The year 2000 or, the year after Phantom Menace came out in cinemas, I got the video on the day of release in April and I waited to see if there would be any new books that told us any stories about Anakin’s training.
The only one that ever did was ‘Rogue Planet’, and I never read it. My attention was diverted elsewhere in the Expanded Universe, set 25 Years after A New Hope.
On a trip to London to visit family with my Gran, I got a book. It was part of a new series. The New Jedi Order – Dark Tide 1: Onslaught.
Doing what little research I could I found that there was one book that preceded it, ‘Vector Prime’, but seeing as I was in a mini W.H. Smiths at King’s Cross Station with not long before my train was going to leave my choice was pretty limited. So I got it.
The train left the station. I was handed a bag of sweets and I started reading. It was confusing to say the least. What were the Yuuzhan Vong? Sure I learned what I needed to but when you miss the first part of something you always have a few questions.
And then I learned the shocking news. Chewbacca was dead.
OK, this was serious. They killed Chewie. No one kills Chewie. Chewie is Chewie! But it had happened. He was gone, crushed by a moon after saving Anakin Solo. Oh man that was tough.
And I was hooked.
I went back and read Vector Prime. I got Dark Tide 2: Ruins and read that. These Yuuzhan Vong meant business.
The following year I continued to read my way through the New Jedi Order novels, the Edge of Victory duology were great. The first of which I picked up at that same mini W.H. Smiths.
But it was that November that I read my favourite EU novel. Star By Star by Troy Denning.
My friend Graham had borrowed it from his local library and after reading it told me I had to. I devoured it and I did so very, very quickly.
It was through Graham that I joined my first Star Wars fan community, The Holocron.net, where I would spend many nights chatting with like-minded folk across the world.
And then, as the year began to come to a close… the teaser trailer fore Attack of the Clones was released.
Clone Wars!!!! The Clone Wars was coming!!!! Lots of Jedi fighting!!!! Clones!!!! So excited!!!!