Hundreds of Star Wars novels have been published since Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire hit the bestseller lists in 1991, but along the way, a handful of books have been cancelled. Now, one of the earliest cancelled novels is being posted online.
The Star Wars Expanded Universe Timeline has begun to publish the long-lost novel chapter by chapter, and they include a post from author Kenneth C. Flint that outlines his involvement in the project, and why it was cancelled.
In 1991, Bantam Spectra contracted Flint to write a new entry in their new Star Wars novel series. Personally selected by George Lucas to write a new adventure, he began writing Heart of the Jedi, which would take place immediately after the events of Return of the Jedi:
I was given pretty much free rein on developing my plot, other than that it should take place immediately after the second Death Star is destroyed. I up front figured it would be most logical to deal with a defeated but not destroyed Empire, its military desperately trying to regroup and retaliate against the Alliance, while other elements sought to make peace. Along with this was my assumption that I had to deal with what Luke Skywalker had become, and where he was going as a Jedi.
He developed the story and outline, got it approved and spent most of 1992 writing and revising the novel. After turning it in, he waited for months, only to have the book cancelled without notice. Flint noted that the move essentially wrecked his career as a novelist, although he did have two short Star Wars stories placed in Kevin J. Anderson’s anthologies Tales from Jabba’s Palace and Tale from the Mos Eisley Cantina.
Flint’s book isn’t the only Star Wars novel to be cancelled. Margaret Weis, known for her Dragonlance novels, was also due to write an early novel, while authors such as Elaine Cunningham, William C. Dietz, Robert J. Sawyer, Michael J. Stackpole and Karen Traviss have all had novels contracted and later cancelled.
Top Image by Paul Shipper.