The book that almost was: A Complete Visual Reference Guide to Clone Troopers
Editor's note: the following piece by Mike Fessler was originally published at his site; he has kindly given us permission to reprint it here.
Grand Army of the Republic: A Complete Visual Reference Guide to Clone Troopers.
The book that almost was.
I was a fan of clone troopers since my first viewing of Attack of the Clones in May 2002. Then the Clone Wars micro series and Revenge of the Sith introduced a rich world of clone diversity. Following that, The Clone Wars Movie and TV series, the Expanded Universe, and Hasbro blew the doors clean off. There were so many clones. My personality is wired such that I prefer (and crave), complete, organized lists and catalogs of things. Thus, I wanted something where I could see the different clone troopers all in one place. As I was a big lover of the various Star Wars visual guides and reference books, I figured I'd just make my own guide along those lines. My initial intent was to make a reference guide just for myself, for fun. This was early 2010. However, as I began to write and compile images I realized that others might be interested in having a book like this as well.
Although the book wasn't complete yet I reached out to Lucas Publishing, Del Rey Books, and DK Books. Lucas Publishing told me I needed the publishing deal first, and the two publishers said I needed the licensing agreement first. That was a dead end. But to be fair, I was a no-name author cold-calling places without representation. So I reached out to Star Wars author James Luceno who I had met a couple years prior. He loved the idea and the manuscript, and offered to make a few calls on my behalf. By mid-2012 the book was mostly done and, via James's help, it was looking very promising for getting it published. Then October came...and George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney. Immediately following the sale, all Star Wars books not already in production and/or slated for release were cancelled until further notice. James was super supportive and followed up with Lucas Publishing periodically. When the news came that Disney and Lucasfilm were cancelling The Clone Wars, killing the Expanded Universe, and re-booting the Star Wars canon, I knew the book was dead. And it was. Hasbro, the EU, and the final [at the time] season of The Clone Wars had introduced some new clones, but I never bothered to go back and add them to my manuscript. I was disappointed and, at the time, had yet to come to grips with how I felt and stood regarding the “new era of Star Wars”.
The book would have been insanely dope though. I envisioned a large, hardcover book (similar to the Visual Dictionary, Cross-Section and Essential Guide books), with great visually imagery. I had done hours of research and was confident in both the information, and the writing. As I’m but a novice when it comes to graphic design, Lucasfilm and the publisher would have needed to provide some assistance in terms of higher quality images and better page graphics, but the end result would have been a hit.
The book covered all clone troopers from:
*Episode II – Attack of the Clones
*Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
*The Clone Wars Movie
*The Clone Wars Seasons 1-6
*The Expanded Universe (novels, books, comics, video games)
Here’s a brief breakdown of what the book would have consisted of. This is essentially a scaled down version of the table of contents (longer lists are replaced with a *).
I. Prelude – “An Army of One”
Battle of Geonosis
The Clone Wars
Coruscant and Centax 2
II. Appearances, Armor, and Weaponry
III. Command Structure
IV. Regular Forces
Command Hierarchy / Rank System
*Over twenty different sub-sections featured
*Over twenty five different units featured
*Over thirty different individual clones featured
V. Special Forces
Advanced Recon Commandos (ARC Troopers)
Command Hierarchy / Rank System
ARC Subdivisions *
Notable ARCs *
Cuy’val Dar and Clone Advisors
Notable Commandos *
*Remaining divisions of Special Forces
VI. Comprehensive Image Gallery
VII. Notes and References
The kicker was the Comprehensive Image Gallery section, which would have featured a photo and title for every clone trooper in existence.
The book would have been around two hundred and fifty pages.
While I was working on Grand Army of the Republic, I became inspired to write some other material. In 2011 I wrote four Star Wars children’s books. The goal was to, after I had one book under my belt, pitch the others. Alas… But regardless of the outcome, it was still fun working on all five projects. And I can kick ass in clone trooper trivia for the remainder of my days. Haha!
Photo: Mock cover I created for Grand Army of the Republic
Mike Fessler publishes Versifier Unleashed, the blog home of: Versifier, Manifesters, The Prides of Nexu Museum, @AhsokaTanosLife, The Lost Holocron, Cyphis, TK-9721, and Dr. Mickel's Golden Era Playlists
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