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Troy Denning's Dark Nest trilogy (spoilers allowed)

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Hot Topics/Frequently Asked Questions

Here at TFN Books, we get a lot of questions from our readers. To answer them in the most efficient manner possible, we've begun a "TFN Mailbag" feature, for which we will be posting your questions on our main news page once a week. Each set of questions will then be archived here, in what will eventually become an extensive (and hopefully well-organized) EAQ (Every Asked Question). Don't see your question here? Send it in!

Did Luke really turn the Dark Side/was the Emperor really resurrected? Where did this happen? I can't find a book about it.

If you've read some of the Star Wars novels (particularly the Jedi Academy novels), you'll see reference to the Emperor being resurrected. This happened in the Dark Empire series of comics by Dark Horse. In it, when the Emperor died, he used the Force to transfer his mind to the body of a clone of himself hidden somewhere. The Emperor then continues his reign of terror. Luke figures the best way to stop the Dark Side is to learn more about it, so he decides to become the clone Emperor's apprentice. It's then up to Leia to use her Jedi powers to save Luke. It was followed up by Dark Empire II and Dark Empire - Empire's End. The first two are pretty easy to track down in stores or online (Dark Empire I was recently reprinted, in fact), but the collected edition of Empire's End is out of print and can be tough to find. If you can't locate it in a comic store or on eBay, your best shot is to hope for a reprint (which, given DE's 3rd Edition, should happen eventually).

Where can I find a complete timeline of Star Wars history?

You have a few options here. Want something official? try the Dark Horse comics timeline or the Del Rey novels timeline. If you want every single piece of literature in existence, try TFN's ultimate timeline. If you want everything, including literature, movies, video games, apocrypha, and so on, with summaries to boot, then your best bet is our own TimeTales chronology.

I heard someone refer to a character/place/event called ____________. Who/what/when is that?

The #1 source for this type of information is the Completely Unofficial Star Wars Encyclopedia, hosted right here at TFN. If it exists within the Galaxy Far, Far Away, there'll be an entry about it there. Other good places to dig up some of the more obscure info out there are the Star Wars Technical Commentaries, and, if you ask nicely, our very own Literature Forums.

I heard that Chewbacca dies in one of the Expanded Universe books. Which one?

That'd be Vector Prime, the first novel in the New Jedi Order series (of 19 books total).

New Jedi Order? Never heard of it.

The answers (for pretty much everything related to the NJO) lie here.

Do you know anything about the X-Wing Series being available in a Hardback edition?

The series was printed straight to paperback format, as that was the publisher's intent all along. The Sci-Fi Book Club is well known for compiling multiple paperbacks into a hardcover, but to the best of my knowledge, this has not been done with the X-Wing series.

And on a related note...

I just recently started collecting the Young Jedi Knights series in the omnibuses Jedi Shadow and Jedi Sunrise. Do you know if in the future Penguin Books/Lucas plans on releasing the last eight books?

The Berkley Publishing Group (who's doing the collections) doesn't seem to have much of an internet presence, so it's difficult to find information on their future plans, but I don't see any reason for them to stop now. The first omnibus came out in September and the second in December, so if they keep to that schedule the next should arrive any time now. Come to think of it, if any of you readers happen to spot a third volume anywhere, please let us know so we can tell people.

Update! Rainbow Droideka wrote in to let us know that Sue Rostoni herself was asked about the YJK omnibus series on the TOS boards, and according to her the publisher, Berkley Books, hasn't come forward about doing more reprints. So apparently Lucas Licensing want to do more, but for whatever reason (I'd guess they're waiting to see how the first two sell), Berkley hasn't been moving forward. I'd suggest e-mailing them to press for more, but I can't find any kind of public e-mail address.

Based on information not opinion, who is the most powerful Jedi? I was recently reading the NJO novel Rebel Dream, and in the book it says that Kyp Durron knows he is more powerful than Luke Skywalker. Is this just Kyp being arrogant or is he really more powerful than Luke? If he is more powerful than Luke, does that make him the most powerful Jedi?

Aaron Allston himself confirmed that since that scene is from Kyp's point of view, it's only his opinion that he's more powerful than Luke. I'm not aware of any charts or anything, but in terms of actual ability, it's pretty safe to say that Luke is the most powerful Jedi seen thus far in the post-RotJ period. Jedi power levels aren't something that's really been covered in the EU, unless you count roleplaying stats.

Where should I start reading the Star Wars novels?

That's a hell of a question; and one of the most common. Here's some of the popular strategies:

Want to read everything in chronological order? It's kinda tough since new stuff is still coming out all over the timeline, but it can be done to a reasonably successful degree. There's also the matter of what type of material you're interested in reading. The earliest Star Wars story ever written is Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith, a comic book that takes place thousands of years before the movies and depicts all-out wars between the Jedi and the Sith (who didn't always follow that rule of two, incidentally). If you're more of a novel fan, the earliest story would be Jedi Apprentice: The Rising Force, the first in a series of "young adult" novels depicting Obi-Wan Kenobi's training a few years before Episode 1. In you'd rather just stick to "adult" novels (not that the young adult series are infantile, but you get the idea), the earliest stories are Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, and Cloak of Deception, both of which take place around the month leading up to Episode 1.

Looking to ease into the EU? Sometimes people want to get into the books slowly, i.e. reading stories that are separate from the movies but deal mostly with stuff that happened in the films. If that sounds good to you, I'd suggest starting with Shadows of the Empire, a novel that takes place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and depicts, among other things, Luke, Leia, and Lando chasing Boba Fett around the galaxy trying to reclaim Han Solo. You also get to find out what that "many Bothans died to bring us this information" line in RotJ meant. Beyond that, there's a book called The Truce at Bakura which takes place immediately after Return of the Jedi, and leads into what's known as the New Republic Era, when the Rebellion becomes a new government. Lastly, there are a few prequel-era books out so far that tie closely into the films, the aforementioned Shadow Hunter and Cloak of Deception included.

Finally, there's the option of starting with what's widely considered to be the "best" EU story. That would be the Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn. This story, which consists of Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command, takes place five years after RotJ. It features the birth of (now married) Han and Leia's first two children, and what was probably the darkest point for the New Republic in the fifteen years their war against the Empire stretched on beyond the movies. It also introduced a character named Mara Jade, who goes on to marry Luke Skywalker about ten years down the line.

By the way. "EU" is short for Expanded Universe, the name given to any and all Star Wars material not written by George Lucas. Get used to that term, you'll see it a lot.

In conclusion, in case I haven't made this compicated enough already, there are plenty of options. What it really comes down to is, what would interest you? I named the more popular starting points, but that doesn't mean any of them are the "best". If you haven't made up your mind yet, I'd suggest just typing in "Star Wars" at the Del Rey website and browsing some of the plot summaries until you see something that sounds interesting. One thing's for sure; there's no shortage of choices.

Where can I find the New Jedi Order short stories that appeared in the mags? I saw once that they were on the Official Site in the past but I can't find them now.

You're referring to the six-part Emissary of the Void series. The first three parts were in SW Gamer magazine, in issue numbers 8, 9, and 10. They can also be found for free on Starwars.com. The final six parts are only available in SW Insider, #62, 63, and 64. Most back issues for both magazines can still be ordered through the publisher.

In Force Heretic, there were references to the New Republic attacking the Ssi-Ruuk homeworld after the events of Truce at Bakura. The only places where this was discussed seemed to be the Essential Chronology and the Truce at Bakura RPG Sourcebook. So, to an Expanded Universe collector, which Role Playing Sourcebooks are essential and contain original EU material not found elsewhere?

