We’re excited to be back once again with friend and frequent interviewee of Eleven-ThirtyEight Jason Fry, who kindly answered our burning questions about the capital ships, starfighters, and ground vehicles of The Last Jedi! Jason’s list of Star Wars works is both popular and growing; in addition to the newest Incredible Cross-Sections, he also wrote the TLJ tie-in Bomber Command, and of course, the impending official film novelization. Jason’s a longtime fan and author who brings deep knowledge, professional writing, and great humor to his works. In this interview, we’re treated to not just info about the Cross-Sections, but also his process as a creative writer.
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First off, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions! This is your second Incredible Cross-Sections book and the first where you were also the author of the movie’s novelization. How was your experience writing this book different from The Force Awakens Cross-Sections?
It was easier for a couple of reasons. First off, Kemp Remillard and I had already worked together and enjoyed the experience. Whether you’re talking about two writers or an artist and writer, collaboration is a weirdly intimate thing, and you go through a certain amount of sounding each other out and discovering if you’re going to get along. Kemp and I had already done that and become friends in the process, so this time around we were able to go full speed from the start.
Second, The Force Awakens had let us work out the history and visual language of this new storytelling period. That hard work was already done and we could build on it, which was a lot of fun. » Read more..
Fandom is a strange, funny thing. We all identify with certain characters for varied reasons, but what matters most is simply that we love them. For some, that favorite is Luke Skywalker, Jedi Master. For others it is Constable Zuvio, whom sharp-eyed fans can spot for a scant instant in The Force Awakens. Whether they dominate the screen or are only covered in supplemental materials, at the end of the day our favorite characters are who they are. Period.
For me, it has always been Admiral Ackbar. My admiral. The victor of Endor, Kuat, Kashyyyk, Jakku, and so many other countless engagements. Hero of the Rebellion, New Republic, and most recently the Resistance. Tough, loyal, at times gruff, but always a leader and a bulwark his friends could count on. In pop culture, Ackbar is remembered for “It’s a trap!” and the countless memes that line has generated. For many of us Star Wars fans, he was the quintessential admiral.
He dies in The Last Jedi.
Ackbar meets his end on the bridge of the Star Cruiser Raddus, doing his duty until the last moment. For those of you not as familiar with the current canon, Ackbar leaves a quiet retirement to come to Leia’s side when she forms the Resistance. He leaves the safety of his home on Mon Cala, determined to fight one more time for the freedom and liberty of the galaxy. He’s over ninety years old, but that doesn’t matter. Ackbar is back – and he does his duty. » Read more..
Tomorrow night, our journey to The Last Jedi is complete! Before we see the next chapter of the war between the Resistance and the First Order, we decided to reach out to Dan Wallace for an interview on his recently released book, The Rebel Files Deluxe Edition. Our readers should be very familiar with Dan, who continues to be one of the best storytellers and developers of Star Wars lore.
In The Rebel Files, we are introduced to an almost sacred tome of Rebel knowledge, secrets, and insights. Arranged in a scrapbook style, the history of the Alliance to Restore the Republic is charted from its earliest years up to the day before the Battle of Endor. Old Rebels like Leia and Ackbar relive key moments, while younger members of the Resistance like Poe Dameron get a first hand look at the trials and tribulations of the Alliance. So, grab your flight helmet, strap in, and let’s fly into the interview.
Dan, thank you again for taking the time to answer our questions. Let’s talk a bit about the premise for The Rebel Files. Tell us a little about the development of this book and how you ultimately settled on using Hendri Underholt as the character who helps “tell” the story?
As most people probably know, Star Wars: The Rebel Files is a continuation of a series that began with The Jedi Path in 2010. The basic premise is that the book is an in-universe document written by various Star Wars personalities about a particular aspect of the universe. The Rebel Files is the first to be published under the new Disney canon, and it focuses on the formation and early years of the Rebel Alliance. With Rogue One and Star Wars Rebels out there, this seemed like the perfect time to tackle the Rebellion. » Read more..
Twenty-three long, speculation-fueled months ago, in the immediate aftermath of The Force Awakens, I asked the staff for their best early guesses and hopes as to the origin of Rey. Jay Shah was Team Solo, mostly out of affection for the legacy of the Expanded Universe’s Jaina Solo and a desire to see Rey channel that role in the new canon. David Schwarz was Team, ah, Durron—his point being that Rey should be the child of new characters, preferably a promising student or students from Luke’s first crop of trainees. Rocky Blonshine was Team Skywalker for all the familiar evidentiary and legacy reasons, and Ben Wahrman, while preferring “that she not be related to anyone”, chose Team Kenobi as a poetic way of splitting the difference between a protagonist coming out of nowhere and one forced to deal with all the story baggage of the Skywalker/Solo family.
I myself was Team Snoke. I go into detail in the original piece but my basic idea was that Snoke was once similar to Aftermath‘s Yupe Tashu—an adviser to Palpatine who gained access to a mysterious source of dark side power and ultimately intended his powerful child to lead the First Order on his behalf, only to have Luke Skywalker steal her away and hide her. TFA, therefore, was not about Snoke looking for Luke as much as Snoke looking for Rey, who he assumes is with Luke. As an aside I mentioned the possibility that she wasn’t his biological daughter, but rather a second attempt at the same experiment that created Anakin Skywalker; thus Snoke would be her figurative father and her actual lineage would be the Force itself—what better birthright with which to claim the mantle of Supreme Leader?
Fast forward a couple years, and that aside is looking much more likely. At nine feet tall, Snoke is pretty definitely an alien, and Rey is pretty definitely a human, meaning a biological relationship seems pretty implausible. I stand by the rest of the theory though—if we meet Rey’s biological parents at all, they could even be First Order loyalists who volunteered for Snoke’s experiments rather than having a baby just pop up randomly in the galaxy. Thematically, what appealed to me about it was the question “what would Luke have done if his father has been Palpatine rather than Vader?” If Rey owes her existence not to some conflicted underling but to the devil himself, what would that mean for her destiny, her “place in all this”? I’m still hoping to find out. » Read more..
Jay: So guys, we’ve had a chance to digest From A Certain Point of View for a little while. This was always an interesting project — a book commemorating the 40th Anniversary of A New Hope, but trying to avoid well-trod ground. It was a huge undertaking to get 43 authors involved, and even more so to accomplish all of that for a charitable cause. Here at Eleven-ThirtyEight, we’ve been extolling the virtues of short stories for a while — both as a way to introduce new authors into the mix and to experiment with different kinds of stories. After all, I think several of us would agree that there is no one right way to tell a Star Wars story — that we can think beyond the expectations of Jedi, space battles, past tense, all of that, and get something different that still feels very much like Star Wars (the original movie was, after all, experimentation based on the familiar).
FACPOV gave us that — and it gave us a large variety of stories, catering to various different perspectives and interests. I’m sure that between all of us, there was at least one story that we knew we’d love as soon as Del Rey announced the story subjects. But what I want to get into first is…what surprised you? We’ll have time to talk about expected favorites later, but for me part of the joy was finding several stories I never expected to be my favorites, but they were. Was it the same for you?
» Read more..