Star Wars is no stranger to “genre” storytelling, and John Jackson Miller’s Kenobi, coming out on August 27, is just the latest example. Originally conceived as a graphic novel, and borne from a friendly challenge to Miller to write an honest-to-goodness Star Wars western, Kenobi tells of Obi-Wan’s earliest days in exile on Tatooine, and crucially, his first interactions with the locals despite his best efforts to remain, well, safely anonymous.
While most familiar to Star Wars fans for his long-running Knights of the Old Republic comic series, Kenobi is only Miller’s second prose novel (third if you count Overdraft: The Orion Offensive, which was serialized at Amazon.com over the summer and is now available as a collection in both print and eBook formats). Recently he was gracious enough to answer a few of our questions on both Kenobi and his earlier exploits.
Eleven-ThirtyEight: Let’s start at the beginning: your first Star Wars work was a one-shot Darth Vader story in the comic series Star Wars: Empire. While I was vaguely aware that your previous work was a run on Iron Man, I’m ashamed to admit I had never put it together before now that yours was the old “Defense Secretary Tony Stark” story. Can you talk a little about the creative through line from Iron Man to Star Wars? You took some time off from comics between the two; what then prompted you to pursue Star Wars in particular? Any interesting pitches that didn’t make the cut?
John Jackson Miller: Iron Man had come about because of my work on the Crimson Dynamo series for Marvel’s Epic line in 2003, and it really was a marathon — we were biweekly for the last seven issues of the run to bring things to the point where “Avengers Disassembled” began, and it was a test of endurance. And rather than taking time off, I spent the months immediately following that redesigning Comics Buyer’s Guide from a weekly newspaper into a monthly magazine, and that was time-consuming. It was really after San Diego in 2004 that I began pitching again, which led to work on the Simpsons line and the Empire gig.