Well, that's a hard question to answer. All the sourcebooks have new info of some sort. Think of them as incredibly, incredibly extensive Essential Guides. To non-roleplayers, they're mostly good as reference material for pre-existing stories, but there's bound to be lots of little bits of information that you can't find anywhere else, mostly stuff extrapolated from what is in other stories. There's also the Star Wars Adventure Journal and its modern equivalent, the aforementioned Star Wars Gamer. Both regularly featured the same type of stuff as the sourcebooks, plus a plethora of original short stories. Most of them aren't terribly important to the overall continuity, but if you really want to read everything, then both periodicals should definitely be on your list, though a lot of the old short stories have been reprinted in Bantam's "Tales From the Empire" and "Tales of the New Republic" paperbacks and in Star Wars.com's Hyperspace section. Getting back to the sourcebooks, I'd recommend buying according to what you're most interested in. If you're a big fan of the Thrawn Trilogy, there's a trio of WEG sourcebooks all about it. Want to learn more about the Jedi? Wizards of the Coast has a sourcebook specifically about them. And so on. Comic book/hobby stores are a great place to find the old WEG stuff, incidentally.

I would like to know if there are any plans in the works to make the prequels into radio drama adaptations like they did with the classic trilogy. Are there any rumors floating around to that effect? As well I really enjoy the Star Wars audiobooks; I am wondering if they will turn all the Jedi Quest books into audio. Thus far they have only four of this particular series in the audio format.

We've never heard anything about plans for prequel radio dramas, and I'm pretty sure I've seen LFL shoot the idea down at least once, so for the time being it's best to say no to the first question. As for the Jedi Quest audiobooks, I don't see any reason why they'd do the first four and then stop. It has been a while since #4 came out, though, so it does seem like that's the case. If they did stop making the audio versions altogether, it's probably a sales issue. By the way, there's an interesting entry for the fifth book, School of Fear, on Amazon.com. The price and release date are about right for it to be the audiobook, but the format is listed as "Unknown Binding", and it's considered a "special order title". If you want the next one that badly, you could ask customer service about it. Or, if you're adventurous, just order it and see what happens.

I was just wondering, if they ever did anything more with the Kyle Katarn character from the Dark Forces series, yeah know outside of the Video games and that graphic novel triogly based on the video game. Dose he or any of the other characters, (Jan Ors) appear anywere else in the EU.

For a long time, the answer was no. In the last year, however, he's finally begun popping up. Force Heretic: Remnant included an off-hand mention of him, and he's present (if not featured) for a lot of the action at the end of The Unifying Force, even getting in a line or two.

I know that carbonite freezes people, but what does it actually do to keep them alive? How do people survive without food or drink? Does it shut off their bodily functions? If it does, does it also suspend a person's age?

No one has really delved into the physiology of it, but here's what we do know about the process: normally, tibanna gas is mixed into molten carbonite, which is then frozen solid for storage and/or transportation. When the gas is to be used, the carbonite is...achem...unfrozen, releasing its contents. Not to get too technical or anything, but I like to think of it as a big, metal Rice Krispie.

The process for freezing a living being is basically the same, and ideally (though not always), the subject becomes as preserved as the gas - no aging or anything. How that happens exactly is really anyone's guess. Here on Earth, a lot of people like to think it's possible to cryogenically freeze a person, basically shutting their bodies down without actually killing them, but it probably won't be happening anytime soon. There is also one small bit of insight to be found in a cut scene from Return of the Jedi. As the heroes flee Tatooine, Han reflects on his stint as a paperweight: "That carbon freeze was the closest thing to dead there is. And it wasn't just sleepin'. It was a big wide awake nothing!"

This is entirely theoretical, but if the sequel trilogy is made, it seems most likely that it would have to be based on one of the post-RotJ EU stories. Which do you think would transfer the most smoothly to the big screen?

Man, do we get stuff like this a lot. IF Lucas makes a sequel trilogy, and that's an if of heretofore-unimaginable proportions, there is no chance it will be based on anything in the EU. If we were lucky, he'd make an effort to keep the EU intact by including Mara Jade, the Solo twins, and so on, but it would definitely be his own story. Another possibility, of course, is that the EU will someday be brought to life by other creators, and/or in other formats, such as miniseries, made-for-TV movies, etc. Even if another actual movie happened someday, if it's not by Lucas it's a pretty good bet that it won't be Episode 7. If something like this ever did happen, and it was decided to use an existing EU storyline, it's hard to say what would work best. For actual movies, the Thrawn Trilogy would be impressive to see, but it would have to be shortened considerably to fit into even three movies, as is often the case with novels; they cut loads of stuff out of the Lord of the Rings movies, and they still ended up being 3 and a half hours each. Things like the X-Wing series or the NJO could possibly work as extensive Band of Brothers-ish miniseries, as well. While there are lots of rumors swirling about TV series filling the void post-Episode III, though, I'd say we're much more likely to see new stories than adaptations of the novels.

I remember reading somewhere that a post-NJO novel is currently in the works. Do you know who's publishing this/when it will be released, and also if this is likely to lead to a new series of novels set in this era? I was also wondering if there were any plans to publish more novels in the original Bantam timeline between ROTJ and the NJO - like Tatooine Ghost and Survivor's Quest.

In 2005, a paperback trilogy taking place "a few years" after The Unifying Force is set to be released. It is written by Troy Denning, and little to nothing is known about it at this point; I believe it's been confirmed that the Chiss will factor into the story, or at least be discussed, and also that Jacen and Jaina "won't fade" into the background. That's about it so far. Beyond that, no new books have been announced. Sue Rostoni recently gave a rough rundown of where they're looking to go in the next few years, and it seems they'll be focusing on the time leading up to and during the Classic Trilogy. None of those plans are concrete yet, of course, so only time will tell.

I know I'm probably alone on this one - but is Dash Rendar ever gonna be featured in anything other than Shadows of the Empire and his brief appearances in the sequel and Rebel Dawn?

I assure you, you are not alone in your desire to see more from Dash. Unfortunately, no one at LucasBooks seems to feel that way. Some people believe he had an offhand cameo in the NJO, consisting of something along the lines of "a main with reddish-grey hair was standing in the distance", but unlike Bollux's similar appearance, no one official will say that it was definitely Dash. He did have a role in The Doomsday Ship, part of the Galaxy of Fear children's book series, though whether or not it's worth reading is debatable. And by the way - are you sure he was in Rebel Dawn? It's been a while, but I don't seem to remember him being in there anywhere.

On page 274 of The Last Command, there was a really interesting conversation between Pash Cracken and Wedge Antilles, concerning cloning and Stormtroopers. So my question is, did Zahn know Lucas' intentions about Stormtroopers being clones all along, or was it just a freak coincidence? And if he did know, then why didn't LucasBooks bother to mention that same origin to the other EU authors, so that many of the continuity issues that occured with the release of AOTC, would've been avoided?

It was a coincidence; or at the most, an educated guess. There actually are a couple sources dating way back to the release of ANH that talk about the stormies being clones, but no one seemed to pick up on it, and the idea was more or less forgotten until AotC. Zahn definitely didn't know anything the other writers didn't. And even if they'd known it all along; no one ever said every stormtrooper was a clone, so I fail to see any serious continuity issues. Wouldn't you eventually prefer fresh recruits to stale genetic material?

