Author Archive



Marvel’s Star Wars Comics: More Than Just a Big Green Rabbit

Jennifer Heddle | August 14, 2013

Marvel Comics Star Wars #100

When I started this job, one of the first books I came across — and I was very excited about this — was a Dark Horse omnibus of a bunch of the old Marvel Star Wars comics. Come to mama, I thought gleefully as I stuck an extra copy in my bag to take home.

I suspect a lot of people would be surprised by this reaction. I know that those comic books do not have the greatest reputation among fans. But I unapologetically love them.

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SDCC 2013: Star Wars Books Panel

Jennifer Heddle | July 22, 2013

Crucible_(Final_cover)

We were lucky to have four talented and versatile authors on our Star Wars Books panel: novelist Troy Denning; novelist and comic book writer John Jackson Miller; writer and illustrator Jeffrey Brown; and nonfiction writer (and Lucasfilm editor) J.W. Rinzler. Frank Parisi from Del Rey and I represented for the editorial side, and the panel was moderated by the Keeper of the Holocron himself, Leland Chee. Leland kicked things off by pointing out that Lucasfilm has been undergoing an exciting period of change, and due to so many things developing right now (always in motion is the future), we couldn’t really address much about where Star Wars fiction is heading. But we can talk about the great releases we have coming up! Troy Denning talked a little about Crucible, which is on sale now, while John Jackson Miller talked about Kenobi, coming in September. Kenobi, John explained, is basically a western set in space, and I commented on the brilliant approach John took of showing us Obi-Wan through the eyes of strangers who have no idea who this mysterious newcomer is. Frank and I took turns talking about the forthcoming Razor’s Edge by Martha Wells, which focuses on Leia and how she reacts when she meets up with a crew of Alderaanian pirates; Maul: Lockdown by Joe Schreiber, which is an intense, violent thriller with ties to Darth Plagueis; and Honor Among Thieves by James S.A. Corey, which I boldly proclaimed as a possible successor to the Brian Daley Han Solo novels.

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Why Leia Is Awesome

Jennifer Heddle | June 28, 2013

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For my next blog post, blog editor Matt Martin suggested I write about why Princess Leia is an inspirational character. Some of you already know that this was not much of a favor to ask — I could talk about Leia every week. I’m not going to, I promise. But I am today!

Princess Leia is rightly regarded as a female role model, yet I still feel like there are certain displays of heroism in the original Star Wars trilogy for which she doesn’t get enough credit. When talking about Leia in general circles, it seems like two things come up over and over again: her sassy comebacks and the metal bikini. I enjoy both of those things as well, but she’s so much more than that, and there are certain excellent, perhaps underappreciated moments in the films that really make Leia stand out as a hero. There’s a reason that she became a symbol of inspiration and accomplishment to young girls of my generation, and it wasn’t for her clothing. (Although, let’s face it, it was partially for her hair.)

So rather than write generally about why Leia is an inspirational character, I thought I would focus in on a few specific incidents, and how they showcase some of her more admirable qualities.

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Disney and Star Wars: When Geek Worlds Collide

Jennifer Heddle | June 14, 2013

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May was a very busy month for me, not least because of a couple of trips down to the Disney offices in southern California. Becoming part of Disney is as surreal an experience for me as initially joining Lucasfilm was, as both Disney and Star Wars are lifelong loves of mine. In fact, while I was down there, one of the HR people caught me eyeing the new Disney Princess merchandise twice. How embarrassing.

Disney and Star Wars is not such an odd combination, though, when you think about it. Star Wars is in many ways a fairy tale — fairy tales are, after all, just different versions of myths. (As a kid I was obsessed with Greek mythology, too, so I’m definitely consistent!) These stories tap into something elemental, something cosmic. There’s a reason every culture has its stories that it tells over and over again. We’re all just trying to understand our place in the universe.

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The Star Wars Feel: Storytelling Hallmarks of a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Jennifer Heddle | April 24, 2013

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Some of the most popular Star Wars tales in both comics and prose fiction take place in eras or locales far removed from the stories of Episodes I-VI. The most recent example of this kind of story is Dark Horse Comics’ newest installment in the Legacy series, which takes place over 100 years after Return of the Jedi. Although a series like Legacy may not depict characters we’re immediately familiar with, it’s important that it still feel like Star Wars. But what does that mean, exactly?

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Star Wars RPGs: Taking a First Step Into a Larger World

Jennifer Heddle | March 27, 2013

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I love board games and video games, but I’ve never tried my hand at traditional roleplaying games before. The closest I’ve ever gotten to it was when I was a teenager, seeing my younger brother and his friends sit around our dining room table with books and notebooks and dice and thinking the entire enterprise looked complicated and boring. (And nerdy. I was at an age where I actually cared about that sort of thing.) I never really gave it much thought beyond that.

So when I found out that I would be serving as editor here at Lucasfilm for a comprehensive new Star Wars roleplaying game system from Fantasy Flight Games (beginning with Edge of the Empire), I was nervous. Even as a Star Wars fan, this didn’t seem like something I could relate to. But I’m always up for a challenge (plus, you know, it’s my job), so I dove in, not sure what to expect. Hundreds of pages of submitted material later, I realized that I was experiencing a real respect for those who play (and design!) RPGs.

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Balancing the Force as a Star Wars Book Editor and Fangirl

Jennifer Heddle | February 27, 2013

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It’s no secret that I was a lifelong Star Wars fan before I ever took this job; after all, it’s why I took this job. And sometimes that can be a tough line to tread. I have to balance Professional Jen with Fangirl Jen. This struggle can manifest itself in silly ways, like the longing glances I aim at the product display room near my office, or the self-consciousness I sometimes feel when wearing one of my many Princess Leia t-shirts at work, or the fact that the rest of the publishing department knows I will automatically favor any proposed magazine cover with Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan on it. And to be fair, it’s easier when it comes to, say, packaging and marketing (the cover of a book, the ads for a comic), which have certain commercial criteria they need to fulfill. The most nebulous, yet arguably most critical part of my job in which I need to maintain the balance between Professional Jen and Fangirl Jen is the editing process.

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Han and Leia: Why They’re Perfect Together

Jennifer Heddle | February 13, 2013

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I first saw A New Hope when I was four years old, and although I loved it, my thought process about it admittedly didn’t go much beyond ROBOTS SPACE EXPLOSIONS COOL! By the time The Empire Strikes Back was released, I was an oh-so-sophisticated second grader who was beginning to recognize the importance of human relationships, and so I cried a little when Han got frozen in carbonite. (This was a much more reasonable reaction than that of my friend who was with me, who cried when C-3PO got blown up. So embarrassing.)

For the next three years, as a nation obsessed over whether Darth Vader really was Luke’s father, I obsessed over what was going to happen to Han. And what I really meant by that was, what was going to happen to Han and Leia? Because by then I was officially obsessed with the relationship between the princess and the smuggler.

There are a lot of things I love about Star Wars, but Han and Leia’s romance is the main thing that has kept me a passionate fan for 30 years. Why do they capture my imagination so? There are the obvious reasons: the witty banter, the contrast between royalty and rogue, epic love in the midst of war, the fact that they’re both really good-looking (I never said I wasn’t shallow). But the older I get, the more I appreciate the finer nuances of their relationship, that can often get lost in the crackle of their repartee.

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