THE FINAL COUNTDOWN (HOLY ISLAND TRILOGY series Book 3)


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Win at work

Lead actor and producer Tom Cruise commissioned a novelization and several tie-in works to help support the film, and Luceno was required to pay close attention to the original Mission: Impossible television series while writing his work, but Cruise ultimately decided to take the movie in a different direction and did not use any of the tie-ins.

Daley's illness was pancreatic cancer , and it proved to be terminal.

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During the final months of his life, he and Luceno had several conversations regarding the nature of life and death. Clair Robson posted a notice of death online, messages of consolation immediately began to pour in from across the world. He later wrote a memoir that detailed both the trip to Calakmul [59] and his long friendship with Daley, including their many travels together. The memoir has never been published, but in Luceno stated that he was considering releasing it as an e-book.

Luceno had made a promise to Daley before his death: to complete his friend's unfinished Gamma L. Luceno set to work editing a 1,page manuscript, which required him to search through hundreds of files, notes and newspaper clippings in order to grasp the technical knowledge that his friend possessed on the books' theme: [81] military science fiction.

Clair Robson, "he had footnotes on the footnotes. Despite admitting that it a large challenge which was "extremely tough" to do, he downplayed his own role and attributed the majority of the project's credit to his late friend. W were published from November [87] to March They brought Luceno onto the set and took him to some of the filming locations in an effort to help him better grasp the period of the movie's historical setting. When Del Rey books acquired the license to publish Star Wars fiction from Bantam in , they conceived of a long, ongoing series of novels that would proceed chronologically.

They felt that Bantam's model of releasing standalone trilogies and one-shots in non-chronological order had been confusing to readers and detrimental to character development, and they began working with Lucasfilm Ltd. A basic storyline was developed, as were the series' primary villains: an extra-galactic species of bloodthirsty religious zealots known as the Yuuzhan Vong. Shapiro believed that Bantam's novels had developed a feeling of stagnation due to nothing significant ever happening to the primary characters , and she felt that Star Wars had lost the edge of realism and tension that had been present in the original trilogy.

Her goal was to shake things up and show that the heroes would not be able to count on surviving everything, and the idea of the Yuuzhan Vong killing a major character in the opening volume of the series was floated. Also written by Luceno was a "series bible," and he worked with author Daniel Wallace to expand the map of the Star Wars galaxy. Luceno devoured as many existing Star Wars novels, comics , and sourcebooks as he could, [94] although he had previously read many of the Bantam-issued novels as they were published.

Salvatore wrote 's Vector Prime , the series opener, [95] and found himself tasked with writing Chewbacca's death ; when negative fan reaction to the character's demise manifested in scores of hate mail, Luceno commiserated with Salvatore by sharing stories of his similar experience with Robotech fandom. Stackpole was set to write the next three novels, a trilogy called Dark Tide , but when a change in plans compressed Dark Tide into a duology, Agents of Chaos was expanded into two paperbacks.

The New Jedi Order was designed to be a combination of hardcover and paperback novels, with major events happening only in the hardcovers [96] and the paperbacks filling in side adventures. He hoped to take Solo through a heroic journey reminiscent of the original Star Wars trilogy, [30] and he saw the Agents of Chaos Duology's first volume as a "Han Solo, this is your life" novel. Luceno left wrote Hero's Trial as a tribute to Brian Daley right. The two are pictured here with Chris Barbieri in Nakbe , Guatemala, in Having been with The New Jedi Order since its inception, Luceno did not find it difficult to drop into a writing role, but he did spend a good deal of time learning the rules and regulations of the Star Wars franchise.

Daley's works were not the only source material from which Luceno drew inspiration while writing the Agents of Chaos Duology, as both novels feature returning characters from Bantam's various scattered Star Wars books.

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James Luceno

Luceno had intended for Droma to stay on as Solo's partner after the events of Agents of Chaos , but when letters began to pour in from fans indicating that they wanted to see Solo team up with his wife, Leia, Droma began to fade into the background. While writing Saboteur , Luceno found it difficult to get inside the head of Darth Maul , a character with a mysterious background, and to write scenes from Maul's perspective.

