Interview by NJOE.com Members

What is your favorite Star Wars novel?

This may be recent read bias talking, but Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor. It combines the magic and characters of the Original Trilogy with the open world of the Expanded Universe and some of the best writing I’ve ever seen in the Star Wars universe.

What is your favorite Star Wars pairing (romantic) and why?

At this point in time, I’d have to say Ben Skywalker and Vestara Khai. I know, a rather fannish choice. However, I’d have to say that I’d be happy to have a fannish choice and that I’ve earned it. I am a fan, after all.

I choose this pairing because there are new and hopefully unexpected things in the future. We have a hardline Jedi and a serious Sith, two people that are both completely dedicated to their cultural ways of doing things (not a Mara Jade, who follows a mistaken notion that the Emperor is honorable and it’s only his minions who are evil). They’re also a natural match- two clever youths in unique situations, both attracted to one another on a physical and mental level. The fact that they’re mortal enemies, both encouraged by their respective religions to seduce the other, and likely to rely on one another to survive the rest of this series only adds to this.

Jaina Solo is sexy and awesome. Discuss.

See, this Nom guy did it right. Notice the lack of question mark after the obvious demand?

Although I’m not sure how much you wish me to discuss. Would you like me to rewrite Dark Journey, except with Jaina as the main character like the title and cover indicate that she’s supposed be? Would you like me to simply nod to the covers she’s appeared on, acknowledge that even as a bondage model she can defeat a Yuuzhan Vong warmaster, or what?

Is Lord Cronal White Eyes? Why or why not?

No, because Lord Cronal is depicted as often having black eyes. He is also an arrogant leader who believes himself to have greater vision than any Sith, and would not become a follower without attempting to take Krayt’s place in the process.

Worst Star Wars book?

Now that I’ve finished it, I can honestly say that the existence of a Star Wars book without a plot, by which I mean Death Star is a travesty and does not deserve the title of “book”.

Best Star Wars film? Why?

Empire Strikes Back. It has a training montage, romantic drama that doesn’t overshadow the story, powerful fantasy elements and challenging decisions and real danger for the heroes. It’s also darker in general, which is a subjective preference.

Worst mistake the EU ever made?

The worst ever… actually, of all the things I can think of in-universe, it seems to be trusting that someone wouldn’t come around years after the fact and say that all of their hard work was irrelevant because the man whose franchise they were using didn’t bother to read their work before writing over it.

How will Fate of the Jedi end?

In a way that will reduce a nine book series to the equivalent of an episodic standalone or trilogy of the sort we haven’t see in Star Wars since Survivor’s Quest.

Just how did the Secret Apprentice survive The Force Unleashed?

{NOTE: Actual news came out regarding this. Of course, I was right… but maybe it doesn’t match the interview any more?}

A secret cloning facility on Wayland- I mean Vjun, where a secret Thrawn- I mean Starkiller- is being grown and flash taught. After meeting Vader, X2- I mean Starkiller- escapes to forge his own path.

You’re alone with the Holocron for five minutes. You don’t look at anything. You make a copy on a portable electronic device. Do you keep this all to yourself and dole out interesting info for other fans, or do you give everyone a copy (and if you give everyone a copy, do you charge or give them away as freebies?)

I would probably keep it for personal research and reveal huge amounts every time I utilized it. Unless somebody thought to ask me for it.

Who are some of your most beloved SW characters and why?

My top non-Jedi (outside of my overall Top 10): Wedge Antilles, Han Solo, and Gilad Pellaeon, because they’re tied right below Talon, Thrawn and Boba.
Favorite Jedi Guardian/Sentinel (not in top 10): Kyle Katarn
Favorite Jedi Consular (not in top 10): Leia Organa Solo (is she a Consular?) – her lifetime accomplishments pre-Jedi earn her this
Favorite Sith (not in top 10): Lord Cronal – a recent substitution, bumping Vader off of this list in the time since I first wrote it.
Favorite miscellaneous character (not in top 10): Kueller – the best non-Sith Dark Jedi

Greatest of All Time
All-time Greatest Star Wars Character #10: Mace Windu – he’s a Grey Jedi influence second only to Yoda. He’s also tired of these Mother***king Siths in this Mother***king Senate.
All-time Greatest Star Wars Character #09: Tahiri Riina Kwaad Veila – Still the girl that loved Anakin Solo and the warrior who helped liberate Coruscant
All-time Greatest Star Wars Character #08: Darth Nihl – does he deserve this high? I don’t know, but he’s an old Sith in a new Order, an Order that I don’t like, and he killed a Skywalker.
All-time Greatest Star Wars Character #07: Talon Karrde – the only man I’ve known to match wits with Thrawn and not come out with his head up his choobies.
All-time Greatest Star Wars Character #06: Mara Jade – the best Emperor’s Hand and the best Jedi assassin ever
All-time Greatest Star Wars Character #05: Darth Bane – the Sith’ari
All-time Greatest Star Wars Character #04: Grand Admiral Mitth’raw’nuruodo – he’s kriffing Thrawn for God’s sake!
All-time Greatest Star Wars Character #03: Boba Fett – BAMF plus leader of a planet of the same.
All-time Greatest Star Wars Character #02: Artoo Detoo – ‘Nuff said.

The Greatest Star Wars Character of All Time: Jaina Solo – Jedi/Mando/possible Imp/Rogue/all awesome. Plus hot.

If you could change one thing from the EU what would it be?

I would probably change the way the New Republic seemed to fall apart and convert to the Rebel Alliance when Palpatine returned. Battle meditation does not extend across the galaxy.

You get to interview George Lucas, what 3 questions would you ask?

  1. Which is more cold-blooded: preemptive killing in self defense, or calculatedly killing a being who can’t hit an unmoving target at Point Blank Range?

  2. What do you think of the Thrawn Trilogy, Traitor and the Republic Commando novels?

  3. What was Palpatine’s secret motivation for working so hard to keep Luke from giving in to his anger?

You get to know everything there is about one character, past, present, future. Which character do you choose?

 Right now this would come to Schrödinger’s bounty hunter- the elusive Boba Fett- because there is so much conflict surrounding the mystery. Honorable mention would be Revan, who lacks a species, face and backstory, and Grand Admiral Thrawn, who has much the same mystery as Fett.

What is you favorite book featuring Boba Fett?

It’s been a while since I’ve read the trilogy, but I have a feeling it was Slave Ship, as I love Boba Fett in the Bounty Hunter Wars and it holds the position of Empire Strikes Back in the trilogy. It may very well, however, have been The Mandalorian Armor.

Everyone has a “how I first experienced Star Wars” story. What’s yours?

This may not be my first time ever, but my first distinct Star Wars memory occurred when I was nine years old. For those of you who did the math, you know I sat down with my large Collector’s Item Star Wars Cherry Coke and large Star Wars popcorn, and had my mind blown.

What are your thoughts on Karen Traviss?

I don’t know Karen Traviss, and I have not spoken with her. I have not witnessed the alleged interactions between her and fans, including those involving members of this site. I can comment on her writing, however.

Karen Traviss, like many authors and many strong-willed individuals, tends to take what she is writing about and make it hers. It’s not that she completely disrespects the source material, it’s that she completely disrespects anybody else’s choice to interpret this in a different manner from her. Which if perfectly fine- it’s the difference between tip-toeing around Jaden Korr’s face, and defining your character’s traits and backstory to actually have a compelling story. The way she does this tends to be unique to her, in that she does not often maintain the classic Star Wars atmosphere, placing her in the company of only (ironically) the film novelizations themselves, and L. Neil Smith.

As such, Traviss’s interpretations are usually refreshingly different, and necessarily polarizing. Only time will tell if she becomes the next Barbara Hambly, or the next Michael Stackpole (strictly speaking Star Wars, of course). I tend to enjoy her additions to the Star Wars universe, though not necessarily.

What are your thoughts on the Clone War show?

I don’t watch it, and I have yet to purchase the Season 1 DVD. I think there is more than meets the eye when I listen only to people bitching and moaning, and people cheering. I have no idea as to the actual quality of the content.

Which EU character do you think deserves more screen time?

Oh wow. Don’t get me started. Let me do a top ten.

Tahiri Veila – Tahiri, despite occasional appearances, it almost seems has dropped off the face of the Earth from her earlier status. Ironically, she was barely in the EU- she rose from not much and fell to about the same. She debuted in the Junior Jedi Knights series- not as popular as the Young Jedi Knights of close to the same time period- and went on to return during the E dge of Victory miniseries during the New Jedi Order. She quickly rose to prominence during this storyline and Star by Star, during which she earned the status of an adopted Solo as well as being a widow to a hero- the first fleshed-out example of this I can think of in Star Wars. We followed Tahiri through the rest of her series as she struggled with and came to terms with Riina Kwaad. Tahiri then continued to be faced with the same trials as the rest of her companions from the mission to Mykr, until she was literally pushed off the stage by Troy Denning Luke Skywalker. She returned from her punishment period at Dagobah, where she fell off the face of the Earth, presumably returning to Zonama Sekot, where she was a likely candidate for the position of Magistrate- or a new, shared position, with her companions Tekli and Danni Quee. She was last seen randomly bumping into Sith Apprentice Jacen Solo, where she remained far in the backdrop until she was brought into the spotlight just long enough for Jacen’s influence to be removed so she could drop off the face of the Earth again. Now she appears as a convenient plot device and filler when necessary.

Kyle Katarn – Kyle Katarn, like Kam Solusar, is one of the prime battlemasters in the Jedi Order. He trained some of the earliest and deadliest Jedi Knights, and was a skilled warrior and Rebel Agent when Luke Skywalker was still staring wistfully in the general direction of Tosche Station. He stared in 3 novellas and several video games, and now he gets name-dropped when there’s a need to get the fans of those games to keep reading, despite the constant crises the Galactic Alliance is always in.

Lowbacca and Lumpawaroo – At the end of the Yuuzhan Vong war, the cycle of death was brought full circle as Lowbacca and Lumpawaroo agreed to take on their respective uncle and and father Chewbacca’s life debt. Yet… we see no signs of any such things. We see Lowie and Waroo being Wookiees, but neither of them do anything particularly reminiscent of their characters. They’re just… Wookiee warriors. Relatively, very boring.

The Noghri – The Noghri are in very much the same situation as the Wookiees, except it’s more expected. Maybe not by Han and Leia, but by the readers. From The Thrawn Trilogy through the NJO, Dark Nest and the beginning of Legacy of the Force, they were everywhere the Falcon went. The Solos’ Noghri bodyguards were like a rotating member of the family. Many Noghri died to bring you important events. Which is why it’s utterly ridiculous that Jacen Solo is responsible for the murders of the last two Noghri to ever appear in a Star Wars novel. Why? What is the point? There is no point. Bring back the kriffin’ Noghri.

Tesar Sebatyne – Tesar and Saba Sebatyne join Alema Rar and Izal Waz as the only characters introduced in Star by Star and its accompanying E-Book, Recovery, to survive the novel. Saba went on to become a pivotal member of the Jedi High Council, even taking Yoda’s spot as the eccentric one. Alema went on to become a major protagonist. The fact that Izal Waz did not go on to become anything great is more because he was designed as a way to try and sympathize with heroes addicted to drugs and cigarettes, plus he never took part in the mission that killed several of his team mates. Yet Tesar was there. His hatch mates died to bring you… wait, I used that line already. Plus, this puts Tesar down with Jaina, Jacen, Tahiri (see above), Lowbacca (also see above), Tekli (see below) and Raynar as a member of the modern day equivalent of Return of the Jedi Luke, Han, Chewbacca, Artoo, Threepio and Leia. So where is Tesar?

Malinza Thanas – Luke Skywalker’s adopted daughter since the Corellian trilogy, though I doubt that was her first appearance. Malinza appears when it’s expedient to the plot to arrive on Bakura, and to provide service to fans who have been with the EU since the first one Luke went there. Rather than being an adopted daughter, a political figure who has a righteous complaint against Big Government and Superpowered Protector Beings, despite owing everything she has (assuming she hasn’t turned it down) to the products of Big Government and Superpowered Protector Beings. Where’s the rebellious teen sitting in at a Jedi Ceremony scowling and dressed in all black, cutting her wrist and claiming that her father makes her do it by using the Force? (Not making light of wrist-cutting or wishing her to suffer, but because this is something I legitimately think a character like her would do if they actually developed her.) Where’s the political Malinza standing up against Chief of State Solo’s abuses of power? And don’t give me that. If you need to read every appearance of her to understand why she’d do this, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!

Callista Ming – Notice I did not say Callista Masana. Sure, it would be nice to see her in that era. But Callista Ming is a far more pivotal and interesting character. Oh, shut up. I didn’t say her personality was interesting. Here you have a Jedi who was taught to walk the grey path- she adheres to the Light Side but is not only willing to emote, but is willing to make use of hardcore Dark Side techniques to survive- who can only use the Dark Side of the Force! Is she going to succumb to the temptation, which is now ten times greater for her than anybody else? Is she ever going to regain use of the Light Side a la Ulic Qel-Droma? Is there going to be a stupid secret story like Death Star in which it’s revealed that Obi-Wan once snuck aboard the Eye of Palpatine, chopped off the mechanical equivalent of an arm, and stripped her of the Force? You can’t just get rid of a character that had a heavy influence in the doctrine of the New Jedi Order and posed serious questions just because they were horribly written and unpopular!

Hey, let’s cut that “Skywalker” guy out of Star Wars. Nobody seemed to like his monologues.

Tekli, Danni Quee and Nas Choka – This comes up a lot in fan discussion. Zonama Sekot. Okay, it has its controversies. Avoid them if you must. I’m not saying you have to cater to me. I’d love to see a Yuuzhan Vong philosophical debate between warriors, priests and prefects set during Legacy of the Force. I’d love to see Nas Choka demand Sekot give him access to the Force. Maybe that’s not going to happen. Let’s see what Tekli and Danni have to say when Tahiri just ups and leaves to become a Sith apprentice and bounty hunter. Hell, let’s just see what Danni has to say about Jacen and his daughter. Or Jacen spending so much time with Tahiri. Let’s see what Tekli has to say about anything taking place in LOTF or FOTJ. Let’s see what Nas Choka has to say about being expected to follow orders from two relatively Force-weak Jedi. Let’s see… something happen on this planet that was a main plot point in the most popular series of EU history!

Cronal/Lord Blackhole – This is a must. By the time the Jedi Academy Trilogy passed, with Gethzerion, Palpatine, Exar Kun Vader out of the equation and Marca Ragnos headed the same way, Cronal was easily the most powerful Dark Side user in the galaxy. This was right around the time he was proving it by doing most likely nasty things to the future wife of the most powerful Light Side user in the galaxy. Okay, Luke was busy with Callista at this time… are you telling me that Cronal had absolutely no interest in taking Callista and convincing her that following him was the only way to make use of the Force? Are you telling me that Kueller taught himself to draw power from sheer destruction? Finally, are you telling me the powerful Sorceror of Rhand gave up on his life goals and decided to become a Rita Repulsa style annoyance because of one defeat?

The Inquisitorious and Dark Side Elite – Well, duh. The Inquisitors, Prophets, Hands, Eyes, Vag- wait, those weren’t Force users- Sovereign Protectors, Shadow Guards, Dark Jedi, and any other Dark Side Elite groups I happened to forget. These have slowly been built up since the dawn of the modern EU- the video games, mostly, but even Heir to the Empire and the like. Now, we’re getting novels about the time period when they had free run of the galaxy. Imagine hundreds of Rokur Geptas operating in secret- Lumiyas and Carnor Jaxes running across Mara Jades and nodding their heads in greeting. We could easily get a novel the equivalent of Path of Destruction or any of the Forgotten Realms novels set in the Underdark, and I would buy it in a minute.

Which Star Wars character would you like to be your friend?

I’d be happy if Boba Fett had my back the way he does Dengar’s (then again, look at D’harhan…).

Talon Karrde is an excellent friend to have around, though.

If you could be anyone in the Star Wars universe who would you want to be ?

There definitely was a time when I would have said Darth Sidious, or Darth Bane. Just look at Iurus- that’s how I viewed myself in 2007. Now, though, I’ve grown used to certain comforts. Basically, I wouldn’t abandon my attachments just for the chance to be more powerful.

Perhaps I’d like to be Cade Skywalker, then. In an ongoing relationship with a total freak who’s also in love with him but does not have the capacity (allegedly) to be jealous. He has access to his childhood friends, as well as more recent ones, and yet he seems to have tremendous freedom to act as he wills. His life isn’t perfect, but then again, whose is?

What is your favorite Star Wars movie quote?

Nevertheless, I am taking Captain Solo and his friends. You can either profit from this or be destroyed. It’s your choice.”

If you can change one thing in the world what will it be ?

That’s a scary amount of power. It’s that kind of pressure that makes a relatively calm person decide that one out of every six people alive ought to die because it’s a rel

atively simple way to hypothetically solve a lot of problems.

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