After the release of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in 1983, many fans thought that Star Wars was finished. However, Star Wars fans were treated to an intense expanded universe due to a partnership between creator George Lucas and writer Tom Veitch.
Unfortunately, decades after the writer revived the Star Wars universe, Veitch has passed away. Announced in a Facebook post by brother Rick Veitch, the 80-year-old writer passed away after a battle with the coronavirus.
Tom Veitch and Star Wars: Dark Empire
While the author was a respected writer before his foray into Lucasfilm’s sci-fi series, Veitch is most known for his work on the Star Wars franchise. As one of the pioneers of the now-non-canon Expanded Universe, Veitch kept Star Wars fans entertained with the “Dark Empire” storyline.
Set after the original trilogy, the Dark Empire storyline continued after the events of the movies. The Dark Empire storyline saw Luke continue his battle against the Dark Side, battling clones of Emperor Palpitatine and even becoming a Sith Apprentice. Of course, by the end of the story, Luke reverts back to a Jedi.
Additionally, Tom Veitch wrote a multitude of other Expanded Universe materials. These include the “Tales of the Jedi” series as well as “A Hunter’s Fate: Greedo’s Tale” from the “Tales From The Mos Eisley Cantina” book.
While these stories are no longer canon — they're classed as Legends — they've captured the hearts of many. Additionally, some storylines — such as Palpitatine clones — have made their way into canon, for better and for worse. The stories also inspired a Kenner figurine line in 1998.
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He also worked for Marvel and DC
Veitch’s pop culture reach doesn't just end with Star Wars. While Veitch is credited as “sustaining the profitability of Star Wars in the 1990s”, he also worked with every major comic book publisher: Dark Horse Comics, Marvel and DC.
For Marvel, the author wrote The Light and Darkness War, a Limited Run comic series following a disabled Vietnam soldier fighting the forces of Outer Darkness. For DC, Veitch wrote Animal Man as well as numerous Elseworld storylines, including Superman: At World’s End.
Tom Veitch is survived by his wife, Martha, daughter Angelica and two grandsons, Tommy and Jacob.