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A Blow to the Rebels: Amazon pulls unauthorized “Star Wars” Novel
On May 9, Amazon pulled the Star Wars novel “Heart of the Jedi,” written by Kenneth C. Flint and edited by Joseph Bongiorno, from sale on its online retailer. The book made it to number 37 on Amazon’s top-selling science fiction list before it was pulled, and it even broke the top 50 of Amazon’s bestsellers.
The book was an independent print of a previously planned Star Wars novel meant to be released in 1993, but was ultimately canceled. The full book, with edits to fit the original Expanded Universe continuity of stories (now called Legends by Disney), was released online in May, 2015. It eventually had a physical release on Amazon on March 4.
While there is no official statement from Amazon or Lucasfilm regarding the matter, one can hypothesize that Disney took action against the selling of an unauthorized Star Wars book. They probably weren’t too happy about the book competing with their official Star Wars books either.
The fact that “Heart of the Jedi” was removed is a serious blow to the Star Wars community. The franchise has had its share of controversy since Disney acquired LucasFilm and Star Wars in 2012, and then executed Order 66 in 2014 by retconning the previously established timeline of media in the Expanded Universe. Seeing “Heart of the Jedi” in print and selling was something like seeing the Rebel Alliance rising up against the Galactic Empire. It was the first story in a long time in what many fans still consider to be the “true” events of the Star Wars Universe, and one whose sales wouldn’t be going to Disney’s pockets.
The existence of this book was also something of a chance for many fans to reclaim part of their culture and what many treat like a religion. There is even a Jedi Church in New Zealand. When Disney rewrote the Star Wars timeline, it was something tantamount to rewriting Sacred Scriptures. And they were being rewritten by a behemoth that had already bought Pixar, Marvel, and most recently 20th Century Fox, and not by George Lucas, the creator and Prophet of Star Wars. So naturally, members of the Star Wars community revolted, one of the ways being by purchasing “Heart of the Jedi”, as opposed to the books in the Disney timeline.