Kenneth C. Flint’s ‘Heart of the Jedi’ novel was to reveal what happened following the Rebel destruction of the second Death Star. The sad story behind this may be more interesting than the novel itself!
In the early 1990’s the Star Wars universe started to expand even further with the release of Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire. These new novels were exploring the timeline set after ‘Return of the Jedi’ and one author was chosen by George Lucas to detail the events set directly after that film.
Kenneth C. Flint was a huge Star Wars fan and jumped at the chance and he started to develop his story,
“I was given pretty much free rein on developing my plot, other than that it should take place immediately after the second Death Star is destroyed. I up front figured it would be most logical to deal with a defeated but not destroyed Empire, its military desperately trying to regroup and retaliate against the Alliance, while other elements sought to make peace. Along with this was my assumption that I had to deal with what Luke Skywalker had become, and where he was going as a Jedi.”
He submitted his story, received feedback, made the changes and then waited. Months went by and he wondered what was going on? Kenneth didn’t have an agent as he had worked directly with the publishers on his own books before and he found them fair and honest.
After more delays, he contacted an agent who asked the questions for him at the publishing company where he was told that his novel won’t be published because it,
““no longer fit into the sequence for the new series.”
It later transpired that his editor had purposely held back his book so that she could get one of her friends a prominent position writing a Star Wars story.
“This basically destroyed my relationship with Spectra and my career as I writer. I felt completely betrayed, and I was so depressed that I quit writing for years.”
Kenneth spent the next ten years working as a Publications Consultant to get his finances back on track after being unemployed for two years.
But now things are looking up as he has taken up writing again and had his first comeback novel, ‘Ironclad’, published as an e-book.
You can read about Kenneth’s account with Spectre publishing and Lucasfilm in more detail here. He is also releasing ‘Heart of the Jedi’ online for free, four chapters at a time.