Supernatural Encounters FAQ
©2020, Chris Cold; "Ooradryl"
the behind-the-scenes history of the Encounters duology?
Encounters of the Star Wars Universe" and “Supernatural Encounters of the
Star Wars Universe” were originally intended to be published as articles
in Star Wars Gamer magazine, as followups to "The
University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life: The Marvel Series" in Star
Wars Gamer (2000), an in-universe article Rich Handley (my co-author of Cult Encounters) and I wrote for the first issue
of the magazine, with illustrations by Joe Corroney.
Rich and I received the greenlight from Lucasfilm, only “Cult Encounters” was far enough along when Star Wars
Gamer ended in 2002. They were later conceptually reworked as
"Cult Encounters: Excerpts from the Last Days of Arhul Hextrophon" and
Supernatural Encounters: The Trial and Transformation of Arhul Hextrophon,
novellas that had been intended for publication on the Star Wars
Hyperspace service, a Lucasfilm
exclusive content initiative for which several articles, novellas, and
short stories had been
Rich Handley's “Lando Calrissian: Idiot's Array” in 2008.
framework of Supernatural Encounters was first written at the end
of 2007. Pablo Hidalgo, an
old colleague from my West End Games (and SWFA) days, who was then in
charge of the Star Wars site, approved it for publication on Hyperspace. I
signed a licensing agreement and a tax form and proceeded. A
work of this nature--involving the ancient past--required a lot of work, research, and editing to
make sure everything was right, and I was given the time
time to continue working on the manuscript until it was put on the
was yet ongoing when, in 2010, it was
abruptly announced that the new management at LFL were discontinuing
and SE were never cancelled, it was hoped that they would find a new
home elsewhere and I continued working on the manuscript.
In the interim,
concepts from the Encounters duology were incorporated into other works
by my colleagues. Ampotem Za was added in the 2007 Hyperspace article
“Aliens of the Empire,” by Abel G. Peña and Rich Handley. The Rozzum and Typhojem
found their way into the
Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
and Book of Sith:
Secrets from the Dark Side, by Dan Wallace.
Then, in late 2015, Rich Handley and I approached Lucasfilm regarding the
Encounters duology, as they had expressed interest in publishing
the works on the new Star Wars Blog. Matt Martin (of the Lucasfilm Story
Group, who then ran the site) and Dan Brooks (who ran the Blog) approved
the works for publication, with the plan being to publish them in parts
due to the length of Supernatural Encounters.
I suggested an
alternative means: posting them on my personal website
as Abel G. Peña had done with SkyeWalkers, which had been
published earlier that year. They could then be linked to or embedded in
the Blog. They approved this and my plan to further
edit the works over the coming months to ensure they were up-to-date.
no response from them in 2017, I posted Cult Encounters on the site, followed by a beta version of Supernatural Encounters the year after
to gauge whether there was enough interest to continue
editing and hiring illustrators. As there was, I continued. While I haven't heard anything
from LFL in recent years, it's no secret that their focus has shifted
away from the pre-2014 EU, which is their prerogative, just as mine is
to get the story out to the public, which this site has done with all
unpublished Star Wars works.
Supernatural Encounters licensed?
filled out the requisite legal documents (a
CA-587 form, which is called a Non-Resident Withholding Allocation
W-9 tax form) when the stories were first approved for publication
by Pablo Hidalgo, the same licensing process I went through for my
previous contributions to the Expanded Universe. There isn't any Lucasfilm
licensing process beyond this.
The 2008 and 2013
and Lucasfilm which attest to the veracity of this can be read
What material is restored in the "extended edition?" Why was it cut?
beta version released online, I had cut out swathes of material that I felt
needed more time, development, and which might conflict with Star Wars:
The Old Republic. I have since restored
vignettes, history, and continuity pertaining to the Sith, the Mecrosa,
the Sorcerers of Tund, the Sorcerers of Rhand,
forgotten wars such as the Qaldyon Reckoning, and lore cut from the
Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide as well as content from
Abel's unpublished “Vader's Legacy.”