What is the name of the sport that Han watches the scores on, which I believe is the same sport he was trying to get Anakin involved in when Anakin was pudgy as a child?

I'm not exactly sure what you're referencing, but the sport you're thinking of is probably smashball; sort of a futuristic take on hockey or lacrosse. A bit of the game can be glimpsed in the comic miniseries Star Wars: Union.

Can you tell me if the Jedi apprentice books are available as a compilation or in a electronic format or if there are any plans to offer them as such?

I'm afraid not; at least, not yet. It's finally begun to happen with the Young Jedi Knights series, so it's not without precedent.

I know in one of the book series, Luke goes off on a quest to find his mother. Doesn't this person he believes to be his mother conflict with what we learn about Padme in the prequel movies?

Luke never kinds his mother, and Akanah turns out to be flat-out lying, so I'd say no. Continued:

And in these stories he meets a woman with powers that according to the book are not in any way connected to the force, but later in the source book for the West End roleplaying game it tries to relate it to the force. Can you clarify this?

Akanah doesn't believe her abilities to have anything to do with the Force, but she's wrong. Given the vast number of different cultures in the GFFA, it's not all that implausible that there are a number of groups out there who discovered the Force, or at least aspects of the Force, with little to no knowledge of the Jedi: Akanah's Fallanassi, the Jensaarai, the Dathomiri witches, and so on.

At the end of The Unifying Force, Lowbacca and Lumpy say they are going to take on Chewbacca'a life debt to Han, to fulfill it. A life debt is supposed to be protection for the person who saved your life. To be willing to die for that person. In one EU book, there was actual mention that Chewbacca extended that debt to Han's family as well. Regardless, Chewbacca did die protecting Solo and his son, and therefore, isn't the life-debt paid? Why would Lumpy and Lowbacca take it up?

Personally, I think the life debt is predicated more on the life of the subject than the life of the Wookiee. Keeping in mind that Wookiees live for hundreds of years, promising to follow a human around for the rest of his life isn't quite as big of a commitment, is it? I do agree that Chewie's death would have more than settled the debt one way or another, but considering what a standup guy Han was, Lowie and Lumpy probably just offered to do it out of respect. Note how easily Han was able to dissuade them.

I am baffled by the importance of lightsabers to the Jedi. In the books I have read, the building of the lightsaber is a big deal such as when Luke built his in Shadows of the Empire or Corran Horn built his in I, Jedi. Then in the prequels they don't seem to be very attached to them. Mace has a blue one and then he has a purple one. Ki Adi Mundi has purple in the comics and green in the movie, Obi-wan and Anakin both lose theirs (and don't seem to care) and then are tossed new ones when needed. Is a Jedi really that attached to his lightsaber or is that a post prequel era thing?

Didn't you see the scene outside the night club in AotC? "This weapon is your life!" Granted, Annie and Obi do seem to be going through quite a bit of them, but I think that's more a reflection of the hectic times they're living in than of their lack of respect for the items. That said, Luke's Jedi order has to rediscover the building rituals almost from scratch, so it does make sense for it to be a bigger deal for them than for the prequel Jedi. As for your specific mentions: Mace's TPM-era saber was actually Eeth Koth's; he had it as part of an exchange ritual. Ki-Adi-Mundi's change hasn't been specifically addressed to the best of my knowledge, but hey, stuff happens. He swears he meant to hang on to that last one.

I was looking through SW.com, and I came across an old news article. It said that the e-book Ylesia will be put in printed form in future printings of Destiny's Way (the paperback version). When can SW fans expect to see it hit the shelves?

Sweet Christmas, do we get this a lot. Answer: whenever the second printing starts. Which, I believe, depends on how quickly the first printing is sold. They don't print more of something until they need to. Any more specific details will have to be pestered out of Sue Rostoni here.

Update! It looks like Ylesia will not be included in the Destiny's Way paperback, ever. As big as the two stories are, it would have required the printing of a whole new cover to accomodate the extra thickness, which apparently is more trouble than it's worth. If you don't believe me, head here.

Is there or will there ever be "Sith Era" Paperback stories?

Until recently I'd have said probably not, but just a month or so ago, Sue Rostoni of LucasBooks gave SW.com forumers a (very) rough taste of where they're looking to go during the '05 to '08 contract, and one of the things she mentioned was a novel story set in the "old, old Republic". I'd say that's a pretty good omen.

Do you think there any plans to release any more short story "Tales From" collections, such as Tales From The New Jedi Order; or Tales From The Clone Wars, or Old Republic?

This is a common request, so LucasBooks definitely knows there's demand for them. Chances are slim that one will happen anytime soon, however. For one thing, collections don't seem to sell quite as well as original stories. For another, the stories most people want to see collected, the eBooks, are too long to really be "collected", unless they only do three or four at a time. The good news is, they are aware that we want these things, so the second they become open to the possibility of doing one, it'll probably happen.

I read in Insider about the stories "Red Sky, Blue Flame" and "The Apprentice" both by Elaine Cunningham. It said the stories were only published in Star Wars Gamer. Is there anywhere else these stories are available (or will eventually become available)?

See previous question. There is a good chance that you can still pick up the original Gamer issues, though. Just grab a recent issue of Insider; there'll be a back-issue order form for Insider and Gamer.

Anakin Skywalker: answer to prophecy or not?

Um, yes. Anakin brought balance to the Force. That's why the Sith will never appear in a story post-RotJ.

I like buying the star wars books in hard cover rather than a paperback (unless it only comes in paperback). So could you tell me which one come in hard cover and not just paperback. I know alot of the stories are "out of print" and hard to find, But I'm just wondering.

Let's see here...there's the five main New Jedi Order books, every prequel novel so far (the Medstar books will be the first prequel paperbacks), all the movie novelizations, Survivor's Quest, Tatooine Ghost, and every book from the Bantam era except the Han Solo Trilogy, the X-wing series, the Jedi Academy Trilogy, the Black Fleet Crisis, and the Corellian Trilogy. Oh, and the "Tales From" anthologies. Am I missing anything?

Update!I forgot the Bounty Hunter Wars trilogy. So yes, those books are also only available in paperback format. I should also mention that a bunch of the paperbacks were reprinted in two-or-three-paperbacks-per-hardcover format by the Sci-Fi Book Club. You have to be a member, but it appears to be the only way to get hardcover printings of many of the books, including all of the NJO duologies (I've heard that they did this with the X-wing books as well, but those don't seem to be available on the site, so who knows).

Are there any plans for a new Aaron Allston SW book / a 10th X-Wing book?

Nope. Aaron Allston has done a couple Clone Wars short stories for Insider, and (I'd say) will almost definitely return to the novels sooner or later. As for a 10th X-wing novel, though, it doesn't look good. Especially since the X-wing series was started by the old publisher.

Where was Quinlan Vos during the battle of Geonosis? In the comic version of Episode II he appears to be on the battlefield of Geonosis. In one of the comics in the Republic comic series I think I remember him saying he wasn't on Geonosis. Was he there or not? And is there any chance we could see him in Episode 3?

Quin's appearance in the AotC comic was probably just as a nudge to the comic fans. That's not to say he wasn't initially meant to have been there, but they probably decided that what eventually became Republic #49 was a better idea for the character. So, officially, chances are he wasn't at Geonosis. On the other hand, though, the issue never explicitly states he wasn't there. I guess it all depends on how strictly you want to interpret the art in a comic book. As for your other question, there will apparently be an EU character in Episode 3 other Aayla Secura, but who it will be is currently anyone's guess.

