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Lit Flashback: National Newspaper Coverage of the Finale of "Vector Prime"/Chewbacca

Discussion in 'Literature' started by xezene, Mar 22, 2021.

  1. xezene

    xezene Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Hey all --

    With some extra time this past year, I gathered together some different newspaper clippings from the coverage that followed the release of "Vector Prime" in 1999. I figured maybe the forum would like to see some of these. It was quite a media event -- this sampling of newspaper articles (sometimes nationally syndicated) is only a small sample of what there was -- but I figure it's kind of a neat thing to see all put together. Chewbacca's death received full-on memorials, tributes, reactions -- the whole lot. It should be said the release of the New Jedi Order series was quite the deal, with a Mark Hamill-narrating-as-Luke commercial and poster distributed around, so it would make sense that this provoked the widespread coverage it did. I know the book itself stayed on the NYT Bestsellers List for 4 weeks. Within these articles, I believe the forum itself gets a mention (as well as a specific user, wormie2). Feel free to share if you have any memories of this event, or your reactions to this slice of SW (and EU) history. Anyway, enjoy the clippings and little trip down memory lane!

    Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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    Quad-City Times, Davenport, Iowa
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    St. Cloud Times, St. Cloud, Minnesota
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    The Palm Beach Post, Palm Beach, Florida
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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    The Billings Gazette, Billings, Montana
    [​IMG]
    San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco, California
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    The Burlington Free Press, Burlington, Vermont
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    Daily Press, Newport News, Virginia
    [​IMG]
    Dayton Daily News, Dayton, Ohio
    [​IMG]
    The News-Press, Fort Myers, Florida
    [​IMG]
    The Honolulu Advertiser, Honolulu, Hawaii
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    Lansing State Journal, Lansing, Michigan
    [​IMG]
    The Modesto Bee, Modesto, California
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    The Orlando Sentinel, Orlando, Florida
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    The News & Observer, Raleigh, North Carolina
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    Rapid City Journal, Rapid City, South Dakota
    [​IMG]
    Statesman Journal, Salem, Oregon
    [​IMG]

    A note: special thanks to newspaper archiving websites so that this could all be assembled together for posterity's sake!
     
  2. xezene

    xezene Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 6, 2016
    More clippings:

    Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    [​IMG]
    The Record, Hackensack, New Jersey
    [​IMG]
    Sacramento Bee, Sacramento, California
    [​IMG]
    The Tennessean, Nashville, Tennessee
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    And finally, a little follow up for R.A. Salvatore and his eventual novelization of Attack of the Clones. (Palladium-Item, Richmond, Virginia)
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2013
    Thanks for compiling these! It's crazy (and in retrospect, depressing) how big a deal Vector Prime was. I kind of missed it at the time by virtue of being 11.
     
  4. Alpha-Red

    Alpha-Red Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Holy crap, I read the first one...then I see there's another dozen or so.
     
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  5. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Holy cow.
     
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  6. Daneira

    Daneira Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 30, 2016
    Wasn't there a New York Times article? It was either that or the Star Ledger or the Daily Record (local NJ papers) that I read it in - I hadn't read Vector Prime so it had a big impact on me reading about Chewbacca's death in the newspaper.
     
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  7. pellaeon01

    pellaeon01 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 12, 2021
    Great job finding these, and thanks for sharing! I had no idea that anything like this got such widespread coverage.
     
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  8. harryhenry

    harryhenry Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    This is fascinating! Crazy how this was such a big deal even mainstream media was reporting on it.

    One of the saddest outcomes of this story was that R.A. Salvatore got a lot of unwarranted online hate for that story choice, though he wasn’t involved in the decision. Don’t think fans yet realised that, in the Del Rey era, story arcs would now be planned by a committee of editors and authors.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2021
  9. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 9, 2016
    Woah.
     
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  10. FiveFireRings

    FiveFireRings Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2017
    Mainstream media didn't understand "canon tiers", huh?

    I mean, I didn't either and still don't, but no part of me really thought Chewie would be killed offscreen and it would stick for any potential film sequels.
     
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  11. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 9, 2016
    Yeah but I wonder if people thought at the time we'd never get Sequels

    Plus considering we were focusing on the prequels at the time.

    Also....No one really cares about "Canon Tiers" i feel unless your hardcore into that stuff....It's a Star Wars book, if you like Star Wars your probably gonna read it.
     
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  12. xezene

    xezene Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 6, 2016
    That was very likely part of it. There was an interview that Lucas had done with Wired magazine earlier that year, where he said this.

    Wired: What about the reports that Episodes 7, 8, and 9 - which exist in novel form - will never reach the screen?

    Lucas: The sequels were never really going to get made anyway, unlike 1, 2, and 3, where the stories have existed for 20 years. The idea of 7, 8, and 9 actually came from people asking me about sequels, and I said, "I don't know. Maybe someday." Then when the licensing people came and asked, "Can we do novels?" I said do sequels, because I'll probably never do sequels.
    Considering that was said in a direct interview to the press, I can see why that would be the thinking after a statement like that.

