Star Wars Expanded Universe Writers Discuss The New Trilogy

By David Wharton | Published

This article is more than 2 years old


The new Star Wars trilogy set to begin with Episode VII will obviously be set in the aftermath of the original trilogy — that’s just down to math. But with ongoing rumors about who or what will serve as the narrative focus of the new films, including the possibility that the films will tell the story of Luke, Han, and Leia’s offspring, one question has been bugging many die-hard Star Wars fans. What happens to the many, many years’ worth of Expanded Universe stories? Will Episode VII and the rest find a way to build on or work around those books and comics and games and so on, or will it retcon them out of the Star Wars canon in order to tell new “official” stories? sought out the opinion of a few people who have more invested in the Expanded Universe than most of us do: the actual writers who have been penning stories of the Star Wars universe for years. Specifically, they polled writers Drew Karpyshyn, Paul S. Kemp, Troy Denning, John Jackson Miller, James Luceno, Michael Reaves, Christie Golden, and Aaron Allston, and asked them about what they hope to see in the upcoming trilogy and spin-off movies. We’ve included some of their responses below, and you can click over to for the rest.

Drew Karpyshyn, author of Star Wars: The Old Republic – Annihilation

What I Hope to See from Episodes VII-IX:
I’d like to see films that are directed towards an older, more mature audience. It felt like Episodes I-III were directed at children and a generally younger demographic — which is great for bringing in new fans — but as an adult Star Wars fan I’d like to return to the darker, more serious tone of The Empire Strikes Back.

What secondary or Expanded Universe character I’d Like to See Get the Spotlight:
Obviously I’d love to see the films explore the Old Republic era; I think there’s so much potential there, particularly with a character like Darth Bane. (The fact that I wrote three Darth Bane novels in no way makes me biased!)

Paul Kemp, author of Star Wars: The Old Republic – Deceived

What I Hope to See from Episodes VII-IX:
What I really hope to see is love of the underlying subject matter. I think Star Wars is a phenomenon because it’s more than just a space opera or space fantasy (take your pick). It’s a mythic story and touches at something deep in the human experience. It’s built on a foundation of heroic myth and heroic transformation and that’s what makes it so appealing, generation after generation. I’d just like to see the new stories build off that foundation (because it’s a rich one, and there is lots of room for new and wonderful stories, all while hewing to the mythic structure).

What secondary or Expanded Universe character I’d Like to See Get the Spotlight:
Hmm. That’s a real toughie so I’m just going to weasel a bit. I’d very much like to see a female Jedi in one of the leading roles. In that regard, Jaina Solo would be excellent, but there are many others to choose from.

Troy Denning, author of Star Wars: Crucible (Out July 9)

What I Hope to See from Episodes VII-IX:
This time, I think it would be fun to follow the hero’s journey of a young woman, the way we followed Luke’s journey in Episodes IV – VI. And I want the thrilling lightsaber duels and epic starship battles of Episodes I-III. Give me three films that combine great action with mythic themes, and I’ll be a happy fan.

What secondary or Expanded Universe character I’d Like to See Get the Spotlight:
Jaina Solo, without a doubt. Jaina is Han and Leia’s only surviving child, and one of the most capable members of the Jedi Order. She’s emerging as the leader of the next generation, and she’s one of the most popular characters in the novel line. I don’t think there could be a better choice.

John Jackson Miller, author of the upcoming Star Wars: Kenobi (Out Sept. 24)

What I hope to see from Episodes VII-IX:
It’s something I’ve speculated about since I first saw them mentioned in Lucas’s Time magazine interview back in 1980. My presumption would be that, obviously, it jumps ahead a generation, matching the gap between the other two trilogies — and I would assume that it takes on the larger themes of the ongoing series: power and temptation. My assumption was always that Luke, not Anakin, was really the “chosen one” who brought “balance to the Force” — but as those lines weren’t in the original trilogy, they could also take this opportunity to bookend that section by addressing it anew.

Something delving more into Sith philosophy and why it’s attractive would be fun to see. I did a deep dive into Sithiness with my Lost Tribe of the Sith stories — their all-for-me-nothing-for-you views are interesting, as are the challenges with achieving power on a galactic stage. You can see why Palpatine had to hijack an existing government — they’re not the most attractive bosses to work with!

I would also hope to see something addressing one of the broader issues that I’ve attempted to take up in stories in other parts of the timeline (in Knights of the Old Republic and Knight Errant) — namely, the love-hate relationship between the Jedi and the Republic, which is a far larger organization. The Jedi do a lot for the Republic, yes, but they’ve also been more trouble than they’re worth on more than one occasion. One can imagine the Republic chancellor finally revoking the Jedi Council’s parking spaces!

What secondary or Expanded Universe character I’d Like to See Get the Spotlight:
From the movies, it’d be a blast to see Lando as Chancellor. The gamblers, smugglers, and criminals have sort of a world of their own, apart from what’s going on in the galactic drama between the Jedi and the Sith.

From the Expanded Universe, most of my work has been in the past or distant past, so if we’re getting pantheons of blue ghosts, there’s a range of folks that would be fun to see, from Arca Jeth to my own Zayne Carrick and Kerra Holt. There are some old villains that could do turns in holographic form, too. And practically every droid from the past has at least a theoretical chance of still being around. If we see a droid that’s refusing to do any work, that’d be Elbee from the KOTOR comics. Sitting immobile for 4,000 years would suit him just fine!

Michael Reaves, co-author of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Out Feb. 26)

What I Hope to See from Episodes VII-IX:
The latest estimates for the Milky Way suggest literally billions of Earthlike worlds. With lifeforms like gigantic space slugs that can live in hard vacuum, it’s obvious that life in the GFFA is at least as tenacious as it is here, if not more so.

My tendency is to poke around the backwaters and the seedier places of these many and richly varied worlds. There are many other monomyths and archetypes besides the Hero’s Journey. One thing I do not want to see is the same storyline with new faces.

What secondary or Expanded Universe character I’d Like to See Get the Spotlight:
Hey, I’m not gonna be disingenuous; I’d love for Jax Pavan and I-Five to get a shot.

Christie Golden, author of Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi – Ascension

What I Hope to See from Episodes VII-IX:
Follow-up adventures with Luke, Han and Leia! I would be amenable to seeing new actors in the old roles if Lucasfilm wants to pick up right where Return of the Jedi left off, but the actors would have to be VERY well cast. I’d actually love to see Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford reprise the roles of Luke, Leia and Han…alongside their kids! 😉

What secondary or Expanded Universe character I’d Like to See Get the Spotlight:
Vestara Khai. *coughs a little* Okay…Pocket the chitlik. No? Seriously, though, the Skywalker and Solo offspring are such terrific characters in their own right, it would be wonderful to see them brought to life.

Aaron Allston, author of Star Wars: X-Wing — Mercy Kill

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 own Wraith 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.

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