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Guest Blogger: Timothy Zahn on Star Wars and Kindle

Heir to the Empire Dark Force Rising Timothy Zahn is best known for his Star Wars novels: Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, The Last Command, Specter of the Past, Vision of the Future, Survivor’s Quest, Outbound Flight, and Allegiance.

What does the future look like?

Quick and easy answer: nobody knows.

Though it’s not from lack of trying. Economists and telephone psychics take their shot at it. So do the rest of us. But the economists are always surprised by the market, the 1-900 folks don’t win the megabucks, and the rest of us never pick the right check-out line at the store.

But if we ask what we want the future to look like, that’s much easier. Anyone who grew up after 1977 wanted it to look like Star Wars.

Maybe not the “Wars” part. But we really, really wanted the gadgets. We wanted lightsabers. We wanted droids, blasters, and holo-projectors. We wanted our own private X-wings to take the boredom out of our morning commute. And we wanted datapads.

And then, one day, we looked around and there they were.

Datapads were the little hand-helds of the Star Wars universe. Now, we can also transfer information on data cards, just like the card Princess Leia loaded into the slot on R2D2.

No dealing with paper jams in Star Wars. Out there, ink never strikes paper. Everything is done electronically, from verifying a prisoner transfer from Cell Block 1138 to sending Death Star plans to your friends in the Rebellion.

Which, now that I think about it, actually makes our world a small bit better than theirs. Here, we have a choice. We still have traditional paper books, with the look and feel most of us grew up with; or we can opt to carry part of our personal libraries on datapads of our very own, be they Kindles or one of the other types of e-reader.

What brings all this to mind is the fact that, very soon now, our world and the worlds of Star Wars will be intersecting yet again. For the first time in history, all of Bantam’s and Del Rey’s Star Wars books will be available for the Kindle.

Think about that. Not only can we have our whole Star Wars library in one easy-to-carry package, but we can read those books exactly the way Han, Luke, and Leia would if they had them available.

Maybe they do. Who’s to say that these books and movies are even fiction? Maybe all we’ve been doing for the past thirty-four years is chronicling the real-life adventures of real-life heroes. Maybe some child right now is gazing up at the twin moons in the Tatooine night sky while Mom or Dad reads the epic story of the Great War against the Empire. And you can bet Mom or Dad is reading that story off a datapad.

And now you can, too. So go, read, and enjoy. As you do, remember the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi: “You’ve taken your first step into a larger world.” Kindle and Star Wars, together. The world already seems a little closer to that Galaxy Far, Far Away.

Now, about those lightsabers...

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