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Star Wars Comics Chat with Wood, Hardman, and Bechko [Transcript]

Star Wars and Dark Horse Comics

Dark Horse Comics invited Brian Wood (Star Wars), Gabriel Hardman (Legacy), and Corinna Bechko (Legacy) for a Twitter chat about Star Wars comic books. If you missed out, no worries. Here is a transcript for you to follow along!

Welcome to the #SWComicsChat everyone! Let’s begin.

Please give a warm welcome to Brian Wood, Gabriel Hardman & Corinna Bechko!

Questions for Brian Wood:

Q: Brian Wood said Wedge is a fave, what’s it like getting in his head in this time? Is he still grieving the losses of Yavin?

A: Everyone is grieving, yeah. Wedge is getting lots of screentime, but I have yet to really get into his head.

Q: Is Princess Leia your favorite SW character to write?

A: Probably! I think I like Wedge just as much but my series is really about Leia.

Q: Do you ever feel limited by previously written stories and/or the Star Wars canon?

A: I don’t – I just try and do my own thing and not break or contradict continuity in the process.

Q: As much as I love Leia, so far my favorite part of Star Wars from Dark Horse Comics is that Han Shot First.

A: My subconscious did that one before I was really aware of it!

Q: How do you create characters that not only intrigue the readers, but are as memorable as Luke, Han, Leia and the rest?

A: Not sure it’s possible to create anyone as memorable as the originals.

Q: How do you feel your earlier work from DMZ or Demo has influenced your current work on Star Wars?

A: Not 100% sure about DMZ, but Demo taught me the value of making sure readers relate to your characters in any situ.

Q: Do you know the title of your Star Wars series 2nd arc?

A: Not sure its 100% locked down yet.

Q: Any feedback from George Lucas on the series so far Brian?

A: Not that I’ve heard!

Q: I’ve never read any Star Wars comic, can I start with both comics?

A: If you’ve seen the 1977 film, that’s all you need to get into mine.

Q: Is the key to Star Wars the action and adventure aspect or the characters? Which do you spend more time on?

A: It’s the characters, always. It’s the drama, the relationships. That IS Star Wars, more than anything else.

Q: Leia is the main character for Star Wars. Are you using a main female protagonist to draw new readers or widen perceptions?

A: In this case, I just felt her story was most compelling. It’s an ensemble cast, but she is a focus for now.

Q: Has there been a Star Wars story you wanted to tell that has not been approved? Or were you able to alter it enough to print?

A: I was barely asked to alter anything I pitched.

Q: Why do you use more than your usual amount of narration on Star Wars? Is a style choice to line up with comics of old?

A: I actually think it’s a little less than other books I write.

Q: Do you use as much omniscient narration in your other work? That’s what I meant.

A: In some, sure. The Massive has a good deal of that, as does Mara. I use it very selectively in Star Wars to evoke the text crawl of the films, and to add a bit of epic-ness. But overall it’s very little narration.

Q: Is the writing a collaboration? Is J.W. Rinzler involved? Do you all wear robes?

A: I sit alone in my office and write, just like all my ongoing projects. #lonely

Q: What has been the biggest challenge in playing in this massive Star Wars sandbox?

A: In my case, just keeping it simple and not overthinking anything.

Q: And since Disney bought Lucasfilm, have they set guidelines or aside from maintaining continuity you are free?

A: Disney is not present in any of this.

Q: What is it like to be able to delve into characters like Wedge and Leia, or any rebel, beyond the movies?

A: Fun? Haha, that’s mostly it. I’ve known these people for 35 years of my life.

Q: Was it ever your dream to write a Star Wars comic?

A: I didn’t know I even wanted to until it was offered to me!

Q: Was Han Solo shooting the imperial agent in the back in SW3 you weighing in on who shot first Greedo controversy?

A: Not consciously. Mostly just wanted to show Han is smart and savvy and can smell a rat. I’m fine with people seeing a subtext though!

Q: Who is your favorite Star Wars character to write & why?

A: Leia, she’s young and complex and multi-faceted. Smart, capable, but carries a heavy burden. Pure gold to write.

Q: Do you think you’d ever do a book just focused on Leia?

A: If I could, absolutely.

Q: Demo 2 was about redemption and Lucas has said films were about redemption so are you drawn to redemption stories?

A: I don’t see a connection between Demo and George Lucas’ work, sorry.

Q: How difficult is it to write Chewbacca’s dialogue?

A: HARD! Same with R2. I wish there was a dictionary I could reference.

Q: How did you come up with of the Black X-wings?

A: Dunno, I just thought it would be cool if they had prototype models.