He tried to imagine what it would be like to serve Darth Sidious, Maul's Sith Master , and chose to portray Maul introspectively after drawing inspiration from the relationship between Darth Vader and the Emperor in Return of the Jedi. When Luceno first saw The Phantom Menace , he was intrigued by the opening crawl and its references to events that occurred before the film, and with Cloak of Deception he ultimately got to write that backstory.

While writing Cloak of Deception , Luceno drew inspiration from famous authors of political thrillers such as Frederick Forsyth and Robert Ludlum , but his first few outlines were heavy on action and focused largely on the Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and other secondary characters. Shapiro and Rostoni helped him trim down the action until he had struck a balance between politics and lightsabers.

At Lucas's request, he included a character from the film in his novel. Tolkien's The Hobbit serving as an introduction to The Lord of the Rings , [] and it was a unique challenge that he enjoyed, [] as was the challenge of constructing an entire backstory for Valorum based on a single line from The Phantom Menace. Luceno attempted to mirror the three-part structure of the Star Wars films and to honor as many of the saga's conventions as he could; once he had the full story figured out, he treated Cloak of Deception as the novelization of a Star Wars film that was running in his head.

The books feature a pair of orphan brothers working as detectives in futuristic cyberspace , [] [] and an unreleased third book appears in several online databases, albeit with no available information.

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Luceno and Shapiro conferred throughout the production of The New Jedi Order , and when it reached the halfway point, they reassessed what had already been done, and discussed what still needed doing and how the series would wrap up. As Luceno had been with the series from the beginning and had been privy to nearly every idea that had been proposed, he emerged as a natural choice to write the final volume; [93] he was familiar with the characters and story arcs and had a vast amount of information at his fingertips.

Luceno devised the book's title— The Unifying Force —from the concept of the Unifying Force , a future-oriented view of the Force concerned with the consequences of actions. He drew inspiration from the Indigenous peoples of the Americas like the Maya and the Aztec , cultures with inherent tragedy, and he hoped to give the book a good deal of gray morality. Although the planning team discussed the idea of wiping out the Yuuzhan Vong at the series' end , they felt that a merciful option would be more interesting and had the invaders sent into exile.

He tried to leave the characters in places where fans could imagine them moving on and living their lives, [89] and he later admitted that with the book he was attempting to wrap up the entire Star Wars saga. The saga continued with more books, however, to the point where Luceno believed there were no places left for the characters to go. The New Jedi Order had not been an easy project, owing to the sheer number of contributing authors pulling the storyline in several different directions, [90] as well as deadlines that conflicted with the authors' non- Star Wars novels, illnesses, canceled books, eleventh-hour changes to the story arc, and the fan reaction to Chewbacca's death.

The Unifying Force was released in hardcover on November 4 , , [] and Luceno toured the United States throughout November to promote it. Having learned to thatch in Guatemala, he hoped to build a thatched-roof house on the property. He intended to take a long break from Star Wars , but after being shown art of the Battle of Hoth and of Ben Kenobi's hut , he agreed to write the reference book Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Trilogy.

As the galaxy's Clone Wars unfolded throughout Star Wars media, Luceno read the original manuscripts and outlines of the novels and comics that helped form the Clone Wars multimedia project , and discussed them with Shapiro and Rostoni. Luceno was given the first draft of the movie's script and was continually updated on its revisions, [] and in January [2] he spent two days at Skywalker Ranch discussing the script with Shapiro, Rostoni, Howard Roffman , and Matthew Stover, who was writing the film's novelization.

One of Luceno's important tasks with the book was to provide a backstory for General Grievous , [] and he was also able to address certain plot points from Attack of the Clones that remained unresolved. Believing that the fighting would mostly take place on the ground , Luceno intended for Chancellor Palpatine to be whisked about like George W.

