Authors Troy Denning, Christie Golden and Aaron Allston joined moderator Pablo Hidalgo and Shelly Shapiro from Del Rey for a panel discussion on the continuing 9 book series. EU fans seemed to be in good spirits and the overall theme rested on the fact that the series is about to ramp up. BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS BELOW IF YOU ARE NOT FULLY CAUGHT UP ON THE FATE OF THE JEDI SERIES!
Notes from the intro and discussion with Pablo:
- The title for the final novel in the Fate of the Jedi series, by Troy Denning, is Apocalypse.
- Apparently the overall plan for the series has not been altered since the original story meetings. Changes have been enhancements rather than deviations.
- When asked what they had learned from working on previous long multi-book/author series: Troy Denning replied that they've all learned to coordinate better with each other, which includes sharing plot outlines. Christie Golden chimed in that it all feels like a supportive team effort. Lucasfilm is more hands on than other franchises on which she's works which allows for a very supportive atmosphere. Shelly Shapiro then reiterated the whole "team effort" feeling.
(My camera gave me issues throughout CV, thus preventing me from getting a nice shot of the authors during the FOTJ panel. So here's a rough picture of me with the authors at the Del Rey booth...even though they were unaware that they were in the picture.)
Random notes from the fan Q&A:
Troy Denning - Only beats up the characters for which he has the highest respect - Mandos have had a good role in the FOTJ series. They have an impact but aren't the main focus. - On the death of Anakin Solo - He signed the contract prior to NJO: Vector Prime being released and was shocked at the death of Chewbacca. He had no idea he'd be killing off Anakin and was shocked yet again when he was told.
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.
Christie Golden - Contends that the voices between the various sci-fi franchise in which she's worked are very different (Star Wars, Star Trek, Star Craft). - To her, Star Wars falls more in the realm of fantasy, but at the end of the day, it's all about characters. - Watching ANH and TESB helps Christie find the right Star Wars tone with the characters - The idea for utilizing Callista in Allies came very early on. Callista was still there but was way to corrupted...which ultimately lead to Luke's actions.
Troy Denning - Whether or not Jacen Solo is redeemed at the end of the Legacy of the Force series is up to reader interpretation.
Aaron Allston - When asked what Wedge Antilles is up to, Aaron stated that he's retired and writing his memoirs. He could be back sooner or later but not necessarily in this series.
Shelly Shapiro - The drama is about to pick up in the series - Apologized a bit for the all-hardcover series due to the rough economy
Aaron Allston - On discussing creative control: The authors and Lucas Books meet to discuss the full arc. From there the main points are outlined. The rest is creative license to get to those main points with editorial approval.
Shelly Shapiro - Every element of the story is discussed
Christie Golden - On discussing creative control: FOTJ felt like a full-on team effort and was not confining.
Troy Denning - On discussing creative control: The process is not limiting but liberating and fun.
Shelly Shapiro and Troy Denning - Jacen Solo was planned to be killed first in Star by Star. The decision switched to Anakin as not to have two Anakin's as main characters in the GFFA at the same time. ("simplifying the galaxy")
Troy Denning - Zekk is in better relationship hands in the Fate of the Jedi time period than he was with Jaina.
Aaron Allston - He doesn't worry too much about author contradictions due to folks like Shelly Shapiro, Sue Rostoni and Leeland Chee looking over things.
Christie Golden - Good communication with lots of e-mailing helps to limit the author contradictions - The inspiration for Vestara: What would be the worst thing in the world for a Jedi son and his relationship with his legendary Jedi father. - Vestara creates nice conflict between Luke and Ben, who are otherwise a great father/son duo
Troy Denning - Was going to use Obi-Wan Beyond the Shadows in Abyss but thought that Jacen and Mara Jade provided more drama - On Ben Skywalker: He's fun. Denning like's the relationship between Luke and Ben (both have been Dark Side tempted) as well as they way Vestara is driving a wedge between them.
Christie Golden - Ben is wonderful and she can hear his voice and sarcasm in her head
Aaron Allson - When the question came up as to whether Jacen and Tahiri had a physical relationship in the LOTF series, Allston's response was, "Didn't happen in my book."
Troy Denning - Jacen used Tahiri in any way he could while training her to stand on her own two feet as a Sith - This is another instance where he wants to leave the Jacen/Tahiri physical relationship question to reader interpretation, but assures that Jacen had geniune affection for her.
- All three authors seem to enjoy listening to the audio versions for their novels. Troy Denning likes them because they're unabridged.