Series

April Fools Day – Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi Exclusive Epilogue

 

The following was posted on Sunday, April 1, and was simply a bit of April Fool’s Day fun. We hope you have as much fun reading it as we had writing it.

Apocalypse, the ninth and final chapter in the epic nine-book series Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi, was published just a few weeks ago. The book debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list and has been entertaining Star Wars readers for weeks. The one question on all of the readers minds is: “What comes next?”

Well, faithful readers, we are finally able to reveal our plans. This isn’t just some thrown-together plot that will connect the novels to the Legacy comics. No, this story has been in the works since almost the birth of the Expanded Universe. For decades now the editors at Lucasfilm, Bantam, Del Rey, and the authors have been carefully constructing and building this next chapter. Laying the groundwork and building the foundation for what we hope will be the most epicly epic Star Wars adventure ever.

An adventure so epic in its epicness can’t simply be revealed with a blog post telling you what we’re going to do. No, our friends and fellow readers, an epic adventure like this must begin with an author’s touch. There was only one man who could light this torch and launch us into the future…the man who gave birth to the Expanded Universe and set in motion the story we can finally tell. We present to you the Fate of the Jedi Epilogue, “An Apology,” written by New York Times bestselling author Timothy Zahn.

EPILOGUE

An Apology

There has been too much blood. Too much death. Too much destruction.

The time has come to set the record straight.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. I was supposed to be the answer to all the chaos spinning through the New Republic. Part of the solution, not part of the problem. Certainly not one of the chief perpetrators.

But you know what they say about the best-laid plans of Ranats and men.

It started out perfectly. I was chosen by Grand Admiral Thrawn to be the new heir to the Rebel leadership and to the new Jedi Order that he knew would arise at my hand. The confrontation at Mount Tantiss went off without a hitch, all the noise and smoke and confusion completely masking the fact that that crazy Jade woman nailed the wrong guy.

Or maybe she nailed the right guy. That was what she’d been ordered to do, you know.

Either way, that was it for Luke Skywalker, hero of the Rebellion. When Han and Leia and the others made their mad scramble out of there, I was the one they took along.

It went all right for awhile. Thrawn fed me instructions and orders, and I was able to handle things reasonably well.

Sure, there were adjustments to be made. My taste in food didn’t always fit Skywalker’s. Hot chocolate was the worst. I could choke it down when the situation called for it, but the stuff always seemed unnatural. But those were minor annoyances, and I got through them.

And like I said, the game started all right. But slowly, I could see things starting to go sideways. The Jedi Academy, for instance. Half the time I didn’t have the slightest idea what I was doing. Maybe the real Luke wouldn’t have, either. But he wasn’t the one on the scene. I was. Corran Horn helped out some, but I got the impression he was making it up as he went along just as much as I was.

Exar Kun knew, of course. He cackled nonstop about it when we were alone. But in the end we got through it.

Thrawn really wanted me to get a sample so that he could make his own Exaar Kun. He seemed very put out that without a body I couldn’t do that. He was miffed about Callista, too, for the same reason.

He was mollified, though, with the samples I later got him from Prince Xizor and Durga the Hutt. He still likes to play holochess with Xiizor, though the Falleen sulks a lot about not being allowed to go back to Black Sun. Why Thrawn keeps Duurga around I don’t know. Still, there’s a marsh behind the king’s palace, and Hutts do tend to keep down the frog population.

Life went on. The Black Fleet crisis was dealt with, and the Caamas Document thing, and a whole lot of other troubles.

But the strains were beginning to show. I was starting to get too old for all this, and even the Grand Admiral started wondering aloud if I needed to be replaced by a new model. I was thinking maybe that might not be a bad idea when I suddenly came to a new, horrific realization.

The goal was no longer peace and justice across the galaxy. That had been my goal, but not Thrawn’s. Maybe never had been.

His goal had become to collect a complete set of clones.

Where this insanity came from I have no idea. Maybe by that time it wasn’t even Thrawn pulling the strings anymore. Maybe he’d already been replaced by a Thraawn clone. Maybe we were even up to Thraaawn by now—the galaxy has been pretty hard on Grand Admirals over the years.

I first noticed it when the Vong came in and dropped that moon on Chewbacca. Thrawn (maybe Thraawn. Whoever.) had a Chewbaacca clone up and running practically before the dust settled.

He used to like pairing him up with Duurga for arm-wrestling. But after Chewbaacca pulled one of Duurga’s arms out of its socket, he stopped those bouts. He hasn’t let Chewbaacca anywhere near Duuurga since.

That was bad enough. But then Thraawn (Thraaawn. Whoever.) took it even further. He started making his clones, but then substituting them for people before they died, snatching the originals and taking them back to live at his secret fortress in the Patagonia system.

