- "Lucas said they weren't happy with the way the story was going, so rather than salvaging what had been done, they canned it."
- ―Terese Nielsen
The Knightfall Trilogy was a three-book cycle set to be published in 2001 as part of The New Jedi Order series. Author Michael Jan Friedman was contracted by Del Rey Books and Lucasfilm Ltd. to write the trilogy, which would have contained three volumes: Jedi Storm, Jedi Fire, and Jedi Blood. Knightfall was going to star the scientist Danni Quee and the Jedi Knight Jorallen, both of whom were caught up in the New Republic and New Jedi Order's ongoing war with the extra-galactic species of religious zealots known as the Yuuzhan Vong.
After Friedman completed writing Jedi Storm, however, Del Rey and Lucasfilm Ltd. decided to cancel the trilogy. The Jedi Anakin Solo was slated to die in the upcoming hardcover novel Star by Star, and The New Jedi Order's planning team wanted the books leading into Star by Star to focus on his character. Gregory Keyes was thus contracted to write the Edge of Victory Duology, a pair of Solo-centric novels that replaced Knightfall. Although Jedi Storm had been completed, neither it nor any of the trilogy's individual volumes were ever published.
- "My other favorite is the first one I did for Del Rey, called Knightfall. This was going to be the first of a 3-part series for the 'New Jedi Order.'"
- ―Terese Nielsen
In 1999, Del Rey books and Lucasfilm Ltd. began publishing The New Jedi Order, a multi-authored series of Star Wars novels that told the story of an alien invasion. Within the series, an extra-galactic species of religious zealots called the Yuuzhan Vong invaded the galaxy, but their bloodthirsty efforts were repulsed by the New Republic and New Jedi Order. The series was set to be a chronological storyline covering a five-year span of galactic history, and would see one hardcover novel published every year that chronicled a major event of the war. Additionally, several paperback books would be published throughout each year to add to the story and fill in any gaps. By the end of 2000, two hardcovers and four paperbacks had been published.
Michael Jan Friedman, a veteran author of Star Trek novels, was contracted in 2000 to write a trilogy of books to follow Balance Point, the hardcover that was slated to cap off the year. Although no announcement of the trilogy appeared on StarWars.com, news began to reach several third-party websites when cover artist Terese Nielsen published a rough sketch of the cover of the trilogy's first volume on her website in June 2000. She also revealed that it had been christened the "Knightfall Trilogy." Over the next several months, third-party websites and the Random House online catalog revealed the names of the trilogy's individual volumes: Jedi Storm, Jedi Fire, and Jedi Blood. In August, an entry on Jedi Storm appeared in Publishers Weekly. The entry revealed that it would feature the scientist Danni Quee, who had been introduced in Vector Prime, the opening novel of The New Jedi Order; as well as the Jedi Knight Jorallen, a new character. Friedman completed writing Jedi Storm at some point during 2000. All three entries in Knightfall were to be paperbacks.
- "Mike Friedman had completed only JEDI STORM, and believe me, none of us felt good discarding even that much work. But on the whole, it was agreed that this was the best thing for the overall Star Wars publishing program."
- ―Shelly Shapiro
Around the time of Balance Point's publication, Del Rey and Lucasfilm Ltd. decided to shift a large part of The New Jedi Order's focus, which in turn necessitated the cancellation of the Knightfall Trilogy. The character of Anakin Solo was slated to die in 2001's hardcover, Star by Star, and the planning team wanted to spotlight him prior to his demise. Gregory Keyes, who had been set to pen a single New Jedi Order novel, was thus contracted to write the Edge of Victory Duology, a pair of books that would replace Knightfall and focus heavily on Solo. No further New Jedi Order novels were published between Edge of Victory and Star by Star, which allowed Del Rey to highlight several novels set during the prequel era in their 2001 publishing schedule. Kathy Tyers, the author of Balance Point, also indicated that the cancellation was done in part to allow more attention to be paid to The New Jedi Order's hardcovers.