There is a
lot of additional revisions and improvements to dialogue and
characterization, as well as things normal for
the editing process and to ensure continuity with pre-existing works. In addition, full-color illustrations by the amazing
Chris Cold and Guillaume Ducos have been provided. The plan to continue
editing the work further was understood and approved, and is typical of
online Star Wars publications (such as my colleagues' stories on
Hyperspace and the Wizards of the Coast website). I consider the new edition to be the
-Will Supernatural Encounters be printed?
Until LFL says otherwise, it will not be sold commercially or in bookstores,
though contributors at a certain level have received physical copies.
While Del Rey is aware of the work, the physical copy was a
non-profit work offered as a perk so that dedicated
collectors can have something on their shelves; Supernatural
Encounters exists as a free PDF to the public.
-How did you become involved in Star Wars? What was your involvement
before Supernatural Encounters?
got involved via West End Games thanks to Bill Smith, who invited
me to write an RPGA for the Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game (my first credit
appeared in the Star Wars Gamemaster Screen, Revised
Edition; 1996). I went on to contribute to the Star Wars
Insider by Titan Magazines and Star Wars Gamer by Wizards of
the Coast (who gained the license for Star Wars role-playing material
after WEG went belly-up). My timeline was solicited and submitted to West
End Games and Dark Horse Comics. Rich and I wrote introductions for the
reprinted Marvel series (with an illustration by Robin Pronovost), and
provided Dark Horse with all the rare material published in the Wild
Space omnibus. Other projects came and went.
Abel G. Peña,
Rich Handley, and
I began work on Star
Wars: The Essential Reader's Companion, which went to Pablo. You win
some, you lose some...
Most recently, aside from my work on the Encounters duology, I've
worked on several non-fiction Star Wars essays for Sequart Books,
A More Civilized Age: Exploring the Star Wars Expanded Universe, A
Galaxy Far, Far Away: Exploring Star Wars Comics and A Long Time
Ago: Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic Universe.
worked on the Encounters duology?
There are many
amazing proofreaders and contributors to thank. Rich Handley co-wrote Cult Encounters with me. Edward Dodds,
my editor and go-to Sith historian, Ryan "Sinrebirth" Shepherd, my editor and
former contributor to The Essential Atlas and The Essential
Guide to Warfare, Kyle Rawlings, Patrick Maes, Corey Carter, and
proofreaders Harry Thornton, Robert Newnham, Greg Mitchell, Luke Van Horn,
Matt Wilkins, Derek Stevens, and Abel G. Peña.
the future of Supernatural Encounters?
publication of the extended edition, I am still hoping for republication
on the Star Wars Blog for visibility purposes, but other than that, I'm
just grateful fans got to finally see the work. Beyond that, there is a
lot coming down the pike, including a full-cast audio-drama, soundtrack,
Atlas Appendix, Alien Guide, and more!
Supernatural Encounters lore appear on Wookieepedia?
for the fans to decide. As far as I'm aware, many had already begun
chronicling lore on Wookieepedia, although I believe it's current leaders
taken the stance that the work is "cancelled" (which it never was) or
"unlicensed" (which isn't accurate either) and have labeled it as such. I'm
not involved with any of that, though I did forward my emails with Lucasfilm executives to the
administrators so as to help the folks at Wookieepedia properly categorize
the work. They appear to have disregarded it.
Supernatural Encounters canon?
tricky question since canon means something quite different now
than when I wrote the work. Matt Martin understood the work to be "Legends" and approved it for publication as such, although
I had incorporated some elements of lore from newer material since SE
puts forth what I call a "One Canon: Three Universes" approach,
which accommodates every stripe of fan.
was intended to be an Expanded Universe work, and due to being
both Lucasfilm-licensed and approved for publication via my website, I
believe it would have been categorized as C-canon in the old classification
system, although how that applies to post-Disney works of the old Expanded
Universe (particularly those which have been published somewhat
unconventionally such as SkyeWalkers and Supernatural Encounters)
is unclear to me, and as I'm not Keeper of the Holocron, I can't state things
regarding canonicity authoritatively.