Author Archive



Soap and Space Operas, Quartermaines and Skywalkers

Jennifer Heddle | April 4, 2014

General Hostpital

Last week I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the set of General Hospital, a show that I’ve been watching (with the occasional break here and there) for over 30 years. One of the most exciting parts of the visit was getting to watch scenes being filmed. As you can imagine, filming for a soap opera is different than filming for a television show that only airs 22 episodes a year. There’s no time to dwell. The actors say their lines, do a couple takes, and as long as everything looks and sounds good, it’s on to the next scene. And General Hospital has been doing this consistently for over 50 years. It’s just mind-blowing.

It got me thinking about serialized storytelling, and the fact that it’s not easy. And that led to me reflecting on what an accomplishment the Star Wars Expanded Universe is. Publishing has been telling Star Wars stories without a break for 23 years. That’s only two years less than The Simpsons. That’s soap opera territory.

(more…)

The Empire Striketh Back: Shakespeare Meeteth a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Jennifer Heddle | March 21, 2014

The Empire Striketh Back cover

When the idea for a Shakespearean rendition of Star Wars was pitched to us at Lucasfilm, I admit I was skeptical. It sounded like just another gimmick. But then I read Ian Doescher’s manuscript, and my attitude changed. Ian had lovingly crafted a tribute not only to Star Wars but to Shakespeare himself, showing respect and reverence for the Bard’s style even while transporting it to a galaxy far, far away. The rave reader reviews for the first book show that I was not alone in thinking Ian had written something special. And now the second book, The Empire Striketh Back, has been released, and it’s just as entertaining as the first.

(more…)

Capturing Han Solo in Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves

Jennifer Heddle | March 10, 2014

Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves

On the surface Han Solo is an “easy” character — a wise-cracking scoundrel with a penchant for getting in over his head. But for authors who want to really capture the sum of Han’s parts, it’s not quite as easy as it looks, especially post-Episode IV. He’s a mercenary, but he’s currently hooked up with a non-profit operation. He looks out for himself, but it’s his friends that are keeping him around. Author James S.A. Corey does a great job of handling this balancing act in the new book, Honor Among Thieves, out this week.

(more…)

The Brilliance of Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi

Jennifer Heddle | February 24, 2014

Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi Book 1

Next month sadly will see the final issue of Dark Horse Comics’ Dawn of the Jedi. John Ostrander and Jan Duursema have done an amazing job of conceiving a Star Wars universe set more than 25,000 years before the events of A New Hope. As dawn turns to dusk, I thought I’d take a moment to talk about what I particularly loved about this groundbreaking series.

(more…)

Keeping Star Wars Secrets, Whether We Know Them or Not

Jennifer Heddle | February 7, 2014

Princess Leia quiets C-3PO on Endor

I’ve never had a job that involves quite so much secrecy before. There’s a certain element of surprise when working as a conventional book editor — you want to reveal a cover at just the right time, or you can’t announce a new deal with an author until the contract is signed — but as you might imagine, working at Lucasfilm adds a whole other dimension to the need to keep things under wraps. There are projects we can’t talk about yet, which may or may not be related to entertainment we can’t talk about yet, as well as other things that we just can’t talk about yet.

Unfortunately, all this can make coming up with blog post topics frustrating.

(more…)

Hoth: Wish You Were Here?

Jennifer Heddle | January 24, 2014

Han and his tauntaun on Hoth

With the extreme cold weather much of the country has been facing this winter, the Hoth references have been flying fast and furious across social media. Just this month, welovefine.com released a tauntaun hoodie, complete with tauntaun guts drawn on the interior. Much of the Mythbusters Star Wars special last month focused on Hoth. What is it about Hoth that makes it so iconic? After all, we don’t reference Tatooine when it’s hot during the summer — not yet, anyway. So what is it about Hoth?

(more…)

Feeling the Dark Side: Star Wars Villains We Love to Love

Jennifer Heddle | January 10, 2014

Maul Lockdown cover

This month sees the release of Maul: Lockdown, and so what better way to kick off the new year than to pay tribute to some of my favorite villains from Star Wars movies, books, and comics.

(more…)

Season’s Readings: Star Wars Books Gift Guide

Jennifer Heddle | December 17, 2013

jedi_academy

Scrambling for last-minute gifts in the holiday rush? Don’t worry, Star Wars publishing has you covered. Here are some easy ideas for the Star Wars fans in your life, whether they’re die-hard or more casual enthusiasts.

(more…)

From Han to Thrawn: Celebrating the Force-Free Characters of Star Wars

Jennifer Heddle | November 1, 2013

Star Wars: Legacy Vol. 2 - Prisoner of the Floating World

In an earlier blog post I pointed to our new Legacy comic book series as an example of a story that I believe has all the classic elements of Star Wars. But there’s something else that I love about the series, too, that I didn’t mention at the time: the main protagonist, Ania Solo, is not a Force user.

Don’t get me wrong, the Force is an integral part of the Star Wars mythos, and I like the Jedi as much as anyone. But there’s an important role to be played in the galaxy far, far away by regular folks who get by without the help of mysterious powers. Not just because those characters bring their own set of skills to the table, but because they are the characters it’s often easier for us to relate to.

(more…)

The Success of Star Wars: Kenobi

Jennifer Heddle | September 20, 2013

cover

It’s been gratifying to see Star Wars: Kenobi by John Jackson Miller succeed on a critical and commercial level, especially since this book is a perfect example of how it sometimes takes a village to deliver a successful Expanded Universe novel. I thought I’d give you a little peek into how Kenobi arrived at its final form.

(more…)