Last year, Sequart published a pair of anthology books discussing Star Wars, starting with A Long Time Ago… Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic Universe and followed by A Galaxy Far, Far Away… Exploring Star Wars Comics. To round out the trilogy, as is often the case with many things Star Wars, Sequart released its third in the series, A More Civilized Age… Exploring the Star Wars Expanded Universe! Read More
Originally published February 8, 1998
Steve Perry, author of Shadows of the Empire, was the first author to pen a Star Wars novel taking place between two original trilogy films: The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Most of the books that have come out since Tim Zahn’s Heir to the Empire in 1991 were set after the theatrical trilogy’s finale.
Shadows of the Empire is a fantastic piece of work and accurately reflects the action, adventure, and excitement of the original trilogy. It was launched as part of a huge multimedia extravaganza including a CD soundtrack, video game, action figures and toys, comics, and more. Some of Steve’s work was even referenced in the Star Wars: A New Hope Special Edition. I had a quick chat with to Steve Perry resulting in some rapid-fire answers about his work. Enjoy! Read More
When George Lucas decided to retire and sell Lucasfilm, everyone expected a few changes. New President, Kathleen Kennedy, faced many challenges and had to make some hard decisions. Under the oppressively huge shadow of the multimedia juggernaut known as Disney, it appeared that some of those decisions might have instead fallen into the demand rather than decision category.
Being that Disney already had well-established multimedia divisions in place, the decision to dismantle certain entities such as LucasArts seemed to be aimed at avoiding competition with oneself. Disney’s interactive arm already develops games and software, among other things. Why have another internal company creating games? I know they’ve hired EA, but I’m sure they’ll develop some stuff internally. Something similar could be said for Lucasfilm’s animation division. The successful Clone Wars animated series was abruptly canceled which upset many fans and left some story arcs incomplete. Almost a whole season sits in limbo, waiting to find its way to fans. Will Disney buy and air the final episodes? Probably not. Will they go straight to DVD? Possibly. We’ll see. I never really watched the show but what I did see was pretty good.
The show aired on Cartoon Network, a direct competitor to Disney’s television stations, including Disney XD which is the home to many of Disney’s shows including Spider-Man and Avengers cartoons as well as other animated and live action programs.
So why cancel the show in the first place? No one really knows for sure but it probably revolved around money somehow. Perhaps Disney didn’t want to buy the show out or just didn’t want anything to do with something touched by the Time Warner-owned Cartoon Network.
In any case, we’re getting something else now: Star Wars Rebels.
Many a fan, including myself have wondered when Lucasfilm would venture into this nearly untouched period of time before Episode IV concerning the “Jedi Purge,” in fanboy speak. I didn’t think we’d get it in animated form but just because one medium is involved, doesn’t mean others won’t follow. Once new characters and scenarios are established, endless books, comics, and perhaps even films will be sure to follow.
Here’s an excerpt from the Starwars.com press release:
Production has begun on Star Wars Rebels, an exciting, all-new animated television series based on one of the greatest entertainment franchises of all time. Scheduled to premiere in fall 2014 as a one-hour special telecast on Disney Channel, it will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels around the world.
The action-filled series is set between the events of Episode III and IV — an era spanning almost two decades never-before explored on-screen. Star Wars Rebels takes place in a time where the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking shape. Details about the show are a closely guarded secret at this point.
John Jackson Millers’ eagerly awaited novel Star Wars: Kenobi finally has a cover to wrap around the August 27th novel that tells of Ben’s time on Tatooine protecting young Luke Skywalker.
Here’s a brief summary . . .
Tatooine—a harsh desert world where farmers toil in the heat of two suns while trying to protect themselves and their loved ones from the marauding Tusken Raiders. A backwater planet on the edge of civilized space. And an unlikely place to find a Jedi Master in hiding, or an orphaned infant boy on whose tiny shoulders rests the future of a galaxy.
Known to locals only as “Ben,” the bearded and robed offworlder is an enigmatic stranger who keeps to himself, shares nothing of his past, and goes to great pains to remain an outsider. But as tensions escalate between the farmers and a tribe of Sand People led by a ruthless war chief, Ben finds himself drawn into the fight, endangering the very mission that brought him to Tatooine.
Ben—Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, hero of the Clone Wars, traitor to the Empire, and protector of the galaxy’s last hope—can no more turn his back on evil than he can reject his Jedi training. And when blood is unjustly spilled, innocent lives threatened, and a ruthless opponent unmasked, Ben has no choice but to call on the wisdom of the Jedi—and the formidable power of the Force—in his never-ending fight for justice.
Source: Jedi News. UK
Shadows of the Empire is hands down my favorite Expanded Universe story. I feel it’s one of the only ones that really captured the essence of the other Star Wars films. Neatly sandwiched between Empire and Jedi, it filled a gap which definitely needed filling.
It read just like one of the films. It had a great story, a really cool villain, all the usual characters (except Han who was still frozen at the time), plus enough new bits and pieces to keep it fresh and interesting.
Those who were around and following it at the time will remember that it was a huge media blitz consisting of a book, comic adaptation, video game, soundtrack score, action figures, toys, trading cards and more. I loved the book and even interviewed the author for this site.
So when I saw that some fan-filmmakers started a Kickstarter drive to make the film, my interest was naturally piqued. They’re looking to raise $10,000.