    But yeah, Lucasfilm really committed to the NJO in media promotion and they brought up the official approval of Lucas whenever asked, so all of this material was certainly being emphasized as part of the ongoing story by LFL and similarly seen that way by fans and beyond -- an element one can definitely see in these newspaper blasts from the past.
    It may be the latter, since as far as I could find, the NYT did not report on it (though the Washington Post did).
    Same! I didn't know until reading the novel a few years after.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2021
  13. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 9, 2016
    Just more proof that no matter what the more things change the more they stay the same ;p
     
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  14. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    If Chewbacca had stayed dead, it would actually be this year, 2021, that his character became dead longer than he was alive.
    (1977 to 1999 = 22 years ... 1999 plus 22 years = 2021)
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2021
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  15. Xammer

    Xammer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Many thanks for the finds!

    I find it curious that in the old EU the Big 3 were under moratorium and thus Chewbacca died while in the ST all the Big 3 are dead while Chewbacca survives.

    I remember I first found out about Chewbacca in 2007 or so while browsing the wiki page (can't remember whether it was La Wik or La Wook) for the NJO and reading a phrase like "the first book of the series kills off a major character" - I put my mouse over "a major character" and saw Chewbacca in the URL preview on the status bar.
     
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  16. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 9, 2016
    I remember when i first read Chewie died in the books

    I was like "Huh...Okay then"
     
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  17. Hamburger_Time

    Hamburger_Time Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Am I getting the right impression that some of these papers put Chewie in the actual obituaries, among real people!?
     
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  18. xezene

    xezene Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 6, 2016
    I thought the same thing when finding some of these! It almost seems that way on some of them.
     
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  19. The Positive Fan

    The Positive Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 19, 2015
    When this book came out, I was a young whippersnapper and already a couple years into my self-imposed separation from the EU. I essentially viewed the death of Chewbacca and the hints that the novels were heading toward a more "grimdark" tone as affirmation of my choice, and to this day have yet to actually read it. (Yeah, yeah, I know.)

    My attitudes have changed and mellowed as I've grown into a significantly older whippersnapper, and one of these days I assume I will get around to reading Vector Prime and the rest of the NJO series. One of the things stopping me is the fact that I'm invested in the canon continuity nowadays, and neither Del Rey nor Disney-Lucasfilm Press seem inclined to give me time to insert an 18-book series into my reading schedule. But someday...
     
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  20. FiveFireRings

    FiveFireRings Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2017
    I actually made it all the way through the NJO despite not liking how it started that much and enjoying it even less as it wore on. (And yeah, yeah, I know as well.) I finish stuff I start, I guess, but that was the end of me following the EU until the reboot.

    Here's the thing about the idea that there were not going to be sequels, though... that still didn't make the EU the "definitive story". In fact it would have been easier to reboot the EU with another EU than another film series. Pretty much right after the PT, with TCW, Lucas signaled that he was still in the game and not shy about discarding EU material. Regardless of whether or not more films were coming, spinoff material is always just that, as those of us who grew up with the original Marvel comics and SOTME always knew.

    And it might happen again. The story group is doing a great job guarding against it, but it's not ridiculous to think that we'll hit a point where it's once again declared that the onscreen stuff is the "top tier". I doubt it'll be that cut and dry, but, hey, Ahsoka novel vs. TCW S7.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
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  21. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 9, 2016
    People take the whole Ashoka novel vs TCW s7 as waaaaaaaaay to Overblown and it's silly to be honest....But that's beside the point.

    But yeah I mean....the whole thing of a pure interconnected continuity lasting in the long term is NEVER gonna last forever...Because one day...will get different people leadership who don't care and will just go to a silent tier system. Even if they never admit it...I feel that's gonna happen.

    Like books and comics are never gonna be equal to movies and TV series in the long run and not with our culture.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
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  22. harryhenry

    harryhenry Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    At the time I don't think Leland had publicly introduced the canon tiers yet, and I think the EU's canonicity at the time was still a subject of debate, since it was so easily ignorable by the mainstream. I've found quotes dating back to the late '70s of fans wondering if it was "canon" or not:
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
  23. FiveFireRings

    FiveFireRings Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2017
    Oh yeah. What's funny is that at that time those kinds of arguments seemed laughably pretentious, like applying historical scholarship to something which, no matter how much you loved it, you knew was kind of goofy. Nowadays we (and I totally include myself here) don't even give it a second thought.
     
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  24. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 9, 2016
    From what i know it was around this time when the EU was starting to dip it's toe into trying to become a more cohesive narrative between mediums and thus creating the "META STORY" behind the Star Wars universe as a singular ongoing narrative with a throughline instead of just "Warlord of the Week Bantam Book and Comics are kinda doing something else with Dark Empire" and it was really the authors who could or could not decide to connect things or not.

    Hence your divides between your Tim Zahn's and Kevin J Andersons...and even then each had their own directions and ideas

    Luke either liked Mara or Cylista.

    Not till Del-Ray was their more of a effort.

    Then in the mid 2000's (Probably when TCW started) did the tier system happen.

    Or so I've been told.
     
  25. harryhenry

    harryhenry Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    I'd argue that it started with Kevin J. Anderson. He was told that he could just ignore Dark Empire, but decided to incorporated references to it anyway in the Jedi Academy trilogy, leading to many "which was the book where Luke went dark and the Emperor came back?" questions to annoyed book store clerks. Jokes aside, that trilogy really was the first to start incorporating elements from otherwise standalone stories and really started creating and EXPANDING the universe, much like how the RPG did. There were divides between him and Zahn/other authors, but I'd say the Bantam era held together much better than people give it credit for.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2021
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