Sharp eyes from NJOE and ClubJade caught the new Spring 2012 catalogue from Random House last week. Set for release in April next year, Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse will bring another flagship series to a close.
The Apocalypse is coming! In this final novel in the thrilling nine-book New York Times bestselling Fate of the Jedi series, it’s Jedi against Sith… and Luke Skywalker against Darkness itself!
In the epic conclusion to the Fate of the Jedi series, Luke Skywalker leads a desperate all-out assault against the new face of Darkness; the Lost Tribe of the Sith. The future of Coruscant – and of the Galactic Alliance – hands in the balance. But victory is far from certain. Luke and his Jedi Order will be tested as never before… and the galaxy will never be the same again.
I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the marketing push they have laid out in the accompanying promotional description. Del Rey needed to have been doing this a long time ago.
Perhaps the most interesting item on the list of publicity actions is that Apocalypse will contain an “extensive” preview for the “next Star Wars series.” If I had to wager a guess, Denning still doesn’t want to end with 100 pages of fluff or post-climax emotional fallout, so they’re going to give it to the readers as the start of the next series. We know Allston’s Wraith Squadron novel is in the works, and an X-wing-style series is about as solid a bet as they could make right now. (And just this afternoon on the Star Wars Books page on Facebook, the title was revealed: Star Wars: X-wing: Mercy Kill.) I hope we see Allston’s excerpt, which would be fitting. It would allow him, in a weird way, to close the series he signed on to open – and to suggest there are good things to come.
As to the substance of the blurb, I have some thoughts in mind, but they would be more appropriate to address after Fate of the Jedi: Ascension has hit the shelves.
Speaking of Ascension, the next issue of Star Wars Insider includes this comment from the book’s author, Christie Golden, about one of Fate of the Jedi’s many antagonists, newly deposed Admiral Daala:
“She’s got some prejudices like most people, but she certainly hasn’t fallen prey to obsession. She’s a very passionate woman who cares deeply about what she’s entrusted with. In a way, she’s almost the classic tragic hero, falling prey to hubris.”
I share the reaction of many other fans, which is that this quote shows that, unfortunately, Golden either didn’t do her research or just doesn’t get it. Daala is not, and never was, a tragic figure. She’s an unreconstructed Imperial who hates the Rebels or their New Republic, chaos and disorder, and the Jedi (in roughly that order). We’re not supposed to have empathy for her; we’re just supposed to see her as the bad guy. Her choice as leader of the Galactic Alliance, while seemingly odd, told us something about the state of the government after Darth Caedus’ reign. What we’re seeing from fans is reaction to the lack of continuity of characterization for Daala. It seems Golden has a pattern of seeking to humanize villainous characters, which only serves to undermine their value to the story. In a recently posted excerpt from Ascension, Golden also portrays a softer, familial side to a powerful Sith, Gavar Khai. If Golden hasn’t acquired a clear vision of characters like Daala, though, it’s no wonder she’s struggled with the characterizations of the longstanding, complex characters in the flagship storyline.
In other Star Wars Books news, San Diego Comic-Con looks to have some interesting news to reveal. There’s a Del Rey panel, featuring editor Shelly Shapiro and author Timothy Zahn. Interestingly, although Christie Golden will be at Comic-Con and participating in a World of Warcraft panel, and Ascension hits the shelves just ten days after the convention, Golden is not listed as a participant in the Star Wars Books panel. Curious.
In addition, a few lucky fans are going to get to have lunch with Zahn, whose novel Choices of One comes out on July 19th. I’ve read the book, and I think this one will go down as a fan favorite. Look for my review next week.
Finally, since Shelly Shapiro will be at the lunch as well, it’s a perfect opportunity for someone to follow up on the recent Facebook discussion Timothy Zahn had with fans regarding the long-buried The Reenlistment of Baron Fel, co-written with Michael Stackpole.
Nanci Schwartz Werline I am more than willing to kick off an extensive letter-writing campaign in support of any of your ideas. :) (I STILL can’t comprehend why your Baron Fel story with Mike Stackpole has never been optioned. Especially considering Jagged Fel’s importance in the current Fate of the Jedi era.)
Timothy Zahn Thanks again, Nanci. I’ll let you know if we need to bring in the big guns (i.e., the *fans*).
Tricia Barr I have to second Nanci’s thoughts on the Baron Fel story. Fans have been begging for these stories for a while. All the Fels are popular. I can’t even imagine what’s been keeping that story on the shelf.
Timothy Zahn I can try pitching it to Dark Horse again. But it’s not exactly a secret that we have the story, so the fact that no one has yet approached *us* about it tells me that they other preferred fish to fry. But I still have an idea or two about Baron Fel that I may pull out of the hat one of these days.
Eric Geller It’d certainly be a shame if those ideas Fel by the wayside.
Timothy Zahn We’re all going to pretend we didn’t hear that…
Fans weighing in at the Cantina mirrored the sentiment on Facebook. Points to TFN’s Eric Geller for managing a rimshot moment. I about Fel over laughing.
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