Force Friday is the next week… More on that later.
Here’s an interesting piece of Expanded Universe history – a couple chapters of Kenneth C. Flint’s The Heart of the Jedi, a book from the early 90’s that we heard about at the time (mostly notably in Kevin J. Anderson’s introduction to the Dark Empire trade paperback) but that never materialized as an actual release. Star Wars Timeline will be posting the whole thing – four chapters at a time.
In the author’s note, Flint tells his side of the story – and it certainly doesn’t sound like a content issue. He spent a year writing the book, revising it, being told Lucasfilm had approved it, and then:
Finally, growing concerned, I contacted an agent who contacted Spectra. He discovered only then that Spectra had determined my book couldn’t be published because it “no longer fit into the sequence for the new series.”
I was told that this happened because of my Spectra editor. She had supposedly promised another author of the group (a friend of hers, according to one source) that her book would be placed in Position One. This apparently accounted for the “delays” that I had been told about, while she wrote her own book to slip into my slot while I sat idle and ignorant of what was happening for months. I have made a point of not knowing who this other author is, and I have never been able to bring myself to read her book, or any other of the subsequent series, saddened that this so violated my love of everything Star Wars.
Did I confront Lucasfilm and try to fight this situation? Nope. I didn’t know who to contact or how, remember. I worked for Spectra. I had no resources of my own, I was pitifully naïve, and I felt pretty much powerless by that point.
Flint declines to name the author, but there are only two women in the immediately post-Thrawn trilogy author lineup. Kathy Tyers’s Truce at Bakura was the first Star Wars novel to come out after Timothy Zahn’s The Last Command, followed by Anderson’s Jedi Academy trilogy, Dave Wolverton’s Courtship of Princess Leia, and Vonda McIntyre’s The Crystal Star. Bakura is the only book here set right after Return of the Jedi – “immediately after the second Death Star is destroyed” – the same period as Flint’s novel.
I see no reason Bakura couldn’t have been set at any point between Return of the Jedi and Courtship with a few tweaks – the bulk of the action being far, far away from Endor, and the Empire/Rebellion conflict being a fertile one – so I wonder if Bantam had any other reason to cancel Heart? Certainly everyone was playing fast and lose with the timeline at this point (the HoloCron was years away,) and in an era where Anderson was an active participant “quality” isn’t much of an argument.
In any case, Flint says the incident “basically destroyed my relationship with Spectra and my career as I writer.” He was so depressed he quit writing, found another job to get back on his feet, and is only now getting back into it.
It’s not a happy story, and I’m not surprised he’d want to tell it – though I am surprised that he’d share the book. (via)
Red alert! Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo is in Vanity Fair! We knew him when, y’all. Okay, they also have John Williams talking about The Force Awakens score, but: Pablo! He gives another fab quote on the Legends situation:
…there are great stories told there, but in all honesty they were written in an era where there was no expectation that we were going to add new movies or cinematic content onto that. So they blazed new trails there without the benefit of that knowledge, and they told really cool and compelling stories, but it’s not necessarily the stories that we want to tell on-screen.
→ Someone else got a super-vague quote from Oscar Isaac about Star Wars, this time the improbably named Monkeys Fighting Robots. (Says the woman who runs a site that sounds like it probably hosts porn.)
→ Do you want a (possible) synopsis of The Force Awakens based on all the Making Star Wars rumors? Do you? Because MSW has that for you. Click or not, it’s all you.
Marvel keeps the new release train rolling on Wednesday with Darth Vader #5 and Legends Epic Collection: The New Republic Vol. 1, which contains a real hodgepodge of Dark Horse stuff – including Mara Jade: By the Emperor’s Hand and material from several issues of Tales. But if it’s new stuff you’re chomping at the bit for, StarWars.com has a preview of the Vader issue.
Novelwise, we’re in the cold until Christie Golden’s Dark Disciple on July 7.
The sequel to the Jedi Academy Trilogy the inhabitants of the Carida System deserve. Well, I’m certainly not going to argue with this. Kyp Durron earned that Killed Billions merit badge fair and square!
This week the releases start on Tuesday, with William Shakespeare’s The Phantom of Menace by Ian Doescher in bookstores.
Wednesday brings not only Darth Vader #4, but Marvel’s first collection of the old Dark Horse stuff, the that’s-a-mouthful Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Empire Vol. 1.
Today’s talker: How slavish devotion to continuity can damage a series (and a fandom.) Continuity is important (and Club Jaders were big advocates for more of it back in the early days of the Expanded Universe) but when it outweighs and hinders the story and characters, it can become a problem. That’s something we saw in the waning days of the old EU. The solution? It’s somewhere in the middle.
Since it’s the weekend, I thought I’d do some low-grade pimping. A couple years ago, I wrote a beginners guide to Star Wars novels on my personal blog, and I recently updated and overhauled it to reflect the current status of the older novels. (For the record, I still don’t mind.)
At the time, I figured if you were reading Club Jade, you weren’t a beginner, but it seems that since then, we’ve picked up some new readers. In any case, if you have any curiosity about what to read in Legends, these are my recommendations, and they are deliberately few. Maybe one day I’ll be able to do this for the canon novels…
We finally got name – and a hint at the content of – our first standalone Star Wars film this week: Rogue One. We still don’t know all that much about it, but there are a few hints out there, both official and speculative.
/Film has a description of the concept art that was shown to Disney shareholders for Rogue One that is supposedly reminiscent of video games, particularly Halo. No X-wings, but why would they go for a name that recalls Rogue Squadron, then? I don’t know, but I hope as we learn more things will become clear.
Mike Stackpole is, as you might expect, all for Rogues in a movie. At Barnes & Noble, Andrew Liptak looks at the Rogue Squadron books and comics – which, it should be noted, contained a fair amount of on-the-ground missions.
Next up is something new, Kevin Hearne’s Luke Skywalker novel Heir to the Jedi on March 3. It’s been getting some very mixed early buzz.