By October 2000, all entries for Knightfall had been removed from the Random House catalog and been replaced by entries for Keyes's duology. Confirmation that the trilogy had been canceled came at the end of the month from Tyers and again several days later from Nielsen, who stated on her website that Lucasfilm Ltd. had been unhappy with the direction of the trilogy and had axed it. Later in the month, StarWars.com officially announced the Edge of Victory Duology, and Shelly Shapiro of Del Rey released a statement regarding Knightfall's cancellation. She regretted discarding a completed novel, but was confident that the decision would produce a positive result for Star Wars publishing.
Completed but unpublished, Jedi Storm explores the ramifications of a declaration made by the Yuuzhan Vong Warmaster Tsavong Lah at the end of Balance Point. Lah claimed that as-yet-unconquered worlds in the galaxy would be spared the full wrath of the invaders' war machine if they brought him Jedi, and Jedi Storm features Jedi Knights being hunted by citizens of those worlds and by a Yuuzhan Vong priestess. Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Leia Organa Solo, three primary characters from the original Star Wars trilogy, play a role in the book, helping to hide the hunted Jedi from such groups as the Peace Brigade. The scientist and former Yuuzhan Vong prisoner Danni Quee hopes to avoid the invaders, but becomes wrapped up in an investigation into missing Jedi after meeting the mysterious Jedi Knight Jorallen. As the two move deep into enemy territory, Quee begins to discover secrets about Jorallen, as well.
Jedi Fire and Jedi Blood were never completed, but were set to tell the story of Quee and Jorallen's investigation leading them to the priestess and defeating her. Meanwhile, Jedi across the galaxy would be slaughtered in an effort to appease the Yuuzhan Vong.
When the planning team of The New Jedi Order decided to focus more heavily on Anakin Solo and to cancel the Knightfall Trilogy, a storyline involving the protocol droid C-3PO and droid sentience in the wake of the Yuuzhan Vong's harsh treatment of droids was ultimately dropped. The story had begun in The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial, the fourth book of the series.
Although the Knightfall Trilogy never saw the light of day, some of the storylines it would have included did. The Edge of Victory Duology dealt with public response to Tsavong Lah's declaration, and featured a number of Jedi being killed by Yuuzhan Vong sympathizers across the galaxy. Meanwhile, Han and Leia Organa Solo began creating a Great River where Jedi could take refuge. Danni Quee reappeared in Star by Star, and went on to play a major role in later books of the series. The subplot involving C-3PO and droid sentience was only briefly touched on again, however.
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Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 The Essential Guide to the Yuuzhan Vong – Appendices. The Unofficial NJO Homepage (link via Archive.org). Retrieved on April 14, 2010.
- ↑ Although the Knightfall Trilogy was never published, it was set to follow The New Jedi Order: Balance Point, which was set at the beginning of 26 ABY.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 The New Jedi Order: Vector Prime
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide I: Onslaught
- ↑ Kuo-Yu Liang Interview. The Unofficial NJO Homepage. Retrieved on December 21, 2009.
- ↑ The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide II: Ruin
- ↑ The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial
- ↑ The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 The New Jedi Order: Balance Point
- ↑ Michael Jan Friedman's official website. Retrieved on March 24, 2011.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 The Essential Reader's Companion
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Wrapping It All Up - An Interview with James Luceno. The Unofficial NJO Homepage. Retrieved on January 4, 2010.
- ↑ Knightfall Trilogy Cancelled?. TheForce.Net. Retrieved on June 30, 2010.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory I: Conquest
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory II: Rebirth
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 The Novels & Other Books. Earthlink.net (link via Archive.org). Retrieved on June 30, 2010.
- ↑ Empire of Dreams
- ↑ The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic I: Remnant
- ↑ The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic II: Refugee
- ↑ The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic III: Reunion
- ↑ The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand
- ↑ The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
- The Essential Guide to the Yuuzhan Vong – Appendices. The Unofficial NJO Homepage (link via Archive.org).
- The Novels & Other Books. Earthlink.net (link via Archive.org).