Troy Denning Facebook Chat

April 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Posted in Events, Interview, Star Wars Books, Star Wars News | 2 Comments
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Today Star Wars Books had a live Facebook chat with author Troy Denning which focused heavily on his latest novel Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse. You can view the entire live chat here, or you can look below to see our edited transcript of the chat. The chat does contain spoilers for Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse.

I’d like to know how old is the Father?

TD: I have no idea how old the Father is. That’s probably a question better put to Dave Filoni. At least 100k years in mind, though.

What would be your Star Wars dream project?

TD: I’ve been blessed with so many dream SW projects already that I feel guilty talking about another one . . . but I would like to write the story of Yoda coming of age.

Do you have an idea where you’d like to take the Star Wars EU now or are you still thinking about it? Also will you keep to the 3 author co-lab format that Legacy and Fate have been using or go to a different style of writing?

TD: One of our goals for Apocalypse was to open up a whole new boatload of story telling possibilities for the EU. I feel like we accomplished that, and there are about a hundred different Star Wars stories I’d love to tell that are hinted at the end of Apocalypse.

Is Mortis the homeworld of the Force?

TD: I think the question of whether Mortis is the homeworld of the Force really belongs to Dave Filoni to answer. In my view, it was a mythic interpretation of the Force functions — but, as with all symbols, I think you have to be careful about reading it too literally.

When writing Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse where did the idea of Luke talking about Mortis in the book come up?

TD: I’ve discussed in a couple of different interviews how we came to use Mortis in Apocalypse, so I’m going to refer you to that rather than take the time to answer here. There’s a link to Eric Geller’s interview on the Star Wars page here.

I admit at one certain point in the book I almost completely closed it and swore off reading the rest of it completely I was so mad. Please tell us there are plans to redeem Raynar Thule from the kiliks again!

TD: I did have Luke say at the end of Apocalypse that someone had to go get Raynar away from the Killiks again. I doubt that it will be shown on camera, but I’m pretty sure that the next time we see Raynar, if will be back with the Jedi in known space.

When are we going to find out more about Jagged Fel and how he becomes Emperor, etc?

TD: I truly don’t know the answer to your question about finding out more about Jag becoming emperor. I’m only a writer, and those decisions are made by the editors and others at Del Rey and Lucasfilm (although I do sometimes have some input). Personally, I’m hoping it takes a while, because I’d like to see Jag and Jaina have a chance to have a “normal” life with the Jedi first.

What was your favorite part about writing Apocalypse?

TD: I really enjoyed writing a lot of parts of Apocalypse. Among my favorites were the Tahiri/Boba scenes (actually, the rewrites of those — the first couple of drafts were rough). Everything to do with my pet character, Saba, of course. And I had a huge amount of fun writing Jaina in battle. I also enjoyed the interaction between Ben and Vestara toward the end, when she realizes she will never be a true Jedi and he realizes the same thing.

Now that Coruscant has expelled the Jedi, will the adventures of the order happen on new, or rather, unexplored worlds?

TD: I don’t know that future Jedi adventures will all take place on unexplored worlds, but it’s my hope that there will be a greater opportunity to broaden the scope of their stories in both location and style.

I really enjoyed how you pushed the story towards the Legacy comics in some ways but kept it distant in many others (Jag stepping down for example). Was that decision yours, LFL’s, or the overall Fate of the Jedi team?

TD: The decision to push the story toward Legacy in some ways and move it away in others was a collective decision; I certainly approve of it whole-heartedly, and would have made the same decision were it mine to make alone.

Do you have any interest in writing for Star Wars: The Old Republic, either tie-in novels or in-game storylines?

TD: I’m interested in writing for all eras of Star Wars. Unfortunately, there’s only so much time, and I seem to find a pretty decent reception in the era I work in now. So, we’ll see . . . it could happen!

When it comes to Star Wars and sci-fi terminology and technology, do you find it difficult to differentiate it from other sci-fi material? I mean, what is it that makes a Star Wars novel unique from other material in sci-fi?

