We’re all familiar with Del Rey’s fondness for big series- New Jedi Order, Legacy of the Force, and Fate of the Jedi. Now of these three, NJO was polarizing (though I personally fall on the side of liking it), while LOTF and FOTJ were much more universally poorly received. Personally, though, I felt FOTJ in particular had great potential that was buried under poor execution. With the right amount of work, I think a really good story could have been hung on its basic foundations. A while back, when Fate of the Jedi was still running, I proposed a multi-author fanfic epic, set during some point in the past. That project never materialized, but here I’m proposing something similar, except as an AU version of FOTJ rather than an entirely new concept. My proposed title for the project is Star Wars: Odyssey, which I’ve read was a rejected title for the canon FOTJ series. Since this’ll resemble FOTJ as it stands in only broad strokes, I don’t think you’d need to have read it to contribute, though I’d recommend browsing Wookieepedia for info. To start with, basic ideas: I. Focus. The Coruscant conspiracy plotline always felt pretty extraneous to the main arc of FOTJ, slowing things down to a drag every time it showed up and distracting from the more interesting section of the plot. I recommend for this that it be cut entirely. The story should be about Luke and Ben travelling the galaxy and visiting and learning from different Force traditions, while the threat of the Lost Tribe and Abeloth grows. The Coruscant plot was, IMO, interminable filler until the very end. II. Abeloth. The Big Bad of the series was a really, really cool idea who suffered from poor execution, coming off more as a female Palpatine who could be in multiple places at once than an ancient, inscrutable Force horror. Part of the problem was that she was used way too much, and her individual bodies got beaten too easily. If anyone’s familiar with Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn books, I’d propose using the villain Ruin as a baseline for how Abeloth should be handled. Ruin spends most of the series an impersonal force steering events towards some inscrutable purpose, occasionally a spooky voice in someone’s head; it’s not until the final third of the final book that he shows up in “person” and the reader gets a real sense of his nature and goals. Handling Abeloth similarly would do wonders to preserve her power and mystique. Oh, and I think she should be a corrupted Celestial, as was hinted earlier in the novels, as opposed to the out-of-left-field connection to the Mortis Ones that was ultimately established for her. III. Lost Tribe. Our other main villains. Honestly, I really don’t see why they have to be Sith. The Sith may be the overarching Big Bads of the saga, but the EU has badly overused them. I say, simply make them the Keshiri, an isolated race ruled by a corrupt dark side-using aristocracy, perhaps having them corrupted by one of the various Sith Empires in their backstory. Vestara, her father, Ahri Raas, Lady Rhea, High Lord Taalon, Grand Lord Vol, and the other named Lost Tribe characters can largely keep their canonical personalities and role in the story, but make them all Keshiri instead of a mix of Keshiri and human. I’d also like to see more of an exploration of the workings of their society and culture, much like we got with the Vong. IV. Plot structure. Keep it straightforward. Luke decides to retrace Jacen’s journey as per canon, and takes Ben with him, but there’s no real reason to go through the trumped up exile rigmarole. Meanwhile in a parallel storyline near the edge of the Unknown Regions we see the Keshiri begin to expand beyond their homeworld, prompted by mysterious voices in the dreams of their leaders (Abeloth, though this shouldn’t be revealed- and maybe not even that there is something prompting the Keshiri- until further down the line). Luke and Ben end up clashing with a Keshiri task force and wind up bringing Vestara with them on a quest to stop the Keshiri from releasing the mysterious Force entity (again, Abeloth) who’s been manipulating them. Pretty much as canon FOTJ, but more pared down. Endgame is a direct confrontation with Keshiri forces and Luke (+Ben+Vestara) vs. Abeloth (to prevent her release, not destroy her permanently), rather than the whole “Abeloth hijacks the conspiracy and becomes Chief of State” bit which in canon frankly made her a much more mundane villain. Oh, and we should definitely do more exploration of the actual philosophies of the different Force groups, which in FOTJ were often disappointingly brusque (particularly in the case of the Aiing-Tii). V. Length. Without the conspiracy stuff, I think we can keep Odyssey briefer than FOTJ, at about four-five fics rather than nine books. Unsure when, in this streamlined version, Vestara should team up with the Skywalkers- end of the first one seems too early, maybe end of two? VI. Force groups. The groups Luke and Ben meet can be pretty much kept as canon- Baran Do, Aiing-Tii, Mind Walkers, Fallanassi, and end with Keshiri. Dathomiri can be cut (already well-explored) and Theran Listeners (don’t seem all that terribly interesting, honestly, unless someone really wants to keep them). And, some questions: 1. What to do with LOTF? Keep it canon, up to and including absurdities like Daala as CoS? Do broad strokes only, where the major events were the same but we can make up specifics as needed? Keep only the core element of “Jacen falls” as backstory, which might leave thing open to include Mara as well? 2. The Solos. This is essentially a Skywalker-centric story, but what about the other side of Star Wars’ first family? I’d feel kind of bad leaving Han, Leia, and Jaina with nothing to do, but neither do I particularly want them on the “Odyssey” plotline, which should just be Skywalkers (and later, Vestara). I’d like to have them pitch in at the final battle, but beyond that? Come up with something for them to do, and risk running into the same problem as FOTJ’s conspiracy plotline? Keep them out of the action entirely? Other thoughts? 3. Author formatting- how to organize things? Each other does one-two fics? Alternating authors? Authors do a fic or two in a row? One person writes, everyone pitches in on worldbuilding? Post as individuals or create a sock? So, does this seem like something I might get another couple of people interested in and get off the ground? Or is this a big idea that will never see the light of day? Ideas, thoughts, criticisms, anything?