Patricia C. Wrede was the guest of honor at Conjecture, a sci-fi/fantasy convention in San Diego, this past weekend. While known more for her young adult fantasy work (including The Enchanted Forest Chronicles and Frontier Magic series), Wrede is also the author of the middle school novelizations of the three prequel movies (from Scholastic). As part of Star Wars Reads Day, she and voice actor Mark Biagi performed a reading of different scenes from her junior novelizations. I got a chance to chat with Wrede about getting into the heads of Amidala and other prequel characters as well as other aspects of writing the novel adaptations for movies that weren’t complete at the time she was writing. She also discusses her most recent Frontier Magic novel, The Far West, the conclusion of a tale of magic in frontier America.
As a panelist at Conjecture, I got to moderate a panel entitled “What Didn’t George Lucas Steal?”, with Patricia Wrede, David Brin (of Star Wars On Trial), and Donna Keeley. While we started on topic about original concepts in the Star Wars films (and whether original ideas in storytelling even matters), we soon moved into the usual dissection of the saga, with Brin serving up his usual gripes against the moral lessons of Star Wars and George Lucas. Wrede had some good counters when examining the parallels between Revenge of the Sith and Return of the Jedi, and Keeley broke down how haters of “Do or do not. There is no try.” are missing the context.
Sit back, kids, and listen to an Old Fart Star Wars fan talk about life in the good ol’ days of 1977 and 1978.
I was nine when Star Wars was first released. It’s hard to describe the phenomenon of how quickly it became a part of everything in that first year. This was before the internet. So the fact that it immediately integrated itself into our culture is a wild situation that I’m not sure will ever be repeated. By the middle of the summer of 1977, my friends and I were playing Star Wars without actually having seen the movie. (Without any toys. Can you imagine?)
With a month and a day to the first street date, LucasBooks and Del Rey have issued the press release, and now we know that five novels are coming! Karen Traviss and Karen Miller are the only authors named: no word on who, if anyone, will be joining them, or if the books are actual novelizations or side-stories… Though the plot description sounds familiar enough. In any case, we’re certain to get a lot more background on the Clone Wars.
…To publish Indiana Jones books. (Nuk nuk nuk.) They’ve tapped author James Rollins to write the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull novelization, with Laurent Bouzereau and old hat J. W. Rinzler on nonfiction duty.