With LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out premiering this Wednesday night on Cartoon Network, I checked in with the show’s writer, Michael Price, who also wrote last year’s LEGO Star Wars special, The Padawan Menace. That first animated show (reviewed last year), which had Yoda, C-3PO and a young Han Solo, ranks up as the best Star Wars based comedy I had seen in years, and one of my top Star Wars on screen for 2011. In this interview, Michael talks about the comedy of The Empire Strikes Out, and the challenges of solo writing Luke and Vader. Continue reading
New York Comic Con. The schedule for the October 11-14 con is up, and both EU panels are on Friday… both at noon? Star Wars Books features Jason Fry and Pablo Hidalgo, while Brian Wood & Dark Horse: From World’s End to the Galaxy’s Beginnings will be Brian Wood, Jeremy Atkins, Randy Stradley and Sierra Hahn.
Interviews. There were a lot of them. In text, EUCantina has Haden Blackman, Jedi News has Bill Slavicsek (old-timers will remember his Guide to the Star Wars Universe) and Fangirl talks to Del Rey’s summer intern, Tom Hoeler. In audio, Fictional Frontiers has Aaron Allston, while Jedi Journals caught up with Aaron and Drew Karpyshyn at CVI. And Roqoo Depot ties up their series of CVI video interviews with John Jackson Miller.
The blogside. Roqoo Depot thinks Crucible may bring Borsk Fey’lya back from the dead. Oh-kay.
Interview. EUCantina interviews Lucas Books Art Director Scott Biel about creating covers for Star Wars books. He talks about the process, why the Mercy Kill cover got a makeover, and Mara Jade’s Choices of One jumpsuit.
The blogside. Lots going on this week! At The Galactic Drift, Racheal takes a look at how Tahiri Veila has been misused, while NJOE’s new hire Matthew Rushing takes on the state of Luke Skywalker. Meanwhile, Megan at Knights Archive reviews Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, and Tosche Station is taking a look with their X-Wing Retrospective.
Conventions. The Del Rey folks will have a double-sided poster that they’ll be giving out during summer con season. It features the cover art from The Essential Reader’s Companion and The Old Republic: Annihilation. Look for Del Rey at San Diego Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration VI, and New York Comic Con.
eBooks. Knights Archive looks at the upcoming Star Wars eBook releases.
Endnotes. Jason Fry posted the 12th part of the series going behind-the-scenes of The Essential Guide to Warfare.
Tor’s Liz Bourke has a great interview today with author Karen Miller, where she addresses some of the harsh realities of writing licensed fiction and, in particular, Star Wars and the differences with a female-dominated fandom like Stargate.
The Stargate fan audience is small, compared to the Star Wars audience. The Stargate fan audience is also, overwhelmingly, female—which means that it is far, far more accepting of a female writer and a female writer’s particular POV (and I think there is one). The Star Wars fan audience, on the other hand, is overwhelmingly male. At least as far as I can tell. The vast majority of writers who do the tie-in novels are also male. There is a definite predominance of male voices and male POVs in Star Wars novels. And that makes a huge difference in the reception of the material.
Everything I write is grounded in character. Everything. It’s the people that make a story for me. So my Star Wars work is as much a character study or exploration as it is an action adventure romp. For some readers, that was brilliant. For others, it wasn’t. For a lot of Star Wars fans—the guys in particular—the story is about fighting and space battles and stuff like that. For them, that’s the whole point. For them, the intricacies of psychological investigation are boring and unwelcome. And I completely accept that. But it’s not what floats my starship—and I felt strongly that I can’t be the only one who is in love with the story because of the characters, not despite them. Or who wants to take a breath and spend some time with them as human beings, who wants to explore what makes them tick, the relationships between them, the strengths and fragilities they contain and share.
She goes on to defend Karen Traviss, among other things, though I really must disagree that gender was the only aspect which garnered Traviss venom from fandom. (Though I’m sure some of it was, I’d hesitate to call it the main issue. The lesson one should take away from Traviss’ tumultuous time in this fandom? Don’t feed the trolls, and be respectful of your audience.)
But that quibble aside, it’s so refreshing to hear a Star Wars author actually be in it for the characters. There is nothing else here I have any issues with – it all needs to be said. Though not so much to label it as a niche, even though it’s probably true. Club Jade has been fighting that fight for so long…
Spotlight. Essential Guide to Warfare co-author Paul Urquhart takes a look at ‘the best star-pilots in the galaxy’. But what we’re really talking about here is the art by Frank-Joseph “Mazzic” Frelier, which includes what I think is out first look at Syal Antilles.