Bush in Air Force One during the September 11 attacks , but Lucas revealed that it would mostly be a space battle and suggested that he think in terms of the Secret Service sequestering Dick Cheney in a hardened bunker on that day. Stover and Luceno stayed in touch, with Luceno reading Stover's novelization as it was being written [] and Stover reading Labyrinth of Evil ' s outline and working references to it into his own manuscript. He kept Luceno updated on his progress, but many of those references were ultimately cut.

A highlight of writing Labyrinth of Evil for Luceno was portraying Skywalker and Kenobi as friends instead of their usual master and apprentice role. Attempts were made to divvy up characters and plotlines, but the animated series was not set to be storyboarded until well after Labyrinth of Evil ' s manuscript was due. Brief and fleeting mentions of characters and a planet from the series were inserted into Labyrinth of Evil at the last minute. The Star Wars prequel trilogy's political subtext about the rise of dictatorships was carried over into Luceno's work, but he did not try to compare George W.

Bush to Palpatine, despite accusations from some readers—the novel's " Homeworld Security " was borrowed from a Dark Horse comic, and the term Triad of Evil was merely a light-hearted homage to what he considered a very interesting phrase. When Labyrinth of Evil was released, Luceno was already working on another book: Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader , which was set in the immediate aftermath of Revenge of the Sith and formed a loose trilogy with Labyrinth and the movie novelization. It focused on Darth Vader, Darth Sidious, and a group of Jedi who escaped the Great Jedi Purge , [14] but it was titled and promoted as a Vader-centric novel despite the character's relatively modest role in the book.

With Dark Lord , one of Luceno's primary goals was to paint the Jedi and the Sith in stark contrast with one another. He aimed to show how the relationship between a Jedi Master and a Jedi Padawan differed from the relationship between a Sith Master and a Sith apprentice , and he also sought to parallel the story arcs of Darth Vader and the Jedi Roan Shryne —he wrote Vader as walking further and further away from the Force while Shryne moved closer to it.

In the book, Shryne was one [] of several Jedi who initially felt disillusioned with the Force in the aftermath of the purge. Dark Lord was published in hardcover on November 22 , , [] and when some fans complained about Vader's small role in the book, Luceno later apologized in an interview for the misleading title. The issue featured Vader and was set during the same time period; Luceno was credited in the comic for writing the scene's dialogue. After a multi-week trek in the Guatemalan jungle, Luceno went to an internet cafe and discovered an e-mail from Lucasfilm that asked if he was interested in writing a novel about Darth Plagueis , [] a character who was mentioned in Revenge of the Sith [] and who was name-dropped by Luceno in Labyrinth of Evil.

He was thrilled at the opportunity, [] and his involvement with the project was first announced on StarWars. Luceno had a number of discussions with Lucasfilm representatives about how the novel should be approached before he wrote and submitted a detailed outline, [] working mostly with Howard Roffman in discussing what he could and could not do. Lucas decided that he could be a Muun and sent Luceno some artist renderings [] and production sketches of Muun characters; [] he also gave Luceno other tidbits about Plagueis' character [] and decided that Plagueis should wear a transpirator mask after having an accident at some point in his life.

Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles novels were a key source of inspiration for that format. The story ended with Jinn contacting the Whills , mysterious beings first mentioned in an epigraph in the original Star Wars novelization. Luceno made a significant start on writing the book [3] after thinking and planning for months in advance, [] but feedback soon arrived stating that Lucasfilm wanted the book to more prominently feature Palpatine.


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In , Luceno was approached to write a book about the Millennium Falcon , [] a starship that had become nothing short of a cultural icon. Shelly Shapiro gave Luceno considerable freedom with the book, telling him that it could be an anthology of short stories if he wanted, as long as it were set in the aftermath of Legacy of the Force and featured Allana Solo , the granddaughter of Han and Leia. It was unlike anything he had ever done before, but he enjoyed the challenge. The novel was simply given the title Millennium Falcon , which Luceno hoped would draw in casual readers.

