Salvatore on Chewbacca’s death: “I don’t think I’d go back and do that one again.”

Author R. A. Salvatore is doing a question and answer session on Reddit today. Most of the questions are about his other works, but there is one about about Vector Prime and its most controversial event, the death of Chewbacca. Salvatore’s response:

I was in a conference call with DelRey and Lucasfilm when the editors expressed that they loved the outline. (paraphrasing here) “This is exactly what we want, but didn’t anyone tell you? You have to kill Chewey.”

I won’t type the next two words that came out of my mouth. After a couple of days of arguments and, well, terror, they had convinced me that they were doing it for the right reasons, and well, George was down with it, and it’s his galaxy far, far away, so I did it.

The responses have been mixed, with some people loving the new direction, other people devastated. I think it might be the only thing I’ve ever regretted; I don’t think I’d go back and do that one again.

I’m not sure how long the chat will be going on, but there may be time to slip in other questions about Star Wars. Salvatore also wrote the novelization for Attack of the Clones.

10 Replies to “Salvatore on Chewbacca’s death: “I don’t think I’d go back and do that one again.””

  1. Controversial as Chewie’s death was, I really do feel like it was a good decision. In my opinion the books had been getting a little stale, there was never any real threat for the characters, and Chewbacca dying changed that at least a little. While it didn’t really make me fear at all for the “Big Three” it did make me feel like people close to them could die, and as we’ve seen, many have during NJO and since.

    I’m probably in the minority with that opinion though, cause I loved New Jedi Order.

  2. No comment on Chewies death, I can see both the good and the bad of it – but my deepfelt respect for R.A. Salvatore – for daring what he did AND for standing up and admitting he might have done a mistake.

  3. I didn’t actually mind that Chewie died. I thought it made a lot of sense – They never really used him that much anyway. (Well, Zahn did, but exception makes the rule.) So I figured, why not – kill him and use the angst.

    The concept I don’t have a problem with. I just don’t think they executed it all that well.

    (The NJO as a whole… Well. I like some variety in my SW, and the NJO had very little of that. But my issues with NJO/LOTF/FOTJ are a whole post of their own.)

    Of course, Chewbacca’s death did lead them to a slippery slope where they killed off characters who DID still have uses…

  4. Chewie’s death was hard, but I could understand that once in a while (like every 20 years or so)you need a major character to die. But I agree with Dunc about the slippery slope. They KEPT killing major characters who were far more interesting than others who were allowed to survive. SW just stopped being fun after Anakin died….actually very little of NJO was fun.

  5. I remember liking Vector Prime and appreciating Chewie’s death precisely because they indicated that we were entering some new and dramatically interesting territory. (Never did finish the NJO series, though . . . it was just too much, in several regards.)

  6. Oh, James….

    I too didn’t mind Chewie dying. It was the execution of it I didn’t agree with. (Sorry. Had to go with the pun.) I would have preferred to see it on a more personal level, rather than waiting for the moon to fall on him.

  7. I never quite got why so many people got so very mad. Then again I never loved Chewie. As a sidekick he was pretty handy, but all in all to me he was just very loud, very aggressive and only had a small number of good scenes. Maybe I’m just not enough of a dog person…
    The one NJO death that hit me real hard was Anakin’s. Boy was I mad at Troy Denning. Is it true btw that they only killed Anakin to avoid having two Anakins at the same time? Because if it is, that really, really sucks!

  8. Whatever I may want to say about the turn in Salvatore’s writing over the past ten years, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s always seemed like a stand-up guy. Admitting that you might have made the wrong call is always rough, but I absolutely admire that he does it. Not sure that I actually agree that it was the wrong call–the wrong execution, certainly–but it’s still nice to know that, as a writer, he still weighs these decisions years later.

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