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A Case for Starting Over, Part II: A New Republic

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When we first laid eyes on the New Republic, it appeared to us as a child just emerged from infancy. We fed it from our wallets and watched it grow with each new entry. We saw it survive and thrive against all odds in a hostile galaxy. We continued to follow the course of its nearly two-and-a-half decade existence until its eventual demise at the hands of the Yuuzhan Vong and its rebirth as the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances. Much has been said about its life and death, but the Expanded Universe has long remained unusually silent on the circumstances of the New Republic’s creation.

To say overthrowing an entity the size of the Galactic Empire is a difficult task would be a significant understatement, but the process of building a new state remains a far greater challenge. Stories such as the X-wing series, the Thrawn Trilogy, and The Courtship of Princess Leia have told tales of the fledgling government’s conflicts against Imperial holdouts such as Ysanne Isard, Grand Admiral Thrawn, and the warlord Zsinj, but these are primarily military conflicts against external forces – a simple continuation of the Galactic Civil War with foes other than Palpatine and Vader. Read More

A Case for Starting Over, Part I: The Road to Coruscant

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Episode VI was released in 1983. Episode VII is currently set to be released in 2015. In our own world, thirty-two years will have passed between the two films. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher will be more than three decades older than they were at the end of the original trilogy. Barring any Jeff Bridges-in-Tron: Legacy digital rejuvenation, Luke, Han, and Leia will have aged accordingly. In those three intervening decades, it is beyond any doubt that the galaxy far, far away will have undergone a great number of significant changes. The Rebel Alliance will likely have restored the Galactic Republic, or at least founded a successor state of their own. Luke will have reestablished the fabled Jedi Order and begun training a new generation of Jedi Knights. Our heroes will have children, who now go on to face their own challenges. All these things have occurred at one point or another in the Expanded Universe that has been growing since the day A New Hope was released. Some hope that these stories will be respected by the sequel trilogy, and accepted in one form or another as the true history of what happened after Endor. Others feel that it is inevitable that the current continuity will be overwritten, and new stories invented to replace the old. I believe the latter will be the case, but I do not dread it – I choose, instead, to embrace the possibilities it offers us.

When Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire was published in 1991, it marked a major step forward for the franchise. Not only had the rebellion evolved from a ragtag band of revolutionaries into a legitimate government, but they now held in their possession the bright center of the universe itself – Coruscant! The story of how they came to wrest the world from Imperial control, however, was left to be told another time – more specifically, in Michael A. Stackpole’s 1995 novel X-Wing: Wedge’s Gamble. Read More