Although it was set late in the Expanded Universe timeline, he tried to make it function as a standalone novel [] that was accessible to new readers, [] and he used the stories of the ship's former owners to introduce and touch on various eras in the Star Wars timeline [] and summarize events that had occurred since the end of Return of the Jedi. Luceno promoting Millennium Falcon at a Borders in While at Skywalker Ranch to discuss the project, Luceno was able to sit in on story conferences for the upcoming nine-book Fate of the Jedi series. Since his novel was going to form a sort of bridge between Legacy of the Force and Fate of the Jedi , he felt that his presence at the meetings was important.

The character of Seff Hellin was created in order to set some important things in motion. With those extra two years , he wanted Han and Leia Solo to be able to put the issue to rest and look toward a brighter future. He also worried that the book would be too similar to Hero's Trial if their grief was so fresh, and he additionally believed that a seven-year-old Allana would make a better character than a five-year-old Allana.

At this point in his career, Luceno found it more difficult to write about the Jedi, as different authors always seemed to have different ideas about what the Jedi and the Force were capable of. With Millennium Falcon , he was glad to be writing about more mundane and less ethereal aspects of the Star Wars universe, [] and he also called the project "a breath of fresh air" in that he was writing a small-scale narrative instead of huge galactic events that needed to advance the plot points of an ongoing series.

Clair Robson and Brian Daley, [] and Luceno also credits Daley for giving him his first thoughts about the Falcon , as they used to discuss the ship and compare it to their own junky cars while Daley was writing The Han Solo Adventures. Clair Robson and Daley from being acknowledged, however, as the dedication page was missing from its original hardcover release. As such, he was never sent the book's galley proofs , and one day he was surprised to find a final copy of the book on his front porch, missing its dedication page and including some edits of which he had not been made aware.

To Luceno, the Maya were very different than other cultures due to their absolute fascination with the heavens and their minute study of the motion of heavenly bodies, and he had spoken to a number of archaeologists and anthropologists over the years to get a sense of what their culture may have been like. When 3-D releases of the three Star Wars prequel films were planned, Dorling Kindersley greenlit expanded editions of their visual dictionaries. The Phantom Menace in 3-D and its visual companion saw release in , but the planned expansion of Luceno's original Revenge of the Sith dictionary progressed no further than the outline stage before the 3-D versions of Episodes II and III were indefinitely postponed.

After Millennium Falcon , he asked Howard Roffman if there was a chance of revisiting the project, and he was flown to Skywalker Ranch to meet with Roffman personally. He drew inspiration from the Star Wars prequel trilogy, however, which had told the story of Anakin Skywalker's transition into Darth Vader, and he began to realize that he could focus on Palpatine without diminishing his character.

Luceno spent months making many revisions [] and submitting many different versions of the outline [] before he and Roffman reached an agreement on what the book should do. The novel, simply titled Darth Plagueis , was thus reborn. Some of what he had originally developed was carried over, but most of it was scrapped so that he could cast more of the book's spotlight on Palpatine and his relationship with Plagueis. He described Roffman as "George's right-hand man at Lucas Licensing" and assumed that Roffman was speaking directly with Lucas about much of what was going into Darth Plagueis , as it often seemed like the approval was coming to Roffman through Lucas.

Luceno gazes at the river near his log cabin home. That amount of territory led Luceno to see Darth Plagueis as a sort of untold history of the Star Wars prequel era. With his vast knowledge of the Expanded Universe and the notes on it he had made over the years, he was able to bring in existing characters and situations that were important to the era in order for the story to come together, [] researching the era in almost the same way he would for a real-life historical book. Luceno thought about Maul a lot while writing Darth Plagueis , and after the novel's manuscript was submitted, he was asked to pen two short stories about the character.

