When Sue Rostoni’s replacement at Lucas Licensing still hadn’t been revealed three months after her retirement announcement, I began to suspect we’d be seeing some realignment within Lucas Books. After Frank Parisi, who has worked as an editor and writer for Lucas Licensing, was brought onto the team a few weeks ago, that shift seemed imminent. Yesterday, Del Rey announced the retirement of editor-in-chief Betsy Mitchell and several staff promotions, including Parisi as the new “in-house coordinator for Star Wars titles and editorial head of other licensed tie-ins.” Publisher’s Weekly, in referring to a memo from the Ballantine Bantam Dell heads Scott Shannon and Jennifer Hershey, reported that Frank Parisi will be “working with Shelly Shapiro, Erich Schoeneweiss, and the rest of the LucasBooks team on all aspects of the Star Wars publishing program.”
Betsy Mitchell was responsible for signing Timothy Zahn to write Heir to the Empire and edited the book, which is still heralded as one of the brightest spots of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. She spoke about strong female characters at San Diego Comic Con on the Her Universe panel, and in a recent Suvudu.com interview identified the key reasons Mara Jade resonated with readers. Her contributions to Star Wars books legacy are greatly appreciated by fans.
Parisi has been active and enthusiastic on the Star Wars Facebook page in recent weeks, discussing upcoming novels such as Darth Plagueis and also The Clone Wars television series. Dave Filoni’s active engagement with fans has proven successful for the animated show, and I hope this is a sign that we’ll see a better dialogue with the people in charge of the EU, as well. In an interview with Lightsabre.org in 2006, Parisi said something that really gives me hope for the future.
Like any myth, Star Wars is a living tapestry that all types of talented and creative people can contribute to, and do, and I find that the creative energy I’m attracted to the most comes from the fans.
In other EU news, the cover art for Jeff Grubb’s Hutt novel Star Wars: Scourge was revealed at Suvudu.com. The cover designed by Scott Biel features Jedi Mander Zuma as imagined by Larry Rostant. It’s definitely a different and bold look for a Star Wars book.
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