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 being said I give you the seventh seed in the Luke Skywalker bracket:
Kathy Tyers is the author of two Expanded Universe novels, and several short stories that appeared in the short stories collections that were all the rage in the late 1990’s. Now let us take a moment to explain some tournament rules. As a seven seed Tyers will have to win at least one matchup to be invited to future tournaments. We added this rule so that we can rotate in additional authors as new canon books get released and any older EU writers we may have overlooked. This will be a tough task as her seeding gives her a first round matchup with Kevin J Anderson. Live fan voting will take begin Monday March 20th via Facebook and Twitter.
Tyers has grown on me a lot in the past year as I started a EU reread with her first Star Wars novel and forgot that she wrote one of the New Jedi Order series. I also remember her short stories fondly so I thought she deserved a place in the tournament and I think her chances of earning a win are better than many may think. We shall see on that one.
Her first Star Wars work was The Truce at Bakura and it takes place immediately after the events of Episode 6. So immediately that the rebels are still at Endor. The first time I read this book I remember not liking it much. However, after reading it again I found it more enjoyable.
In timeline placement it takes place around the same time as the new canon entry Aftermath. I think it is immensely fascinating to compare how each timeline is built out and even though Aftermath is heavily scrutinized as an opening to a post Return of the Jedi book it is superior to Bakura.
I think my main problem with this book is it introduces a new alien theat too soon after the destruction of the head of the EMpire. While there are elements of dealing with a post Emperor Empire in this novel; I think that should have been the focus. Instead of a new threat lets see our heroes fully destroy the Galactic Empire. That is why I consider the Aftermath trilogy to be superior. This was the first standalone book of the EU and the fourth book published only being preceded by The Thrawn Trilogy.
Her next and final Star Wars novel would be Balance Point. This was the second hardcover in the NJO series. Remember this series was set up so that every fifth or so book would be hardcover and would contain bigger plot points for the overall story. The in-between books would tell the story from less central characters and what not.
The thing that bugs me about this book that while Tyers characters would appear later in the NJO series they are not here. The formula in the later part of the EU publishing history was to have each author use their characters they were most familiar with to move the overall plot along. While this is a fine book I wonder why Tyers wasn’t given the chance to do this. Maybe that is just how the story developed.
I like this book a lot because it deals a lot with moral issues. We see Jacen and Anakin Solo deal with the things they have done and the Jedi/men they are becoming. We see Jania Solo get shot down lose her sight and start to question her role in the Jedi Order, the military, and even her own family. Those are very interesting things to explore. For the most part this novel takes place on one planet so those deeper plot beats become more important as we learn about these Solo offspring. Not having read the Young Adult series this was my first exposure to them and I found them highly entertaining.
While Tyers is not my favorite EU author I do find her work highly entertaining at Bakura grew on me a lot the second time I read it. Especially the beats of Leia struggling with the fact that Darth Vader was her father. The EU needed more beats like that overall.
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