The Making of the EU


What follows are Sue Rostoni's own words explaining her role and duties in 1994.  It establishes the fact that, during that time, her role was Production Editor for Lucas Licensing (LL), which at that time was in charge of publishing.  

"Want to write a Star Wars novel? Well, as they say, don't quit your day job. Since the Star Wars universe and characters are the property of Lucasfilm Ltd., a prospective publisher must first negotiate a license agreement with Lucasfilm through the Licensing Division. These agreements are very specific and usually contain the rights to publish a finite number of a particular type of book aimed at a set age group, to be sold in a particular territory of the world.

After a license agreement is executed, it is generally the publisher's responsibility to hire an author and cover artist, with Lucasfilm's approval. A prospective writer has to have been previously published and the publisher sends Lucasfilm Licensing a book or two by that writer to illustrate his or her writing style and ability. After the author is approved, an outline of the proposed Star Wars novel is sent by the editor at the publishing house. As one of two Production Editors in Licensing, I review the outline with the Director of Publishing. We discuss the outline in regards to storyline elements and continuity to the films and other published works. If there are major problems, I often speak with the editor or author to discuss ways to rewrite the outline so that it is acceptable. After any problems are worked out, the outline is distributed for internal approval.

After approval is given, I send the new author a Star Wars Writer's Kit containing the three films (Fox Video), the screenplays (O.S.P. Publishing), Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back radio dramas on cassette (Highbridge), the updated GUIDE TO THE STAR WARS UNIVERSE, Second Edition (Ballantine/Del Rey), the STAR WARS MOVIE TRILOGY SOURCEBOOK (West End Games) and a "bible" I maintain containing a chronological timeline with synopses of the complete Star Wars publishing program (including the films). I also provide specific resources depending on the time period the author has chosen and visual images for the cover artist.

Then the rigorous approval process begins. I read, comment on, and approve each element of the project, from title page to manuscript, including legal lines, advertising material, and cover copy. I fact-check the manuscript to be sure that Star Wars terminology is used wherever appropriate and that ion cannons aren't being used to destroy planets and that no one's entering hyperspace in a landspeeder. Continuity is vigorously protected and maintained--if Leia is given a lightsaber in one story, I make sure she still has it in the next. Many decisions have to be made along the way as unique situations arise--can a droid be sensitive to the Force? Does a lightsaber automatically turn off when it is thrown? Is the Sarlacc a sentient creature?

The combination of great talent, great editors, and our approval process ensures that the final products--books, comics, and audio productions--that are true to the Star Wars saga, appeal to our fans, and consistently make the bestseller lists."

Original Source