Q: How much time does it take to plan a Star Wars comic series? How long before the official announcement do you start working?

A: I’ve found it typical in comics to have 5-6 issues done by the time you launch.

Q: Is there any kind of music that helps you write, or inspires you to write?

A: I can’t listen to singing while I write, so it’s all film scores and classical.

Q: From reading your other books, how is the structure of the Star Wars series going to be arc wise?

A: In this case, the first 12 issues are one huge story.

Q: What is hardest thing about writing comics in general, not just Star Wars?

A: Just getting the work out, plain and simple. Producing on a tight schedule.

Q: What was emphasis or idea behind having Leia be such a “warrior” figure in your new Star Wars series?

A: Isn’t she one in the films? One of the 1st things we ever see her do is smoke a stormtrooper. She resists torture, takes over her own rescue, shoots troopers, helps fly the Falcon, and that’s just the 1st film.

Q: Did you have to do a bit of research on the more technical aspects? Or did being a fan help you out a lot?

A: Being a fan, and http://Wookieepedia.com

Q: Any other trilogy characters that might make an appearance soon? Dodonna? Lando? :)

A: Dodonna’s not a bad idea.

Q: How detailed is level of approval from Lucas/Disney on elements/artwork of comics?

A: The editor handles that aspect mostly. I get notes back from Lucas editors, it’s never very much to deal with.

Q: How big of a role will Boba Fett play in your story?

A: He’s there for a few issues. Huge epic battle over Coruscant.

Q: How long are you planning on making the series?

A: Right now I’m contracted for 20 issues. We’ll see how it goes.

Questions for Gabriel Hardman:

Q: Are you a big Star Wars fans in general or excited to explore storytelling with Legacy?

A: Absolutely! We wouldn’t be doing this book if we weren’t big fans. Love exploring this universe.

Q: Will we be seeing any other characters lineage in the new Legacy book? Like a descendent of Lando?

A: We may though it’s a big galaxy and we want to avoid the “young Greedo” scenario.

Q: How long will the 1st arc of Legacy Volume 2 (Prisoner of the Floating World) last? 6 issues?

A: We’re doing five issue arcs.

Q: I’m not a SW fan, but a Brian Wood, Gabriel Hardman, Dark Horse Comics fan. Why should I read SW?

A: Yes! :) We’re trying for a fun adventure book if you know SW or not.

Q: I heard Gabriel Hardman mention Peter Suschitzky as an influence for SWLegacy, how did you draw influence from P.S. for Legacy?

A: The look he brought to Empire is the look of Star Wars for me. He’s the best DP who worked on the series.

Q: Which has been the most challenging story/art to create?

A: It’s all challenge! But that’s what I love about making comics.

Q: Surprised to see Sith right away while introducing a more scoundrel character. Why that route?

A: We wanted to bring in the Sith in a different way. We have big plans.

Q: Gabriel Hardman your art sets a different tone, setting it apart from vol1. Was this intentional, or is it just your style?

A: A little of both. Star Wars is a used universe. It should look rough around the edges.

Q: Gabriel Hardman your use of shading and character shapes remind me a lot of Cam Kennedy’s Dark Empire – was he an influence?

A: Not specifically but I was a fan of that book.

Q: So do you know the title of the 2nd arc? And do you plan on showing us the fate of Cade?

A: Yes, but the title would be a spoiler. Cade may be involved at a later point but we don’t want to step on the work Jan and John did.

Q: Any chance Ania is a descendant of Allana or will I have to wait and see?

A: You’ll just have to wait and see! :)

Q: How do you come about creating new characters for stories?

A: We’re creating a lot of new characters for Legacy. That’s the fun of a book set in a less familiar era.

Q: Do you think the comic stories will influence Episode VII

A: I think they’re going to tell their own story in Episode VII. They should be free to make the best movie possible.

Q: How will your take on the Legacy series differ from other Star Wars comics & stories?

A: I hope Ania’s personality will cast an interesting light on new stories that organically fit into the universe

Q: What comics did you all read or still read?

A: My most recent favorite comic miniseries was Comeback, which was about time travel.

Q: How detailed is level of approval from Lucas/Disney on elements/artwork of comics?

A: It’s been smooth sailing with approvals so far. A very pleasant experience.

Q: How does the writing work between you two?

A: We make detailed notes of plot and dialogue. Corinna writes a first draft, then I take a pass.

Q: How hard is it to transition from Planet of the Apes to Star Wars?

A: It’s not hard. We’re very well versed in both worlds. Just have to make sure and not mix them up. ;)

Q: So did Ania inherit the falcon as a family heirloom & have it stashed away someplace?

A: The falcon is over 100 years old! I’m sure it’s on a junk heap somewhere. ;)

Q: Is it hard to come up with original story arc ideas with all preexisting Star Wars material?

A: That can be intimidating but we try and look to outside influences that are still relevant to SW.

Q: What’s the draft like? More like a script or does it have panel/layout ideas?

A: We break down all the panels before we go to the first draft. That’s a big part of the storytelling.

Q: Does Ania inherit some of her dad’s catch phrases?

A: She’ll have all new catch phrases.

Questions for Corinna Bechko:

Q: Are you a big Star Wars fans in general or excited to explore storytelling with Legacy?

A: Oh definitely! Who wouldn’t want the chance to explore a bit more of that universe?

Q: Do you ever feel limited by previously written stories and/or the Star Wars canon?

A: Not at all! Making the story fit into the existing SW universe is part of the challenge, and can be a lot of fun.

Q: Ania & Sauk: they seem like opposites – what holds them together as friends?

A: They’re both outsiders, yet they realize their personalities are complimentary, I think!

Q: As outsiders [Ania & Sauk], they seem to have this great level of trust – will we see more of their history?

A: Yes, we will definitely be going further into that in the next arc.

Q: I’ve never read any Star Wars comic, can I start with both comics?

A: We have really tried to make it easy to jump on board our Legacy run. And Brian Wood’s is easy to sink right into.

Q: 1st cancelling The Clone Wars, now shutting LucasArts, Dark Horse Comics & co, aren’t you worried about losing the license?

A: Honestly, I’m just happy to work on it for as long as it goes. I don’t worry about the license possibilities.

Q: Has there been a Star Wars story you wanted to tell that has not been approved? Or were you able to alter it enough to print?

A: No, working with Dark Horse on this has been very easy. We haven’t had to alter much of anything.

Q: Has George Lucas been an advisor? Or does he trust u w/ development

A: Nope! I guess he must trust Dark Horse Comics :)

Q: Which has been the most challenging story/art to create?

A: Really, every story has its own unique challenges. That’s what makes it worth doing!

Q: Is Legacy your favourite era to write for? I’d imagine there’s more leniency with storylines.

A: We do appreciate the fact that the future is open to us in the Legacy era.

Q: How much time does it take to plan a Star Wars comic series? How long before the official announcement do you start working?

A: Longer than you’d think! Dark Horse is very good about having several issues complete before launching

Q: Is there any kind of music that helps you write, or inspires you to write?

A: I can’t listen to anything with lyrics while I write but music is a big influence for generating ideas and mood.

Q: What makes your book standout from the other star wars books from Dark Horse Comics?

A: I think the era, and the personality of the main characters.

Q: What is hardest thing about writing comics in general, not just Star Wars?

A: Being creative on a timetable. Deadlines are important, you can’t wait for inspiration to strike!

Q: Do you think the comic stories will influence Episode VII?

A: I doubt it. I imagine they have their own agenda.

Q: Are you guys fans of any other present/past star wars books from Dark Horse Comics? If so, which ones?

A: Dark Horse Comics has done a great job with Star Wars! I loved the storyline in the original Legacy about Dac.

Q: So Dark Horse seems to be lenient with a lot of ideas. Is it safe to assume that they’re nice to work, as least creatively?

A: Personally, I love working with Dark Horse. They’re very professional and supportive towards their creators.

Q: How hard is it to transition from Planet of the Apes to Star Wars?

A: Not hard at all! We’re still writing Apes too, but I admit it’s easier to NOT work on them on the same day ;)

Q: So did Ania inherit the falcon as a family heirloom & have it stashed away someplace?

A: Oh, blasphemy, Gabriel Hardman ;)

Q: Is it hard to come up with original story arc ideas with all preexisting Star Wars material?

A: Not really, but we are careful to not accidentally reference something just because it’s ingrained in our psyches!

Q: So did Ania inherit the falcon as a family heirloom & have it stashed away someplace? Technically, we’re not sure if she is a direct decedent of Han, don’t know how the surname passed?

A: Read on and find out ;)

Q: How important are George Lucas’s opinions and judgment in planning a Star Wars series?

A: Not sure how involved he is at the inception, to tell the truth.

Q: Saw this trending and decided to ask, how would the #comics community receive comic reviews?

A: We get tons of reviews!

Q: Coming to Detroit for any promo events this year?

A: Sadly, too many projects to travel much this year!

About JM (969 Articles)
Content creator of The Wookiee Gunner. Podcasts: @RebelsChat, @GalacticFashion, @Team_Kanan, and @StarScavengers. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

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