This weekend, I opened the digital floor to questions touching on the Star Wars: Knight Errant material that’s appeared so far as it relates to the novel, due out Jan. 25. (You can still ask your questions here.) Here’s the first batch — I’m skipping around, to start with:
A good question to start with. The order of events in continuity is as follows:
• Vannar Treece’s letter to the Chancellor, as found in the free Knight Errant Atlas Supplement;
• The short story “Influx,” also available for free here on StarWars.com;
• The comics Knight Errant: Aflame #1-5; and
• The novel.
Now, you may note that #5 has not been released yet. No worries; I was aware of the shipping calendar when I wrote the novel, so it purposefully does not spoil the ending of the first comics series. (Apart to say that Kerra lives — we should hope so!) I would have written it that way, anyway, so as not to spoil Aflame for novel readers regardless of when they’re reading it. So you don’t have to wait to dig into the novel! (And, no, you don’t have to have read the comics to enjoy the novel, either.)
Barriss Coffee asks: “While at Celebration V you mentioned we’ll probably never see something along the lines of a young Lord Kaan, does that rule out the possibility of any connections between this series and the Jedi vs. Sith comics or Darth Bane novels, exclusive of the general political situation (weak Republic, infighting Sith, etc)? Is there a chance a character or plotline from one of those other stories may make an appearance in this series?”
We purposefully set Knight Errant well before the big events of 1000 B.B.Y., so as not to collide with anything coming up. The events of that time are momentous, and cast a shadow not only forward, but backward. Partly, I didn’t want to repeat the “who’s-who-in-the-future” cycle from Knights of the Old Republic.
But another reason is that, as we saw in that comics series, you can fit an enormous amount of story real estate into the calendar. The entire fifty-one issue series took a little over one standard year in continuity — and even then, there were a lot of moments in the main characters’ lives that we did not see, to say nothing of all the other characters in the milieu.
Here, we’re talking 32 years — so there’s a fair chance that wherever a character like Kaan is, we might not recognize him; he’d have had many potential moments for change over the years. I’d be reluctant to depict such a character in such a way that locks in everything that happens to him in the intervening decades.
I’ll never say never if there’s a story to be told; obviously, I did add to the pasts of characters like Malak and Karath. But if a character would only be used for scenery, I’d probably preserve that character’s past for later stories.
Jordan asks: “The character Daiman often reminds me of characters from Eastern material, due to his appearance and his personality. How much of your work is inspired from Eastern material — i.e. manga / anime?”
I think Daiman’s inspirations come from a little further west — Alexander the Great in his own mind, but more like Caligula in practice. Certainly his statuary and some of his architecture recalls classical times.
But in terms of apparel, I think we’ll find there’s a wide mix of influences. In all things, Daiman sets his own style!
For the curious, my favorite manga ever is, in my regard, probably also the best original (read as, not licensed) science fiction story in comics: Yukinobu Hoshino‘s 2001 Nights. Hard science fiction with quality art — the look of some of the ships borders on engineering schematics!
Sithoid asks: “How come the Sith are now occupying the southern region of the Outer Rim? Have they lost any connection with their tradition on Korriban etc?”
This is one of those things that, if you think about it, would require the current works to speak to the situation across a huge span of time. And that’s a little like Lord Kaan in reverse, for me — I’m reluctant to use this work to characterize the broad sweep of events in the centuries before.
Now, we do get into the state of things currently, and certainly some of the recent past. But it’s clear that a whole lot of history has transpired that is unaccounted for, and I think I would be cautious to get too far outside what characters know from their own lifetimes.
Anonymous asks: “What kind of crystal does Kerra have in her lightsaber?”
A green one. And that’s about all she can tell you about it! The meticulous, painstaking care Kerra put into her choice is touched upon in “Influx”. She’s a busy woman — she just wants one that works!