So here we are, in the post-Legacy of the Force Expanded Universe. And, as we learned at Celebration, one of the first things out of the gate will be a trilogy focused on Jaina Solo. Fans of the only remaining Solo kid greeted the news with boundless enthusiasm – and just a hint of trepidation. My feelings are less clear. On the one hand, I think it’s long past due. On the other hand… No one has really managed to make me actually care about Jaina yet, and I think it’s probably long past time.
“The story arc was to very closely hew to the myth structure of the Hero’s Journey as outlined by Joseph Campbell, a huge influence on the creation of the Star Wars cinematic story. With that as its basic framework, the plot underwent much evolution and exploration. Its earliest descriptions had Luke Skywalker sending the three Solo children on an epic quest, upon which they encounter a new female character from the invading species sent to infiltrate the galaxy. This unnamed female corrupts Anakin, nearly turning him to the dark side, but she falls in love with him and Anakin instead redeems her. In a fit of intense sibling rivalry, Jacen and Jaina turn on Anakin, and in the resulting conflict, Jacen dies.”
So much in the EU depends on the authors and the execution, but I can’t say this story idea doesn’t strike me as a better one than the muddled mess we eventually got.
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.
I was in a conference call with DelRey and Lucasfilm when the editors expressed that they loved the outline. (paraphrasing here) “This is exactly what we want, but didn’t anyone tell you? You have to kill Chewey.”
I won’t type the next two words that came out of my mouth. After a couple of days of arguments and, well, terror, they had convinced me that they were doing it for the right reasons, and well, George was down with it, and it’s his galaxy far, far away, so I did it.
The responses have been mixed, with some people loving the new direction, other people devastated. I think it might be the only thing I’ve ever regretted; I don’t think I’d go back and do that one again.
I’m not sure how long the chat will be going on, but there may be time to slip in other questions about Star Wars. Salvatore also wrote the novelization for Attack of the Clones.
Toy Fair has begun in New York, and Hasbro has revealed their plans for the coming year. There’s plenty of Clone Wars stuff, including Ahsoka in her new outfit, plus a new line of lightsabers. And while the comic packs may be gone, Expanded Universe action figures are still popping up. Most notably, a Nom Anor in June (That’s him up top, plus his card) and a Bastila Shan coming in April, both in the Vintage Collection.
Author Troy Denning chatted on the Star Wars Books Facebook fan page Wednesday afternoon. With more than a hundred comments to format got awkward fast, but overall it turned out pretty well! And no, it’s not just FOTJ… West End Games and the New Jedi Order and even The Old Republic also got some love.
And I can’t help but agree with this (from a question on if he reads feedback,) which is pretty much the reason I’ve given up on the message boards:
I DO stop reading anything that looks like it has a nasty personal edge to it (who needs that?), or in which it appears that the person/group is trying to drive an agenda. There’s just nothing constructive to be gained from that kind of stuff — and I’m not the guy that makes the decisions anyway.
Let it go. There was much discussion late last week on Twitter over the appearance of a character in a Clone Wars preview clip who had been previously killed off in some minor video game several years ago. Y’all might have a case with the Mando stuff (though I still can’t bring myself to care, because Mandos) but this? This is why the phrase ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ exists.
Interviews. Going back a bit, EUC has summarized some notable bits from an interview that the Fictional Frontiers podcast did with Del Rey’s Shelly Shapiro. She talks about Fate of the Jedi and links to Legacy. Also, Daniel Wallace talks The Jedi Path with StarWars.com.
Street date shuffle. I made a few tweaks to our book release schedule this weekend… Nothing particularly noteworthy, just a few minor adjustments in mid-2011.
Even author R.A. Salvatore, who got a lot of grief for Vector Prime and the event contained within, joined and posted. Even more shocking, the responses are very polite so far! Aww, fandom. Learn and grow. (Hattip to Austin.)
Our own intrepid JawaJames is at the con, and he caught up with author Sean Williams, whose The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance has just been released. They talk about the NJO, continuity (pay attention, Wookieepedians) characters, The Force Unleashed and blogging!