In 1991, Lucasfilm asked the publisher Spectra for a series of paperbacks that would take place immediately after the destruction of the second Death Star. As an author working for Spectra, Flint was commissioned to write the first book, which would be preceded by the comic book miniseries Exiles of the Force and followed by Legacy of Doom by Margaret Weis. The Heart of the Jedi was to be published in 1993.
According to Flint, he stopped writing his original novels while working on The Heart of the Jedi. He sent his first draft to his Spectra editor by the end of 1992, along with subsequent revisions. However, his editor became unresponsive for several months, and Flint did not have direct communications with Lucasfilm. Eventually, Flint contacted an agent who, in turn, contacted Spectra. The agent told Flint that Spectra had determined The Heart of the Jedi could not be published because it "no longer fit into the sequence for the new series." Flint's editor had allegedly promised another author of the group that her book would be placed in position one instead of his book. Consequently, The Heart of the Jedi was never published. Flint was allowed to keep his ten thousand dollar advance and given the opportunity to write two Star Wars short stories, "Doctor Death: The Tale of Dr. Evazan and Ponda Baba" and "Old Friends: Ephant Mon's Tale." However, Flint said the events regarding the novel destroyed both his relationship with Spectra and his career as a writer.
Years later, Flint allowed the unpublished manuscript to be edited by author and editor Joe Bongiorno for his website, the Star Wars Expanded Universe Timeline. Bongiorno describes his revisions as matching the established continuity of the Expanded Universe. In May 2015, the unofficial, revised version of the manuscript was posted on Bongiorno's website as a "lostworlds" unpublished novel. The posting included Flint's account of the novel's development and cancellation. Bongiorno created a mockup cover from artwork by Paul Shipper.
On March 4, 2021, the revised novel was unofficially sold as a paperback via Amazon.com's self-publishing services, without the permission of Lucasfilm. The seller stated they were not making any profit and asked The Walt Disney Company not to sue them. Sometime in May 2021, the listing was removed from Amazon.