TD: At this point, Star Wars is such a part of my story-telling DNA that I think it will be difficult to write something else and not use terms like blasters and vibroknives. (I can probably remember not to use lightsabers, though!)

With part of Luke’s force missing, does this mean he is going to start taking a back seat to other major players? Just doesn’t seem possible for him to continue being the bad ass he is when there is something missing.

TD: I do think that Luke has suffered a substantial physical and spiritual wound that should be reflected in future stories, but I don’t know that it will keep him from playing a major part in future stories. (Again, I’m just the writer — that really isn’t my call). I think it should fall more into the category of a weakness that must be part of his arc in future stories. I like how you think of the wound, too — part of his Force-presence missing. That’s really what Abeloth did to him, isn’t it?

Were there ever any conflicts between what you were writing in your three books and what either Christie or Aaron were writing in their books (ie. some seemingly minor point that would contradict something from another book)? If so, how would you resolve those conflicts?

TD: There were certainly minor conflicts in what I was writing and what Christie and Aaron were writing. Those are unavoidable, and I dare say they happen even within a writer’s own work. But there was never a problem handling any of them, or even anything that was large enough to cause us headaches. A lot of that has to do with the planning process we used, where we laid out the major plot points in advance, and a lot of it has to do with how great Aaron and Christie are to work with. It truly was more fun than writing alone!

Having asked other authors the same thing, curious as to your answer: Would you be interested in writing the final adventure for the Big 3?

TD: Yeah, sure, I’d love to write the Big 3’s final adventure. What writer in his right mind wouldn’t?

What exactly is the Throne of Balance? Is it actually physical or simply spiritual? Because Krayt does end up ruling, but he never really sat on any special throne.

TD: Exactly. The Throne of Balance is a symbol, not a physical throne. You have to think of it on several levels at once.

Off-topic, but I always wondered how you got the Scoundrel’s Luck job waaay back in 1990 by WEG. Were you already an established author by then or were you very active in the RPG business?

TD: I was heavily involved in the RPF industry, freelancing as a game designer and still an aspiring novelist. A college buddy of mine — Curtis Smith — happened to be on the editorial staff at West End and knew of both my RPG work and interest in fiction. So he asked me if I’d like to try my hand at the game books. I did, and I guess they liked what I did enough to give me the job.

In Apocalypse we finally got some sort of info on what Zekk and Taryn have been up to since Invincible…what with the reveal of them being a part of the Lorellian Court, and working even more in depth with Tenel Ka (who by the way is my favorite character), and I was wondering if you think we’ll ever really find out truly what the Court is and what happened during the events that would have been revealed in Blood Oath?

TD: I don’t know if and to what extent the events of Blood Oath will ever be revealed. You’d have to ask someone in editorial that, and I suspect that even they don’t know right now. But I hope that they are, because it was a cool story, and provides a lot of good material for Hapan society.

Thank you so much for your detail that you put in the stories, that you have shared with us. I attempt to write but cannot put into to words for others what I see. Can you give me any tips? Right now, I use Photo Novels to tell my stories but, I would love to write a book.

TD: Write everyday for a reasonable amount of time that you can afford every day. Write with abandon. Write the story you’re dying to read. Revise. Rewrite. Revise some more. Revision is where the beauty comes out.

You said above that the story will go on, but you didn’t say if the ongoing story is told in books (maybe another 9-book series) or if the future stories will be told by comics. So can we count on some new book series, or is there also the possibility of comics in this era?

TD: I think it’s safe to assume that there will be more Star Wars stories in all of those forms. But, honestly, I’m the wrong person to ask for specifics. I only know when they want me to write something, and don’t have a lot of knowledge of what other irons they have in the fire.

Erich Schoeneweiss: The Star Wars adventure will continue after Fate of the Jedi in novels and in short stories. We’re actively working on a number of stories. We’re simply not ready to discuss them yet. News will be coming soon. Star Wars Insider #134 on sale this summer will contain a short story that picks up right after Apocalypse and features Jaina and Jag.

Is there any chance that Abeloth could use the wounds inflicted on Luke to gain insight on the Jedi or even possess him?

