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The Future of Star Wars Books

As Yoda said, "Always in motion, the future is." Let us set the motion straight.

In the past year we have seen many chages to the scene of Star Wars books. With the New Jedi Order series changing the way we think about the Expanded Universe, and making us realize that this universe is not a protective little shell for our favorite characters to play in; but a dangerous arena where just about anything can happen.

So what lies in the future for Star Wars books? Let me take you on a little guided tour of the future...

This September, we shall be seeing the tenth book of the Jedi Apprentice series, The Shattered Peace by Jude Watson. The Jedi Apprentice series has been very interesting in its depiction of the relationship of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. This particular book seems to deal with an interesting twist on the "Prince and the Pauper" theme. The firstborn children of the rulers of the planets Rutan and Senali have been exchanged at the age of seven. This was meant to promote peace and understanding between the societies. Now it has led them to the brink of war. Leed, the heir to the Rutan throne, does not want to return to his home planet. His father will stop at nothing to get him back. It is up to our Jedi friends to prevent to save the day again!

James Luceno will follow up his gripping Hero's Trial with the next in the Agents of Chaos series, Jedi Eclipse. This series has given a whole new dimension to Han's character and a completely original nemesis in the Yuzhaan Vong. This book will place Han up against the Vong and Luke struggling to hold the fractious Jedi Knights together; while Leia might just end up doing nothing. You can expect this book in October.

No you won't be seeing the end of Yuzhaan Vong in Jedi Eclipse; they're still around till the November release of Kathy Tyers' Balance Point, the sixth in the NJO series. Over the course of 2001, you can expect a trilogy called Knightfall in the same series by Michael Jan Freedman, who has an excellent track record in Star Trek, X-Men and other sci-fi/fantasy. By the end of 2001, there will be a book each by J Gregory Keyes (Babylon 5) and Troy Denning. The last of the confirmed books in the NJO series will be from Elaine Cunningham (Forgotten Realms) in early 2002. Recently at GenCon, Aaron Allston (X-Wing Series) confirmed that he will be signing a contract for a two book series within the NJO time frame.

Sometime mid-2001 we shall see an novel by Michael Reaves with Darth Maul as the main character, and based just before the events of The Phantom Menace. The novel, titled Shadow Hunter, is the first adult novel dedicated to the Sith apprentice. In the story, Maul has to hunt down a Neimoidian traitor protected by a Jedi Padawan; days before the Trade Federation blockade. It will be interesting to finally have a Star Wars story in which the Sith actually win!

Then, just prior to the release of Episode II, we will see two books set between Episode I and Episode II. These will most probably deal with elements from the plot of Episode II, and hence will be released so close the release of the film itself. The novelization of the film, by RA Salvatore (Vector Prime) will also be released with the film, the same way Terry Brooks' novelization of Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released a few days before the film release last May.

In the "non-fiction" (hey, it's all fiction, right?) department, there are a few VERY interesting things coming up. The publishers Doris Kindersley, who brought us the excellent Cross-Sections and Visual Dictionary references last year, are coming out with an Episode I: Incredible Locations next month. Some excellent pictures and information will be found there. Aurra Sing: Dawn of the Bounty Hunters Masterpiece Edition by Ryder Windham and Josh Ling will also be extremely interesting (and expensive!) as it explores the exploits and pursuits of popular bounty hunters such as Dengar, Bossk, IG-88 and others; besides Aurra Sing and Boba Fett, of course. Other than that, a Star Wars Cookbook (Darth Malt, anyone?), Star Wars Technical Journal and The Quotable Phantom Menace by the end of this year will make for an interesting year in Star Wars books; and an even more exciting future. As a powerful Jedi Master once said, "Always in motion, the future is..."

You can read the latest news, reviews, interviews, and features at GalaxyFarAway.com Books.

May the Force be with yousa!
(Couldn't have compiled this article without help from TheForce.net Books, Jedinet Literature and The Unofficial New Jedi Order Homepage. Thanks!)


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