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Troy Denning Facebook Q&A Recap

Posted By Eric on April 4, 2012

Star Wars author Troy Denning, whose most recent book Apocalypse concluded the Fate of the Jedi series, answered questions from fans today on Del Rey's Star Wars Books Facebook page. Below is a transcript of readers' questions and his responses. For clarity purposes, questions have been edited for spelling.

Q: How old is the Father?
A: I have no idea how old the Father is. That's probably a question better put to Dave Filoni. At least 100k years in mind, though.

Q: What would be your "dream" Star Wars project?
A: I've been blessed with so many dream SW projects already that I feel guilty talking about another one . . . but I WOULD like to write the story of Yoda coming of age.

Q: Do you have an idea of where you'd like to take the Star Wars EU now, or are you still thinking about it?
A: One of our goals for Apocalypse was to open up a whole new boatload of story telling possibilities for the EU. I feel like we accomplished that, and there are about a hundred different SW stories I'd love to tell that are hinted at the end of Apocalypse.

Q: Is Mortis the home world of the Force?
A: I think the question of whether Mortis is the homeworld of the Force really belongs to Dave Filoni to answer. In my view, it was a mythic interpretation of the Force functions -- but, as with all symbols, I think you have to be careful about reading it too literally.

Q: Please tell us there are plans to redeem Raynar Thul from the Killiks again!
A: I DID have Luke say at the end of Apocalypse that someone had to go get Raynar away from the Killiks again. I doubt that it will be shown on camera, but I'm pretty sure that the next time we see Raynar, if will be back with the Jedi in known space.

Q: When are we going to find out more about Jagged Fel and how he becomes Emperor?
A: I truly don't know the answer to your question about finding out more about Jag becoming emperor. I'm only a writer, and those decisions are made by the editors and others at Del Rey and Lucasfilm (although I do sometimes have some input ). Personally, I'm hoping it takes a while, because I'd like to see Jag and Jaina have a chance to have a "normal" life with the Jedi first.

Q: What was your favorite part about writing Apocolypse?
A: I really enjoyed writing a lot of parts of Apocalypse. Among my favorites were the Tahiri/Boba scenes (actually, the rewrites of those -- the first couple of drafts were rough). Everything to do with my pet character, Saba, of course. And I had a huge amount of fun writing Jaina in battle. I also enjoyed the interaction between Ben and Vestara toward the end, when she realizes she will never be a true Jedi and he realizes the same thing.

Q: Now that Coruscant has expelled the Jedi, will the adventures of the Order happen on new, or rather, unexplored worlds?
A: I don't know that future Jedi adventures will all take place on unexplored worlds, but it's my hope that there will be a greater opportunity to broaden the scope of their stories in both location and style.

Q: I really enjoyed how you pushed the story towards the Legacy comics in some ways but kept it distant in many others. Was that decision yours, LFL's, or the overall FOTJ team?s?
A: The decision to push the story toward Legacy in some ways and move it away in others was a collective decision; I certainly approve of it whole-heartedly, and would have made the same decision were it mine to make alone.

I notice that we're getting a lot of questions about how Mortis came to be involved in the story. To save space and time, I'm going to refer everyone to Eric Geller's Suvudu interview.

Q: Do you have any interest in writing for Star Wars: The Old Republic, either tie-in novels or in-game storylines?
A: I'm interested in writing for ALL eras of Star Wars. Unfortunately, there's only so much time, and I seem to find a pretty decent reception in the era I work in now. So, we'll see . . . it could happen!

Q: When it comes to Star Wars and sci-fi terminology and technology, do you find it difficult to differentiate it from other sci-fi material?
A: At this point, SW is such a part of my story-telling DNA that I think it will be difficult to write something else and NOT use terms like blasters and vibroknives. (I can probably remember not to use lightsabers, though!)

Q: With part of Luke's Force ability missing, does this mean he is going to start taking a backseat to other major players?
A: I do think that Luke has suffered a substantial physical and spiritual wound that should be reflected in future stories, but I don't know that it will keep him from playing a major part in future stories. (Again, I'm just the writer -- that really isn't my call). I think it should fall more into the category of a weakness that must be part of his arc in future stories. I like how you think of the wound, too -- part of his Force-presence missing. That's really what Abeloth did to him, isn't it?

Q: Were there ever any conflicts between what you were writing in your three books and what either Christie or Aaron were writing in their books (i.e. some seemingly minor point that would contradict something from another book)? If so, how would you resolve those conflicts?
A: There were certainly minor conflicts in what I was writing and what Christie and Aaron were writing. Those are unavoidable, and I dare say they happen even within a writer's own work. But there was never a problem handling any of them, or even anything that was large enough to cause us headaches. A lot of that has to do with the planning process we used, where we laid out the major plot points in advance, and a lot of it has to do with how great Aaron and Christie are to work with. It truly was more fun than writing alone!

Q: Would you be interested in writing the final adventure for the "Big 3"?
A: Yeah, sure, I'd love to write the Big 3's final adventure. What writer in his right mind wouldn't?

Q: What exactly is the Throne of Balance? Is it actually physical or simply spiritual?
A: The Throne of Balance is a symbol, not a physical throne. You have to think of it on several levels at once.

Q: How did you get the WEG Scoundrel's Luck job way back in 1990. Were you already an established author by then or were you very active in the RPG business?
A: I was heavily involved in the RPF industry, freelancing as a game designer and still an aspiring novelist. A college buddy of mine -- Curtis Smith -- happened to be on the editorial staff at West End and knew of both my RPG work and interest in fiction. So he asked me if I'd like to try my hand at the game books. I did, and I guess they liked what I did enough to give me the job.