Do you have a land snailmail address for Sue Rostoni or a general Lucas Books mailing address? I wanted to send a letter, but haven't been able to find an address listed. Or am I supposed to send it to Del Rey?

If she has a personal address for this kind of thing, it doesn't seem to be listed anywhere. Officially, she's an employee of LucasBooks, so Del Rey wouldn't do you any good. LucasBooks is a division of Lucas Licensing, which, of course, is a division of Lucasfilm. Keep in mind that the best way to get contact her is on the official message boards' VIP thread (in fact, maybe if you ask she'll give you a mailing address herself), but if you absolutely have to send something through snail mail, my only advice would be to send it to Lucasfilm itself with "c/o Sue Rostoni" or "c/o LucasBooks" or some such in the address. Lucasfilm's main mailing address is P.O. Box 10228, San Rafael, CA 94912.

My knowledge of the prequel universe isn't as great as the other eras of the Star Wars universe but what is the deal with Asajj Ventress? I know Darth Bane made the rule of two after the second Great Sith War so how does Asajj Ventress get off thinking she is Sith in the Clone Wars cartoon? What are her origins and can you point me in the direction of good sources on her?

Asajj isn't a Sith, for starters (you'll notice Dooku laughs at the suggestion in the cartoon). At varying times she's considered herself a regular Jedi, a dark Jedi, and a Sith, but the Asajj Ventress with whom we're most familiar is simply a dark Jedi, nothing more than a pawn of the true Sith. For her whole backstory, check out her official Databank entry here.

I have been looking for a copy of the book by Troy Denning called recovery. It takes place right after Balance Point. I've learned it's an eBook but I'm not sure how to use or get an eBook. I'm a real computer dummy. Can you help me. Is the book ever going to be released in paperback. Also the book A Forest Apart, also by Troy Denning.

I can't believe we're just now getting to the eBook question. In short, eBooks are downloadable files that you read on your computer screen. The two you mentioned are short story-length, and were eventually reprinted in paperbacks alongside their respective novels (each Star Wars eBook to be released so far has come out in conjunction with a hardcover, usually by the same author). Recovery is in the Star By Star paperback, and A Forest Apart is in the Tatooine Ghost paperback. The only other way to get these stories is by downloading them. For a far better elaboration of the eBook system than I could give, head here.

I was told by someone that the books for Episodes I-VI were all written in the seventies. Is this information true, and if so did Lucas write all of the books, and where might I be able to find copies of the books? They also mentioned that the IV, V, VI books and movies were very close in content but that the books and movies for I, II were not close at all. If this is true how do the books and movies for episodes I and II differ?

This is another question we get a lot - and your friend is dead wrong. At the time the first Star Wars movie came out, that was the only story in existence. None of the movie stories, classic or prequel, existed as books before the scripts were written; so, of course, the books that do exist (all of which were written based off of Lucas' scripts) are all exactly the same as the movies.

And now, a related question...

I just wanted to know what are the names to the other books (the numbers 7, 8, and 9 of the story) because I can't find them. Can you shed some insight on a fellow Star Wars fanatic?

Since, like I said above, no Star Wars Episodes exist as books before they exist as movies (well, scripts), there are no 7, 8, and 9. Lucas has said a million times that Return of the Jedi is meant to be the end of the story (from his perspective), but there will always be people expecting a third trilogy to happen eventually.

I've been wondering if there are any plans for any more X-Wing books to come out in the near future? I've always wanted to see an X-Wing series written based on the time in between ANH and ESB when Luke Skywalker was the commander. Thats a time period of about 3 years and I think a new series could easily be fit in there. Just wondering if thats a possibility.

It'll always be a possibility, but LucasBooks has said many, many times that they don't plan on doing more X-Wing books. I think one reason for this is that the original nine books were done by the old publisher (Bantam), and Del Rey isn't interested in doing the same stuff they did. And on a related note, the period between ANH and ESB is actually quite full already, between the Rogue Squadron games, the old Marvel Star Wars comic series, etc.

In Dark Journey, when Han's injured on Hapes, he and Leia go to Eclipse Base. But in Enemy Lines I, they go to Borleias where they catch everyone there up on the situation on Hapes, and find out about the Insiders. Are these two separate events, or is there a glitch in the timeline between the two novels that accidentally slipped through?

What you're referring to is actually a bit of a glitch, due to an overlap between the end of Dark Journey and the beginning of Rebel Stand: Han and Leia did in fact go to both Eclipse and Borleias, but the problem is that Luke and Mara are "first" told about Hapes in both books. It's a little awkward, but not too big of a deal; since Wedge, Iella, and the gang are present in RS and not DJ, it can be assumed that the story is being told a second time for their benefit.

Over the next few months, I plan to put together a large collection of every bit of Star Wars there is. I'd like to know the best sources you could point me to for A: a complete list of every piece of media (books, comics, magazines, radio drama, and the like), in chronological order, and B: where to get copies of the radio and television specials.

If you just want a list, our own Ultimate Timeline is the most comprehensive I'm aware of. As for your second question, the radio specials are available via Amazon in an awesome compilation set. The TV stuff can be trickier. The Holiday Special wasn't (and probably will never be) officially released on any format. The only copies that exist are bootlegs recorded from the original broadcast, which are easily found at conventions, on eBay, etc. Many (if not all) of the Droids and Ewoks animated series were released on video, though, and amazingly, a few can still be found on Amazon. You'll probably have to get at least a couple of them secondhand, though. And, last but not least, the recent Clone Wars animated series is slated to be released on DVD later this year.

What is this James Luceno prequel era book scheduled for release in February 2005? I love his writing, but I haven't heard anything about it.

That's a lead-in novel for Episode 3, similar in function to Approaching Storm and Episode 2. Since there's not a whole lot (officially) known about the movie yet, it makes sense that LucasBooks is keeping quiet on the novel for the time being. A lot depends on Episode 3's production (since the plots are expected to intertwine), but we should have at least a title sometime soon. Book information usually starts popping up on the publisher's site about 6 months before release, so LucasBooks will probably want to put some kind of announcement/summary up by August or so at the latest.

Why are the Junior/Young Knight reviews not in your novel timeline when they're in the NJO titles' timeline?

Um, the only "timeline" I know of that you might be talking about is our main novel reviews page, in which case, the JJK/YJK books are on a separate young readers page. Neither is meant to function as a timeline; they're just there for navigation to our reviews.

Why has the New Rebellion disappeared off the official timeline (in Destiny's Way and beyond)?

Hmm, good question. I checked my books, and (for me, at least) it's only missing in Refugee, Reunion, and The Final Prophecy. In any event, it's back in TUF, so it was probably just an error. I don't think they update that thing every time a book comes out, so chances are it was left out once by mistake, and it took a couple books before anyone noticed.

I am a Star Wars fan in England and I am finding it very hard to get my hands on any of the Junior and Young Jedi Knights books, can you help me out in any way.

As far as actual book stores are concerned, I wouldn't know what to tell you, but the books are all listed on Amazon.co.uk. The two recent YJK Omnibuses, Jedi Shadow and Jedi Sunrise, are in stock right now, as are a couple of the individual titles. The rest you'll have to order through subsidiaries, or other online book stores (if you don't mind used copies, half.com is a good place to look).

If ordering online isn't an option, the best advice I can give you is to leave a message on our forums asking other UK fans how they've obtained the books.