Ideas for the stories were already floating around in his head, and he felt like they could have been excerpts from Darth Plagueis had he not wanted to keep the novel's points of view focused on its main characters. Darth Plagueis was Luceno's first opportunity to really write about what was going on inside Palpatine's head without the constraints of not being able to reveal his secret identity as Darth Sidious. Luceno ended up discarding much of the material he wrote about young Palpatine, as he was still conscious of the risk of humanizing the character too much, [] but he did write a scene where a young Palpatine transitions from being inherently evil to openly evil.

It gave him a sensibility about the Sith [] that was different than the one traditionally seen in the Expanded Universe. The talks that Luceno had with Roffman revealed that midi-chlorians would have to play a large role in Darth Plagueis. It was a slight deviation from how they had been described in The Phantom Menace , but he felt that the explanation made more sense [] and he enjoyed the challenge of bringing sense to the midi-chlorian concept.

Wells story The Island of Doctor Moreau. Matthew Stover picked up on that character thread with Darth Tenebrous in the companion short story The Tenebrous Way , having Tenebrous experiment in the vein of a classic science fiction mad scientist [] despite having no contact with Luceno while writing it. Luceno was told the answer but could not explicitly spell it out in the book.

In Luceno's earliest meetings with Roffman, he opined that there was no suspense regarding Plagueis's death, as Star Wars lore had already established that he was killed in his sleep by Palpatine. He was told in no uncertain terms, however, that Plagueis absolutely had to die in his sleep—there would be no lightsaber duel or other retcon. He wanted to create some surprise, [] and from his earliest viewing of The Phantom Menace he had felt like there was a more sinister force at play than Sidious and Maul.

In order to entertain himself, Luceno wrote little bits of humor into the book, including a "Sith Bith" whose name translates to "Darth Dark" and some wordplay involving the word "Muun". He ended up laughing at his own prose half the time when trying to keep some of the jokes from being too obvious. On October 30 , , StarWars. He felt like he was failing to get anywhere with the Palpatine novel, but he realized that if he could set Tarkin early enough in the Imperial era he could push forward the stories of Palpatine and Darth Vader while still focusing the book on Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin.

Although he was initially worried that the Tarkin character would not resonate with casual readers, the challenge eventually became a delight. Luceno had been interested in Tarkin from his first viewing of Star Wars [] and believed that the character was as emblematic of the Empire as the Death Star itself, [] as he casually destroyed planets [] and possessed ruthless self-assurance that prevented him from acknowledging that the Death Star was fatally flawed. Luceno did not want to make Tarkin too similar to Palpatine by having him come from a wealthy background, so a suggestion was made [] by Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo [] that he come from a colonial planet.

That idea gave Luceno a completely new take on where Tarkin had come from.

Although in Star Wars he had been cultured, dignified, intelligent and entitled, [] the colonial concept introduced the idea that he grew up on an Outer Rim planet and had to work hard to be accepted by the Core elite. They discussed what would be happening in Star Wars Rebels and in upcoming bonus episodes of The Clone Wars [] —he was even allowed to read the Rebels series bible [11] and some of the show's scripts [] —and Luceno left the meeting feeling like the Story Group was not trying to steer him away from any of the ideas he had for his book.

He thought about Tarkin for another few months before coming up with a formal outline. The re-branding of the Expanded Universe as "Legends" did not cause Luceno to feel constrained, as the lore still existed for him to reference if he so chose. With the Dark Times open to new exploration in Star Wars fiction, Luceno reflected on how to portray the era and ultimately decided to focus on the Empire's military might, in contrast to Darth Plagueis being about economic and political manipulation.

Five years after the Clone Wars , he wrote the Emperor as still consolidating power and determining who he could trust [] as the Empire worked to gain control over the galaxy. Luceno was keeping abreast of Miller's outline submissions and his conversations with both the Story Group and with Dave Filoni. That arrogance stemmed from Tarkin having survived in a certain way. That "certain way" was a series of challenges and initiations that commenced in Tarkin's life at the young age of eleven, gradually shaping his worldview and morphing him into a callous commander. Who and Sherlock Holmes, in an effort to capture his voice and mannerisms.

