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The content of this article was never officially released.

This article covers a project that was in development for the former Expanded Universe, now called Star Wars Legends, but it was not officially released by Lucasfilm Ltd. Its content is not canonical.

"'Cult Encounters of the Star Wars Universe' and 'Supernatural Encounters of the Star Wars Universe' were originally intended to be published as articles in Star Wars Gamer magazine, as spiritual sequels to The University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life: The Marvel Series (Star Wars Gamer, 2000), an in-universe article Rich Handley (my good friend and co-author of Cult Encounters) and I wrote for the first issue of the magazine, with illustrations by Joe Corroney."
―The author, Joseph Bongiorno, on the unpublished articles that preceded the pitched novella[2]

Supernatural Encounters: The Trial and Transformation of Arhul Hextrophon is a novella that Joseph Bongiorno wrote and pitched for publication on the now-defunct Hyperspace section of StarWars.com. It would have used material from the unpublished articles "Cult Encounters of the Star Wars Universe" and "Supernatural Encounters in the Star Wars Universe," which were intended for the magazine Star Wars Gamer before its cancellation in 2002. Rich Handley, who co-wrote the published article "The University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life: The Marvel Series" with Bongiorno, and Abel G. Peña were contributors to the pitch. Bongiorno claimed that the work was officially licensed; however, it was not reviewed by Lucasfilm editorial and was never officially released, making it non-canonical to any official continuity. Bongiorno continued to expand it in the years that followed, and eventually released the finished work on his own website in 2023.

Development

Conception

"After the announcement regarding Hyperspace's cancellation, I continued editing and adding to the work, incorporating elements from other Expanded Universe works (such as the Fate of the Jedi novels, The Clone Wars and, eventually, even Star Wars Rebels) as other Star Wars authors and content creators developed ideas that blended well with my own."
―Joseph Bongiorno[2]

Joseph Bongiorno and author Rich Handley had previously co-written the article "The University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life: The Marvel Series," which was published in the magazine Star Wars Gamer 1 in 2000.[3] Following its publication, Bongiorno began work on two articles intended for Star Wars Gamer: "Cult Encounters of the Star Wars Universe" and "Supernatural Encounters in the Star Wars Universe." The former was to be co-written with Handley and the latter was intended to be released afterward; however, the cancellation of Star Wars Gamer in 2002 left the articles unpublished.[2]

Bongiorno reworked the two proposals into a duology consisting of an article titled "Cult Encounters: Excerpts from the Last Days of Arhul Hextrophon" and an expanded novella, Supernatural Encounters: The Trial and Transformation of Arhul Hextrophon.[2] His planned content included a detailed origin of the Star Wars Universe and Typhojem, the Left-Handed God.[1] The story of the Supernatural Encounters duology would have followed the character Arhul Hextrophon. At some point, Abel G. Peña became a contributor to the duology. His material included the Sith, the Mecrosa Order, the Sorcerers of Tund, and the Sorcerers of Rhand, among others. Peña also contributed lore that had been cut when he wrote the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide,[2] which was published in 2008,[4] and his unpublished article[5] "Vader's Legacy."[2]

Further production

"It was discussed as something that could potentially be published on StarWars.com probably over a decade ago but that never went anywhere."
―Matt Martin, on the officiality of Supernatural Encounters[6]
Supernatural Encounters TTaToAH

Bongiorno's cover from his website

Bongiorno's pitch for Hyperspace was accepted through Pablo Hidalgo, and he began readying the duology for online publication. Much of Supernatural Encounters was written in 2008, and he filled out tax paperwork during that time period.[2] Potential Hyperspace pieces would be reviewed first by the editors from publishing before posting. According to Hidalgo, the publishing editors nixed Supernatural Encounters without reviewing it due to its concept and length.[7] The closure of Hyperspace was announced in 2010 and came to pass without the publication of the duology.[2]

In 2013 or 2015, Handley and Bongiorno pitched the duology to Matt Martin, who ran StarWars.com at the time, and Dan Brooks, who then operated the Blog. Bongiorno stated that Lucasfilm gave him permission to post his work on his website, named the Star Wars Expanded Universe Timeline, and that it was planned to be linked to or embedded on the StarWars.com Blog in a manner similiar to Peña's SkyeWalkers: A Clone Wars Story. However, the latter has not taken place, and Bongiorno has not had further communication regarding if or when the duology may be acknowledged on StarWars.com.[2]

According to Bongiorno, "I filled out the requisite legal documents (a CA-587 form, which is called a Non-Resident Withholding Allocation Worksheet and W-9 tax form) when the stories were first approved for publication by Pablo Hidalgo, the same licensing process I went through for my previous contributions to the Expanded Universe. There isn't any Lucasfilm licensing process beyond this."[2]

The story was significantly expanded since 2018. Around this time, a greater level of references to other works began to appear in further revised online drafts, as Bongiorno sought his "Grand Unification Theory" to harmonize various franchise crossovers. Extensive passages referencing the events of franchises such as, Battlestar Galactica and BraveStarr, began to appear in his historical narrative and basis of the Star Wars galaxy's earliest eras.[2]

Over the subsequent years, Bongiorno continued to work on the Supernatural Encounters novella,[2] beyond its original commission,[8] to add content related to Legends works released since the closure of Hyperspace, such as the novel series Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi, and he has incorporated elements from the canon continuity that followed the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney, namely the Star Wars Rebels television series.[2] Bongiorno released a version of the work in progress on October 31, 2018,[9] and continued to work on an expanded edition[2] until its full release on his website on August 29, 2023.[10] Since its release, Bongiorno has periodically updated it to address errors and contradictions on his website.[2]

Status of officiality

"It never went through publishing editorial, so while full of neat ideas, it's not part of anything official."
―Pablo Hidalgo, on the officiality of Supernatural Encounters[11]

According to Leland Chee, who maintains Lucasfilm's Holocron continuity database, Supernatural Encounters has never been tracked in the Holocron, he was not aware of any forthcoming new Legends books as of March 2021, and he only tracks materials from an official source.[12] Hidalgo later confirmed that the novella had not gone through any publishing editorial and thus was not part of anything official.[11] Following the novella's release, Matt Martin was asked if it would be part of the official Legends continuity and stated he had no memory of anyone on his team reviewing it.[6] When asked again as confirmation that it was not official, Martin stated he had no reason to assume it would be.[13]

Another fan brought up Hidalgo's work on Supernatural Encounters, to which Hidalgo replied publishing editors had declined and rejected it.[14] Hidalgo stated in regard to his commissioning of Supernatural Encounters that, while he did indeed commission back during the days of Hyperspace, the novella "was not to be" in the end.[15] As Supernatural Encounters had expanded beyond what was originally commissioned, Hidalgo was unable to review the modern work[8] due to rules against accepting unsolicited material,[16] even as a fan.[17]

Legacy

Some concepts developed for Supernatural Encounters were introduced into Legends by Abel G. Peña or at his suggestion. Intended lore about Ampotem Za was incorporated by Peña and Handley into their 2007 Hyperspace supplement "Aliens in the Empire."[2] The 2012 book Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side, written by Daniel Wallace, introduced the Sith species regarding Ajunta Pall as a manifestation of Typhojem.[18] The detail was suggested by Peña as a reference to the backstory in Handley and Bongiorno's unpublished article.[1]

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Blogger-Logo Daniel Wallace's GeekosityEndnotes for Star Wars: Book of Sith (part 1) on Blogspot (backup link)
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 "Supernatural Encounters" by Joe Bongiorno on Star Wars Expanded Universe Timeline (archived from the original)
  3. SWGamer-icon "The University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life: The Marvel Series" — Star Wars Gamer 1
  4. Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
  5. "Vader's Legacy"
  6. 6.0 6.1 TwitterLogo Matt Martin (@missingwords) on Twitter (August 29, 2023): "I'm not sure why my input matters any more than anyone else but I don't think it was reviewed by anyone on my team. It was discussed as something that could potentially be published on StarWars.com probably over a decade ago but that never went anywhere." (backup link) (In response to: "Some people are claiming that the final Supernatural Encounters, just published, is officially Legends continuity. Please can you confirm whether or not this is the case? It sounds like nonsense to me.")
  7. TwitterLogo Pablo Hidalgo (@pabl0hidalgo) on Twitter (August 16, 2022): "Back during the Hyperspace days, it would have to be reviewed by the editors from publishing before being posted. They nixed it before reviewing based on concept and length." (backup link)
  8. 8.0 8.1 TwitterLogo Pablo Hidalgo (@pabl0hidalgo) on Twitter (August 29, 2023): "I read the submitted draft and thought it was cool, but since it's expanded beyond the original commission I can't really read it." (backup link) (In response to: "Thank you for the clarification. Even if it was not meant to be, would you still be interested in taking a look at it some time? I've heard it's pretty cool and a lot of work went into it.")
  9. Archived News 2018 by Joe Bongiorno on Star Wars Expanded Universe Timeline: "10/31/18 The Supernatural Is Upon Us!" (archived from the original)
  10. "Latest News" by Joe Bongiorno on Star Wars Expanded Universe Timeline (archived from the original on August 31, 2023)
  11. 11.0 11.1 TwitterLogo Pablo Hidalgo (@pabl0hidalgo) on Twitter (August 13, 2022): "It never went through publishing editorial, so while full of neat ideas, it's not part of anything official." (backup link)
  12. TwitterLogo Leland Chee (@HolocronKeeper) on Twitter: "The material never came to me for input into the Holocron nor did it get an official release. Tons of material got approved that didn't become part of the continuity of the EU. Much of it I tracked with its canon-status marked unknown. […] A new Legends book? News to me. […] Unless it appears in an official source, it's not something I intend to track." (backup link) (thread)
  13. TwitterLogo Matt Martin (@missingwords) on Twitter (August 29, 2023): "I mean, I guess not? It hasn't been reviewed by any editors that were associated with the EU as far as I know so I don't see why it would be official. I really don't have all the context though." (backup link) (In response to: "Thank you for your reply. So just to confirm, it's not official EU? There are dozens of people who seem to think it is.")
  14. TwitterLogo Pablo Hidalgo (@pabl0hidalgo) on Twitter (August 29, 2023): "It would have to have been blessed by the editors in publishing who declined and rejected the work." (backup link) (In response to: "Actually, in I believe 2008, Pablo Hidalgo edited parts of the work and was involved in the research involved in Supernatural Encounters according to eMails released. Additionally writers at LucasFilm such as Abel G Peña and Rich Handley were involved in the creative process.")
  15. TwitterLogo Pablo Hidalgo (@pabl0hidalgo) on Twitter (August 29, 2023): "I commissioned it for Hyperspace, but it was not to be." (backup link) (In response to: "Well I mean you've denied working on Supernatural Encounters before on this app, but I've read the eMails that confirm your involvement. But, yes that Tweet screenshot I sent may be the exception to a reoccurring rule.")
  16. TwitterLogo Pablo Hidalgo (@pabl0hidalgo) on Twitter (August 29, 2023): "Most entertainment and publishing companies and their employees cannot accept or review unsolicited material." (backup link) (In response to: "Genuine question: Is there something in your contract with LucasFilm that prevents you from being allowed to read what you consider to be a 'fan work'. And I used the word 'fan work', only because that is what you have chosen to label it.")
  17. TwitterLogo Pablo Hidalgo (@pabl0hidalgo) on Twitter (August 30, 2023): "That's right." (backup link) (In response to: "Interesting, so you couldn't read something as a fan?")
  18. Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side

External links

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