Will we ever see a release of 'Escape From Dagu'? If not in print form, maybe as an ebook?

It's dead. Or "dead, dead, dead", as Del Rey Publicity put it. And if the VIPs' not-too-subtle hints on the TOS forums are taken into consideration, we should probably be grateful. Pablo Hidalgo put it best: "Out of curiosity, if Crystal Star had been cancelled in 1994, would you be so eager to read it?"

It is worth noting, however, that an old Holonet News article mentions Shaak Ti receiving a commendation for her actions on Dagu, so something did happen there. But a cancelled novel has no canonity (which may or may not be a word), so as far as continuity's concerned, that's all we know.

Why does Nom Anor suddenly start pronouncing the word as 'Jeedai' in Remnant when throughout the New Jedi Order he's quite comfortable pronouncing it 'Jedi'? Come to that he is suddenly more conformist to Yuuzhan Vong custom, dispising the old Coruscant foundation of Yuuzhan'tar...

A lot of people seem to have interpreted Nom Anor's feelings about the gods as his feelings about all of Vong culture. Yes, he does reject the gods themselves, but that doesn't exactly make him a GFFAer. Hatred of nonliving technology may have its roots in Vong religion, but it's also a cultural belief, and doesn't require belief in the gods. Just because someone favors abstinence, for example, doesn't mean he's a Christian. In fact, I can think of several instances over the course of the NJO when Nom expresses disgust for Republic tech, not just in Force Heretic and beyond. Sure, he'll use a blaster or an A-wing if it suits him, but that's just because he's practical. He's obviously gotten used to it after all those years in the GFFA, but never is it suggested that he doesn't still hate it.

And I'm not about to go look through all my books, but I'm pretty sure the "Jeedai" thing goes back and forth throughout the series, as opposed to him suddenly changing toward the end. You mention that he's comfortable pronouncing it "Jedi"; does that mean he definitely prefers it that way? If it furthers his own ends, Nom's comfortable with pretty much anything.

What's the actual process they go through in deciding who should die etc? And are new characters created through the authors or the company?

To the best of my knowledge, the only time a Star Wars author has ever been instructed to kill someone was in the New Jedi Order. With all the other novels, the authors are given, at the most, a rough idea of the story's theme and what characters are involved, and the rest, including life and death (though obviously they need permission if they want to kill a movie character, as with General Madine in Darksaber), is up to them.

Wow; seven commas in that sentence. I do believe that's a new personal record!

Anyway, for details on how the big deaths in the NJO were decided upon, I'd recommend reading the roundtable interview that came with the hardcover of The Unifying Force. The short version is this: they thought about killing Luke, Lucas said no, so they killed Chewie instead. They wanted to kill Jacen and make Anakin the hero, Lucas didn't want two Anakins, so they killed Anakin and made Jacen the hero. There's some contention about whether "two Anakins" was really the reason behind the decision, but the TUF interview makes it pretty clear:

Shelly Shapiro: He?s (Lucas) the one who said the alien invaders could not be dark side Force-users, that we couldn?t kill Luke, that we had to kill Anakin instead of Jacen (we had originally planned it the other way around).

James Luceno: His (again, Lucas) objection to Anakin Solo being the main series protagonist was, I think, possible confusion with Anakin Skywalker in the prequel trilogy of movies. There would be too many Anakins out there!

How did Ki-Adi Mundi survive Grievious (in the cartoon) to appear in Episode III?!

Good question! Seeing as how the cartoon just aired a few months ago (not a lot of time when production schedules are taken into account), no explanation has yet been given for his escape (or Shaak Ti's, Aayla Secura's, and K'kruhk's, for that matter). Hopefully we'll find out sooner or later.

One possibility, though purely speculation on my part, is that Grievous decided to intentionally inflict nonlethal wounds so that they could all live to tell the other Jedi about how badly he beat them. After all, we do know he's quite vain for a droid.

As for Sha'a Gi, Tarr Seirr, and Daakman Barrek? Um...they had it coming.

Where does Master Tholme get his scarred eye from?

Another good question. And another, as far as I'm aware, without an answer. Stick this one in the "we may never know" pile, alongside Saesee Tiin's horn.

Do you know where/when I can download the Hive? Is it free? Also, do you have a list of all the e-books and when they fit into the chronology, and where to find them?

All the Star Wars eBooks cost $3.50. You have to order them through an online bookstore like Amazon.com the same way you would order a regular book. They then give you a link to the download file, and the program you need to read it. More information on eBooks can be found here.

For a list of most of the eBooks, check out Del Rey's official timeline here. This has eBooks and regular books, but the eBooks are marked off so you'll know which to look for. There are also links to where you can order them. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to have been updated since The Unifying Force came out, so here are the two new ones: Fool's Bargain, set shortly before Survivor's Quest, and, of course, The Hive, set during The Cestus Deception.

In Shatterpiont it says Mace Windu's padawan was Depa Billaba however while playing Star Wars Galatic Battlegrounds Clone Campaigns it says that Echuu Shen Jon was Mace's padawan. Did Mace have 2 padawans or is this a continuity error?

He had two. Other than that he was in fact Mace's Padawan, almost nothing is known about Shen-Jon's life prior to the events in the game.

I heard through a friend and on on-line chats that during Anakin's and Obi's duel that Anakin falls into a lava pit. What book is this from?

While we won't know the exact details of the duel until Episode 3 hits, the original Return of the Jedi novelization from way back in the eighties mentions something along those lines (although the word "lava" is not used), to explain why Vader's in the suit. Here's the line in question:

We fought...your father fell into a molten pit. When your father clawed his way out of that fiery pool, the change had been burned into him forever--he was Darth Vader, without a trace of Anakin Skywalker.
Since then, no one in the EU has touched it with a twenty-foot pole. Chances are pretty good that that's what happened, but the novelizations have already proven less than perfect with this kind of stuff, so you never know. If you're really anxious to know for sure, you could always go scan through our Episode 3 spoiler news. I'm avoiding spoilers myself, but I wouldn't be surprised if we had those particular details by now.

What are the different Forms (styles) of lightsaber combat? In Cestus Deception they talk about a couple, and they talk about a few in Shatterpoint. Could you maybe list them, and their descriptions?

The place I go for info on the Seven Forms is this discussion thread at SW.com. Each form is detailed by a number of different people with the help of a number of different sources, thus giving you a good all-around idea of each fighting style.

Are there any species which can not conceivably become Jedi?

Not as far as we're aware. Every biological sentient, even clones and such, are a part of the Force and have the capacity to tap into it. The Yuuzhan Vong are the only known species to have ever existed outside of the Force, and even that will presumably be changing soon.

Is that time gap between Truce at Bakura and Rogue Squadron ever going to be filled?

Well, there's a truckload of comics in there already - Mara Jade: By the Emperor's Hand, Shadows of the Empire: Evolution and the entire Rogue Squadron series (which leads into the novel series) most notably. Head here for a complete listing of all the literature that's currently set in that era; there's a whole slew of great short stories, comic tales, and so on to choose from. Oh, and the Bounty Hunter Wars and Glove of Darth Vader books are mostly set there as well, if you're really desperate. As for the possibility of there being a new major novel set in there somewhere, nothing is planned for the next few years, but Tatooine Ghost proved that the Post-RotJ era is still fertile ground.

Will there be any novels not starring Force users or pilots which aren't Tales compilations?

