Charlie Chang: In this book
Luke, Leia, and Han have just emerged as heroes after the destruction of the
first Death Star. How did you go about formulating your pitch for where to take
these three rising stars of the Rebellion?
Brian Wood: What I wanted
to write was what I wanted to see after that first film, but never did: the aftermath, the fallout, and the way these three characters dealt with the
tremendous loss they suffered. Blowing up the Death Star was a great victory,
sure, but at what cost? Wedge lost all his fellow pilots, Luke lost the only
family he knew about and Ben as well, Leia lost her family and her entire
planet, and Han lost whatever measure of freedom he enjoyed as someone not on the Empire’s radar. There’s a lot
of story material there.
CC: I love that
Wedge Antilles is a bigger player in your Star
Wars story. How would you characterize Wedge compared to Luke, and why do
you like him as a character?
BW: I’ve always
liked Wedge…As a child Wedge seemed like the underdog compared to Luke. As an
adult, it’s clear Wedge is the better, more experienced pilot, and I like that.
I like the idea of a genuine ace fighter pilot who’s not Force sensitive or
otherwise helped along. It’s pure raw talent. I always wished he got more
screen time, but there is a run of X-Wing
novels that put him front and center.
CC: You’ve stated in
previous interviews that you are a fan of the X-Wing novels and that they played a role in writing the dogfights
in your book. Did you find it difficult to translate what we’re all used to
seeing in the films in those X-wing/TIE fighter dogfights into your comic book?
How much direction did you have to give Carlos D’Anda in drawing those panels,
or did he contribute a lot of the “directing” in those scenes?
BW: Yeah, it was
difficult, and one of the drawbacks of comics vs. prose is just a lack of
space. A single page of a novel might take five pages of comics, in some cases,
and we only get twenty or so pages per comic issue. So we have to make a lot of
creative choices in what we show and how we show it. The sort of extended
fighter scenes I loved in the novels just couldn’t fit here. That said, I did
my best, and on balance the series is very X-wing-centric.
As far as
Carlos, as an artist myself, I try to just give an artist what they need and
stay out of the way. Carlos is very talented and can compose a page of comics
way better than I could.
CC: What other “B list”
characters from the films do you want to use and explore more in this series?
BW: Bossk, the
bounty hunter! I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved that guy.
5) As the reader,
we all know where these characters are headed. In your mind, what are the
challenges or things you’d like to explore with Luke, Leia, and Han that shape
them into the characters we see by the time we get to Empire Strikes Back?
BW: By the time
we catch up to them at Hoth, we can tell a lot’s happened. They’re so much more
of a military operation, with uniforms and patrols and call signs, and there’s
a familiarity between Han and Luke that came from somewhere or something. I
want to keep bridging that gap, finding stories to tell that not only act as a
bridge between those two films, but make the best of it. Stories that add
something that matters.
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