To promote their new book, Ultimate Star Wars, DK Publishing has dispatched the four authors across the US on a book tour. I caught up with Tricia Barr and Adam Bray at their talk and signing at the Carlsbad Library in southern California, and ended up moderating the author talk at the library.
After the signing, I was able to sit down with Adam Bray to go more in depth about Ultimate Star Wars and some other upcoming projects. Catch the book tour when it comes to your area!
Today, Vanity Fair has their J.J. Abrams interview, where The Force Awakens director talks about not overexplaining things, his weirdest moment, and capturing the tone of Star Wars. Also, a horrible Max von Sydow pun.
Now, what sparked a lot of discussion today was this bit:
Well, what’s cool is we’ve obviously had a lot of time [during the development process] to talk about what’s happened outside of the borders of the story that you’re seeing. So there are, of course, references to things, and some are very oblique so that hopefully the audience can infer what the characters are referring to. We used to have more references to things that we pulled out because they almost felt like they were trying too hard to allude to something. I think that the key is—and whether we’ve accomplished that or not is, of course, up to the audience—but the key is that references be essential so that you don’t reference a lot of things that feel like, oh, we’re laying pipe for, you know, an animated series or further movies. It should feel like things are being referenced for a reason.
Earlier, they talks about how A New Hope just dropped in references to things like the Clone Wars, and as someone who’s experienced great anvil fatigue over the past decades, I greatly appreciate a return to that, whether it be random whatevers that happened between trilogies or old stuff we already know.
Author James Luceno talks about Star Wars, the new canon and his upcoming novel Tarkin with SciFiNow.
He says he’s seen the series bible for Rebels and that when it comes to the old EU:
I chose not to really reference too much EU material only because of the setting of the story, but it was still there. It was still there to pick and choose from.
Though he does point out that there’s not that much to begin with in the primary setting of the novel. (5 years after Revenge of the Sith.)
However, as far as Episode VII goes? He knows nothing. But he makes a good point as to the Story Group:
Without spilling secrets they can say, ‘I think this isn’t a good place to go with this book’ or ‘You might want to steer clear of this topic.’ This is part of an effort to maintain a so-called continuity where every book and every game and every comic will all be part of a single story going forward, and that wasn’t the case earlier on.
Empire talks to Simon Kinberg about Rebels – and, of course, the Episode VII connections (he’s still playing the ‘maybe’ game.) But on the tone of the series:
“We are not afraid to take those characters to some dark places. In the first season, there are some backstories that get revealed for main characters that are a lot darker and more dramatic than anything I’ve ever seen in animated TV, and which have the same depth and childhood trauma that the characters in the movies had.”
And The Inquisitor:
What we do know is that The Inquisitor is “less of a believer in the Empire and the cause of the Empire than perhaps Darth Vader, and more of a hunting dog.” So not a Sith, per se? “I don’t know how much I’m allowed to say about that, but no, per se.”
Bryan at Big Shiny Robot interviews Simon Kinberg about Rebels. He talks about getting to make Star Wars (“like getting a chance to write fan fiction at the highest possible level”) and where the concept of Ezra’s slingshot comes from. There’s also a preview of next week’s Rebels short.
Newsarama has another interview with John Jackson Miller about A New Dawn.He does have some wise words on canon and the Legends label:
I really think it’s a mistake for people to play the canon/not-canon parlor game. What they said when they made the announcement is that the previous material wasn’t being discarded, it would be drawn from – inspirations and ideas would come from it. The planets are the same; the species are the same. You know, the Rebels series uses the same manufacturer of the TIE fighters that was introduced in the Role Playing Games years ago. My book revolves around a strategic compound that I introduced back in KOTOR years ago! The universe is the same.
The thing about “Legends,” and that’s the word on the cover of the previous material: Legends can be true, in part or in whole. They inspire, they are sort of like the King Arthur story – parts of that, little bits of that here and there are true.
He goes on to talk about A New Dawn specifically and some of the other things he’s working on. And don’t forget to check out James’ video interview!
Greg Weisman, one of the executive producers of the upcoming Rebels animated series, is also an author for the young adult audience with his series-starting Rain of the Ghosts, featuring a young teenager in the Caribbean who can see dead people. I had the opportunity to chat with Greg this past weekend at the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore’s 21st Birthday Bash, and in this interview we discuss Rain of the Ghosts, the writing process for both print and animation, as well as his work on animated shows such as Young Justice, Gargoyles, and The Spectacular Spider-Man, including some of his own objectives and challenges for hitting a wider audience when creating a show and including diversity. While we couldn’t talk much about Rebels directly, he does provide some perspective for the show.