Goody’s Guide To The Galaxy! – Star Wars Authors!
Over the past couple of years since the acquisition of LucasFilm by Disney, we’ve seen a revamping of the Star Wars universe. You’ve read my rants about it, and if you’re a true fan you’ve probably had or even still have issues with how Disney threw the expanded universe in the trash. I’ll try not to continue that rant in this post. I tend to foam at the mouth and get this crazy look in my eyes when I do which causes my fellow contributors to mysteriously disappear for long lunches or breaks throughout the day. I think a “panic room” has been installed without my knowledge.
During Disney’s reorganizing of the new Star Wars Canon they began to bring in new talent, if that’s what they’re calling it because I don’t, to shape this new universe. In the process of this reorganization new authors were brought in and existing great writers weren’t. Now, it should be noted that after that 4 Billion dollar purchase, yes you read that right, a lot of book projects were cancelled and authors were screwed out of work and money. It was truly saddening and caused a lot of resentment towards Disney. This in turn caused some major rifts between the new management and the old authors who vowed and or were told to never come back. There have been several articles online about a few authors who tried to be cordial about the matter, but it you’re adept at reading between the lines you could see the hurtfulness and hatred. Which is truly disappointing since these existing authors had taken the time to learn and in many cases invent parts of the Star Wars culture within the expanded universe. Lucas had done a superb job in setting the foundation to what we see today or rather what we use to know as canon and is being used again as a foundation for a new expanded universe.
What I’ve done is make a list of authors who made a big impact on the old “Legends” canon. Some of these were luckily invited back and some not so much. I know there are a lot of authors I left out, but these are the ones that stuck out to me and they are in no specific order either. I’ll also include a brief summary of what my personal feelings are on each author.
First up is John Jackson Miller. Mr. Miller was invited back to continue writing for Star Wars. Within the Legends Canon John wrote; Lost Tribe of the Sith, and Kenobi.
The Lost Tribe of the Sith was a great miniseries and in my opinion Kenobi should have been considered Canon. Currently, he’s written some short stories that could be found in the Star Wars insider magazine, but his major contribution so far has been A New Dawn which I loved! You can find my audit here.
Following JJM we have Kevin J. Anderson. You can’t talk about Star Wars authors without mentioning Kevin, it’s IMPOSSIBLE! His brilliant writing has not only contributed to the Star Wars series but to another great series named DUNE. If you’ve never read DUNE I highly recommend it. So, here’s a LONG list of the many contributions that Mr. Anderson has made to the old “Legends” canon; Contributing author to Tales of the Jedi (8 Books), The Jedi Academy trilogy (3 Books), Contributing author to The Callista Trilogy (1 Book), Contributing author to the Young Jedi Knights series (17 Books), Tales from Mos Eisley Cantina, Tales of the Bounty Hunters, and Tales from Jabba’s Palace. An impressive 32 books! The Young Jedi Knights series alone was a big success and the Tales of the Bounty Hunters is one of my favorites.
As of now, Kevin hasn’t been invited back, which is a shame. His contribution would be immense and his writing is spectacular. With a contribution list above, why not?! We need Kevin back to help reshape the new universe.
Next up we have James Luceno. James has made a significant impact on the “Legends” expanded universe with some heavy hitting titles like the book Darth Plagueis, Darth Sidious’s (Emperor Palpatine) former Sith Master and The Millennium Falcon book which goes over the exciting history and present time adventures of Han Solo’s beloved ship. You can read a summary about the ship here. Mr. Luceno also contributed the following; Cloak of Deception – a story about Darth Maul, Darth Maul – Saboteur, Contributing author to The New Jedi Order series (3 Books) which he was also the main story line continuity coordinator, he wrote a couple of Star Wars Dictionaries, Labyrinth of Evil, and Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader. An impressive list to say the least.
Luckily, James was also asked to return! With his notable contributions to the Legends timeline he was requested to write Tarkin and Catalyst (A prequel to the upcoming Star Wars movie Rogue One). Lets hope his involvement continues.
Another great Star Wars author, actually a great author in general, is Timothy Zahn. If you haven’t heard or read any of his work then you’re missing out. Many critics have said that it was Zahn who revived the Star Wars book franchise back in the early 1990’s with his Thrawn Trilogy. Yes, that’s right, the man behind the brilliant Chiss strategist was Mr. Zahn. Timothy wrote a total of 7 novels that included Grand Admiral Thrawn, they include; The Thrawn Trilogy, Hand of Thrawn duology, Outbound Flight, and Choices of One. If you’re a new reader to Star Wars and would like to read 7 great books then I highly recommend these. Thrawn is one of my favorites characters from the old expanded universe, and with the latest news from Disney that they are bringing this beloved and powerful enemy back is thrills me to no end, and the beautiful part about this announcement is that they got Timothy Zahn to write a new book about him. I’m really excited about this one. Another smart choice in bringing this specific author back into the fold.
