Author Holocron Series: Aaron Allston

April 8, 2020 at 12:33 am | Posted in Author Holocron, Books, Regular Feature, Star Wars, Star Wars Books | Leave a comment

Star Wars has given fans many books to read over the years, and for those willing delve into the old Legends titles, there’s a lot to enjoy. Today we’re kicking off a new series highlighting the authors of those old Legends novels and sharing some trivia you might enjoy. To get things started, we present Aaron Allston.

Biography

Aaron Allston was born in Corsicana, Texas on December 8, 1960. By 1982, he was an editor of the magazine Space Gamer, and the next year he worked as a freelance game designer, author of the supplement Autoduel Champions, and helped launch the magazine Fantasy Gamer. He wrote his first novel in 1988 called Web of Danger which was packaged as a two for one book along with Acolytes of Darkness by Flint Dille and David Marconi. It would take 10 more years before readers would see his first Star Wars novel, Wraith Squadron, which kicked off a long relationship with the franchise. From 1998 to 2012, Allston graced fans with thirteen Star Wars novels and two short stories. Sadly, Allston passed away in 2014 from heart failure. I met Aaron at Star Wars Celebration VI back in 2012 in Orlando, Florida, one of my favorite Celebrations because of that. It’s a memory I’ll cherish. While Aaron may be gone from the world, his books live on.

Star Wars Bibliography

  • Wraith Squadron (1998, X-Wing Series)
  • Iron Fist (1998, X-Wing Series)
  • Solo Command (1999, X-Wing Series)
  • Starfighters of Adumar (1999, X-Wing Series)
  • Rebel Dream (2002, New Jedi Order)
  • Rebel Stand (2002, New Jedi Order)
  • “The Pengalan Tradeoff” (2003, Star Wars Insider 65)
  • “League of Spies” (2004, Star Wars Insider 73)
  • Betrayal (2006, Legacy of the Force)
  • Exile (2007, Legacy of the Force)
  • Fury (2007, Legacy of the Force)
  • Outcast (2009, Fate of the Jedi)
  • Backlash (2010, Fate of the Jedi)
  • Conviction (2011, Fate of the Jedi)
  • Mercy Kill (2012, X-Wing Series)

Trivia


~Wraith Squadron~

  • Aaron Allston and Michael Stackpole both worked in the adventure gaming industry (Steve Jackson Games and Flying Buffalo, Inc., respectively). They met at an Origins gaming convention in ’82 or ’83 which led to a collaboration in 1983 (Justice, Inc., a role-playing game). In mid-1996, Bantam asked Mike to do a new set of four X-Wing novels (books 5-8). Owing to time commitments, he couldn’t. Familiar with Aaron’s fiction and thinking that Aaron’s style was compatible with his, he recommended Aaron for the first three novels of the set; Mike would do the last one, which will be #8 in the series. Tom Dupree, the Star Wars line editor at the time, decided to go with Mike’s recommendation, but the negotiations were not finalized before Tom left Bantam. The new line editor, Pat LoBrutto noticed that Aaron’s name was penciled beside the three X-Wing books. Bantam called Aaron’s agent to find out how he was doing on the X-Wing novels, and the rest is history.

Source: Echo Station & TheForce.Net

  • In regards to research, Aaron read every Star Wars technical manual he could get his hands on, Stackpole’s novels, Zahn’s novels, other novels in which Wedge Antilles and Rogue Squadron made appearances, comic books, and several of West End’s Star Wars game supplements. He also watched the movie trilogy repeatedly, played the X-Wing computer game, bought eight of the Action Fleet toys and used them for measurements and estimations of their performance in atmosphere, and read books on aircraft carrier life and pilot survival.
  • The biggest change in the book arose out of a miscommunication between Mike Stackpole, Aaron Allston, Bantam, and Lucasfilm. In the early stages of the planning for Aaron’s three books, Mike and Aaron both thought Aaron would be writing the adventures of a training squadron commanded by Lieutenants Hobbie Klivan and Wes Janson. Those adventures would’ve took place at the same time as the events of X-Wing #1-4. This confused Lucasfilm, who wanted the entire book series to revolve around Wedge Antilles. When all the miscommunication was cut away, they ended up merging the two concepts. In Wraith Squadron Wedge forms a new X-wing group and temporarily commands it; in the two novels following, he commands both squadrons. All these events take place after the events of #4, The Bacta War.

Source: Echo Station

  • The name Tyria was derived by Aaron Allston from ‘tyrian,’ an adjective describing the purple murex dye produced in the ancient city of Tyre. 
  • The name Ekwesh was derived by Aaron Allston from a variant on a number of Indo-European words meaning ‘horse’ (related to equus).
  • Kell was named after one of Aaron Allston’s cats.
  • Wraith Squadron took around 10 weeks to write (4 to 12 hours a day).