Luceno studied similar movies for a scene with Christopher Lee 's Count Dooku , [18] and he enjoyed imagining the two actors playing off of each other just as they had in so many classic horror movies. Other inspirations for the novel included a photo Luceno had taken in the s of a pride of lions basking atop a rocky outcropping while traveling in Africa—looking like the lords of everything that they surveyed, the animals were a basis for Tarkin's rite of passage in the Eriadu wilds.

Darth Vader was a character to whom Luceno deliberately did not give a point of view, as he liked the idea of the reader projecting their own feelings onto him [] and also wanted to keep Tarkin guessing about what Vader's reactions were. He and the Story Group figured that Tarkin had suspicions about Vader [] and outright believed that he was indeed Anakin Skywalker.

He used several episodes of The Clone Wars as a jumping-off point for their relationship—a trilogy of episodes from the show's third season had depicted the beginning of the characters' relationship, while the end of the fifth season had seen Tarkin prosecuting Skywalker's Padawan , Ahsoka Tano , for murder.

The latter story allowed Luceno to have their relationship begin on a negative note, with Tarkin believing that Vader held a grudge against him for attempting to convict his apprentice. While he was writing the book, Luceno was asked by the Story Group if he was interested in revealing Palpatine's first name, Sheev, a name that George Lucas had developed for the long-gestating live-action Star Wars television series, Star Wars: Underworld.

He did figure it could suggest concepts like Shiva or a shiv [18] and ultimately did not have a problem with it, but he still worried that it would be too much of a show-stopper if it appeared in the book. After realizing that the name would eventually get used down the line, Luceno agreed, deciding it would be a name that Palpatine would reveal as a means of bringing others into his inner circle. Palpatine's ultimate endgame was something about which Luceno had been thinking for several years, [18] having written much about both the character and the dark side.

He felt that it had to be about more than just immortality , [] perhaps something akin to winning the Game of Thrones or "covering the lands in a second darkness" like Sauron in The Lord of the Rings , [18] or even something wholly new in science fiction and fantasy due to Star Wars ' s uniqueness from those kinds of franchises. He accordingly toyed with the idea of Palpatine using the dark side to reshape reality to match his own dark designs, [] and what he ended up writing on the subject came as a surprise to him. It was something Luceno wanted to explore more fully in the future, [18] and he felt that there was room for a concluding chapter to the rough trilogy begun by Darth Plagueis and continued by Tarkin , focusing on Palpatine's attainment of ultimate metaphysical power and his belief that the final showdown between light and dark must be waged in an other-worldly dimension.

Tarkin's nemeses in the book were a group of rebel hijackers, whom Luceno wanted to be unlike a typical band of insurgents and so peppered with character types such as media personnel and former spies. He also admitted that they were in some sense a MacGuffin used to facilitate interactions between the story's various Imperial characters. In December , Luceno reflected in an interview that the plots of most of the Star Wars prequels had been spoiled for him because of the direct tie-in novels he had written, and that it would be nice if he could go into 's Star Wars : Episode VII The Force Awakens without any advanced knowledge.

The book included all previous editions of the Inside the Worlds of series, including Luceno's Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Trilogy , and was published on September 27 , During meetings with the Story Group, he was shown film art and some early footage, and the book began to develop in parallel with the film.

The Final Countdown by Sheila Quigley (Paperback, 2013)

Just as he had done with his earlier tie-ins, Luceno asked himself where Rogue One ' s full story began—although he felt that the movie was complete and did not beg for any backstory, he saw Catalyst as being a book for fans who wanted added detail. Although there was no single line in the film that hinted at a specific past event, the movie made it clear that two of its characters, Galen Erso and Orson Krennic , had a prior relationship, and Luceno made it his business to reveal that relationship.

In order to get a sense of how Mads Mikkelsen and Ben Mendelsohn —the actors playing Erso and Krennic, respectively—operated, Luceno studied some of their other movies, keeping a close eye on their diction and body movement. He initially assumed that Mikkelsen was playing Krennic, the villain, before being corrected, [] and Mendelsohn's Krennic ended up being an interesting villain for him to write.

