I was never particularly enthralled with anything we heard about the old live-action series that Lucasfilm was working on back after Revenge of the Sith, but the new details that came to light last week make me even more glad it was shelved before Lucasfilm’s sale to Disney.
Cory Barlog, a God of War creative director who worked at LucasArts for a time in 2009 and got to read the scripts, told VentureBeat (via) about one plot point of the show:
“It was the most mind-blowing thing I’d ever experienced. I cared about the Emperor. They made the Emperor a sympathetic figure who was wronged by this fucking heartless woman. She’s this hardcore gangster, and she just totally destroyed him as a person. I almost cried while reading this. This is the Emperor, the lightning out of the fingers Emperor. That’s something magical. The writers who worked on that, guys from The Shield and 24, these were excellent writers.”
The Emperor turning because of a woman? It’s like an MRA wet dream. If they wanted to make me grateful for the (boring, harmless and no longer canon) Darth Plagueis novel, well, success!
Although we certainly know at this point that anything with George Lucas’ involvement was not going to be seamless with the Expanded Universe, I do have to wonder if those scripts are why James Luceno’s first iteration of the Plagueis novel was canceled in 2007. The book eventually did come to fruition for a 2012 release, several years after we learned the project was “on hold.”
With Maul: Lockdown on sale this week, I had a chance to have author Joe Schreiber answer a few questions about his new novel. Joe was gracious enough to discuss the character of Maul and other aspects of Lockdown, including his collaboration with Jim Luceno to have it connect with Darth Plagueis. Having previously brought the living dead to Star Wars in Death Troopers and its prequel, Red Harvest, Schreiber is no stranger to the darker side of the galaxy far, far away.
SciFiNow talked to Ian McDiarmid on his Star Wars character. He talks about Palpatine’s spinoff potential and even calls the Darth Palgueis novel ‘fascinating.’
But the highlight is perhaps his own thoughts on the character, and the possibilities going forward:
“I thought Sith were just somehow born evil, that’s what they were. But I’ve… with reference to a few things that George has said, I realised that that’s not true. He might well have a tragic arc too, but I don’t know. And even if he does I’m not sure we’ll ever see it. But obviously, if we did and if it happened it would be something that would be completely fascinating to do and it would be like building a Shakespearean character.
“Also the great thing about these movies is that George doesn’t give much away in advance to anybody,” McDiarmid continues, “which is good because that’s what a good storyteller should do, you should really want to know what’s going to happen next or how it all started.”
“And that’s all there in George’s head, and he’s released it, I suppose, in one way or another over the last few years. And although, of course, Disney now owns the franchise, George is there very much as a creative consultant and I’m sure they’ll be very grateful for that. And those storylines will still continue to emerge from that sort of databank, that extraordinary databank which is his brain.
For all the squee over Plagueis, I never really felt that it revealed much about Palpatine’s own motivation: The character himself is still very much a mystery, and I can how exploring that could be more fruitful with all the EU’s restraints removed. But somehow, I doubt that spinoff is very high on the list…
In stores on Tuesday is the paperback edition of James Luceno’s Darth Plagueis. (Now in the hands of the Emperor himself!) If you’re curious, you can read my sort of/kind of/not really a review from back when it came out in hardcover, but here it is in short: If you’re interested in the prequel era, the Sith and various bits of continuity that revolve around The Phantom Menace, try it. If you’re like me and more focused on the post-ROTJ stuff… It’s probably not worth the bother. But to each their own.
I don’t know why I was surprised when James Luceno’s Darth Plagueis failed to blow my mind.
I bought the book on the release date, but didn’t start it until last Monday – mainly because I knew I’d have to recap the Luceno Facebook chat on Wednesday and I didn’t want to be spoiled for what folks on Twitter were labeling AMAZING REVELATIONS. So I forced myself through it in two days.
And I was not blown away. The revelations? Not that amazing. To me, anyway.
Despite a bumpy start, the Darth Plagueis chat on Facebook with James Luceno today seemed to go quite well. Apologies for doing a straight-up transcript of this, but there were some really good questions… This is the first time I haven’t come out of one of these chats despairing for the typing skills of fandom at large, though I did fix some punctuation and trim a little fat from some of the questions.
The transcript is divided by non-spoiler and spoiler questions. Head below the cut to read, but you want to stay unspoiled, turn back when you see the red text.
Sith and circumstances.Star Wars Books will be holding a Facebook chat with author James Luceno tomorrow afternoon on Darth Plagueis. It will no doubt be spoilerific, so take some time to finish the book today. I just started it, but will take the bullet to recap the chat tomorrow either way. On that note, here’s yet another review of the book from NJOE.
Interviews. TFN talks to author Ryder Windham about his recent book The Wrath of Darth Maul.
Zahn says… On his Facebook page, Tim Zahn narrows the timeline of his upcoming Han Solo novel from OT era to “around the time of” A New Hope, brainstorms a theory on why Chiss are hanging around The Old Republic, and reveals possible topics for the short stories that would have gone with the probably-not-happening annotated editions of Dark Force Rising and The Last Command. (Two of these originally brought to my attention by Roqoo Depot, since I haven’t been paying as much attention to Facebook as I should.)
Excerpts. With James Luceno’s Darth Plagueis coming out on Tuesday, the machine was in full swing this week, with a mini-excerpt on Facebook, two pages on Entertainment Weekly and the first 50 pages on Suvudu. Is there anything in the book that hasn’t been released as a tease at this point?
Short stories. Eric Geller daydreams up some short story anthologies. (Remember anthologies? We haven’t seen one since ’99. They didn’t sell at that well, apparently.)
Chat. Dark Horse and John Jackson Miller will have a Twitter chat on Tuesday for the occasion of Knights of the Old Republic: War #1, which will apparently be coming out on Wednesday. You’ll want to keep an eye on the hashtag #KOTORWarChat.