As You Know, Darth, the Galaxy …

by Kieran Healy on April 23, 2006

Via “Making Light”: comes the entertaining saga of “Another Hope”:, a Star Wars fan-fiction novel that you can buy on Amazon, though I should imagine not for very much longer. Apparently the author believes that this doesn’t contravene George Lucas’s copyright because “I wrote this book for myself. This is a self-published story and is not a commercial book. Yes, it is for sale on Amazon, but only my family, friends and acquaintances know it’s there” — Amazon being your local, small private website.

Anyway, the “Making Light thread”: has lots more, but I thought a short excerpt from the book was worth reproducing here, because I read it and why should I be the only one with blood leaking out of my eyes?

The galaxy known as Celestine … was a spiraling mass of six concentric rings that encircled a small group of densely packed stars, the Deep Core. The Core Worlds formed the first ring around the Deep Core, and the Core Worlds were the oldest known places of human habitation. A second ring, the Colonies, was quickly established around the Core Worlds. Like the Core Worlds, the colonies became heavily populated. Later, humans again fanned out into a third region called the Inner Rim, a great ring of sparsely populated territory where conditions were harsh and resources extremely scarce. This lawless region formed the largely uncharted frontier between Celestine and wild space.

In between the Deep Core and the Colonies was a region known as the Old Suburban Worlds, where people moved after the Core Worlds filled up with immigrants from a nearby Galaxy. But this happened long ago — shortly after the invention of hyperdrive technology — and so most of those people (or rather, their descendants, for all this happens a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away) now inhabit the New Suburban Ring Worlds, a rapidly developing region located between the Inner Rim and Wild Space, where the Malls are nicer and there are fewer of those awful Gungans.



Matt 04.23.06 at 11:50 am

I also like the fact that the galaxy is ruled with a “titanium fist”. I guess that’s even worse than an old-fashioned iron fist. I suppose you need at least an aluminum fist to keep order at all, though.


alan 04.23.06 at 11:51 am

Soon the rich Outer Corers will be buying up old warehouses in the Deep Core and turning them into lofts for yuppies.


Nabakov 04.23.06 at 1:03 pm

Well I think it’s pretty pathetic to mock people who’s dreams are simpler than yours.

But it’s also a lotta fun too.

“You want Deep Core style at Colony prices? We have it all at Celestine prices! Call now for an obligation-free refinancing deal that could see you counting even more stars in less than a lightsecond.”


will u. 04.23.06 at 1:36 pm

I see the info dump is alive and well. That description of the Star Wars galaxy seems correct, but it certainly isn’t called “Celestine” in canonical sources:

I have a confession to make. Not only was I sufficiently geeky to have Star Wars roleplaying manuals with galaxy maps, I never actually used them in roleplaying because I had no friends who were interested.


Tony 04.23.06 at 3:29 pm

Maybe you find it funny to mock the author’s bad writing, but you seem to be missing the larger point that there’s something deeply perverse about a copyright system in which publishing it is illegal, rather than just a poor business decision.


Ken Houghton 04.23.06 at 3:59 pm

Publishing it isn’t illegal; publishing it for profit is. (The poor “business decision” is in selling the work and offering it to many others; had she printed copies and only given them to family and friends, no one else would care.)

As I noted on John Scalzi’s blog, the book has gone from ca. 35,000 on the Amazon sales list to ca. 3,500 in the past 24 hours.

A lot of people appear determined to make George Lucas much richer when the treble damages come in on this one.

The pity is going to be that poetry publishers are going to get a bad name out of this.


catherine liu 04.23.06 at 7:03 pm

Fandom has pushed this technical writer to pillage George Lucas’ mythology in order to create an even more impoverished world of intergalactic real estate speculation.

This is the most depressing thing I’ve read about in a while, but I’m sure some academic populists will find a way to spin this fan dross into fan studies gold.


goatchowder 04.23.06 at 11:17 pm

Puts a whole new “spin” on James Howard Kunstler’s constant reference to suburbia as “outer asteroid belts”.


John Quiggin 04.24.06 at 12:08 am

“Publishing it isn’t illegal; publishing it for profit is.”

Not correct, unfortunately. Publishing a non-profit fanzine might be less likely to get you into trouble than selling a book, but it’s illegal unless you’re very careful about fair use and plenty of copyright owners have shut down such ventures. Lucasfilm is particularly vigorous in this respect.

As usual, Wikipedia has more


ogmb 04.24.06 at 1:50 am

Since American copyright law specifically protects parody



agm 04.24.06 at 2:54 am

So the Galaxy is modeled on Houston. Who knew!


ajay 04.24.06 at 4:40 am

I also like the fact that the galaxy is ruled with a “titanium fist”. I guess that’s even worse than an old-fashioned iron fist.

“For ten years Caesar ruled with an iron fist. Then with a wooden leg; and finally with a piece of string.”


Barry 04.24.06 at 8:12 am

“I also like the fact that the galaxy is ruled with a “titanium fist”. I guess that’s even worse than an old-fashioned iron fist. I suppose you need at least an aluminum fist to keep order at all, though.”

Posted by Matt

They used to do a pretty good job with a firmly-stuffed leather fist, with some iron studs. but that was back in the days when Men were Men.

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