Imperial Commando: 501st Sequel Canceled

ImpCom2-Canceled

Update 2:

Karen Traviss has posted a follow-up blog entry about the whole issue.

Update:

Lucas Licensing editor Sue Rostoni has made a short comment on the cancellation of the novel.

“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: Starwars.com VIP thread

Original Story:

Author Karen Traviss has just revealed on her personal blog that she has “withdrawn from the sequel to Imperial Commando 501st.”  The canceled novel – which was set to tie up the plot threads from both the Republic Commando and Imperial Commando series – was supposed to be Ms. Traviss’ last Star Wars book.

Hit the jump for more details on the cancelation, the loose outline of Imperial Commando 2, and (finally) an explanation of exactly what continuity problems caused Karen Traviss to leave.

All of the following can be read in more detail on Ms. Traviss’ blog, but we’ve summarized the important parts here.

Last August, Karen Traviss announced that she would no longer be writing Star Wars novels after she’d wrapped up the last two books in the Republic/Imperial Commando series.  This, she said, was due to major continuity issues associated with The Clone Wars animated TV series (outlined below).  By this time, Imperial Commando: 501st had already been written and it was too late to make any changes to it.  Sadly, major continuity issues, contractual matters, and working practices got in the way of Imperial Commando 2, and Karen Traviss was forced to abandon the project.

For those curious as to what would have happened in the final book, Traviss restated that “[she] wasn’t ever going to be able to deal with Sev’s fate, because he was off limits.”  She was also kind enough to provide a loose outline of what would have occurred in her final novel:

Imperial Commando 2 Outline

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.

The Original Continuity Problem (TCW SPOILERS!)

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.

This is a sad day for fans of her book series.  Hopefully, the story can be wrapped up in some form; maybe even a short story.  For more details, be sure to check out Karen Traviss’ blog.

Source: Karen Traviss

About the Author

William Devereux (@MasterDevwi) is EUCantina's administrator, as well as the host of the Ion Cannon podcast. When he's not talking about Star Wars, he works at Microsoft as a Program Manager.