Hm, that's a tough one. The recently-completed Medstar duology is a wonderful example of storytelling outside of the usual Jedi/pilot stuff; granted, it's got Barriss Offee in it, but it's hardly a typical Jedi story. Beyond that, Michael Reaves has three post-RotS novels coming out over the next few years which will be focusing, if the end of Medstar is any indication, on a Holonet reporter and a droid and their adventures in Coruscant's seedy underbelly. Given what's going on at that point in time, however, it'd be a bit of a stretch to say that Jedi won't be involved at all.

I have a Star Wars story I'd like to see as a comic/novel/eBook/fanfic. What do I do?

Unless you're a published author and/or LucasFilm comes to you of their own volition, you're out of luck for the first three. There's nothing stopping you, however, from writing fan fiction. A lot of people set up their own websites to house their stories, though we at TFN do have an extensive database of fan fiction. If you want to submit your story to us, click here to create a FanFic account, which will allow you to participate in the community, both as an author and as a reader.

Are the two Knights of the Old Republic games canon?

With the exception of Jedi Power Battles (since it features alternate versions of TPM's story), all the video games are C-Canon, which means they're below the movies, but equal to books, comics, and so on. Granted, the exact details have to be tweaked to accomodate gameplay styles (especially with things like Demolition and Masters of Teras Kasi), but they all happened in some sense. With regard to Knights of the Old Republic, the basic story definitely occurred, we just don't know the official ending yet. KOTOR 2 is set up so you can continue the original story whether you had the light side or dark side ending, so that won't be any help, but hopefully there will be an official version of the events sooner or later (especially with the New Essential Chronology coming out next year). For further proof that the events of the game are legit, look no further than the recently-released Star Wars Republic #68, which has a reference to the Rakatan Empire and their temples.

I just started reading The Cestus Deception and in chapter 9, Mace makes a comment about the Battle of Jabiim. I didn't think of anything about it at the time but later on I realized that in the Clone Wars timeline included on the inside cover, the Battle of Jabiim is supposed to take place 3 months after the events of The Cestus Deception. Where on the correct timeline should these events have taken place?

That's what's known as an editorial error. While no official fix has been given yet, it's safe to say that the Battle of Jabiim seen in the comics definitely happened at 15 ABOG, 3 months after Cestus. Chances are Mace was referring to a smaller conflict that ultimately led to the full-blown battle with which we're familiar.

What are the variations in cortosis?

Officially, there's aren't really any variations. It's been built into walls and sewn into armor, but it's all the same ore. What does vary is how writers have interpreted its abilities; the Hand of Thrawn books established that when a lightsaber comes into contact with it, it disrupts the feedback and shuts the saber off. The game Jedi Outcast, however, had you fighting enemies wearing cortosis armor that deflected the blade, but didn't shut it off. It's possible that it may be explained someday that it was a variation on normal cortosis, but it's best to just chalk it up to creative license for the sake of gameplay.

How does luke get his X-Wing back from Bespin before ROTJ? Please tell me how and what book it's from.

He didn't. At least, no one's ever claimed he did. Chances are good the Empire scrapped it when they took over the city. In any event, I think it's safe to say that wasn't the first X-Wing he'd lost by that point.

Who has died during the Clone Wars (thus far) that were important or significant?

That's kind of a hard question to answer. Obviously, no important movie characters have died yet, and while we've seen numerous individuals perish, especially Jedi, it's debatable how important any of them were. The best advice I can give is to visit the Unofficial Clone Wars Site's extensive Clone Wars character database. They're got profiles on most of the characters we've seen thus far; if someone's died since Geonosis, you'll probably find out there. If a character you're interested in doesn't have a profile yet, feel free to send an e-mail informing them of their oversight.

Do gravity well projectors and cloaking shields prevent communitation between ships in their sphere of effect (Or sensors from reading anything)? For instance if an interdictor crusier were to set up one of its artificial gravity wells around a group of rebel ships, would those rebel ships be able to communicate with each other and/or anyone outside the system? And in the case of cloaking shields: During Trawns attack on Sluis Van, did the cloaking shield on board the bulk cruiser prevent Sluis Control from reading what was in it and coming up negative?

I can't recall any specific examples off the top of my head, but it's definitely never been overtly stated that gravity wells have any effect on communications or sensors, so I'd say almost definitely not. It's hard to say with cloaking devices, though. The Last Command specifically states that a cloaked ship's sensors are useless, but it doesn't mention communications. It's not really an issue, when you think about it; even if a cloaked ship was able to send transmissions, doing so would be pretty stupid for a ship that's trying to hide its presence. Which is all cloaking devices do, in response to your second question; mask a ship's physical presence. That's why Sluis Van didn't pick up the TIEs; the sensors couldn't see them. Communications didn't factor into it.

And on a related note...

What is it with cloaking devices? In the prequels Darth Maul has one and his ship can still function normally when it is on. In the Thrawn trilogy there just being fully developed and ships have to fly blind using it. Is this an error or what?

It's more a matter of access. Cloaking devices aren't just being developed in the Thrawn Trilogy; the technology's been around for a while. What Thrawn did was take the Emperor's old prototypes and improve upon them. Remember ESB? "No ship that small has a cloaking device!" Thrawn was able to change that, thus allowing him to use them on freighters, cruisers, etc. As for Darth Maul's ship, you can accomplish a lot when you've got Darth Sidious' resources. Nothing the Sith Infiltrator did was impossible; just really complicated and really expensive.

For a more specific answer, dp4m from our forums had this to say: There are two types of cloaking systems: Stygium Crystal Cloaks (Maul) and Hibridium Cloaking Devices (Thrawn). Stygium crystals were only located on Aeten II and by the time the Empire took over, nearly impossible to find as the supply had dwindled. Hibridium is the typical "double-blind" cloak that Thrawn adapted for his uses (and is an ore located on Garos IV).

Do you have a list of e-books and timeline to interact with the Star Wars novels?

We don't have a specific timeline for them, so I'll just list them for you:

Darth Maul: Saboteur - shortly before Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter

The Hive - during The Cestus Deception

A Forest Apart - shortly before Tatooine Ghost

Fool's Bargain - shortly before Survivor's Quest

Recovery - shortly after Balance Point

Ylesia - during Destiny's Way

I have a major question to ask about how Luke percieves the force in the latter part of The Unifying Force. See the big thing is is that for most of the series Vergere gives Luke and Jacen this hole crap about how they percieve the force in the wrong way and therefore cannot sense the Yuzhann Vong and then tell them that there is no dark side of the force and that anger is not a dark emotion. So my question is this: How can Yoda, who trained Jedi for over 800 years mind you, not see that anger if used right cannot lead you to the dark side and yet a creature that spent 50 years with the Yuzhann Vong and comes back with a heretical view of the force can? And another thing that does not make sense is that Luke still believed this even after he himself almost turn to the dark side fighting Shimraa with this technique. How can that be?

