I’m not in The Clone Wars generation by any means – I’d been active in fandom for more than a decade when Ahsoka came around – hell, this blog was four years old in 2008.
But what Ahsoka is to that generation, Mara Jade was to mine. She was, back in the day – or at least to some of us – just as big a Star Wars figure as Leia. In fact, she was only the second female in the whole franchise to get anywhere near that much development. For nearly a decade – before the prequels – Mara Jade was the second-most important woman in Star Wars. But she’s not canon any more. And though I don’t really care about that, I have to admit it hurts to see her effect ignored. Oh, I know that to mention her in that video would just muddy the waters, but so much of what you see with Ahsoka and fandom right now mirrors what was happening with Mara and fandom back in the day.
It sounds like they won’t be beating around the bush at Celebration Anaheim – the first event sounds like it’ll be J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy themselves, and for some reason I doubt they’ll show up empty-handed. There’s very little doubt that we’re going to get a new The Force Awakens trailer at the con, so just as well get it out of the way ASAP. And having this on Thursday instead of Saturday means it might be a tad easier to get wristbands, right? (Ha.)
Also, if you head to the Art Show page on the Celebration site and click on the artists, you can get a first look at the art that will be on sale, including a Thrawn trilogy-themed piece from Grant Gould!
I would certainly be interested in writing more Star Wars. I presume LFL wouldn’t simply give me carte blanche, but would want something specific (a spin-off from Ep 7, maybe, or some backstory filler).
If they really let me do whatever I wanted, I have a couple of ideas (all right: 20-30) in mind. But all of that depends on them.
I wasn’t going to address this topic. But since so many of you have asked:
What the “non-canon” announcement by LFL means is that they aren’t going to be bound by the Expanded Universe books, comics, and games as they plan their new movies. Realistically, that’s something they had to do — the EU is just too big, complicated, and occasionally contradictory for them to have to deal with.
However, I’m guessing that EU stories that aren’t referenced (or contradicted) by the sequel movies will still be considered sort-of alive, in the same way that most Clone Wars-era stories (like Outbound Flight) were mostly unaffected, with the exception being all of the previous material on Boba Fett’s backstory.
Alternatively, if the new movies do contradict my books in some way, I can probably come up with some hand-waving story that will explain the apparent discrepancy. If there’s one thing we authors are good at, it’s hand-waving.
Not only was I given no input to Mara’s fate, I wasn’t even told about it until a couple of months before publication.
If I had been offered a say, though, I’d have argued against it. My vision of Star Wars is good vs evil, with the heroes struggling to win, and the major characters making it through. (Otherwise, either Lando or Wedge would have died inside the second Death Star.)
For the record, this isn’t just because Mara was my creation. I’d have argued against killing Chewbacca for the same reason.
I’ve been a Star Wars fan since I was barely 13, and became an Expanded Universe fan only days later. My entire experience of falling in love with Star Wars was prompted and is because of the Expanded Universe; I ‘first’ saw the movies on VHS over Christmas break in 1991. And we wouldn’t have even had those copies in the house if not for the release of Heir to the Empire in the spring of that year.
I owe my entire fandom to Heir to the Empire and the Thrawn trilogy. The Expanded Universe, which was pretty much all there was back in those days, formed the nucleus of my fandom. They hooked me, and they hooked me well enough that I sit here, 22 years later, running a fairly popular blog devoted to the franchise, with those same worn copies of Heir, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command not four feet away.
I love the Expanded Universe. It’s a weird kind of love that you get with this sort of fandom; I kept with it through some of the absolute worst fiction I have ever read, and many books that could I barely bring myself to call mediocre and, yes, even those rare gems that make it all worth it.
Yuletide, the annual rare-fandoms fanfic gift exchange, had a rule change this year that suddenly made it relevant to our interests – they allowed requests from lesser-ficed parts of large fandoms like Star Wars. So, for the first time, we’re seeing Star Wars fanfics among the offerings. 32 of them, in fact, including a whooping 13 X-Wing fics. Other requests included the Thrawn trilogy and The Old Republic.
EU-based fanfic has never been exactly rare, but it does tend to focus on the big ‘ships (ahem) so if you’ve been looking for something a little different, check out the listings. The authors are all currently anonymous, but will be revealed on January 1st, per Yuletide tradition.
StarWars.com has been featuring a number of important dates on both the site and through social media – and today’s is one particularly relevant for our purposes! The Facebook numbers are pretty impressive, even for the official account – More than 13,500 likes, more than a thousand shares and almost that many comments.
And, of course, without the Thrawn Trilogy, would there be a Club Jade? Probably not.
The tweet’s doing pretty well, too!
#ThisDayInHistory – 1989: Timothy Zahn gets a call confirming that he has been hired to write the novel that will become Heir to the Empire.
Upcoming nonfiction. Guess what’s appeared on the Random House online catalog? It’s J. W. Rinzler’s Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, with a release date of October 8. In other Rinzler news, he’s announced that the next art book will be devoted to concept art. As someone who already owns all six concept art books devoted to the films, I hope we’ll get to see something new from the actual movies… If it comes out next year, would it be too early to hope for an Episode VII peek?
Conventions. Dark Horse had a panel at Emerald City Comicon yesterday, and Amy Ratcliffe was kind enough to live-tweet it for those of us playing at home. While there was no breaking Star Wars news, there were a few insights into Star Wars and Legacy comics.
Short stories. Del Rey’s Frank Parisi reveals that John Ostrander has an Insider story coming up, ‘Eruption,’ with cover art by Jan Duursema. (It’ll also appear in the hardcover of Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void.) A Jason Fry story featuring a Clone Wars character was also recently greenlit. He also hints at something we’ll be seeing in Miller’s Kenobi.
The Last Jedi. Author Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff talks to NJOE (with Del Rey’s Shelly Shapiro) and TFN.
Gaming. We don’t even try to cover gaming anymore – trust me, it’s for the best – but if you’re curious about the (rumored) fate of 1313, well, here’s the word on the street.