The Future of Star Wars: Allston, Zahn, Karpyshyn and Kemp

April 13, 2012 at 9:00 am | Posted in Opinion, Star Wars Books | 2 Comments
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With the end of the Fate of the Jedi series, the future of the Star Wars Expanded Universe is wide open. However, there are only a few books on the near horizon after Jeff Grubb’s Scourge. In August, fans will get the tenth addition to the X-Wing series written by long time favorite Aaron Allston. In December the king of the EU, Timothy Zahn, will deliver his Han Solo heist book Scoundrels. Old Republic and Sith extraordinaire author Drew Karpyshyn will pen his fifth novel Annihilation in November. And relative newcomer Paul S. Kemp has a mysterious “ambitious” duology that will launch early next year. Looking at the playing field, there’s one clear picture: there’s something for everyone.

Star Wars fandom can get categorized in a lot of ways, but there is certainly a faction that yearns for the good old Bantam days. While some might scoff at the early EU and some of the Bantam era books, most will agree that the Thrawn Trilogy stands out as some of the best literature of the period. For that reason alone, many fans will be happy to see a new Zahn novel. But there’s more to it than that. Some welcome a break from the realistic, hard edged lit of the Del Rey era. What those fans are specifically hesitant about is the New Jedi Order and everything that follows.

While wars and conflicts have always been abundant in Star Wars, some fans draw the line on the post-NJO material. It’s not so much that they didn’t like the NJO, but the gripping drama and painful character deaths that carried on for nineteen novels deserved a break. Yet the Dark Nest trilogy, the Legacy of the Force and, to an extent, even the Fate of the Jedi series carried on the non-stop grueling tension. For those who are still waiting for their break, Mercy Kill is their beacon of hope.

While Allston is not as hands off on character deaths as Zahn, his ample amounts of humor make up for it. X-Wing fans have waited a long time for a new book, and what better way than a new Wraith book? When it comes to the wraiths, humor is a given. More importantly though, Mercy Kill is a post-FOTJ book. As such, this could be the first real break from NJO style storytelling.

Not everyone is so adverse to that style, however. In fact a lot of fans have been pouring their investment into The Old Republic. For game lovers, Sith lovers, and Old Republic fans, Karpyshyn is what they’re waiting for. Annihilation may not be a Revan Part II, but it may very well be a Deceived Part II. Darth Malgus will be returning, along with some faces we have yet to see in the books but some have already seen the comics and the video game. So far the TOR books have delivered some gripping and drama heavy material. When Jedi and Sith go to war, a lot of people suffer and die. When authors like Karpyshyn and Kemp unleash the full power of their character building potential, those deaths can have quite an impact.

Last but not least, there is Paul S. Kemp. Kemp has so far only written three Star Wars novels, and yet he has already created quite the stir. Crosscurrent came in like a breath of fresh air when everyone was knee deep in FOTJ. Rather than using well established characters, Crosscurrent used brand new or never established ones. On top of that, it touched upon two entirely different time periods and did so with an engaging, original story that worked well. From there, Kemp jumped into The Old Republic with Deceived which made a lot of Sith lovers and gamers happy. His last book, Riptide, pushed the limits on surprise twists and had people equally shocked, entranced, and disturbed. So far all we know is that his next project is an “ambitious” duology. With what he did with Riptide, one wonders what he’ll do next. Regardless, it has some fans, myself included, very excited.

Whether you’re a long time Zahn fan looking for some good Han Solo action, a diehard X-Wing fan waiting for your Allston fix, a Sith lover waiting for more Karpyshyn, or a reader waiting to get their mind blown by Kemp’s secret project, the near future of the EU seems to have us covered.

Edit: Author Drew Karpyshyn clarified that Darth Malgus won’t actually be in Annihilation, but his apprentice will be. Sorry for the confusion.

Posted By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.


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  1. Wonder how the EU will adapt to the new movies?

  2. im hoping they wont just forget it all and start over…

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