Awards. John Jackson Miller’s Knight Errant is a Scribe Award nominee for Best Original Novel in the Speculative Fiction category. The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers are also naming Expanded Universe alumni Kevin J. Anderson as the year’s Grandmaster. Other familiar names among the nominees include Mike Stackpole (for his Conan the Barbarian adaption) and A.C. Crispin for her Pirates of the Caribbean novel.
Interviews. Lots of them! In the world of podcasts, we have Aaron Allston over at Tosche Station Radio and Mike Stackpole at Star Wars Book Report. If you can stomach the ForceCast, they had Leland Chee on, plus there’s a new Jedi Journals. If it’s text you prefer, Tom Taylor talks Darth Maul at CBR.
EUCantina talked to LucasBooks Senior Editor Jennifer Heddle about her job and what’s coming up in the Expanded Universe. She gives some details on Karpyshyn’s The Old Republic: Annihilation, a return for Matt Stover (“a distinct possibility,) the chances of more X-Wing books and a Leia or Padme novel:
There are a couple different plans in the works to focus a bit more on Leia (in both the novels and the comic books). There’s nothing planned for Padme at this time, but never say never.
She also says we’ll get an announcement of what’s coming for post-Fate of the Jedi at San Diego Comic Con. Hopefully that means we’ll be getting further details at Celebration?
The blogside. Over at Tosche Station, Brian has a two-part retrospective of Fate of the Jedi. The series has garnered some mixed reviews, but overall I have to agree with some of Brian on this one, particularly regarding Luke/the Jedi, the arc-welding in Abeloth’s backstory, and the overall issues with Denning. Brian’s also revised his review of Apocalypse.
Warfare fallout. Jason Fry has posted his endnotes for The Essential Guide to Warfare in three parts, while his co-author Paul Urquhart writes (naturally) about the wackier side of the book at Suvudu.
Interviews. EU Cantina talks to comic writer Tom Taylor about his upcoming Darth Maul mini-series, Invasion, and Boba Fett is Dead. Meanwhile, Newsarama has John Ostrander to discuss Dawn of the Jedi in some detail.
Whoops! I caught the release date change for Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories last week, but not that it had changed formats from paperback to trade paperback. Guess someone likes the Sith…
WTF of the week. Kevin J. Anderson invented the Killiks. Of course he did.
Chat season. Troy Denning will be chatting Apocalypse tomorrow afternoon on the Star Wars Books Facebook page. (He’ll also be at San Diego Comic Con in July… A behind-the-scenes FOTJ panel, perhaps?) Also chatting, on the 11th, will be Essential Guide to Warfare author Jason Fry. We’ll likely be recapping both.
Scoundrels. Del Rey editor Frank Parisi was on last week’s ForceCast where he revealed two of the established characters that will be on the team. (If you want the fairly minor spoilers, highlight this: Kell Tainer and Winter. If Kell means nothing to you, he’s in the X-Wing series.)
Upcoming. We can expect news on something post-Fate of the Jedi what’s next “sometime this summer, if not sooner,” Erich Schoeneweiss said in response to a fan question. Not at SDCC, I hope.
Interviews. Roqoo Depot talks to Matt Stover – mostly about his new book, Caine’s Law, which was out in stores yesterday – but they also touch on Star Wars. Meanwhile, Angela Slatter interviews Karen Miller and Sean Williams about working in franchises.
IGN’s Eric Goldman talks at length witb Dave Filoni on season 4, including this season’s movie (and Star Tours influences, quadruple decapitation, the brouhaha over casting Simon Pegg and more. Including this interesting bit from where he talks about adapting Slaves of the Republic and the tweaks that had to be made to get it to fit where it does in the show:
…I think it really clearly illustrates the difference between the EU material and what makes it up on the screen as George wants it. Which is that in the end, the comic books are a great place for ideas and creativity by many, many really talented artists and writers. But when George is gonna bring it into his universe, a lot of times it’s going to need tweaks. Some things are really similar, but they’re not exactly the same, which isn’t that strange when you think about it, when you consider anything that’s adapted from one medium to the other. A lot of things change, whether large or small, all the time.
On continuity issues and things like the undeath of Maul:
I’ll even take stuff and ask George, “Hey George, would this work out? It’s not going to be in the show, but just to keep this all together.” There’s a very coordinated effort going on to keep things moving forward all together in the right way. So it did come up, how does he get there, and why don’t the Jedi find him or his body, or what’s going on with that? And that’s been discussed in some detail actually.
There are even a few tidbits about season 5: Apparently, it’s going to be a big year for Ahsoka.
Be sure to check back in the morning for our own roundtable discussion of S4!