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Imperial Commando #2 Cancelled

Posted By Mike on December 2, 2009

Well, if you've read Imperial Commando: 501st and were excited for one last Star Wars novel from Karen Traviss in the form of a follow up then you're not gonna be happy with this post. Traviss announced today on her blog that Imperial Commando #2 has been cancelled:

"But today I'm reacting, because somebody blurted out something on a forum, and the rumours started. Yes, for once a rumour is actually true; I've withdrawn from the sequel to Imperial Commando 501st, which was going to be my final Star Wars novel. I had issues over contractual matters and working practices that still showed no signs of being resolvable after a couple of years, so I told the publisher that I would not be doing the book."

Karen goes on to talk about what the term "contractual" means for writers before getting back to the Star Wars material and she continues with a bit of a recap that focuses on some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the whole situation. See below from her blog but BEWARE OF THE CLONE WARS AND IMPERIAL COMMANDO SPOILERS:

"1. Yes, the Boba Fett novel was cancelled by the publisher because of potential canon clashes with the upcoming TV series, as you have already heard from other sources. No, I really don't have a clue what those clashes might be. Sorry.

2. No, I wasn't ever going to be able to deal with Sev's fate, because he was off limits. I've been saying that for four years, and there's even an FAQ on my web site explaining the situation.

3. No, I can't reconsider. It's sweet of you to keep asking, but I had to make my decision nearly a year ago. When I was finishing 501st in January this year, I was told about a significant continuity change coming up in the Clone Wars cartoon. (As was mentioned and shown in a couple of books that came out in the summer - this is not confidential information of any kind now.) I was told that the Mandalorians were being revamped as long-standing pacifists who'd given up fighting centuries ago and that Mandalore was now a post-apocalyptic wasteland devastated by war. I was told not to refer to (recent) Mandalorian history because of that, as it was obviously at odds with the old continuity in my novels. That's fairly common procedure for any franchise - but unfortunately it wasn't that simple in practice. The two Commando series - and quite a few older books and comics, come to that -were based entirely on that original history, and basic logic meant that the fundamental plot of the series could never have existed if this had been a pacifist society. Neither could any of the characters or their motives have existed, because they were wholly based on a global warrior culture living on a non-nuked Mandalore. I had some discussion in January with the editor about possible ways around the problem, but after that, I heard nothing to indicate that the position would change, so the plan went ahead to wind up my existing storyline in the two books that were already in the pipeline. It was too late for me to rewrite 501st even if the changes hadn't made that pretty well impossible.

4. No, it doesn't make any difference if that canon changes again in the future. To answer the what-if question put by many of you, if that new canon is ever modified (and no, I've been given no indication whatsoever that it would be, so please don't get excited... ) then it was already too late for me ten or eleven months ago. That was when I had to make my decision. No writer can put the rest of their work on hold to see what might happen at an unspecified date in the future on the off-chance of being given an occasional paperback to write. That's the reality of work-for-hire, and writing in general; you have to cast your net wide, and across all media. As much as I've enjoyed writing for all you Star Wars fans, and you've been terrific to me, it wasn't my whole career and neither could it have been, even if I'd wanted it to be. As a freelance studio director from my TV days used to say: "I can't sit around waiting for the next series of Sooty*." The canon changes were the key deciding issue in a single series that I was hanging around to finish, but the contractual/ working practice side of things was the main influence on my longer-term decision.

Some of you have already asked what's going to happen to the book, but I just don't know - and I actually don't know any more than I did in January. All I can tell you is what I would have written had I gone ahead with IC#2, and - summarizing loosely - the main characters would have escaped the Empire in the ba'slan shev'la you already know about from Legacy of the Force. (But you knew all that from Revelation anyway.) I would have left the story in a state where the powers that be could either put it on ice forever, or resurrect it with another writer and a new direction. I don't write scorched-earth roadblock endings that make it impossible for other authors to continue stories, because that's pointless and unprofessional, and the only person who suffers is the reader."

Well there you have it. Love her writing or not, Traviss had developed quite a devoted following for her Star Wars novels. We're sorry to disapoint her fans with the news but can't help but look towards the future with optimism. Darth Bane 3, Crosscurrent, FOTJ: Backlash, Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance; there's plenty of good EU stuff on the horizon. May the Force be with you Karen.

Big thanks to William of EUCantina.net for the heads up!

UPDATE: Sue Rostoni comments on the cancellation on the SW.com boards:

"Karen's blog was the first time I had heard that she was not going to write the second Imperial Commando book.

I don't know if we will hire another author to finish the series. It's rather up in the air at the moment."

Source: @clubjade

Related Stories

October 27, 2009   Imperial Commando: 501st In Stores Now
August 12, 2009   Sue Rostoni Speaks On Traviss Quitting SW
August 8, 2009   Karen Traviss Bids Farewell To SW Novels
March 18, 2009   Imperial Commando: 501st Cover Revealed
February 18, 2009   Imperial Commando SPOILERS
October 6, 2008   Karen Traviss Talks Sev
September 19, 2008   Karen Traviss Radio Interview
August 6, 2008   Traviss To Pen Essential Military Guide
July 28, 2008   Karen Traviss To Pen Imperial Commando Series, Boba Fett Book
April 29, 2008   Order 66 By Karen Traviss
March 23, 2008   Karen Traviss Novel News
March 9, 2008   More On The Karen Miller and Karen Traviss SW Novels

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