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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 (823 Articles)
Content creator of The Wookiee Gunner. Contributing writer for Jedi News, Fangirl Next Door, and Fashioned for the Geek. Podcasts: @RebelsChat, @GalacticFashion, @Team_Kanan, and @StarScavengers. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

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