Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Trilogy/Duology novel format Strikes Back...

News out of Celebration V courtesy of

Shelly Shapiro

"- Once Fate of the Jedi concludes, look for Star Wars novels to go the way of duologies and trilogies as opposed to long multi-author series."

The current publishing contract between Lucas Books is with Del Ray, formerly the publishing partner was Bantam/Spectra. During the Bantam era the novels generally were released in Trilogies, sprinkled in with Stand-alone novels and the one major exception the X-Wing novel series.

Under the Del Ray contract we have seen three much longer book series.
From 1999-2003 we got the epic 19 book New Jedi Order Series that also included 2 e-book novellas, and 3 short stories. From 2006-2008 we got the 9 book Legacy of the Force Series, and we are currently in the 9 book Fate of the Jedi Series which started in 2009 and ends in November 2011. We also had the Republic Commando series which spanned 5 books and 2 short stories, with the 6th novel (Imperial Commando 2) being canceled.

In between these extra large series, Del Ray has also released a number of duology, trilogy and stand alone novels all over the EU time line.

Which format is better?

That is an interesting question. The longer series allow for greater in depth story telling and character development, they also give a chance to let minor characters get more screen time. However, they also take up a lot of space on the publishing calendar, and they by their very nature require using multiple authors, who have different styles, favorite characters, and different interpretations of the same characters. This can be problematic as in Legacy of the Force were the portrayal of certain characters like Jacen Solo during his fall to the dark side seemed to be all over the place switching back and forth between Denning, Traviss and Allston.

Going back to shorter series allow one author (or if co-writing two authors) the chance to tell the story they want to tell it, and leads to a more natural flow between all the books of the series. It also should allow for more shorter stories to be told. As a reader, if you dislike a particular series it should also make it easier for you to find new EU content that you like instead of having to wait until the mega-series is over.

My hope is that this transition means we get 2-3 novel series not including stand alone novels released every year and not a cut back in the overall number of novels released.

With Fate of the Jedi we are getting @ 3 books of the 9 per year, with Legacy of the Force we got 3 books in 2006, 4 books in 2007 and 2 books in 2008, and with New Jedi Order we got 1 book in 1999, 5 books in 2000, 3 books in 2001, 5 books in 2002 and books in 2003.

If we only get one multi-book series at a time and get a novel once a year from the author that would be extremely disappointing. Lets hope the good folks at Lucas Books and Del Ray keep up the good work with multiple series going on at the same time.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Star Wars Films Coming to Blu-Ray in 2011

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Lucas reveals that the six movie Star Wars saga box set is coming out on Blu-Ray in 2011. Will feature deleted scenes.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Currently Reading…

I've been really busy lately, but I have finished reading Clone Wars: Gambit Siege by Karen Miller and The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance by Sean Williams. I hope to have reviews of both books on the blog soon, though I think I will re-read them before I post my thoughts.

Decided to take a diversion from my Star Wars EU reading, and just re-read the Harry Potter Series for the second time. I was a little old to get into the books when they came out but have enjoyed the movies and last year decided to read the books. I was pleasantly surprised particularly with the later books in the series which handled more mature content, betrayal, love, death, etc.

Back to the EU I'm currently reading Timothy Zahn's: Hand of Thrawn Duology, Specter of the Past. Originally published in 1997.

Not counting his short stories, Zahn's Star Wars novels include:

Thrawn Trilogy: 1) Heir to the Empire 2) Dark Force Rising 3) The Last Command

Hand of Thrawn Duology: 1) Specter of the Past 2) Vision of the Future

The others: 1) Survivor's Quest 2) Outbound Flight 3) Allegiance

Yet to Be Published: Hand of Judgment (fmr. Titled Choices)

Outside of Lucas, Zahn is the biggest reason there is an EU. His epic Thrawn Trilogy kicked everything off, he created characters, events and even named the Galactic capital planet Coruscant.

Zahn tells a good story, but his lasting impact on the EU is going to be the characters that he created. Mara Jade, Gilad Pellaeon, Borsk Fey'lya, Talon Karrde, Jorj Car'das, Moff Disra, Jacen Solo, Jaina Solo, Admiral Thrawn, Jorus C'Baoth, the Chiss Ascendancy, the Noghri, the Ysalamiri, the Outbound Flight, etc, etc, etc…

Timothy Zahn…The Force is strong in that one..