Source: T-bone’s Star Wars Universe

  • Piggy was created because Aaron wanted to have a character who demonstrated that loners didn’t have to be disaffected, embittered loners.
  • Face came about because he reflected characteristics that Aaron wanted to explore with the novel’s theme. For instance, Face demonstrated traits of being damaged, and recovering from damage. 
  • Wes served as an “id” character for Allston in novel, saying whatever he was thinking.
  • The Adumari were based on one of Aaron Allston’s favorite writers, Alexandre Dumas (pere), the author of The Three Musketeers and many other works of swashbuckling literature. And from the brilliant 1974 adaptation of that book by director Richard Lester. You can actually find a reference to Dumas in the name of the planet: A. Dumas = Adumar. Aaron started with the notion of a planet that idealized pilots, to give Wedge and crew (and their counterparts) an unusual amount of leverage, and then added in Dumas-esque details, plus other details pilfered from real life. Such as the streets with all those private data cables stretching across them, which is the actual situation in Rio de Janeiro, where private telephone lines festoon the city.
  • Ton Phanan was influenced by some of Aaron Allston’s acerbic family members and friends. One detail that contributed the most to Ton was an event in Aaron Allston’s life, when he was diagnosed with diabetes. Realizing that some part of the machinery of his body was fundamentally broken and would never work correctly again was a profound shock, and, years later, when he created Ton, he was able to draw on those emotions, to explore them in directions that he never personally went.

Source: Rebel Squadrons

~Pengalan Tradeoff~

  • According to Aaron Allston, The basis for “The Pengalan Tradeoff” is an examination of individuality vs. conformity. The character representing individuality was Joram, an irresponsible free spirit suddenly caught up in a wartime environment. The Clone Troopers represented conformity. In the  story both sides have to consider the notion that their way of life isn’t the only right answer, and they influence and are influenced by one another. Joram has to come to the realization that, in infecting the Clone Troopers with individualism, he is conceivably diminishing their strength and causing them to have trouble fitting into the society into which they were born. Joram came to be as a manifestation of the concept of individuality, wrapped up with enough self-awareness to realize that his choice of way of life is just not right for everybody. Aaron also conceived him as the “sort of fellow who’s going to move through the Clone Wars era with an ever-growing realization that something is very wrong within the Republic, he had to be alert, intellectual, and smart enough to keep his mouth shut – else he wouldn’t live long enough to participate in many follow-up stories.”
  • In “The Pengalan Tradeoff”, Aaron didn’t know that there would be a distinct class of Clone Troopers known as the Advance Recon Commandos. The unit he wrote about was later retconned as ARC troopers. At the time, he believed that the manufacturers of any successful design were going to tinker with it, introduce variations on it, and test those variations in the field. He knew that off-the-rack Clone Troopers wouldn’t be able to perform as he needed Joram’s companions to perform – in the sense of acting on their own initiative and quickly adopting individual traits. These two factors came together to define the troopers in the story.

~Wraith Novels and Humor~

  • The X-Wing novels ended up the way they did as a result of something Mike Stackpole told Aaron Allston. Early in the process of outlining the Wraith Squadron novels, Aaron asked Mike for his advice, and one of the things he told Aaron was, “Include a lot of humor. The fans like that.” So Aaron gave it a try.

Source: TheCloneWarz.Net (no longer available online)

~Legacy of the Force~

  • The central theme for Legacy of the Force came about in part from e-mail correspondence between Del Rey, Lucas Licensing, and several writers beginning in early 2004 idea exchanges as Del Rey began to ramp up on the new series, which at the time was just called the “post-NJO series.” Late in 2004, they had a face-to-face meeting between Del Rey personnel, Lucas Licensing personnel, and writers at Big Rock Ranch, where they worked out the rough timeline for the nine books. The basic themes of a civil war where there were no clear-cut good guys or bad guys, and of watching a character experience a slow and detailed seduction to the Dark Side, emerged during those two periods.
  • In the early days of the planning they didn’t have a complete roster of authors signed for the Legacy of the Force series, and there was discussion of which writer would launch the series. They considered having a trio of authors and a different writer launch the series. It was also discussed that if Aaron wasn’t part of the trio that he would then start the series. In the end, Aaron was selected as one of the trio and he got to start the series.

~Enemy Lines Duology~

  • It took Aaron Allston eight months to finish Legacy of the Force: Betrayal, from the approval of the outline to the submission of the manuscript. Aaron stated that it should have been even less time, but Betrayal was a difficult project for him and went longer than he wanted it to. This was in part because of its complexity – the novel had more intertwined subplots than he was used to.

Source: BookLoons.com

  • When working on the Enemy Lines Duology, Aaron Allston had a distinct focus when writing Mara. He decided to concentrate on her pregnancy and her becoming a parent. He envisioned her as having the parenting instincts of a bird of prey — violently protective, brooding — and putting those instincts in conflict with her intellect. 

Source: Jade Crusades

Posted By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: