Posts Tagged ‘drew_karpyshyn’

An Interview With The Master: Drew Karpyshyn

Mass Affect, Knights of the Old Republic, Baldur’s Gate, The Old Republic… If you know these titles, chances are you’ve heard the name Drew Karpyshyn.

I was pleased to be able to meet him at the recent Star Wars Celebration VI, where he was busy signing autographs, participating in panels, and conducting interviews.

Drew has penned and lent his talents to some of the most popular books and video games in recent history, including the above mentioned titles, but also the wildly popular Darth Bane trilogy and a few of the Old Republic novels.

His latest book, The Old Republic: Annihilation, has a few tie-ins to The Old Republic online game, but it is a stand alone story. You can dive right in, and not feel lost or confused within the Old Republic era. The focus of the book is a human male named Theron Shan, who is an operative working for the Republic Strategic Information Service (SIS).

To coincide with this exciting release, we are happy to present an interview with the author, Drew Karpyshyn!

KA: Hi Drew, thanks for chatting with us! You’ve obviously been quite busy this year; in addition to writing, you attended the Star Wars Celebration VI and also participated in Star Wars Reads Day. What are your thoughts about those major fan events?

DK: I always enjoy meeting the fans in person. I try to make it easy for people to get in touch with me through Twitter or my website (www.drewkarpyshyn.com), but there’s something cool about talking to someone face-to-face. I also find people are much friendlier and polite in person – sometimes the internet brings out the worst in us.

You’ve written many novels, but regarding the Star Wars franchise, all of your titles are set during the Old republic era. Is there something about this era that helps to showcase the strength of your craft? Your books are among my personal favorite.

For me the biggest appeal of the Old Republic era is the freedom I have as an author. Because I’m so far removed from the films and the iconic characters, I’m able to tell stories that don’t have to tie in with what happened on the screen. There are also far fewer authors working in the Old Republic era, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally stepping on another author’s story or characters quite as much. For me it’s the best of all worlds – creative freedom while still being able to tell a story set in the Star Wars universe.

Drew (far left) signing at Celebration VI, along with Timothy Zahn, Aaron Allston, and John Jackson Miller.

Your latest release is The Old Republic: Annihilation, which is your second book in this series and the fourth in the series overall. Two questions here: How does Annihilation stand out from the rest in the series, and how do you feel about the series as a whole so far?

I wouldn’t use the term “series” to describe the recent Old Republic books. Each one is a stand alone story with unique characters (and often different authors); they just happen to have a common setting in the era of the SWTOR mmo. Annihilation takes place shortly after the events of the game, but you don’t have to play the game – or read the other books – to understand and follow the story.

What sets Annihilation apart, at least from other books I’ve written, is the tone – it’s not as dark and grim as Revan or my Bane series; it’s more of a fun, fast-paced espionage thriller.

Editor: Noted! I borrowed the term “series” from Wookieepedia listings.

Annihilation focuses on Theron Shan, a person that is quite different from the main characters you’re used to writing about in Star Wars, in that he is not Jedi or Sith. Do you feel that a character such as him can be just as compelling as one with incredible Force power?

In a lot of ways I find Theron more compelling than Revan or Bane because he’s more relatable to the reader. He doesn’t have these incredible powers he can call on at will; he has to rely on his wits, his training and his gadgets to get by. Yet somehow he still manages to hold his own with the powerful Sith and Jedi he runs into.

You also dig deeper into the personal lives and feelings of Jedi Grand Master Satele Shan and Supreme Commander Jace Malcom. What is your opinion of these two major characters of the Old Republic?

I think they’re both fascinating and tragic figures. They’ve sacrificed so much for the greater good, putting the needs of the Republic above their own wants and feelings. They’re heroes, but they’re also imperfect… and they have regrets and self-doubt. Exploring that contradiction – the public image versus the reality – is something that drew me to them.

There are several villains in Annihilation, but the one that stands out is the Falleen Darth Karrid, who has a special connection to her ship, the Ascendant Spear. How would you describe this Sith, her ship and the danger they present to the galaxy?

I don’t want to give away too much of the novel here. Karrid is the apprentice of Darth Mekhis from the Lost Suns comics, so she is focused on combining the mystical elements of the dark side with technology to create powerful weapons. The greatest of these is the Ascendant Spear, a warship unlike anything else in the galaxy. Together, Karrid and her vessel represent the greatest single threat to the Republic’s survival.

We know the Old Republic era to be a massive chunk of the overall Star Wars timeline. Is it safe to say that we’ll likely be seeing more Old Republic novels?

That’s not my call to make, but the era seems pretty popular with the fans so I wouldn’t be surprised to see more novels in that setting.

Many fans that I’ve talked to want a Darth Zannah novel(s). Any word on this possibility?

There’s nothing in the works right now; for the foreseeable future I’m focusing on Children of Fire, my original fantasy trilogy. But after that, who knows? If the opportunity to continue the tale from the Bane trilogy comes up, I’d probably jump at it.

Finally, the most important question of all: When can we expect your debut on the PGA Tour?

Sadly, my golf game has hit a bit of a plateau. I think the best I can hope for is to slowly improve over the next decade and take a run at the senior PGA tour when I hit 50.

Drew, thanks for your time and your incredible work within the Star Wars Universe!

My pleasure.

The Old Republic: Annihilation is out now! Pick up your copy today! Check out our reviews for Annihilation by clicking on the first two links below.

SEE ALSO:
Novel Review: The Old Republic: Annihilation by Bry Dean
Megan’s Review: The Old Republic: Annihilation
Read 27 Pages of The Old Republic: Annihilation Now!
The Old Republic: Annihilation Cover Blurb Now Online
The Old Republic: ANNIHILATION Cover
Drew Karpyshyn Talks ANNIHILATION
Star Wars: The Old Republic: ANNIHILATION
Drew Karpyshyn To Write The Old Republic #4

Novel Review: The Old Republic: Annihilation

- Minor Spoiler Review -

Fourth overall in the series and the second from author Drew Karpyshyn, The Old Republic: Annihilation focuses on a Republic agent named Theron Shan, as he takes on a critical mission while dealing with a unique heritage.

Drew Karpyshyn is no stranger to the Old Republic era, as all of his Star Wars novels are set during this time period. From the video game Knights of the Old Republic, to the Darth Bane trilogy, to now the Old Republic book series, Drew seems to exhibit a particular strength when writing about Old Republic characters. Annihilation is no different.

The biggest difference between this novel and others Drew has written is the fact that the main character, Theron Shan, isn’t a Jedi or Sith. He’s a regular guy, with special talents of course, who works for the Republic Strategic Information Service (SIS), which is basically an espionage and intelligence agency. His maverick way of handling assignments tends to put him at odds with his superiors, but overall he’s the go-to guy to handle intelligence assignments.

His talents are soon put to the ultimate test, though, as a new opportunity arises to deal a crippling blow to the already wounded Sith Empire. A powerful Falleen Sith known as Darth Karrid commands a seemingly unstoppable capital ship capable of wiping out entire Republic fleets during battle. Theron and his team soon discover that there’s more than meets the eye regarding Darth Karrid and her ship, which makes their mission to stop her nearly impossible.

Theron teams up with Jedi Master Gnost-Dural, Karrid’s former master, and a Twi’lek smuggler named Teff’ith. As mentioned above, the mission is fraught with danger, but Theron’s special family heritage also comes into play, as he must deal with very difficult decisions that arise because of these relationships.

As you can probably guess, in some ways this isn’t your typical Star Wars adventure, but all the components that make a great story are here. Even though the main character isn’t Jedi or Sith, there are both in Annihilation, and Drew Karpyshyn’s expert portrayal of these Force users is front and center. Jedi Master Gnost-Dural is a powerful Jedi Master who risks everything to aid the Republic, while Darth Karrid is shown to be a particularly menacing and deadly Sith, who will do anything to get what she wants, even if it means slaughtering her own allies.

Fans of The Old Republic online game characters Satele Shan and Jace Malcom will be happy to know that these two also make several appearances in Annihilation.

I really enjoyed this book, and look forward to what Drew Karpyshyn will write next for the Star Wars universe. Here at Knights’ Archive, all opinions are welcome, so for a very different perspective of Annihilation, click on the link to Megan’s review below.

DISCLOSURE: I received a copy of this book from the publisher at no charge in order to provide an early review. However, this did not affect the overall review content. All opinions are my own.

Cover Synopsis:

Based on the epic videogame from BioWare and LucasArts

The Sith Empire is in flux. The Emperor is missing, presumed dead, and an ambitious Sith lord’s attempt to seize the throne has ended fatally. Still, Darth Karrid, commander of the fearsome Imperial battle cruiser Ascendant Spear, continues her relentless efforts to achieve total Sith domination of the galaxy.