TD: I suppose there’s a chance that Abeloth could use Luke’s wound to come back. But I honestly don’t expect that to happen. Abeloth, in my mind at least, is gone for a couple of dozen millennia. Of course, I’m not the guy who determines future story arcs, so that’s just my opinion.

Are you a Jedi or a Sith?

TD: To misquote my favorite bird character: “I’m Troy.” Seriously, when I write Jedi, I’m Jedi. When I write Sith, I’m Sith.

If DelRey/LucasBooks allowed you to write any EU story you wanted, what story would you write?

TD: if Lucasfilm Ltd. and Del Rey allowed me to write any Star Wars story I wanted, I’d write them all. I’d still be writing when I’m 150.

Would you rather work on a smaller series of books alone (like Dark Nest) or on a larger series with other authors (Fate of the Jedi and Legacy of the Force)?

TD: I’ve worked on two big multi-author series in a row. So, for now, I’m ready to tackle something smaller in the immediate future. And I think that’s what the EU needs, too. We need to play with a lot of different kinds of stories for a while.

If you had a chance to write the duel between two Star Wars characters (chosen by you), which characters would you use and why?

TD: Boy, that’s a tough question. I think I’d like to write a duel between Luke and Krayt. And Saba and almost anyone tough. Jaina and Boba, to the death. The list goes on and on.

How did Abeloth trigger the Force psychosis in the Shelter Jedi? And why didn’t she do it again when she realized the Jedi were trying to destroy her?

TD: After the Shelter Jedi were cured the first time, they were a little more aware of what the psychosis was, and a little more resistant.

How difficult it was to right the final Bazel Warv battle? That was incredibly inspiring. The sheer heroism had me in tears just reading it. Very well done Sir.

TD: The Barv battle was a tough one to write, and not just because of what happened in it. It was a pretty wild free-for-all with a lot happening, and those are always tough to choreograph and keep exciting, because you have to give the reader a decent idea of what’s happening through the POV of a character who probably doesn’t have a clear picture of it himself.

Where is a good place to start to read some of your non-Star Wars work?

TD: For my non-Star Wars work, I’d start with Pages of Pain, Crucible: The Trial of Cyric the Mad, Dragonwall, and the Dark Sun series, The Prism Pentad. All Wizards of the Coast — you might have to look for it on eBook, though.

Have you ever thought about tackling Obi-Wan in the dark times?

TD: No, I hadn’t thought about Obi-Wan in the dark times. But now that you mention it…

I would like to see some of the main characters die off. Do you feel the same?

TD: I don’t know how I’d feel about killing off any of the Big 3. I guess it has to happen sooner or later, but I love those guys.

I’m curious, what were some of the earlier story lines that may have been changed or dropped in Fate of the Jedi? I always enjoy hearing about those types of things.

TD: That’s a big question for a small amount of time. Certainly, we adjusted story lines, but I’m having a hard time remembering whether we dropped any. We added the slavery line, which was Christie’s idea to give the Jedi a moral center, and which I really liked.

To quote Leia in Episode VI “I love you.” Mr. Denning.

TD: I know.

Does anyone of the writers find C-3PO annoying?

TD: I can’t speak for Aaron or Christie, but I love how annoying C-3PO is.

Whose idea was the Throne of Balance?

TD: I think the throne of balance was my idea. It kind of developed over time, from Dark Nest through Tempest.

Were there major things that George wanted in the series or had he no objections?

TD: I don’t know whether or what George (Lucas, I presume) might have wanted or not wanted in the series. He’s a little above the writers’ pay-grade, so any feedback he gives us comes through a lot of filters.

Which Star Wars book did you have the most fun writing?

TD: The answer to that is always the same: “The last one I finished!” Thanks everyone — it was a blast!

Posted By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.


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  1. Is Lucas allowing more books to continue the story lines after the fate of the jedi series?

  2. @Timothy: Yes, in fact the next Star Wars book coming out, X-Wing: Mercy Kill by Aaron Allston, will be continuing the story line as it picks up after the events of FOTJ: Apocalypse.

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