This next gentleman is one of my personal favorites in not only the Star Wars universe but outside as well. He is the creator of the Dark Elf Drizzt Do’Urden and has currently written 31 books about the adventures of the Elf and is still going. This is a spectacular series of books, not your typical hack and slash type of action scenes, but more of a choreographed dance fight scenes. The characters that he writes are given so much depth, he truly is an amazing artist. Within the Star Wars franchise he’s done the following; Star Wars : Attack of the Clones, and Vector Prime (Book 1 of The New Jedi Order). This last book was the beginning of a great series, but Salvatore was criticized by many fans when he was forced to kill off a major character within the Star Wars universe. When I say forced, I mean just that. It was in fact not his decision to kill this character, and I’ll be honest, at the time of this characters death I too was pissed.
Currently there has been no mention if Salvatore will make any return back to the Star Wars universe. I can see why he might not now, his Dark Elf books keep him very busy. I do believe his writing would make a great asset to our beloved universe.
Our next gem is Jude Watson. Jude has done a ton of work within the old Legends canon and in my opinion is severely underrated. She has contributed a great amount of story line and detail in a total of 43 books which include; Legacy of the Jedi, Contributing Author to the Jedi Apprentice series (19 Books), Secrets of the Jedi, Episode 1 Journal: Queen Amidala, The Jedi Quest Series (11 Books), and The last of the Jedi series (10 books). What a highly impressive list! Not only did she produce quantity, but she also produced quality! Once again, another great author who knows how to write within our beloved universe and still no word if she has been invited back. I feel like the High Sparrow right now from game of Thrones… SHAME…. SHAME!!!
I mention this next gentleman because he made great contributions to two really great Star Wars series; X-Wing (5 Books), and The New Jedi Order (2 Books). Michael Stackpole is an accomplished writer in and out of the Star Wars universe. His writings alone in the X-Wing series should merit a grand invitation, but once again another great writer has yet to make an appearance.
This next writer I mention purely out of respect. Mr. Aaron Allston wrote so many beautiful books for Star Wars, but he sadly passed away in 2014. It was truly a sad day when he passed, the Star Wars universe lost one of their greatest contributors. Simon and myself had the delight to meet him once at a Star Wars Celebration Convention. He treated the fans with great respect and we all loved him for it.
Aaron wrote the following masterpieces; Contributing author to the X-Wing series (5 Books), Contributing author to The New Jedi Order series (2 Books), Contributing author to the Legacy of the Force series (3 Books), and Contributing author to the Fate of the Jedi series (3 Books). His works I’m sure would have earned him a warm invitation.
Next up is Troy Denning. I have also had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Denning, who was also a delight. A man who loves his craft and takes pride in putting out a great product. He’s written a couple of my favorite books within the Star Wars universe. His works include; A Forest Apart, Tatooine Ghost, Contributing author to The New Jedi Order (2 Books), The Dark Nest Trilogy, Contributing author to the Legacy of the Force series (3 Books), Contributing author to the Fate of the Jedi series (3 Books), and Crucible.
Dennings work and writing style would make an awesome addition to the new Star Wars books. He is one of two authors that I feel and believe that should have been asked to write the Aftermath series.
Following Troy Denning is hard, but Christie Golden most certainly holds her own here. Not only did she make a nice contribution in the Legends canon with 3 books in the Fate of the Jedi series, but she knocked it out of the park with her new canon book Dark Disciple. DD is a fan favorite and I was personally enthusiastic when she was invited back. Her writing style is phenomenal which really draws you into the story. I can’t wait to see what else she publishes with the Star Wars realm.
I saved one of my favorites for last, and I also think it’s one of Simon’s favorites as well. We had the honor and privilege to meet this lovely woman at Star Wars Celebration in Los Angeles. She is the second author who I thought would have been awesome at writing the Aftermath series.
A good way to start her dossier would be to simply state that she was the one who developed the Mandalorian language (Mando’a) into a working language for the Star Wars universe. So all you Mandalorian Mercs out there who cosplay owe her a big thank you.
On top of developing a specific language her other works include; Contributing author to The Clone Wars trilogy (2 Books), The Republic Commando series (7 Books), Boba Fett: A Practical man, and Contributing author to the Legacy of the Force series (3 Books).
I know Karen won’t be returning to write any more Star Wars books. She, like a couple of other authors, were unfortunately dumped on when the restructuring occurred a few years ago. The short end of it is this, her book deal had been cancelled and the works that she was working on were trashed and in turn she lost payment. It was a travesty to say the least because they lost of their best authors. Karen made a huge footprint in the Star Wars realm and her works are actually still being used today.
These were just a taste of who has written for the Star Wars universe. I picked these folks because they stood out the most to me personally. I know some of you might have a favorite or two that I didn’t mention. Feel free to leave a comment below and tell me who you’d recommend and why. I’d love to hear from you.
I can say this, I feel they’ve chosen a couple of great authors to continue writing. But as you all know, there is one who I just can’t stand and the mere mention of his name around the Constant Collectible office sends me into a fit of rage. I won’t mention his name here because he’s undeserving to be included in a post with so many great people. Ok, maybe I’m being a little harsh, maybe.
I’d love to hear what you all think. Drop me a line, leave a comment, don’t be shy. May the Force be with us all!