Between 1994 to 1996, I was a struggling and frustrated writer who found himself working as a contributing author for the Star Wars Adventure Journal. The Journal was a quarterly format magazine printed by West End Games, publisher for Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game. Writing for the Journal was a chance to work with some extremely talented people, including editor Peter Schweighofer and many others at West End Games.
My work at that time was considered canon; part of the vast Star Wars universe. I created new characters, vehicles, ships, equipment, planets and sometimes entire chunks of the galaxy far, far away. My contributions were considered part of a much bigger universe and the pieces could be borrowed or reused. My work sometimes showed up in unexpected places. A fiction short I wrote for the Journal, “Blaze of Glory”, was reprinted in a Bantam paperback called Tales from The Empire. Count Dooku was credited with resolving the “Sevarcos Dispute”—a spice mining world I had created for the Journal. Timothy Zahn’s The Last Command mentioned another planet I created called Exocron. Some of my work was also mentioned in The Complete Guide to The Star Wars Universe. That was actually kind of heartening, since I hated creating stuff which would only end up collecting dust on some shelf.
That warm feeling lasted until Disney acquired Lucasfilm. Everything from the Extended Universe (the EU) that wasn’t part of the original six films (and now innumerable follow-ups) or the key novels or The Clone Wars or the Star Wars Rebels animated series was no longer canon. It was all lumped into “Star Wars Legends”. Much of my work for West End was sent to the literary equivalent of the spice mines of Kessel (or Sevarcos, depending on your point of view).
But after watching The Force Awakens and Rogue One, I began to suspect that my work and millions of words written for the roleplaying game hadn’t really died. Many reviewers commented how the heroes of Rogue One reminded them of player characters from Star Wars gaming sessions: the heroic leader, the brash rebel pilot, the mercenary soldier, the ex-Imperial, the fallen Jedi, the bodyguard, and one uppity battle droid. These were characters as familiar to me as from my writing days with WEG. Watching the new movies gave me a chance to reflect on the adventures I once used to write.
It’s with great pleasure that I’ve decided to revisit some of that old work. I’ve taken some of my favorite creations, the mercenary Red Moons, and dragged them (often unwillingly) into the era of The Force Awakens. If anything, writing about these characters again proves the universal appeal and thrill of Star Wars, whether fighting the evil First Order with their updated stormtroopers and TIE Fighters, or discovering a dangerous plot to destroy the Republic from within.