Episode VII could have had a title that echoed one of the dregs of the early Expanded Universe. “It was Shadow (singular) of the Empire for a while,” Pablo Hidalgo tweeted Friday. “With so many books, it’s inevitable,” he said earlier. And that’s true enough: The Force Awakens itself is a title reminiscent of the 2008 video game The Force Unleashed.
But unlike TFU, Shadows of the Empire hails from the mid-90s, when all the franchise’s new content was in the form of books, comics and games. In fact, the 1996 Shadows storyline was used as a marketing test-run for The Phantom Menace – it had a novel, video game, comic, toys and even a soundtrack. As such, it has lingered on in fan memories to the point where it’s not unusual for some to think it’s still canon.
Having Episode VII reuse a form of that title would have muddied the well considerably, even if the two had nothing in common other than a handful of characters. The key fact: Shadows was set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. It’s not an Expanded Universe entry anyone could ever actually mistake for an Episode VII contender.
(Shadows certainly has a following, but it has never been a personal or CJ favorite – I recommend listening to this relevant episode of Full of Sith if you need a primer on why. It’s oh so very ’90s.)
Will we see Shadow of the Empire as a title again? We might! It could certainly fit the new era, but I’m very glad Episode VII became The Force Awakens instead.
The latest episode of Full of Sith delves into Shadows of the Empire. I haven’t read the book since it came out, but I do remember one thing very clearly: Most, if not all, of Club Jade hated it due to the icky gender issues (‘skeevy’ is gentlest way to put it) re: Xizor. Bryan reads some of the worst of it out loud. Thanks, Bryan.
Interview. Paul S. Kemp’s Star Wars books so far have seemed to be fairly well received, but will we ever see him step up to write Luke, Han, Leia and the rest? In an interview with the Dearborn Press and Guide, Kemp says “I don’t think so.”
“Writers bring certain things to the table as part of the craft. Some are very good at plotting, some are gifted at prose, I think where I excel naturally is developing interesting, conflicted characters. To do that, I need a lot of room. It’s hard to do that with characters with so much history already behind them. It’s difficult for me to tell the kind of story I’d like to tell and have it star Luke, Han, Lando, and Leia, and their kids.”
The rest of the article echos much of what he said in a blog entry about getting started as a writer.
The Old Republic: Revan. Drew Karpyshyn has a brief Q&A on his site about the upcoming book – which, you may be happy to know, is already in the hands of Del Rey. The book is current scheduled for an October release.
Comics. Comic Book Resources interviews John Ostrander about the upcoming series Agent of the Empire. Also at CBR, six pages of Jedi: The Dark Side #1.
Art. If you’re a fan of the Hildebrandt’s artwork for Shadows of the Empire, you’ll want to check out this gallery by Paxton Holley on Flickr, which contains some shots of the models for the some of the paintings. (via mMathab)
Opinion Chris over at EUC has some suggestions for the various publishing eras.
There are no new novels this week (next up is Crosscurrent on January 26) but you may find a pair of trade collections in comic stores on Wednesday: The eighth Knights of the Old Republic collection and a Shadows of the Empire omnibus. The latter omnibus contains a reprint of Mara Jade: By The Emperor’s Hand.
The official site has the November solicitations, including the much-anticipated Purge: Seconds to Die one-shot. Also, Invasion #5, The Clone Wars #10, Knights of the Old Republic #47, and Legacy #42. There’s also the third installment of the Star Wars Adventures digests, Luke Skywalker and the Treasure of the Dragonsnakes.
And for reprints, a Shadows of the Empire omnibus and Thrawn Trilogy hardcover collecting the comic adaptions of Zahn’s Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command.
Rebelscum spotted a supposed list of next year’s comic packs, which includes names sure to make many EU fans happy (Cade, Karrde, Thrawn.) And some that just make me want to facepalm (Xizor?) but we all have our demons.
The Dubai Steamtroopers are not alone… In Bangkok, artist Yumi Modal and family are also crafting Star Wars figures from metal. Is this the start of a new trend? Graffiti is so last season. (via)
Before Kyle Katarn, there was
Gonk. Are you worthy of building an avatar of The One Droid? (via)
Someone made a tiny version of the Shadows of the Empire novel. But why SOTE? Is there a whole collection of these things out there somewhere? What a terrifying prospect!
So you already have a Princess Leia hat, crocheted Yoda ears, and an Artoo hat; Why not round out your collection with an R2-D2 Beanie?
Shadows of the Empire – less hype than The Phantom Menace, more suck. I’m sorry: that book was just awful.
Can’t say the experience makes me all that hopeful for the next multi-media extravaganza, even with all the strides that have been made in the EU since 1996. Oh well; at least the book might be better.
Spotted on Wikipedia’s Lamest Edit Wars page: “Death Star: Is it 120km or 160km in diameter? Who cares?” Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Bonus lameness: A big chunk on Revenge of the Sith and (teehee) Shadows of the Empire. Requires scrolling.