Krennic was unlike a Sith and he was not as calculating as Tarkin; [] he had a gambler 's mentality and could find people's tells, [] and he was a liar and a manipulator who would do anything to get his way. Those qualities, combined with his volatility, rendered him a unique antagonist, but Luceno made an effort to write his younger version as being less brash and volatile. Rogue One was not the only work whose influence loomed large over the writing of Catalyst , as Luceno also treated it as a prequel to his earlier novel, Tarkin.

That book had had him thinking about the early days of the Empire and its transition from the Old Republic, and how members of the Imperial Court would be jockeying for position in the Emperor's inner circle. That concept lent itself well to the rivalry between Krennic and Governor Tarkin, as did the construction of the Death Star, which was central to Catalyst ' s plot and which Luceno believed would affect the long-term goals of career militarists and politicians like Krennic and Tarkin. Like the Republic, the United States and United Kingdom had spearheaded the development of a major weapon due to fears that their enemy was already creating one of their own.

Erso was written as a conscientious objector to the Death Star project, whom Luceno compared to a scientist who would say "No way" to working on the atomic bomb. Ultimately, people directly involved with the movie wanted him to appear at the end of the novel, and Luceno was then given permission during rewrites to use him extensively after all.

Without seeing any footage of the character, he needed some help finding the voice of a younger Gerrera. In regards to his long-planned novel centered on Emperor Palpatine between Episodes IV and V, Luceno has noted that it's an idea he really hopes to carry forward at some point although he has yet to be commissioned to write it, speculating that his proposal could be possibly rendered obsolete by new elements from the sequel episodes. Luceno has also stated that he would like to write an story set during the Old Republic-era because there are some interesting things he can do with the early Jedi Knights.

In , Luceno indicated that he was a procrastinator, often spending his mornings kayaking, doing carpentry, playing guitar, listening to The Howard Stern Show , or putting some other obstacle in his path—he blamed his background of travel, carpentry, and loud music—and being lucky to make it to a word processor by one pm. That day's work would be re-read and tweaked the next day, in a process he has compared to carpentry—in his own words, after a job's walls go up, "after a while, you're just touching up the paint.

Robert Mandell, creator of The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers , credits Luceno's adventure storytelling and sense of humor with bringing quality writing and entertainment to the show. He has kept himself up to date with the Star Wars Expanded Universe throughout the years, reading books, comics, and Wookieepedia entries and making notes along the way, doing so both for work and as a fan. Luceno feels that continuity is extremely important, believing that the more a universe can be fleshed out in a real way, the more rewarding the reading experience.

That mindset came from his work with Robotech , when he and Daley were required to keep their books' continuity as close to the original animation as possible. The Viking Serpent is a discovery on the scale of the Great Pyramids of Egypt and the Lost Tomb of Jesus, holding ancient truths of wisdom from a lost, yet highly sacred Church.

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THE FINAL COUNTDOWN (HOLY ISLAND TRILOGY series Book 3) THE FINAL COUNTDOWN (HOLY ISLAND TRILOGY series Book 3)
THE FINAL COUNTDOWN (HOLY ISLAND TRILOGY series Book 3) THE FINAL COUNTDOWN (HOLY ISLAND TRILOGY series Book 3)
THE FINAL COUNTDOWN (HOLY ISLAND TRILOGY series Book 3) THE FINAL COUNTDOWN (HOLY ISLAND TRILOGY series Book 3)
THE FINAL COUNTDOWN (HOLY ISLAND TRILOGY series Book 3) THE FINAL COUNTDOWN (HOLY ISLAND TRILOGY series Book 3)
THE FINAL COUNTDOWN (HOLY ISLAND TRILOGY series Book 3) THE FINAL COUNTDOWN (HOLY ISLAND TRILOGY series Book 3)
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