No one has picked up the roleplaying game and card game license. Maybe that's because it's much more of a niche market, but I think SW novels are sort of becoming niche now that we're six years removed from the prequels.
I tend to agree with that. I don't ever remember those sort of games being popular in my circle - well, just Pokemon, but even then no one actually played it as a card game, merely as a collection. Books are far more wide-ranging (they pre-date films, but don't quote me on that), but I don't think they're becoming niche. Sure, there is a lot of history that a new reader wouldn't be aware of, and to some degree they try to cater for that, but it is a rather large amount of history and exposition. But I still have to say: it's Star Wars. Books are still very accessible, and there's certainly more stories that can be told. Maybe a new company would be a good change (though I'm happy with Del Ray), as they'd have more of a drive to prove their worth, and providing a superb story and book series would be one way of doing it.
No offense taken. I just think that the Expanded Universe has had its "flagship" of the timeline continuing from Return of the Jedi onward all along featuring the protagonists of the classic trilogy, which has been the anchor for a lot of people to the EU. And lately, that's really started to lag in my mind, and I don't see how it's really tenable for them to continue it with Luke, Han, and Leia for much longer.
I...don't really understand how this comment connects with my one. To the best of my knowledge (tenuous at best) I wasn't saying that they had to continue with those as the main characters. Indeed, I've been calling for more diversification of character novels bringing in new ones for a long, long time. That can be done with those three just in the background.
And my cousin, for instance, no longer reads the EU and when I told him I think it could reboot he's excited by the prospect, and he's been reading it longer than I have and introduced me to it. He simply dislikes how it's gone after NJO and he's done with it.
Ah! But the EU is far more than that. How does he feel about the other eras?
Before the prequels were released, the Expanded Universe was almost exclusively focused upon the Big 3, with the exceptions being young adult novels (Galaxy of Fear), the X-Wing series, and Dark Horse comics like Crimson Empire and Tales of the Jedi. The success of Heir to the Empire and later books was predicated largely upon them being the continuation of the films. It really wasn't until there were prequel films to reignite wider interest in the franchise that the Expanded Universe began to branch out to do horror, noir, military, MASH style war drama, etc.
You know, this is the second time you've mentioned noir SW books, but still I'm at a loss for identifying them. Would you please put me out of my misery?
As to the last part, it may have been that they weren't allowed (read: they definitely weren't allowed) to delve into the pre-OT era very far before the PT was made. Indeed, the farthest they went was, to my memory, the Han and Lando books, which for some reason are classed as film tie-ins.
It is interesting to note that you say they predicate largely upon them being the continuation of the films. You may want to read Andrew's EU Dissection (the one before the CW reviews). It has pretty graphs, from which I took that they deal mainly around the films, with a small stream leading out beyond ROTJ, with a few blips here and there. These blips are the times they've gone beyond the films. It's my thought that, because they are not tied into the films (beyond the obvious SW universe), they feel that they must try much more harder for them to work, and I feel they succeed. Now, I'm not saying they're being lazy when they stick to the films - it's a case of being prudent. That is where, I'm sure, they make their most money, specifically because they revolve around the big three. I submit that it would be foolish not to. I also submit that they continue to have stories revolving around the films characters, but that it's simply that we have far more of them, just as we have far more 'outre' products.
I think now that we're as far removed from the prequels as we are, the market for Star Wars novels is smaller than it was when they were being produced. Del Rey or whoever else picks up the license can't afford to flood the market with miscellaneous Star Wars books set across the spectrum of the timeline and in different subgenres with no direction and no primary series for readers to follow. They need to develop a baseline to draw in readers and, through its own merits of excellent writing and characters, re-establish interest in Star Wars novels without relying upon the films. Sales have dropped lately, and they need to draw *new* people in and bring back old people like my cousin, and there's no movies to do that, so they need to do it through a book series that's an event, like the NJO. Any single book isn't going to bring a bunch of new readers in, or old ones back.
But there is a much more mainstream source of Star Wars that others have to draw on, now. Back in ye olde days, the EU was created because there were no new films or TV series's to look forward to. That's all people had if they wanted more SW action. The post-ROTJ audience is smaller because people can pick and choose what they want to watch, read, or listen to these days. I fail to see, however, how a civil war is not an event.
In the Sue Rostoni interview that was just posted, she says they don't have any plans for post-FOTJ currently. Maybe they're planning something down the line, but with Legacy ending completely and Del Rey probably not doing post-FOTJ stuff until 2014, that earlier comment strikes me more as a "in the future, if there's a scenario similar to the FOTJ/Legacy one, we'll communicate more."
Have skipped a bit of your post, but my response would have simply been a reiteration of what I've said earlier. Now: See my earlier post for a rebuttal (the Shapiro quote) of this.
For me, the Expanded Universe has [b]always been primarily about Luke, Han, and Leia.[/b]
Ah, but, Dream, just because it was for you it was only about those three, does not mean that it was so for others. By your own hand you acknowledge TOTJ, Crimson Empire and others, and before the 'real' EU started we had off-shoots. The one I shall bring forth to your mind at the moment is the Fenn Shysa lot (while technically about Leia, I stand firm by my choice) and the 'Boba Fett comics which were later retconned to be someone else' lot.
That's been the constant for twenty years. Now, we've reached a point where that's coming to an end, and personally I am wondering where that will leave the Expanded Universe when it does. I personally am not nearly as interested in the entire gamut of the EU as I have been in following Luke, Han, and Leia. I've read almost every Star Wars novel that's been published, and I can probably count on my hands the ones I haven't read, but without the main storyline to follow I don't know if I will continue or if I will slowly lose interest and stop.
Show off . But here we delve into mere opinion and taste. I, for one, will most likely not lose interest once the big three take a back seat.
I am a Star Wars fan. That doesn't mean that I hate or love Jar Jar. That doesn't mean I hate or love Lucas, or agree or disagree 100% with him. That doesn't mean I prefer the PT over the OT, or vice versa. That doesn't mean I hate the EU, or even love all of it. These are not prerequisites. Being a man is not a prerequisite. Being a geek is not a prerequisite. The only prerequisite is that I love something about Star Wars. I am a Star Wars fan.
Life is like the Force - Luke Skywalker, Crucible. Damn straight I am.