Most of us know the characters already. But what about the female writers who invented them? Without them, these heroes we know and love would not exist. This is not a comprehensive list.
Han Solo Trilogy:
- Paradise Snare
- The Hutt Gambit
- Rebel Dawn
With a rare brilliance, she not only wrote the Han Solo trilogy and introduced us to his earliest influences, but managed to masterfully weave the rest of his Expanded Universe life into it. She interwove rather than overwrote, Brian Daley’s Han Solo adventures, Xaverri of the Crystal Star and Thrakin Sal-Solo of the Corellian Trilogy, she mapped out the incredible beginnings of the most famous (or infamous) smuggler in universe. His first meeting with Lando Calrissian is here, interweaving with the Lando Calrissian Adventures by L. Neil Smith, his introduction to smuggling, first clashes with Boba Fett and dealings with Hutts.
- Truce at Bakura
- New Jedi Order: Balance Point
The true aftermath of Return of the Jedi for our heroes started only hours after the second Death Star exploded. Her tale weaves the beginning of them dealing with their feelings on this, on Leia and Han and her feelings about Darth Vader being her biological father. Luke struggles with the loneliness of being a Jedi. The first truce with the Empire is here, on Bakura. The character of Gareil Captison will be one of Luke’s first loves after becoming a Jedi.
Vonda N. McIntyre
Her Original Trilogy character knowledge may not have been shining in The Crystal Star, but the personalities for Jacen and Jaina Solo began right here, in her one novel for the expanded universe. The Jaina who would be the pilot, the sword of the Jedi and a tinkerer starts now. The Jacen in love with animals is born here too. This book may not be the best or anywhere close to it in the Expanded Universe, but it was the foundation for great things.
Jude Watson AKA Judy Blundell
- Jedi Apprentice
- Jedi Quest
- Last of the Jedi
She tells the tale of a young Obi-Wan Kenobi in Jedi Apprentice, as he first teams up as Qui-Gon’s apprentice. Based on Obi-Wan of the Phantom Menace and a mere few words in The Empire Strikes Back to Luke, Obi-Wan has to overcome his own impatience and anger to become the padawan able to defeat Darth Maul.
She follows up with Anakin under Obi-Wans tutelage, taking him from the confident slave boy to the lonely, eager to please but growing in power (and ego) young man in Attack of the Clones. His struggles are made real and easy to relate too in a way the movies simply had no time for.
In Last of the Jedi she follows up on Anakin’s rival, former padawan Ferus Olin, after Order 66. As a matter of fact, hints that Ferus Olin might be gay were confirmed by the author on Twitter. So she earns the fame (or infamy, depending on your point of view) of being the first author to even hint at that in one of the kids series.
- Junior Jedi Knights Series
- Young Jedi Knights Series
She wrote the last 3 Junior Jedi Knights books and cowrote the second, expanding further on Anakin Solo, Tahiri Veila, the Jedi Tionne.
She also co wrote Young Jedi Knights where Jacen and Jaina Solo, Tenel Ka, Lowbacca, Raynar Thul would train as the future generation of Jedi Knights. Continuing on from McIntyre’s characterization, the Solo twins are growing toward their destinies.
These stories reference things from The Illustrated Star Wars Galaxy, a book author Kevin J. Anderson was also involved in.
Nancy Ann Richardson
She wrote the first two Junior Jedi Knights books and cowrote the third, introducing Young Anakin Solo as he begins training and his good friend, Tahiri Veila, who was raised among the sand people,
- Children of the Jedi
- Planet of Twilight
Love her works or hate them, she started to bridge a connection between the as yet unwritten old Republic / clone wars era and the new, via a battleship and a trapped Force Spirit. Her most notable invention however, is Belsavis. Her descriptions of an icy world with volcanic rifts led to its creation as a playable world in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Republic Commando – Triple Zero Clones
- Republic Commando Series
- Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines, Sacrifice, Revelation
Some love her. Some hate her (for murdering Mara Jade). But she delved deeper into the ethical issues of a clone army and the Jedi’s lack of questioning than anyone. She also seriously boosted Mandalorean culture by filling out a language and culture that had only seen snippets in old comic books, even interweaving pieces out of old Classic Marvel comic books into a rich full warrior culture with its own customs and honor.
- New Jedi Order: Dark Journey
- The Crystal
- The Apprentice
- Red Sky, Blue Frame
Jaina Solo suffers in the New Jedi Order when tragedy strikes her family. Delving into Jaina’s temptation with the Dark Side, the aftermath of this story will be felt in the future stories, post New Jedi Order.
Mary Jo Duffy
Classic Marvel comics Star Wars issue 24 (a ‘remembered’ Obi-Wan Clone Wars story) issues 70 -170 (the end)
This classic marvel comics writer who wrote the first story with Zeltrons and brought back Shira Brie as Lumiya, Dark Lady of the Sith.
Most of her work was involving TCW but she also did the short story Roll of the Dice for the Star Wars Insider, based on Aaron Allson’s Mercy Kill. Not yet aware of how TCW would confuse things in the Expanded Universe, her few stories of TCW actually were based on it, including such characters as future Admiral Pellaeon. She also brought in Callista from Children of the Jedi, introducing her unique Force talent with machines, and Djinn Altis sect of Jedi who believed in marriage, introducing them to Anakin Skywalker. This explained the reason the post Return of the Jedi era Jedi introduced shows no mention of the ‘marriage ban’ of the Old Jedi, given that most of the survivors and heirs found were more likely to be non Coruscant based splinter groups. It was a valiant attempt at bridging the post Return of the Jedi era with the prequel one, taking advantage of, rather than ignoring, established continuity.
* I credit her with trying to keep in continuity, which had to be a growing challenge as Dave Filoni apparently kept throwing a monkey wrench in. Not only was he altering established events as he saw fit, he also wasn’t even filming the show in ‘in universe’ chronological order, which also threw off even the books based on the show’s place in the timeline.