: When did the TIE Fighter begin production and start seeing widespread use across the galaxy? When did the Empire stop using Y-Wing and other Clone Wars era starfighters and ships?
Chee: We find assigning first years of production for anything can limit future stories, so I tend to be averse to doing so.
John Ryan Decker: Any idea how much longer The Clone Wars can possibly run? There’s only so many years in-between Episodes II and III to jam in material.
Chee: They’ve not told me an end date for Clone Wars. We’re at least past the half way point since we’ve got Phase II clones now. And we all know that in the EU, we always find ways to fit in new stories into the timeline.
Jason Fry: Assuming you’re not working the whole time, what panels/events are you most looking forward to at Celebration?
Chee: I’ve taken a different approach this time to Celebration than in years past, so I’ve managed to get onto several panels, as opposed to just a single publishing panel or continuity panel. So in addition to my Holocron 101 presentation on Friday, I’ll be doing things like the Obscure Characters panel, Audio Books, Trivia, starwars.com, and Insider. I’ll be doing a blog about all the panels I’m involved with. They’ve even got me doing some stuff with the laser tag folks.
So if there’s room for panels that I’m not on, Ian McDiarmid, 1313, Clone Wars S5, and that super secret panel are at the top of my list. I’ve got schedule conflicts with the Essential panel AND the Cantina Characters panels both of which I would have loved to attend. So many panels, so little time.
Mateusz Wójcik: 1)Jennifer Heddle in one of her first interviews spoke about possible reboot in SW universe. Plz tell me it’s not comming. 2) Have you seen the new Star Wars (ongoing) series based in OT? I’ve heard that the writer doesn’t know a thing about EU.
Chee: They like to keep the “reboot” term in their pocket, but I really can’t see it happening. It would make Jason’s Essential work so much harder.
The writer on the upcoming Star Wars ongoing comic series knows plenty about Star Wars. Or at least has done their homework. Probably more than they’re letting on.
Stefan Pfister: When will A New Hope finally get a lead-in novel like the prequels got? Shadows of the Empire is the same for ROTJ and for TESB it might be the comic run detailing events leading up to discovery and building of Echo Base. ANH got games and comics leading in, and tales for Han and Co but we need a Bail/Leia/Alderaan/Coruscant/Emperor novel as definite political ANH lead in tieing all the sources together.
Chee: Every movie should have a lead-in novel. There’s definitely been discussions, some even going on very recently.
Jason Fry: Leland, what part of your job seems to be most misunderstood by fans/readers/naggy authors?
Chee: That everything is in the Holocron or in my head and is easily accessible. I’m talking to you, Jason. Making me look through Bounty Hunter video game concept art? Really?
Will Good: If I could ask a follow-up on the dual universes thing – is there an official company policy on any continuity duality or is it intended to simply be up to each individual fan rather than being officially set in stone? It gets a bit confusing… George Lucas has both referred to the EU as a different world and as an expansion to his at different times (he’s even called the live action series a different world at one point), I just wondered whether there was any official position or whether it was deliberately left up for interpretation? Many thanks!
Chee: Not really. Aside from me, George, Dave Filoni, and Pablo Hidalgo, nobody else gets to much into it. I know there’s been some internal discussion to come up with something though.
Jacob Burger: The Essential Reader’s Companion has an illustration of Mara Jade Skywalker during the Vong war. She is not wielding her Empire-era lightsaber or Anakin’s lightsaber, which she received from Luke at the end of The Last Command. Is there an explanation for this? Where did she get this lightsaber and why isn’t she using anakin’s?
Chee: Mara still has both lightsabers, the purple and the blue. At least I think she still has the blue.