Hey… that’s MY ship!

I finally started reading the new Tim Zahn Star Wars novel Allegiance a couple of days ago. (Normally I devour new Tim books within days of their publication but my evenings of late have been occupied by lots of NASIG work!)

Anyway…. I’m humming along through the first 24 pages. Then comes chapter 3 and a sentence at bottom of the 1st page – “That Suwantek TL-1800, for instance…” – makes me stop cold. (Non-Star Wars folks: the Suwantek is a type of transport, you know, a ship like the Millenium Falcon. You HAVE heard of the Millenium Falcon, right?)

Suwantek – I used that ship in one of my stories! Cool! Tim used the same ship! Suwantek – did I create that ship type*? I’m getting older with too many things floating around in my brain. Maybe I found it in a WEG sourcebook? Maybe Pete suggested it?

I really wanted to shout out – hey, I created that type of ship!! But I wouldn’t want to take credit for something that wasn’t mine (er, LFLs). So my sleuthing began:

  • I was pretty sure that I’d used the term Suwantek for a ship captained by Tere Metallo in a story I wrote for the SWAJ: “Rendezvous with Destiny”, published in 1995. Checked the manuscript: Yep, there it was. Checked my templates file (the stats stuff on characters, planets, and sometimes ships). No ship stats. Hmm…. Were there earlier references from other WEG materials?
  • went to theforce.net SW encyclopedia
    • found Suwantek Systems, the company that makes the transports. The company is referenced in a WEG sourcebook, Stock Ships, published in 1997. (Checked Amazon and Powells – no copies available. Darn!)
    • found an entry for Tere Metallo, captain of the Star Quest, the Suwantek freighter in my stories, which is mentioned in the entry but I believe has at least one source wrong (I don’t think I have a story in SWAJ no. 13)
    • found the Star Quest by looking under StarShips > Freighters; sources SWAJ 6 & SWAJ 7 (for “Rendezvous….” & “Passages”)
  • Googled “suwantek” – 186 hits, among them:
    • Wookieepedia only references Allegiance, with the Stock Ships source, a 2002 Wizards of the Coast book, and a 1997 WEG sourcebook called Pirates and Privateers.
      • Wookieepedia has nothing on the Star Quest, but does have a brief entry for Tere Metallo – a ha! – that’s where the SWAJ no. 13 comes in – apparently, Tere’s species, the Riileb (another term I created), are in an article entitled “Alien Species”. Very cool!
      • found the TL-1800 – again no mention of the Star Quest. (I need to go back and edit the entry when I get a chance unless someone else finds my notes here and does it!)
    • many hits on RPG sites with ship stats – I believe those are from the WEG Stock Ships book. I looked in my files again and I don’t see that I created any stats for the Star Quest/Suwantek transport
    • the Completely Unofficial Star Wars Encyclopedia has an entry for the Star Quest!

    (Can you tell I’m having fun?)

  • went back to my “stories” directory on my computer and did more digging:
    • found a letter written to editor Pete S. on Aug. 15, 1994 regarding a new story I wanted to submit called “Rendezvous with Destiny”. I wrote “You will notice, I invented a new type of freighter for Capt. Metallo (p. 4). I looked through the sourcebooks I have, and didn’t see many modified light freighters other than the Falcon.”
    • I pull up the manuscript, which I had converted from a .wps to a .doc file. It’s no longer on p. 4, but on p. 3 where Alex Winger says “Hm. Captain of the Star Quest – is that the Suwantek light freighter that’s in docking bay three?”

So, can I say “Hey – that’s my ship”????? Star Wars folks: can you find an earlier reference??

*I do not take credit for the stats, look, design, etc., just the model name. I’m certain those came from the 1997 WEG Sourcebook.


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