But Karrid’s ruthless determination is more than matched in the steely resolve of Theron Shan, whose unfinished business with the Empire could change the course of the war for good. Though the son of a Jedi master, Theron does not wield the Force—but like his renowned mother, the spirit of rebellion is in his blood. As a top covert agent for the Republic, he struck a crucial blow against the Empire by exposing and destroying a Sith superweapon arsenal—which makes him the ideal operative for a daring and dangerous mission to end Ascendant Spear’s reign of terror.

Joined by hot-headed smuggler Teff’ith, with whom he has an inexplicable bond, and wise Jedi warrior Gnost-Dural, Darth Karrid’s former master, Theron must match wits and weapons with a battle-tested crew of the most cold-blooded dark side disciples. But time is brutally short. And if they don’t seize their one chance to succeed, they will surely have countless opportunities to die.

SEE ALSO:
Megan’s Review: The Old Republic: Annihilation
Read 27 Pages of The Old Republic: Annihilation Now!
The Old Republic: Annihilation Cover Blurb Now Online
The Old Republic: ANNIHILATION Cover
Drew Karpyshyn Talks ANNIHILATION
Star Wars: The Old Republic: ANNIHILATION
Drew Karpyshyn To Write The Old Republic #4

Megan’s Review: The Old Republic: Annihilation

- Minor Spoiler Review -

I could say that Annihilation is classic space adventure, or that it’s fun, but I don’t really want to. It’s unambitious and bland, unable to sufficiently express its own occasional moments of uniqueness. The book is short and brisk, and could have done with more scenes of people waiting for things, if only to have those people talk about something besides the immediate plot. Annihilation is a void down which occasional ideas drop.

Those ideas show up as author Drew Karpyshyn offers us tidbits of interesting characters, such as a Sith commander cybernetically attached to her ship and an Imperial analytics expert who thinks Sith are too emotional, but these are small parts of a larger whole.

The main character is Theron Shan, who originated in comics. I like Theron – I like that he fights with slicer spikes and climbing gear more often than with a blaster. He is a spy instead of a brawler. However, it is his arsenal more than his attitude that defines him. He fights to save the Republic and to help his friend Teff’ith, but mostly he seemed to just want the plot to move forward.

Saying that Drew Karpyshyn writes white, male, human characters is like saying the sun rises. Karpyshyn was the lead writer for both Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect, so maybe it would help to imagine Theron Shan as a customizable player character whose only solid trait is his willingness to jump into missions and poke his nose into mysteries. He spent some time as a Zabrak female in my head.

Other characters include the Twi’lek smuggler Teff’ith; Karrid, the above-mentioned Falleen Sith commander; and Theron’s absent mother, Satele, who seems to have had a fling in between novels and comics, since the identity of Theron’s father is unknown. (The eventual reveal might have been more interesting if I liked the The Old Republic era more. With the exception of a reunion between Satele and the father that starts cliche – “at least in their final moments they had each other” – and ends tense, the family drama was sidelined by both Theron and Karpyshyn.) I was happy whenever Teff’ith was present in a scene because her unique way of talking at least varied the dialogue.

The plot has pretty much two acts: one in which Theron and company are looking for the Sith ship Ascendant Spear, and one in which they’re on it. Arriving at the target so early seemed to slow the story down for me. Theron’s adventures in watching the news and stealing a pass card would probably have been more fun to play than to read: as is they were dry.

The ultimate threat at the end is that the Spear will attack the planet Duros and its orbital cities. This planet hadn’t been mentioned in the first half of the book, and seemed a bit cattycorner to the whole plot.

While the end fight wasn’t what I imagined, a slicer inside a ship linked to a Sith’s brain was not a kind of fight I’ve seen before. However, the writing ranged from bare-bones to clumsy.

Look at this sentence. “…The vessel was consumed in a brilliant white flash, punctuated by the rapidly expanding ring of glowing energy that characterized a massive hypermatter explosion”. It’s a cute nod to the Death Star, and does let me imagine the scene, but the last half of the sentence is also entirely unnecessary. “Expanding ring of energy” is just a bulkier way of saying “explosion”. More efficient, punchier writing could have improved the whole thing.

As far as gender equality and strong female characters go, Teff’ith was a small but essential part of the plot, and Karrid the main antagonist. Both male protagonists end up dressed in their underwear for the final battle, Theron for reasons I do not entirely understand (he was sweaty, and valued cool air over his stolen uniform I guess), which made for some funny moments and reminded me of the Leviathan sequences in Knights of the Old Republic. Although Kerrid is a Falleen and described as alluring, she makes no romantic advances toward the heroes, which could be seen as restraint on the part of the author – this is, after all, the universe that contains Prince Xizor and Darth Talon. Annihilation kept its female characters from falling into tropes…at least as much as it did so for the men.

All in all I liked Teff’ith, the final fight was memorable for about a day, and the whole adventure was very much in the spirit of The Old Republic. However, Annihilation doesn’t do anything to set it above any other Star Wars novel. The Jedi is very Jedi Masterly, the smuggler is independent and funny, the bad guys are evil and usually arranged in groups, just like in KotOR. The antagonist at the end is annihilated, but so was my interest in the book.

DISCLOSURE: I received a copy of this book from the publisher at no charge in order to provide an early review. However, this did not affect the overall review content. All opinions are my own.

SEE ALSO:
Novel Review: The Old Republic: Annihilation by Bry Dean
Read 27 Pages of The Old Republic: Annihilation Now!
The Old Republic: Annihilation Cover Blurb Now Online
The Old Republic: ANNIHILATION Cover
Drew Karpyshyn Talks ANNIHILATION
Star Wars: The Old Republic: ANNIHILATION
Drew Karpyshyn To Write The Old Republic #4

Read 27 Pages of The Old Republic: Annihilation Now!


Random House has uploaded their Insight Book Preview for the upcoming The Old Republic: Annihilation, written by Drew Karpyshyn and due out November 13, 2012. Click on the image above to see the preview, which includes the book’s front matter.

SEE ALSO:
Novel Review: The Old Republic: Annihilation by Bry Dean
Megan’s Review: The Old Republic: Annihilation
The Old Republic: Annihilation Cover Blurb Now Online
The Old Republic: ANNIHILATION Cover
Drew Karpyshyn Talks ANNIHILATION
Star Wars: The Old Republic: ANNIHILATION
Drew Karpyshyn To Write The Old Republic #4

Darth Bane Series: 3-Book eBook Bundle

eBook bundle fans, it looks like the Darth Bane series will be released together in eBook format! The current release date is November 5, 2012. Link

The Old Republic: Annihilation Cover Blurb Now Online

Random House has posted the jacket text for the upcoming The Old Republic: Annihilation, written by Drew Karpyshyn and due out November 13, 2012! Link

The Sith Empire is in flux. The Emperor is missing, presumed dead, and an ambitious Sith lord’s attempt to seize the throne has ended fatally. Still, Darth Karrid, commander of the fearsome Imperial battle cruiser Ascendant Spear, continues her relentless efforts to achieve total Sith domination of the galaxy.

But Karrid’s ruthless determination is more than matched in the steely resolve of Theron Shan, whose unfinished business with the Empire could change the course of the war for good. Though the son of a Jedi master, Theron does not wield the Force—but like his renowned mother, the spirit of rebellion is in his blood. As a top covert agent for the Republic, he struck a crucial blow against the Empire by exposing and destroying a Sith superweapon arsenal—which makes him the ideal operative for a daring and dangerous mission to end Ascendant Spear’s reign of terror.

Joined by hot-headed smuggler Teff’ith, with whom he has an inexplicable bond, and wise Jedi warrior Gnost-Dural, Darth Karrid’s former master, Theron must match wits and weapons with a battle-tested crew of the most cold-blooded dark side disciples. But time is brutally short. And if they don’t seize their one chance to succeed, they will surely have countless opportunities to die.

SEE ALSO:
Novel Review: The Old Republic: Annihilation by Bry Dean
Megan’s Review: The Old Republic: Annihilation
Read 27 Pages of The Old Republic: Annihilation Now!
The Old Republic: ANNIHILATION Cover
Drew Karpyshyn Talks ANNIHILATION
Star Wars: The Old Republic: ANNIHILATION
Drew Karpyshyn To Write The Old Republic #4

The Old Republic: ANNIHILATION Cover

Swtor.com has released the cover art for the upcoming The Old Republic: Annihilation, written by Drew Karpyshyn and due out November 13, 2012. Link Click on the link to read a brief interview with the author. (Back cover art is posted below)

