In the Arena section of Friday's Wall Street Journal
, writer Alexandra Alter reported on
the literary universe surrounding the Star Wars
films and the fans who consume and critique it. Among other sources, Alter interviewed author Troy Denning, whose grim portfolio of past EU novels (including the deaths of Anakin and Jacen Solo) has led some fans to consider him, as he himself puts it, "the hit man of the E.U."
Nothing in the article will surprise serious Star Wars
fans. It mentions Leland Chee's Holocron, with the obligatory reference to both the database's scope and level of detail -- including "the number of eyes on a creature called a Gran (three) and the number of arms on a Codru-ji (four)." It offers statistics on the scale of the EU -- "There are more than 125 million copies of "Star Wars" books in print, and 115 titles have been best-sellers."
In addition to a mistaken reference to Marvel Comics as one of Lucasfilm's publishing partners, the article also seemed to misrepresent the nature of the relationship between the authors, the Del Rey editors, and the Lucasfilm team. In particular, there is this sentence regarding how much freedom authors have in their books:
Sometimes Mr. Denning doesn't like the script he is given, but he follows the prescribed story arc anyway.
Leland Chee took to Twitter to clarify the dynamic:
And author Paul S. Kemp, who has written three EU novels, added:
The full Journal article
is technically locked behind the company's paywall, but if you want to read it, you can paste the headline 'Star Wars' Books: A Literary Force to Be Reckoned With
into Google and click the resulting WSJ
link to bypass the paywall. You can also read it by clicking on the image below (beware: large file size).
There is a video accompanying the article in which Alter, the writer, talks to an anchor on the Journal
's WSJ Live web show. You can watch that video below, but prepare to hear the words "Jedis" and "Lucasfilms."