When Karen Traviss announced on her blog last week that Star Wars 501st: Imperial Commando #2 would be her last “Star Wars” book, many fans were shocked. So far, Traviss has written 11 Star Wars books including 3 Clone Wars novels, 3 “Legacy of the Force” series novels, 3 Republic Commando novels, and a Boba Fett e-novella that proved to many Fett fans everywhere that our favorite bounty hunter was still very much alive and kicking.
Besides her writing, her most predominant work within the Star Wars universe has been about the fictional culture of the Mandalorians. To Fett fans, we know the Mandalorians as the group of mercenaries lead by Jaster Mereel that rescued a young Jango Fett from the evil Vizsla on Concord Dawn. Karen, working with colleagues and fans alike, has not only detailed the training of Jango Fett’s clone warriors on Kamino under Kal Skirata, but also continued the story of Boba Fett and his shattered family during the second Galactic Civil War. Throughout her works, Karen has even developed a working spoken language called mando’a. The language, which can be viewed in spreadsheet form on her website, is used by countless “fandalorians” throughout the world.
This news about Karen, known to fans as KT or Ka’buir in mando’a, is the topic of much debate among many Mando fans, where speculation about her departure because of canon issues is taking center stage.
Sue Rostoni, Executive Editor and Fiction & Comic Editor at Lucas Licensing, had this to say on her blog:
“I just read Karen’s blog — and can’t reply to the posts because it’s Saturday and I don’t have the whole story. Still, I knew there were issues with the Boba Fett title, so I imagine it will be canceled. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be reading about Boba Fett — He’s a major character.
The new chronological issues that the animated series have brought up: Leland is working on mitigating the impact on old and new fiction, but until the TV series is completely finished, he won’t know the extent of what he has to work with. None of this is new information —
I like Karen’s writing, too. She’s a very strong and passionate author.”
TheForce.Net later reported that continuity issues appeared between KT’s original work and new information about the “Clone Wars” animated series released with a new visual guide book to the show.
According to Karen:
“The canon is beyond my control, because that’s the very nature of tie-in work. But that still left me with some personal choices I had to make. I could try to make the retcons. Or I could switch to different SW books that weren’t affected by these changes. Or I could decide to call it a day – I had a great run, but I had an increasing amount of non-SW work to get on with that was more important to my business.”
She continued the following day by adding:
“I’ve had a good innings and it was time to step aside and let someone else have some fun. Like I’ve said to quite a few fans who’ve mailed me today, I’m just a tie-in writer – I’m not an employee and I don’t own the copyright. I was just hired to write a few books within a much bigger story from time to time, that’s all. Star Wars was running for nearly 30 years before I showed up there, and it’ll probably still be being going 30 years after I’m dead. I’m replaceable and I’m not special. There are a hundred who could take my place tomorrow. I’m genuinely amazed and taken aback by the volume of e-mails I’ve had and the lovely things fans have said in them. I really didn’t know people felt that strongly about me, and it’s been genuinely moving to find out that they do. SW fans are good people. My life is far richer for knowing you all.”
What happens next for Mandalorians is yet unknown. Traviss was scheduled to write a new stand-alone Boba Fett novel next year, but that has apparently been canceled. Who will pick up the Mando-torch and run with it next? If Season 2 of “Clone Wars” and the upcoming issues of Star Wars: Legacy comics are any indication, Mandalorians aren’t going anywhere. If anything, we are just getting started.
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