At WonderCon (currently underway in San Francisco), Dark Horse Comics director of publicity Jeremy Atkins unveiled new cover art by Jo Chen for the forthcoming New Jedi Order-era series, Star Wars: Invasion (see the original New York Comic-Con story here.)
We caught up with Dark Horse editor Randy Stradley to ask him some quick questions about the new series (below the cut).
Why now? How long has this idea been percolating and why is now the best time to explore The New Jedi Order in comics?
I don’t know that the idea has really been “percolating,” but it has been discussed now and again (along with other ideas) since 2002, when I took over Dark Horse’s Star Wars line. Mainly we felt that Luke’s early years had been the focus for too long. Even trying to creep through the open areas of Classic era continuity as slowly as we could with the Empire and, later, Rebellion series, it was only a matter of time before we collided with major film or Expanded Universe events, and we really didn’t want to get bogged down retelling stories the audience already knew.
What the NJO offers us is a dramatic galactic event that, like the Clone Wars, still has a great deal of uncharted story territory available. We had shied away from getting involved during the time Del Rey was releasing their novels because it just seemed like too big a job to keep their unfolding continuity from entangling our own and vice versa. Now that they’ve done their part, it’s easy for us to see clear paths through the larger story of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion. And, judging from the fan response so far, there is still a great deal of interest in this time period.
I guess the short answer to your question is, now is the best time to explore the NJO because now is when we’re doing’ it.
The NJO was pretty well known for its brutal, take-no-prisoners approach to depicting warfare. How will the comic compare in tone?
It will be brutal. But the Yuuzhan Vong do take prisoners — in fact, that’s a major component in the story Tom Taylor and Colin Wilson are telling.
The emphasis will be on action, and there will be quite a few scenes of warfare, but the main instructions I gave Tom was that he should focus on the heroism of the characters. If a story can be dire and uplifting at the same time, that’s what we’re building.
The novel series also spent a lot of time depicting the Yuuzhan Vong side of things. How much time does Invasion allot for the “invaders” compared the “invadees”?
I’ve only read up through script #4 so far, and the focus has been primarily on the invadees. However, it’s obvious that some of them are having an effect on the invaders. I don’t want to project too far out, because despite having a detailed outline, when it comes to writing the scripts it’s not uncommon to come to a point where the writer says to themselves, “You know, I planned for this event, but now that I’m here it makes way more sense for the characters to do this other thing.” Tom has already come across one instance like that, so what the future holds for the series is not yet cast in stone.
I will say that in the story thus far, we’re getting to know two individual Vong. How far their stories will expand remains to be seen.
How does the Galfridian family compare to other Star Wars families? Any Force-users? Any black sheep?
Uh, yes, and yes. And that’s about all I’m willing to say at this point. I’m really pleased with the way the scripts are revealing information about the Galfridians. There are surprises even in the first issue!
What can you tell us about Artorias?
It’s a peaceful, almost idyllic world. The city planners on Artorias incorporate a lot of green spaces, promenades, and city squares. Colin has really done a brilliant job of visualizing the place. When you first see it, it looks like someplace you’d love to live. After the Yuuzhan Vong get their hands on it, not so much. I think readers will really feel the loss.
Finally, any spoilery tidbit you can share with us and only us?
Hah! I knew you’d ask, but I am really loathe to give anything away. Stories always play better when the surprises are true surprises — and Invasion is loaded with surprises.