Okay… The Mercy Kill cover has been tweaked. The ships appear the same, but the background has been tweaked – the ‘gray’ background will be silver when printed. It seems a bit overdone to me: you know Coco Chanel’s old axiom about always removing one accessory before you leave the house? I think it applies here. Maybe it’ll look better in actual silver? Still, I don’t think it’ll hurt Aaron Allston’s sales figures, and we’ve certainly seen worse.
If you’ve been following the Fate of the Jedi series in paperback, today is the day to go to the book store – the sixth book, Troy Denning’s Vortex, is out in mass market. Don’t forget, Erika reviewed it last year.
The only actual new thing you’ll find out there this week is the latest Star Wars Insider, which features an interview with Aaron Allston, Christie Golden, and Troy Denning on Fate of the Jedi and a short story by Jason Fry.
Welcome to a new feature! As fannish pros and fans alike are so active on Twitter, I thought we’d expose our readers to a little bit of what goes on there. This week: Some tidbits on The Essential Guide to Warfare, a few Fate of the Jedi snarks, and, of course, #ZahnSolo!
Author Troy Denning goes into detail on Abeloth, Ben, Allana, tying into the Legacy comics, and all that other spoilery stuff we read in Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse in an interview with Suvudu. He also talks about working with multiple authors, like this interesting bit from the New Jedi Order:
…When I was writing Star by Star, I got the manuscript for Balance Point and saw that Kathy Tyers had followed the outline exactly. She did exactly what the outline had called for, but it was all about fifteen percent off of what I thought she meant. I was 400 pages into Star by Star and I thought, “Oh my gosh, I have slightly different interpretations of these characters than Kathy does!” So I had to go back and rewrite the first 400 pages before I could go on.
He also talks about the differences in Fate of the Jedi and Legacy of the Force, the ‘Jacen Solo saga,’ the last words of Apocalypse, and leaving things open-ended.
Meanwhile, Rooqoo Depot talks to Lucasfilm continuity guru Leland Chee.
Over at Galactic Drift, Racheal recaps Troy Denning’s book tour stop in Carmel, Indiana, complete with the above video. Denning talking about the “Jacen Solo era” that Apocalypse is closing out, the push for war stories, tying into the Legacy comics and more.
As for news, Denning said he’s not involved – and isn’t sure if he will be – with whatever is happening next in the EU.
One thing that rubs me (andothers) the wrong way is his reference to Tatooine Ghost as a “chick book.” It’s not one of my favorites – I don’t even own a copy – but it is exactly the kind of story I think the Expanded Universe needs more of now that the glut of long series are over: Character-focused adventures that don’t have the fate of the entire galaxy in the balance. (Another example: Zahn’s Survivor’s Quest.) I can take or leave any romance aspects; I just want stories that give some consideration to the characters, not just their lightsabers and blasters.
I’m not saying we need to totally get rid of the galaxy-in-peril plots – as Denning points out, there’s a demand, and they are part of the formula. It’s not Star Peace, after all. But the one thing that the EU has been missing lately – at least if you’re not in it for brand-new characters – has been the balance of ‘galaxy’ books and ‘character’ books. Successful Star Wars stories that manage to do both – Matt Stover’s Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, for instance – have been few and far between lately. And while I can’t speak for everyone, I’d rather have one Mindor a year than any of these drawn-out cast-of-thousands deals we’ve been getting. Or at least in addition to whatever cast-of-thousands thing is going on.
And really, does focusing on character over endless battle scenes really make something ‘for chicks?’ Really? Yes, this is Star Wars, and by the very nature of the franchise there’s always going to be a lot of pandering to the lowest common denominator… But throw the rest of us a bone every once and a while. Please.
Well, it’s the final Fate of the Jedi release day, and thus comes a few more links – and one discount offer. I’m not really a fan of how Barnes & Noble only offers coupons on certain books, but today they’ve included Apocalypse for 40% off, which puts them on equal ground with Amazon. The online coupon code is C8M3R4E, but I believe it will only work if you have a membership with them. (It’s 33% off cover for non-members.)
What more is there to say about Apocalypse at this point? Troy Denning’s finale of the Fate of the Jedi series drops tomorrow, and I think all of us – fans and cynics alike – are more than ready to put this series (and maybe even the format) to bed.
By the by, the spoilers for Apocalypse are insane. And that’s all I’m going to say. For now. (Assuming this book doesn’t start off with six straight chapters of Sith ala Ascension, in which case it may take me another 7 months to force myself to read it…)
Once again, we have a week without a book release, but Wednesday does bring a few things to your local comic shop. First up is Crimson Empire III: Empire Lost #5, as the series winds up to next month’s conclusion. Then, for the The Clone Wars fans, there’s The Enemy Within trade, which Dark Horse is describing as “Dirty Dozen in space.”
Of course, next week, we’ll finally get the last Fate of the Jedi book, Troy Denning’s Apocalypse. Which means now is the time for those of us who’ve been slacking (ahem, yours truly) to finally get around to reading finishing Ascension. For those who are hanging on every word, Lightsaber Rattling has the first review. He hints at some spoilers, but nothing major.