Q: I was wondering if you think we'll ever find out what the Lorellian Court is and what happened during the events that would have been in Blood Oath?
A: I don't know if and to what extent the events of Blood Oath will ever be revealed. You'd have to ask someone in editorial that, and I suspect that even they don't know right now. But I hope that they ARE, because it was a cool story, and provides a lot of good material for Hapan society.

Q: Can you give me any writing tips?
A: Write everyday for a reasonable amount of time that YOU can afford EVERY DAY. Write with abandon. Write the story you're dying to read. Revise. Rewrite. Revise some more. Revision is where the beauty comes out.

Q: You said above that the post-ROTJ story will go on, but you didn't say if it will be told in books or comics. Can we count on some new book series, or is there also the possibility of comics in this era?
A: I think it's safe to assume that there will be more Star Wars stories in all of those forms. But, honestly, I'm the wrong person to ask for specifics. I only know when they want ME to write something, and don't have a lot of knowledge of what other irons they have in the fire.

A (from Del Rey?s Erich Schoeneweiss): The SW adventure will continue after FotJ in the novels and in short stories. We're actively working on a number of stories. We're simply not ready to discuss them yet. News will be coming soon. Star Wars Insider #134 on sale this summer will contain a short story that picks up right after Apocalypse and features Jaina and Jag.

Q: Is there a chance that Abeloth could use the wounds inflicted on Luke to gain insight into the Jedi or even possess him?
A: I suppose there's a CHANCE that Abeloth could use Luke's wound to come back. But I honestly don't expect that to happen. Abeloth, in my mind at least, is gone for a couple of dozen millennia. Of course, I'm not the guy who determines future story arcs, so that's just my opinion.

Q: Are you a Jedi or a Sith?
A: To misquote my favorite bird character: "I'm Troy." Seriously, when I write Jedi, I'm Jedi. When I write Sith, I'm Sith.

Q: If Lucas Licensing allowed you to write any EU story you wanted, what story would you write?
A: If LfL and SW allowed me to write any SW story I wanted, I'd write them all. I'd still be writing when I'm 150.

Q: Would you rather work on a smaller series of books alone (like Dark Nest) or a larger series with other authors (FOTJ and LOTF)?
A: I've worked on two big multi-author series in a row. So, for now, I'm ready to tackle something smaller in the immediate future. And I think that's what the EU needs, too. We need to play with a lot of different kinds of stories for a while.

Q: If you could write a duel between any two SW characters, which characters would you choose and why?
A: Boy, that's a tough question. I think I'd like to write a duel between Luke and Krayt. And Saba and almost anyone tough. Jaina and Boba, to the death. The list goes on and on.

Q: Why didn't Abeloth trigger her Force psychosis again when she realized the Jedi were trying to destroy her?
A: After the Shelter Jedi were cured the first time, they were a little more aware of what the psychosis was, and a little more resistant.

Q: How difficult was it to write the final Bazel Warv battle?
A: The Barv battle was a tough one to write, and not just because of what happened in it. It was a pretty wild free-for-all with a lot happening, and those are always tough to choreograph and keep exciting, because you have to give the reader a decent idea of what's happening through the POV of a character who probably doesn't have a clear picture of it himself.

Q: Where is a good place to start reading some of your non-Star Wars work?
A: For my non-SW work, I'd start with Pages of Pain, Crucible: the Trial of Cyric the Mad, Dragonwall, and the Dark Sun series, the Prism Pentad. All WotC -- you might have to look for it on ebook, though.

Q: Have you ever thought about tackling Obi-Wan in the Dark Times?
A: No, I hadn't thought about Obi-Wan in the dark times. But now that you mention it . .

Q: I would like to see some of the main characters die off. Do you feel the same?
A: I don't know how I'd feel about killing off any of the Big 3. I guess it has to happen sooner or later, but I love those guys.

Q: What were some of the earlier story lines that may have been changed or dropped in FOTJ? I always enjoy hearing about those types of things.
A: That's a big question for a small amount of time. Certainly, we adjusted story lines, but I'm having a hard time remembering whether we dropped any. We added the slavery line, which was Christie's idea to give the Jedi a moral center, and which I really liked.

Q: Do any of the writers find C-3PO annoying?
A: I can't speak for Aaron or Christie, but I LOVE how annoying C3PO is.

Q: Whose idea was the Throne of Balance?
A: I think the throne of balance was my idea. It kind of developed over time, from DN through Tempest.

Q: Were there major things that George wanted in the series, or did he have no objections?
A: I don't know whether or what George (Lucas, I presume) might have wanted or not wanted in the series. He's a little above the writers' pay-grade, so any feedback he gives us comes through a lot of filters.

Q: Which SW book did you have the most fun writing?
A: the answer to that is always the same: "The last one I finished!" Thanks everyone -- it was a blast!

Related Stories

January 23, 2013   Timothy Zahn Scoundrels Facebook Q&A Recap
January 22, 2013   Tim Zahn To Do Scoundrels FB Q&A
July 22, 2012   Lebbon's Excited For His DOTJ Novel & Denning Chats At SDCC
March 21, 2012   Interviews With Troy Denning & Leland Chee
March 15, 2012   Video From Troy Denning's Book Tour
March 13, 2012   Fate Of The Jedi: Apocalypse Now Available

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