Salvatore on Chewie Death: “Only Thing I’ve Ever Regretted”

R.A. Salvatore, author of numerous science fiction and fantasy novels, is remembered by most Star Wars fans as the man who wrote the death of Chewbacca. Savatore’s Vector Prime was the first novel in the New Jedi Order series, and also marked the first death of a major Star Wars film character in the EU. When the novel was published in 1999, Salvatore received death threats from outraged (and simply outrageous) fans. Today, the author is answering questions on the social media site Reddit, and the subject of Chewie’s end was brought up. Here’s what Salvatore had to say:

I came on board the New Jedi Order project at the very last minute. I was working on DemonWars for Del Rey at the time and they had won the licensing deal from Lucas. They asked me to do the first book, and it was an honor. So I gathered all the information of the meta-story – point A-to-B in a series going to Z, and cobbled together a detailed outline.

I was in a conference call with DelRey and Lucasfilm when the editors expressed that they loved the outline. (paraphrasing here) “This is exactly what we want, but didn’t anyone tell you? You have to kill Chewey [sic].”

I won’t type the next two words that came out of my mouth. After a couple of days of arguments and, well, terror, they had convinced me that they were doing it for the right reasons, and well, George was down with it, and it’s his galaxy far, far away, so I did it.

The responses have been mixed, with some people loving the new direction, other people devastated. I think it might be the only thing I’ve ever regretted; I don’t think I’d go back and do that one again.

The death of Chewbacca is still a controversial subject in the EU, 13 years after the release of Vector Prime. What are your feelings after all these years?

About the Author

Austin Blankenship is the webmaster of EUCantina. He is a host of our official podcast, EUCast, and also founded our sister website, SoloSound.net. Austin helped turn EUCantina from a forum into a website in 2007, and continues to operate the site and the EUC social media accounts. Austin works as a librarian in a small town above Atlanta, Georgia.