Denning, “chick” books, and looking past Fate of the Jedi

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 (and others) 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.

And the Apocalypse just keeps coming

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.)

And yes, there are more reviews, and they do contain spoilers. Roqoo Depot has two more: One from Lane Winree and another in round-robin form. NJOE’s Chris Carey has also reviewed.

Roqoo Depot is on a roll: They have an interview with Troy Denning, too.

Meanwhile, here’s a brief profile of Keltie Cochrane, the firm that designed all the Fate of the Jedi covers.

Out this week: Fate of the Jedi’s Apocalypse arrives

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.

Fans: Don’t forget about Troy Denning’s book tour.

Cynics: Remember, this book contains our first look at Aaron Allston’s X-Wing: Mercy Kill.

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…)

As for the comic readers, Wednesday brings Agent of The Empire – Iron Eclipse #4 and Knights of The Old Republic: War #3

EUbits: Fate of the Jedi is ending, have you heard?

Fate of the Jedi. Apocalypse is only days away, and so there is a book trailer. (Naturally.) And a mini-excerpt. And a 50-page excerpt. And Troy Denning on a podcast. And, of course, another spoiler-free review at Star Wars Report. Will it ever end? (Well, yes. Presumably, Tuesday. And then, the arguing. Yay!)

Comics. John Jackson Miller talks about Knight Errant’s next arc, ‘Escape,’ with io9’s Cyriaque Lamar.

Upcoming. DK will be releasing The Old Republic Encyclopedia this fall, Roqoo Depot discovered.

The blogside. Roqoo Depot’s Skuldren speaks out against super-powered characters in video games and the EU. In my book, that’s a very big reason why certain streams should no be crossing… Meanwhile, io9 makes a valiant effort to connect the Star Wars timeline to Earth’s timeline – pity that the comic tale they’re using as a cornerstone is kind of, a little bit, well, actually entirely Infinities, aka a non-canon AU. Which they admit. But still.

Okay, fine. If it’s an actual EU timeline you’re looking for (sorry, no Earth,) here’s an official one from Del Rey.

Review. James gives the latest Clone Wars digest, The Enemy Within, a thumbs-up for its Dirty Dozen meets L.A. Confidential in space storyline.

Out this week: Crimson Empire III, The Enemy Within

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.