Fate of the Jedi Apocalypse is the end of the Jacen Solo era, according to Troy Denning.
I’d never thought of the books like that and still don’t. Denning said it started in the Dark Nest Trilogy, which he said was Jacen’s personal journey. Legacy of the Force was his social journey and Fate of the Jedi was Jacen’s spiritual journey. This coincides with how Denning writes his own books.
I’m still not sure what I think about this. I see the mechanics and the overall arc, but I don’t know. I’ll have to think on it some more.
I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived at the Barnes and Noble in Carmel, Ind. for the second stop on the Apocalypse book tour. Stormtroopers, Darth Vader, two Rogues (one man and one woman), a Sith cheerleader, Rebel officer and other types of troopers stood in the front of the store like some type of guard. I picked up my copy of the book, received a wristband and found a seat in the metal chairs by the magazines. The evening started with a chat by Denning and then a question and answer session. The questions spanned Denning’s work and writing.
When it comes time to write a series, the authors, editors, marking and continuity folks meet to discuss the details. Denning stated that each author has a list of plot points for the book he is to write. He used Star by Star as an example, as he was sure no one would be spoiled (he hates spoilers). Anakin Solo dies and Coruscant falls made the list.
Regarding the writing process for FotJ, Denning said, “We don’t share much in the process of writing.” It messes with the momentum. He did point out that they did share a little more of the Ben and Vestara scenes.
Denning pointed out something about the editorial staff and writers that I think captures the feelings of some fans. There’s a certain push for war stories.
“Ended [Apocalypse] in a way to open up a million different kinds of stories,” Denning stated. As for the title itself, he said it fits the current state of the EU. The old EU we all knew is evolving into something new.
A question arose about the Legacy comics and if Denning and the others felt pressure from the events. While there’s a good chance that the books will eventual lead to that point, Denning stated that the authors and editorial staff are “trying to make the journey of how we get there interesting.”
He used the example of Jagged Fel, whom the Legacy comics revealed to be an emperor. There are things they want Jag to do before that happens.
For the record, Denning said that he didn’t know if he’d be involved or what was happening next in the EU.
As with most author talks, the subject turns to writing. The main piece of advice he had to give was, “It’s easier to fix it than do it right the first time.” It’s very true. Becoming bogged down in details and worrying if something is correct can ruin the stream of creativity. Yes, writers need to be aware of major details, but it’s not necessary to stop every few minutes to check previous pages.
Everyone needs an editor. Denning’s wife looks at his first drafts. He said that he finished Tatooine Ghost (the “chick book” he wouldn’t normally write) three weeks before the deadline, handed it to his wife and she told him to tell them he’d be late. One of the issues was an overuse of Chewbacca to the point where he was practically in Han and Leia’s bedroom. The reason for his constant appearance was that it was the first time Chewie’d appeared in a book after his death in Vector Prime.
Writer’s block is something we’ve all encountered. Countless writers offer various reason and ways to beat back the beast.
According to Denning, writer’s block occurs when a person is “really not prepared to write.” After he said it, I realized that there was some truth to that. While I don’t think it’s true all of the time (especially regarding news articles), the lack of inspiration or ideas is the root cause of many cases of writer’s block.
Overall, I’d consider the evening rather informative. His “chick book” remark was rather off-putting and a cause for concern. It was clear that he has a passion for Star Wars, especially Han and Leia.
Now to read Apocalypse to see how Denning’s latest entry into the EU is.
Check out the video of his talk here:
Huge thanks to my husband for recording it.