Denning chats Fate of the Jedi, Apocalypse on Facebook

The Star Wars Books page at Facebook had a chat with Troy Denning today. Due to the awkwardness of the format (and to spare you – trust me) I’ve gathered a quick recap of the highlights beneath the cut. The first part contains no spoilers, so if you haven’t finished Apocalypse yet, stop when you hit the red text.

When asked about dream projects. “I’ve been blessed with so many dream SW projects already that I feel guilty talking about another one . . . but I WOULD like to write the story of Yoda coming of age.”

On where he’d like to take the Expanded Universe after Fate of the Jedi. “…One of our goals for Apocalypse was to open up a whole new boatload of story telling possibilities for the EU. I feel like we accomplished that, and there are about a hundred different SW stories I’d love to tell that are hinted at the end of Apocalypse.”

What era he’d like to take on next. “I’m interested in writing for ALL eras of Star Wars. Unfortunately, there’s only so much time, and I seem to find a pretty decent reception in the era I work in now. So, we’ll see . . . it could happen!”

On writing in the round robin format. “there were certainly minor conflicts in what I was writing and what Christie and Aaron were writing. Those are unavoidable, and I dare say they happen even within a writer’s own work. But there was never a problem handling any of them, or even anything that was large enough to cause us headaches. A lot of that has to do with the planning process we used, where we laid out the major plot points in advance, and a lot of it has to do with how great Aaron and Christie are to work with. It truly was more fun than writing alone!”

Will we learn more about what was supposed to happen in the (canceled) Blood Oath? “I don’t know if and to what extent the events of Blood Oath will ever be revealed. You’d have to ask someone in editorial that, and I suspect that even they don’t know right now. But I hope that they ARE, because it was a cool story, and provides a lot of good material for Hapan society.”

Someone ALWAYS asks about this. Sigh. “yeah, sure, I’d love to write the Big 3’s final adventure. What writer in his right mind wouldn’t?” Later, he said, “I don’t know how I’d feel about killing off any of the Big 3. I guess it has to happen sooner or later, but I love those guys.”

On scale. “I’ve worked on two big multi-author series in a row. So, for now, I’m ready to tackle something smaller in the immediate future. And I think that’s what the EU needs, too. We need to play with a lot of different kinds of stories for a while.”

On George Lucas. “I don’t know whether or what George (Lucas, I presume) might have wanted or not wanted in the series. He’s a little above the writers’ pay-grade, so any feedback he gives us comes through a lot of filters.” Really, people? REALLY? George Lucas don’t care.

On getting into Star Wars with ‘Scoundrel’s Luck’ for WEG back in 1990. “I was heavily involved in the RPF industry, freelancing as a game designer and still an aspiring novelist. A college buddy of mine — Curtis Smith — happened to be on the editorial staff at West End and knew of both my RPG work and interest in fiction. So he asked me if I’d like to try my hand at the game books. I did, and I guess they liked what I did enough to give me the job.”

Spoilers for Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse

Spoilers for Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse

Spoilers for Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse

On Raynar: “I DID have Luke say at the end of Apocalypse that someone had to go get Raynar away from the Killiks again. I doubt that it will be shown on camera, but I’m pretty sure that the next time we see Raynar, if will be back with the Jedi in known space.”

There were a lot of questions about Abeloth’s background, but most were referred to the Suvudu interview from a few weeks back. On thing he did say about Mortis: “I think the question of whether Mortis is the homeworld of the Force really belongs to Dave Filoni to answer. In my view, it was a mythic interpretation of the Force functions — but, as with all symbols, I think you have to be careful about reading it too literally.”

On Jag and the ‘Fel Empire:’ “I truly don’t know the answer to your question about finding out more about Jag becoming emperor. I’m only a writer, and those decisions are made by the editors and others at Del Rey and Lucasfilm (although I do sometimes have some input). Personally, I’m hoping it takes a while, because I’d like to see Jag and Jaina have a chance to have a “normal” life with the Jedi first.”

His favorite part of writing Apocalypse: “I really enjoyed writing a lot of parts of Apocalypse. Among my favorites were the Tahiri/Boba scenes (actually, the rewrites of those — the first couple of drafts were rough). Everything to do with my pet character, Saba, of course. And I had a huge amount of fun writing Jaina in battle. I also enjoyed the interaction between Ben and Vestara toward the end, when she realizes she will never be a true Jedi and he realizes the same thing.”

On the Legacy comics: “The decision to push the story toward Legacy in some ways and move it away in others was a collective decision; I certainly approve of it whole-heartedly, and would have made the same decision were it mine to make alone.”

On Luke. “I do think that Luke has suffered a substantial physical and spiritual wound that should be reflected in future stories, but I don’t know that it will keep him from playing a major part in future stories. (Again, I’m just the writer — that really isn’t my call). I think it should fall more into the category of a weakness that must be part of his arc in future stories. I like how you think of the wound, too — part of his Force-presence missing. That’s really what Abeloth did to him, isn’t it?”

On Abeloth. “I suppose there’s a CHANCE that Abeloth could use Luke’s wound to come back. But I honestly don’t expect that to happen. Abeloth, in my mind at least, is gone for a couple of dozen millennia. Of course, I’m not the guy who determines future story arcs, so that’s just my opinion.”

Metaphor! “The Throne of Balance is a symbol, not a physical throne. You have to think of it on several levels at once.” And, later, “I think the throne of balance was my idea. It kind of developed over time, from DN through Tempest.”

Why didn’t Abeloth trigger the Force psychosis a second time? “After the Shelter Jedi were cured the first time, they were a little more aware of what the psychosis was, and a little more resistant.” Also, once was enough.

On ‘the Barv battle.’ “The Barv battle was a tough one to write, and not just because of what happened in it. It was a pretty wild free-for-all with a lot happening, and those are always tough to choreograph and keep exciting, because you have to give the reader a decent idea of what’s happening through the POV of a character who probably doesn’t have a clear picture of it himself.”

What things were changed or dropped as the series progressed? “That’s a big question for a small amount of time. Certainly, we adjusted story lines, but I’m having a hard time remembering whether we dropped any. We added the slavery line, which was Christie’s idea to give the Jedi a moral center, and which I really liked.”

10 Replies to “Denning chats Fate of the Jedi, Apocalypse on Facebook”

  1. Denning is blood thirsty. I mean, no, Han, Luke, and Leia don’t have to die on screen. Can’t they just… die in their sleep?

  2. I loathe the idea of the big 3’s final adventure. I always assumed Han & Leia would die peacefully and Luke would live for a bit longer, finally passing into The Force. Given all the other characters now, it seems a bit far-fetched to think the three of them would have one final death-adventure together.

    Basically… What Eric said.

  3. Yeah, I was hoping for a peaceful death for all of them too. No need for it to be violent. Maybe Luke doing some kind of sacrifice like Obi-Wan did, but Han and Leia definitely should go in their sleep.

  4. I think what people mean by ‘final adventure’ is a ‘ride off into the sunset – Everything’s okay, let’s just hang out by an Ewok bonfire’ kind of ending that would allow this particular line of continuity to end.

  5. Denning is quoted as saying: “I don’t know how I’d feel about killing off any of the Big 3. I guess it has to happen sooner or later, but I love those guys.”


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