Kenneth C. Flint’s Heart of the Jedi is revealed – though the story behind it may be more intriguing

heart-mockupHere’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)

6 Replies to “Kenneth C. Flint’s Heart of the Jedi is revealed – though the story behind it may be more intriguing”

  1. I only vaguely remember hearing about this, but if the writing’s any indication…we didn’t miss much? Like much from that era, I’ve read better fanfic than this.

  2. I would like to read an excerpt, but I suspect that would not be available.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: