It is finally March and that means it is time for brackets. All kinds of brackets from College Basketball to dessert toppings and everything in between. With that in mind this blog will be doing a Star Wars authors bracket.
I am taking on the Vince McMahon role for this endeavor. That means I picked the authors who I felt most qualified to be considered. I don’t think I made any huge omissions but some of you may…This is the 32 authors I think have had the most impact on the Star Wars book universe and more importantly have entertained all the Star Wars book readers. They will be broken into four brackets; Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Yoda, and Grand Moff Tarkin. The Authors have been seeded 1 through 8 again most due to my own personal judgement while taking into consideration how the authors works are viewed by the readers at large.
With that I give you the fourth seed in the Yoda Bracket:
This is probably going to be the most controversial seed in the entire tournament. Karen left Del Rey over creative differences and the Star Wars powers that be have gone a long way to undue some of the things established in her novels. Fans dislike her because she is the author who killed off Mara Jade Skywalker. Mara is without a doubt the most beloved character from the entire Expanded Universe and her death was a huge emotional blow.
Traviss would leave Del Rey Book due to creative differences. There is a lot of controversy over her works but for the most part I very much enjoy her work. The death of Mara was a huge blow but it totally sold Jacen Solo’s turn to the dark side. There is no going back after he kills her and that is a huge moment. Some fans can’t deal with losses like that, but for the most part EU fans do not like the way she handled the Mandalrorians. Even Pablo Hidalgo points out, in the Essential Reader’s Companion, saying the ties between the Mandalorians and the Clones were downplayed in future work including the Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series. All I can say is killing off a beloved character is not a great career move for Star Wars authors. I place the blame for that squarely with George Lucas who protected his characters for far too long. We would not be having this discussion if Lucas had killed off Han Solo in the Original Trilogy. I am not sure that would have helped Traviss’ situation but it is one of the major flaws of the entire EU.
Traviss would begin her Star Wars career with the Video Game tie-in novels Star Wars Republic Commando. The first novel, Hard Contact, introduces us to Omega Squad a new squad of Clone Commandos. The next novel in the series, Triple Zero, is set one year after the first Battle of Geonosis. This books tells the story of Omega Squad, Delta Squad, and some ARC troopers chasing Separatists through Coruscant. Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel is the next book in the series and the first to be to be published in Hard Cover. It seems a lot of the controversy stems from this book and not be very familiar with it myself I am not going to comment on it here. The next book in the series is Star Wars 501st: An Imperial Command Novel.
In between the writing of that series Traviss was brought on to pen three novels of the nine part Legacy of the Force series. In what became the formula for Del Rey three authors would be given a central story line to follow and then write their characters and the characters they were most familiar with in stories that advanced the central theme. Traviss would focus on the Mandalorians and Boba Fett for the series.
I am pretty unclear where the controversy begins because Traviss next penned the novelization of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie. She would write two more books in the Clone Wars series and Imperial Commando would be her last EU novel. She was planning a follow-up book when she left Star Wars. I can guess that the differences began as Lucas was shaping the Clone Wars show and Traviss was writing novels set in the same time period and having those stories not always match up. Reading between the lines of what is in the Essential Readers Companion it seems Traviss was linking her story to multiple arcs from other EU novels and comics that were being replaced in and by the Clone Wars series.
Traviss was a very active member of the fandom, and penned a number of novels in the EU so I do not know how we can argue that her leaving was a benefit to the fandom. It will be interesting to see how fans react to her inclusion in this tournament.
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Star Wars: An Imperial Commando Novel, 501st (Star Wars: Imperial Commando – Legends)
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