SEE ALSO:
Novel Review: The Old Republic: Annihilation by Bry Dean
Megan’s Review: The Old Republic: Annihilation
Read 27 Pages of The Old Republic: Annihilation Now!
The Old Republic: Annihilation Cover Blurb Now Online
Drew Karpyshyn Talks ANNIHILATION
Star Wars: The Old Republic: ANNIHILATION
Drew Karpyshyn To Write The Old Republic #4

Drew Karpyshyn Talks ANNIHILATION

Author Drew Karpyshyn has given us some insight into his upcoming novel The Old Republic: Annihilation, due out November 13, 2012. Link

Republic agent Theron Shan and his Twi’lek compadre, Teff’ith must contend with a Sith Empire counter-attack against the Republic, spearheaded by the lethal apprentice of Darth Malgus. Satele Shan and Jace Malcom co-star in what will be a fast-paced and tension-fraught tale based on the award-winning video game from BioWare and LucasArts.

It’s a bit vague, but that’s the problem when you try to stay spoiler free. But I think I can add a bit more without ruining anything. It’s a stand alone story – it has no connection to Revan, and it doesn’t tie in directly with any of the storylines from the SWTOR video game, though it is set in that era. It actually takes place just after the events of the game, and the novel will reflect the Empire and the Republic as they stand at the end of the game’s storylines. (I won’t say anymore to avoid spoiling people who play the game but aren’t finished.)

The game features Theron Shan, a character who first appeared in the Lost Suns Dark Horse graphic novels, written by Alex Freed – my former co-worker at BioWare and the lead writer for SWTOR.

Annihilation is a little different than my other Star Wars books. The Bane trilogy focused on Darth Bane, one of the most powerful Sith Lords who ever lived. Revan obviously focused on Revan, another incredibly powerful Force user. Annihilation is different, because the main character is not a Jedi or Sith. Theron Shan, despite being a descendant of Revan and Bastila, isn’t Force sensitive. That makes for a very different type of novel, and a very different type of main character.

That doesn’t make Theron any less interesting, of course. My personal favorite character in the original trilogy is Han Solo, and I think he’s a good example of how you can be a hero and change the galaxy even if you can’t call on the Force at will.

That’s not to say Theron is an “ordinary” guy: he’s a highly trained field agent working for Republic Strategic Information Services. He has a number of cybernetic implants, along with a host of customized weapons and gadgets, and he’s supplemented his SIS training with his own ecclectic and esoteric studies. Sort of like Batman. Or Jason Bourne. Or James Bond. But in Star Wars.

So let’s call Annihiliaton an action-spy-thriller-sci-fi-epic set in the Star Wars universe. If that doesn’t make you want to buy it, nothing will.

SEE ALSO:
Novel Review: The Old Republic: Annihilation by Bry Dean
Megan’s Review: The Old Republic: Annihilation
Read 27 Pages of The Old Republic: Annihilation Now!
The Old Republic: Annihilation Cover Blurb Now Online
The Old Republic: ANNIHILATION Cover
Star Wars: The Old Republic: ANNIHILATION
Drew Karpyshyn To Write The Old Republic #4

Star Wars: The Old Republic: ANNIHILATION

Today Del Rey announced the title of the upcoming 4th novel in the Old Republic series: ANNIHILATION, by Drew Karpyshyn. Link We also have a synopsis:

Republic agent Theron Shan and his Twi’lek compadre, Teff’ith (from Dark Horse Comics’ STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC: THE LOST SUNS) must contend with a Sith Empire counter-attack against the Republic, spearheaded by the lethal apprentice of Darth Malgus. Satele Shan and Jace Malcolm co-star in what will be a fast-paced and tension-fraught tale based on the award-winning video game from BioWare and LucasArts.

The Old Republic: ANNIHILATION is due to be released on November 13, 2012.

SEE ALSO:
Novel Review: The Old Republic: Annihilation by Bry Dean
Megan’s Review: The Old Republic: Annihilation
Read 27 Pages of The Old Republic: Annihilation Now!
The Old Republic: Annihilation Cover Blurb Now Online
The Old Republic: ANNIHILATION Cover
Drew Karpyshyn Talks ANNIHILATION
Drew Karpyshyn To Write The Old Republic #4

The Old Republic: Revan Cover Art

Source

The Old Republic: Revan is due to be released November 15th.

SEE ALSO:
The Old Republic: Revan Audio Excerpt
The Old Republic: Revan Blurb Now Online
The Old Republic #3 Title Revealed: REVAN

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