Welcome back to Go/No-Go, Tosche Station’s regular feature where we offer our spoiler-free opinion as to whether or not you should spend your hard-earned money on a book, film, or other entertainment. Today on the launch pad: Star Wars: Lords of the Sith. It’s a book that features not just a happy road trip by two Sith Lords but also the first LGBT character in the new canon. But is the book worth your hard earned money? To mission control for the verdict!
It goes without saying that an LGBTQ+ character being introduced into the Star Wars story group era canon is unequivocally a good thing. Any step to diversify one of the most prolific and powerful pieces of entertainment in the world is welcome. Despite this obvious good news, I can’t help but be wary. Not because I don’t doubt there are good intentions by the story group and the folks at Del Rey, but because the author who is introducing this character has a pretty dubious history when it comes to speaking about diversity.
Bryan Young at Big Shiny Robot has the scoop: Paul S. Kemp’s Lords of the Sith will feature the first LGBT character of the new story group era.
Moff Mors is an Imperial who has made some very serious mistakes but she is an incredibly capable leader and spends much of the book working hard to prevent absolute failure. She also happens to be a lesbian.
Awesome. What’s more, Bryan sat down with Del Rey’s Editor-at-Large Shelly Shapiro to talk diversity in Star Wars and Star Wars literature in a recent Full of Sith episode.
This is certainly the first character in canon,” Shapiro says. “But there was a gay Mandalorian couple, so it’s not brand new. It’s not something I really think about, it just makes sense. There’s a lot of diversity–there should be diversity in “Star Wars.”
Emphasis added. Well put, Ms. Shapiro.
Be sure to head to the Big Shiny Robot link above for more information.
Over on Reddit today, author Paul S. Kemp was in the middle of an Ask Me Anything when someone asked up about the status of the duology he was signed to write a few years back. Kemp say much, but what he can say isn’t encouraging for those looking forward to it:
I wish I could say something.
Here’s the thing: The Disney deal and announcement of the new movies is a big deal. I’m on standby at the moment. That’s about all I can say. :-/
As Club Jade points out, if this duology is on standby because of the Disney deal and upcoming new film installments, that could very well be bad news for Christie Golden’s Sword of the Jedi. Of course, keep in mind there’s been little said about this duology since it was initially announced that Kemp had received a contract to write them. There has been uncertainty about this project since before the Lucasfilm sale to Disney went through.
This was a much nicer trio of books to read between long series than my previous “palette cleanser.” SO MUCH NICER. All three are actually books that I haven’t had the chance to read yet and neither had I heard much about them so this was one giant blank slate for me. The verdict? Well, you’ll just have to read the post for that!
I had no idea what to expect from this book and yet I’m fairly sure that this wasn’t it. I’m not saying that in a bad way. I’m just saying it in a way where I tilt my head to the side and go “huh”.
For the most part, it’s an enjoyable book. It took me a good 100 pages or so to really get into it though. The start felt a bit slow but also jumbled with the introduction of a lot of new characters. It took me a little while to keep everyone straight. I’m also not sure how I feel about the time travel. I liked the character of Jaden Korr though as well as Marr and Khedryn. On the other hand, I’m really not sure what an Anzat looks like exactly but I don’t think I want to because they sound weird and a bit disgusting.
The clone thing was… different. Although actually, I guess it doesn’t really surprise me that they would’ve tried to clone Jedi but I’m not entirely sure I buy mixing Jedi and Sith DNA. It makes the choice between following the light or the dark like much less of a choice. On the other hand, I absolutely buy that they’d be a bit crazy. That part makes plenty of sense.
My biggest problem with the book is the lack of female characters. Where were they? I know it was a small cast but that doesn’t mean that every single one of them had to be male.
Mostly, I’m really just still head tilting at this book. I’m wondering if a second read through might help but no time for that right now. It is a good read though and it’s certainly a nice break from watching all of my favorite characters take stupid pills.
Hollywood.com recently rounded up a collection of current Expanded Universe authors to ask them what they hope to see in the Sequel Trilogy, what EU characters they’d look to see make an appearance, and what the ultimate fate of the Big Three should be. Reading through, I was struck by Aaron Allston’s answers in particular:
What I Hope to See from Episodes VII-IX: Could I see “Screenplay by Aaron Allston”? No?
Well, barring that, I’d like to see the story move away from the Skywalkers, Solos, even the Jedi a bit, reminding us that there are other people doing important things in the galaxy. I’d like to see a greater proportion of female characters. I want to see more spectacle — Tatooine junkyards and bongo interiors aren’t exactly challenges for ILM’s skills. And I hope to see a return to the lightheartedness and humor of A New Hope, putting the fatalism of the prequels behind us.
What secondary or Expanded Universe character I’d Like to See Get the Spotlight: This kind of depends on exactly when in the timeline Episodes VII through IX take place. Timothy Zahn’s Mara Jade would always be a good choice. The next-generation Solos and Skywalkers, such as Jaina Solo and Ben Skywalker, would be welcome. If any sort of espionage is in the offing, some sort of nod to my ownWraith Squadron characters would be a thrill for me.
But what I really hope to see most is any sort of appearance by recognizable EU characters, which would be an acknowledgement that the EU is a significant part of what constitutes Star Wars.
How I Want to See Luke, Han, or Leia Die: You know, I actually don’t want to see them die in the movies, and it’s not just because of affection for the characters…
…Me, I’m all for having Luke, Leia, and Han be in a scene showing them knocking back shots of Corellian brandy while playing cards. Then the screen can go through a 1940s-style wipe and the camera can zoom in on their descendants saving the galaxy for a new generation.
Allston pretty much summed up exactly what I’d love to see in these new films as well as what I think should happen with Luke, Han, and Leia. So many people seem eager to see those characters killed off in epic fashion, but I’m a fan of the quiet retirement approach. They’ve earned their victory lap and fade to black.
His overall sentiments on the Expanded Universe I think are also important to consider. Many forget, but for a long time, that was it for Star Wars. The only new story material being produced. It attracted a passionate following and helped to rejuvenate the fandom from the doldrums of the 80s and early 90s and keep it alive during the long stretches when it seemed like Lucasfilm was done producing material. Including any EU characters is a gesture to fans, authors, and editors who helped to keep things alive.
For more from Allston as well as Christie Golden, Michael Reaves, Troy Denning, James Luceno, John Jackson Miller, Drew Karpyshyn, and Paul S. Kemp, head to the Hollywood.com interview.