I’m serious. He started by putting in Anaakin for Anakin. When he got away with that, he went on to Maara, then Jaacen (we’re really sorry about Jaacen, by the way), then Gilaad Pellaeon, and literally dozens of others. Even now, there are clones running around all over the place, on both sides of whatever war we’re in at the moment. (After everything I’ve been through, I’ve started to lose track.) Nataasi Daala’s a clone, Jaagged Fell’s a clone, and I’m pretty sure Jaina is at least on Thraaaawn’s to-do list.

Some people take so many chances with their lives that they’re already up to their third or fourth clone. I’ve lost track as to whether it’s Boooba Fett or Booooba Fett inside that Mandalorian armor. (The armor’s probably on its second or third generation, too. Fett gets shot at a lot.)

The only ones I’m absolutely sure are still the originals are Han and Leia. I think.

It’s been a long, long road. And I, for one, am looking forward to ending my part of it. Luuuke is already in place, so if you want to interpret this message as simply a deranged bit of nonsense from some crazy old wizard, I’ll understand.

But whether you believe me or not, please believe that I’m deeply sorry for my part in this collector’s nightmare you’ve all been thrown into.

I go now to Patagonia, to the palace of the former pirate Roberts, and I will not be coming forth again.

Farewell, and may the Faarce be with you.
-Luuke Skywalker

Your mind just exploded like the Death Star, didn’t it? All this time, all these years, all these novels Luke Skywalker was really Luuke Skywalker. The twist and slight of hand switcheroo taking place at the end of The Last Command and carried out in secret all these years by the various editorial staffs and authors, boggles the mind with possibilities. Who is or was a clone? Is the real Chewbacca dead or alive? How about Mara Jade? And was it Jacen or Jaacen who turned and became Darth Caedus?

Those are the questions we expect to explore in the new unending series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars 2! Yes, as promised, the nine book multi-author series are over. SW: TCW2 will be a series with no end, as long as clones are available there are stories to tell. Del Rey will launch the series with a book taking place after the events of Luuke’s retirement in the Epilogue. Star Wars: The Clone Wars 2: Luuuke sets the epic adventure in motion. The third generation clone of Luke Skywalker sets out to unite all of the clones of your favorite characters into an army that will conquer the galaxy far far away.

luuke

The second novel, Star Wars: The Clone Wars 2: Woookiee, follows Han Solo to a distant moon where the clone of his best friend Chewbacca, Chewbaacca, has amassed a huge army of Chewbacca clones. Han’s soul is broken by the presence of the evil clone army of his best friend. He must destroy them in honor of Chewbacca. But can Han Solo kill his best friend over and over and over and over and over and over and over again? Is the real Chewbacca alive amongst them and can Han find him? It’s like looking for Chewie in a Wookiee stack.

WOOOKIE

Future novels in the unending series will feature Maara Jade, Anaakin Solo, Booba Fett (or is it Boooba Fett?) and more beloved characters. Additionally, fans will be excited to learn that moments they saw as continuity errors were really just red herrings deliberately planted to keep them from discovering Son of Clone Wars. Del Rey editor Frank Parisi says, “This idea is awesomesauce. I’ve been waiting years to get to work on this and I’m so thrilled to finally get it underway. This story is going to go on so long that children who aren’t even born yet will get to experience new novels in the series.”

Del Rey was blessed to find such a brilliant art director as Scott Biel at a very early age. His early work in crayons and markers was a sure sign he would grow up to be perfect to design the SW: TCW2 covers. Says Biel, “I am so excited for this series to see the light of the day. I’ve spent the last twenty years working on this. Twenty years of my life now gone. I’ve missed so much. I can’t believe I can finally leave this dark room I’ve been locked in for so many years. Wait…there’s a Boooba Fett?”

Editor Erich Schoeneweiss chimed in, “Just keeping Son of Clone Wars, that’s been the working series title for years, a secret this long is a credit to everyone involved. I particularly am excited for the seventeenth novel, in which Luuuke and Streeen finally finish the time travel device and go back in time to the Clone Wars era. It’s going to be amazing! Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi and the Clone Grand Army of the Republic versus Luuuke Skywalker and his Clone Army from the future! It’s going to be Clonemageddon! And it’ll be the debut of Quui-Gon Jin and Obi-Waan Kenobi. We’re anticipating that this will be so popular that it’ll be its own 17-part sub-series that will publish at the same time as the regular CW2 unending series is happening.”

And author Zahn added, “Finally, the goal of all professional writers: steady work.”

This is an exciting time to be a Star Wars reader. We stand on the precipice of potential greatness. A story so epic it will still be going after books no longer exist.

May the Force, and the clones, be with you….always.

“Wait, this is what all the secret meetings you knuckleheads have been having with the authors were really about?” asked lead Star Wars editor Shelly Shapiro.