If you're willing to give Vergere any credit at all (which many are not), the key to understanding Luke's career as a Jedi lies in the fact that he did not undergo normal Jedi training. Yoda and Obi-Wan spent no more than a few weeks combined instructing him in the specifics of the Jedi way, and everything else he picked up through experience during the Rebellion. What time Yoda and Obi-Wan did have with him was sort of a crash course, and with one ultimate goal in mind: to make him a weapon. Their only two priorities when instructing Luke were that he could defeat the Emperor and Vader, and that he wouldn't fall to the Dark Side doing it. They never even considered that he could redeem his father, they just needed the strongest Jedi they could muster. And, of course, it wouldn't do any good for him to beat the bad guys only to fall to the Dark Side himself, so they made sure he was as wary of it as possible. Even if it could be proven conclusively that Yoda was a follower of Vergere's ends-justify-the-means philosophy, do you really think he would have told Luke about it, given what he was up against? Regardless, it's pretty safe to say that Yoda didn't follow that philosophy, and it could be argued that this was one of the reasons the Jedi fell: they'd gotten caught up in their own dogma and forgotten that the Force was a complex entity (for lack of a better term), and not everything is completely good or completely evil. Maybe if Anakin's romance with Padme - a high Dark Side trespass in those days - had been acceptable to the Jedi hierarchy, he wouldn't have grown to resent them and truly fallen.

The aliens in the dark nest--from the titles it looks like a hive society. What could they possibly be? The Verpines?

It's too soon to say. It has been confirmed that the Killiks from Tatooine Ghost play a part in the story, but that doesn't necessarily mean the titles are referring to them (after all, they're supposed to be extinct). There's certainly no shortage of other insect races in the GFFA to choose from, in any event - Verpine, X'Ting, The Assembler, Vratix, Arachnors, Ruurians, and so on. Or it could always be a completely new race. And who's to say they're definitely insects? The whole nest/hive thing could be meant metaphorically. They could be referring to the Senate. =)

I was wondering how the book "Republic Commando" fits into the star wars collection. I noticed it's not on your list of adult fiction or young adult ficton. Is this book considered part of the adult clone era novels? Also, are the "Medstar" and "Yoda" books that recently came out also considered adult clone era novels? if so, why did they come out in paperback?

They're all adult Clone Era novels, as you put it. Of the eight or so Star Wars books that come out every year, only a few are hardcovers, and those are generally "event" books. If a book's first release is in paperback, that usually means (but not always) that the events it covers are less profound than those covered in hardcovers. The books themselves are no less mature.

Did you guys forget to review the New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology & New Essential Guide to Characters? I've been waiting for those two's reviews because I'm interested to see what the reviewers think of them.

We don't generally review guides and such. Sometimes a staff member (especially Scott) who has a "nonfiction" book will decide to review it on their own, but we mostly stick to the novels. As far as the two guides mentioned are concerned, Scott's review of the former can be found here.

I've got an idea for a Star Wars book! Would you like to read it?

Nope! Please see the TFN Fanfic section here. We on the TFN EU team generally have our hands full with the official literature; if we critique your story, we'll have to critique everyone's.

I can't find anything about the book jedi quest special edition which is supposed to be a book in the clone wars saga. Any thoughts?

The book you're referring to is actually titled Legacy of the Jedi. It takes place 6 months after Attack of the Clones, and has a sequel coming out in March.

Will we ever find out why Obi-Wan & Yoda vanished but Qui-Gon did not?

For those of you who still, amazingly, haven't heard, all the answers will be provided this May in Revenge of the Sith.

Is there a Star Wars novel that details how Leia retrieved the Death Star plans prior to A New Hope?

It's never been told in much detail, but it was initially covered in the original Star Wars Radio Drama. A handful of sources have elaborated on the mission, codenamed Operation Skyhook, but the only time, I believe, that we've actually seen any action from the event in print is in the end of Rebel Dawn, part three of the Han Solo Trilogy by A.C. Crispin. And that's only a few pages.

I have been trying to find out if there was a novel that had Luke and Mara getting married..I have yet to find it if there is..can you let me know if there is a novel please?

The story of Luke and Mara's wedding has been told in detail, however you'll only find it in the the comic book miniseries Star Wars: Union.

Clone Wars Cartoon Questions (say that three times fast):

Is K'Kruhk dead or what?

As many, many, many people have noticed, K'Kruhk appears to be killed by Grievous at the end of Clone Wars' first season. His death is even more strongly suggested at the beginning of the second season, when clone troopers fail to pick up his life signs and leave his body in the wreckage. A couple years later, however, K'Kruhk shows up on Saleucami as right as rain (in addition to, I believe, one or two other prior appearances). So did the cartoon screw up and contradict the comics?

Well, it's not so much a contradiction as it is misleading. The thing you have to understand about the cartoon is that the majority of the people who saw it know nothing of the Expanded Universe. That's why Ventress and Durge are defeated in a manner that suggests their demise; there needs to be a sense of finality for the people who won't go on to see their future roles in the books and comics. The same applies here; as far as the cartoon alone is concerned, yeah, K'Kruhk is dead, but for those of us who do read the comics and have seen his other appearances, Lucasfilm reps have explained that his species can enter a sort of hibernation state when severely wounded, which would explain why they didn't detect his life signs. It's continuity spackle, pure and simple, but it works well enough.

What's all this Nelvaan stuff? Labyrinth of Evil shows Anakin and Obi-Wan on Tythe just before they head to Coruscant.

Okay, now things get complicated. If we take everything we've seen at face value, Anakin and Obi-Wan's adventures immediately prior to RotS go something like this: they defeat the Separatists on a rainy planet that may or may not be a very loose interpretation of Cato Neimoidia, get ordered to Nelvaan, then forget entirely about that, spend a month or so hunting for Darth Sidious, ultimately end up going after Dooku on Tythe...Dooku flees, they find out Coruscant is under attack, decide "we've got to help them!", then...decide instead to chase Dooku to his decoy destination of Nelvaan, where they have a nice, leisurely adventure over what looks like at least a day or two, not involving Dooku in the slightest, then board their ship, find out Coruscant is under attack again (or, perhaps more accurately, is still under attack), and THEN go to Coruscant to rescue Palpatine.

Based on the handful of comments we've seen from Lucasfilm's continuity people (unless I've missed something; someone kindly let me know if I have), it looks like we're gonna be stuck with something along these lines as the official version of the events in question. While I put a lot more trust in the VIPs than it appears many people do, in my personal opinion, the best way to handle this is to simply move things around. Just like Ventress appears to die for the dramatic purposes of the cartoon, the scenes on the rain planet and Nelvaan could actually happen long before they appear to; we're simply only being given certain chunks of the story for the sake of dramatic flow. It's certainly not without precedent; the beginning of the same cartoon is presented in a way that implies Anakin's knighthood is granted immediately following Muunilinst, without a hint of Praesitlyn or anything else that we've seen from the intervening two years. Those events have to be spaced out a bit; I see no reason why we can't do the same with Nelvaan.

In fact, with the release of RotS, continuity nuts now face a similar issue with the film itself; the brief scene at the end of the movie depicting the Death Star's construction couldn't possibly happen as soon after Vader's transformation as it appears to. Though there are numerous possibilities for solving this, the easiest might be to simply regard the scene as a flash-forward, actually occuring years later.

But I digress. =) And now, the biggie...

Was Palpatine captured according to the cartoon's depiction or Labyrinth of Evil's depiction?

Okay, now things really get complicated. The Nelvaan/Tythe thing is illogical at worst, whereas here we've got vastly different versions of the exact same events. The only incontrovertible details on the capture of Palpatine are that it started in his office, eventually led to a train, and ended up at a bunker. Wihout covering all the sordid details, between the cartoon and the novel, we're given two completely different versions of what happens at each of those locales (and, perhaps more notably, who's involved). Some of the scenes can be wedged in around each other similar to the Nelvaan stuff, but some, like Palpatine's office, are trickier. Labyrinth depicts no fighting whatsoever within 500 Republica, while the cartoon tosses Grievous right in through the window, not to mention the hallway/elevator stuff. The cartoons have frequently been called stylized versions of the GFFA; how well this can be worked out depends on just how stylized you think they are. One sensible interpretation that has been presented is that the book is the extensively researched documentary, and the cartoons are holodramas; some of the facts are off, other things are made up entirely, and in the end, excitement takes precedence over accuracy. This kind of approach helps with things like the train yard; in the cartoon Palpatine and company are seen fighting Grievous off, then leaving the station without ever getting on a train, while the book has them on a train with Mace Windu dueling Grievous on the roof. A loose interpretation of the cartoon would allow you to, for example, throw out merely the shot of everyone leaving the train yard; in actuality, they might have fought Grievous off, then boarded a train with the newly-arrived Mace Windu; Grievous eventually caches back up to them, duels with Mace, and so on. This is, of course, just my own rambling thoughts on the matter, but the point is, the less strict your interpretation of continuity, the less of a headache all this will give you.

A lot of people have been outspoken in their desire to throw the cartoon version out the window entirely - it's kid stuff, after all, isn't it? Mace Windu can't really surf a droid fighter by pulling on its wires; Yoda can't push around an entire droid lander, let alone two! It's cool to look at, but it can't be what really happens!

I can hardly predict Lucasfilm's policy decisions, but I've seen RotS a couple times now, and I distinctly remember Grievous coughing like crazy at the beginning of the movie, and we all know he didn't get his chest squeezed in Labyrinth of Evil. It looks like we're stuck with the cartoons, for better or worse. My advice would be to simply enjoy them for what they are and leave the spackle to the professionals. I'm betting all the madness will be ironed out quite nicely by the time the New Essential Chronology arrives this fall.

End Cartoon Section (that wasn't so bad, now, was it?)

Do you know if there will be any more books written in the New Jedi Order series?

The New Jedi Order series is over. There may be new books someday that take place within the time period of the series, but the NJO itself is only the 18 books out already. The next few years will see numerous books taking place after the NJO, however; this year will see a paperback trilogy called Dark Nest, and after that there's a 9-book series coming out between '06 and '08, recently titled Legacy of the Force. Rumor has it the stories will take place around 5 and 10 years after the NJO, respectively.

Will it be necessary to have read the New Jedi Order books to get the most out of the upcoming post-NJO novels, or will they completely stand on their own?

I would say it's as necessary as the books preceding the NJO were to reading that series. A story is a story is a story; if you can't enjoy it on its own, the authors haven't done their jobs. But the GFFA is such an enormous place these days, with a very well-nurtured history and flavor, that the more familiar you are with the old material, the more you're bound to get out of the new material. On top of which, you know, some of that old material ain't too bad itself.

Call me a sucker for the love story that exists in the prequels between Anakin and Padme, but I was wondering if there are any Star Wars novels that happen to touch on their relationship at all pre-marriage and during marriage?

Not really. Given the importance of their relationship in the films themselves, Lucas kept anything beyond quick glimpses of the two together off-limits up to this point.

Do you know if they are revising the essential guide to characters again to include ROTS? Any news would be cool.

The next revised essential guide will be the New Essential Chronology this fall. I don't believe there's been an official announcement yet, but it's visible, cover and everything, on Amazon.com. Chances are they'll do another character guide someday, but probably not for a few years.

Seems like this next one should go without saying around here, but people still ask, so here goes...

There are so many novels out there that go far beyond the films - does George Lucas endorse the books as accurately depicting his vision? What is the official position of Lucasfilms or George on the novels?

The official position of Lucasfilm is that they're official. If they weren't regarded as legitimate, they wouldn't get published. The movies do occupy a higher level of "official", however, known as G-canon. All it really means is that if there were a conflict between a movie and a book, the movie wins. When there's no conflict, as is the case 95% of the time, there's no problem.

Is the same true of Dark Horse Comics?

Yep. If it wasn't endorsed, it woudn't exist.

In the Revenge of the Sith junior novelisation by Patricia C. Wrede, there is a reference to a Shaman of the Whills on page 176. For years I have heard about Yoda species being the Whills. Is this true and if not what was the reference refering to?

Yoda has never been officially classified as a Whill; in fact, Lucas has made a point of never identifying either his species or the nature of the Whills. The mention in the junior novelization (it's in the comic adaptation, as well) might be a genuine hint, or, more likely, it might just be a wink to longtime fans, never to be explored further. We'll have to wait and see.

Im looking for a book about the force, maybe like a force "bible". Do you know of any such book or a lead on where I would find one.

There are several books covering how Star Wars in general relates to actual religions, but I don't believe there's anything akin to a Force-specific bible.

Some examples from Amazon.com:

The Tao of Star Wars

The Dharma of Star wars

Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters

Star Wars and Philosophy: More Powerful Than You Can Possibly Imagine

Another one we get all the time, even though it's more or less been answered:

I am having trouble finding a complete Star Wars novel timeline. I would like to put my collection in order. I would appreciate any help you can give me. I only want the timeline list. The sites I have gone to have pics and extra info added to it.

Looking at my own personal assortment of links, you've got three options. You can either use our own Ultimate Timeline at theforce.net/timeline, which would require you to sift through things like comics, video games, children's books, and cover images of all of the above, or you can go to Del Rey's official timeline. It's just a title list like you wanted, and it's pretty extensive, except for the fact that it hasn't been updated in two or three years. Your third option is our chronological list of book reviews, found here. It's also only titles, and it's a bit more extensive than the Del Rey list, however, it only includes books that we've reviewed and have links to, and there's always the possibility that a couple things are missing.

Your Release Schedule page is out-of-date/incomplete/lame. What's the story?

The Release Schedule has historically been the bastard stepchild of our little corner of TFN; updates tend to happen in big spurts every few months. Rest assured that everything we add to it at a given time is 100% accurate, though, so if you see something missing or factually incorrect, it just means that we're falling behind and matters have changed. If so, feel free to bug us about it (not that many of you seem to need permission). One thing, though: in an effort to streamline matters and perhaps make updates a simpler process (and thus, slightly more common), we've discontinued the inclusion of book covers on the page. This may eventually be offset by linking to First Look pages on StarWars.com or the like.

I have noticed that the fifth installment of the Legacy of the Force series is a hardcover. When the rest of the novels have been paperback, why can't they stick with one format through the whole series? For those of us geeky enough to keep their novels in chronological order the bookshelf tends to look odd after a while changing between the formats. I know they eventually make paperback editions but who wants to wait a year for the next installment?

Books that come out first as hardcovers, whether parts of series like the New Jedi Order or Legacy of the Force, are generally regarded as "event" books; i.e. stories of some atypical degree of importance to the overall saga. It's essentially true, of course, that they basically just exist as such because books make more money as hardcovers, and maybe that's not something to be thrilled about, but it's true of most other books, as well, plus pretty much every other type of media - you might as well be asking why dollar theaters take so long to get new movie releases. If you're buying a hardcover the day it comes out, just like if you pay 9 or 10 dollars to see a movie in the megaplex the day it comes out, you're basically volunteering not to pay the lowest possible price for that product; you're sending a message to the people who made it that seeing it NOW is more important than any other consideration.

As for the bookshelf problem, I assure you that I am every bit as particular about my own Star Wars bookshelf, but I manage to divide each format - hardcovers, paperbacks, graphic novels, young adult books, reference books, etc. - into its own chronological section, without losing any sleep over it. Them's the breaks, I guess.

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