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Leland Chee & Daniel Wallace Interviews

Posted By Mike on May 10, 2009

If you're in the mood for some EU/book related interviews, then we have you covered with links to a couple good ones this fine Mother's Day.

First, visit our friends at French fan site, Star Wars Universe, for an interview with Continuity Database Administrator for Lucas Licensing, Leland Chee. The interview is posted in French and English. Excerpt below... (Thanks Tagne!)

"I suppose you are a big fan to work on the Star Wars chronology? How did you become the Keeper of the Holocron? How did it happen?

I had been a fan of all things Star Wars since I first saw the movie at age 6. In 1997, on the day the Star Wars Special Edition came out, I got a message on my answering machine that I had been hired for a job as a game tester at LucasArts. Later when I'd heard that LucasArts was working on a Star Wars reference CD-ROM called Behind the Magic, I asked to be the Lead Tester where I hoped to put the 20 years of accumulated Star Wars knowledge I had in my head to good use. After Episode I came out, Lucas Licensing posted an opening looking for someone to create a Star Wars database that could be used to support the new Star Wars roleplaying game being created by Wizards of the Coast. Until that point, Star Wars continuity was being tracked in several large black binders dubbed the Star Wars bible. A month after I started, the Holocron database was up and running and Licensing's bible became obsolete. And the Holocron's just been growing ever since.

What was your reaction when you heard from The Clone Wars for the first time?

We'd covered the Clone Wars extensively in the Expanded Universe through books, comics and games as well as the Genndy Clone Wars micro-series, so admittedly, I was a bit apprehensive at first. Was there anything left to tell? But the scripts got better and by the time I got the Malevolence story arc, I was thinking this could be very cool."

Then, visit the good people over at NJEO.com for their interview with Essential Atlas writer (among many others), Daniel Wallace. Excerpt below...

Which of those universes that you write in is the most fun to work with?

I?ve written for Star Wars, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Indiana Jones, Superman Returns, and Smallville. Star Wars is of course the closest to my heart. It?s my first love. I am a Star Wars freak and could destroy you in trivia. After that, however, I do love my comic book universes. DC Comics is particularly fun because I like the legacy aspect of the characters, since DC heroes have been in continuous publication since the 1930s and there?s still such a key role played by World War II characters like the original Flash and the original Green Lantern. For the most part Marvel and DC have the same problem as Star Wars in trying to fit everything together into one cohesive narrative. Both of them ?cheat? a little, DC with reality-altering Crisis events and Marvel with deals with the Devil. Because the rules that govern those universes are looser they?re allowed to get away with selective wipes.

When you work on something like the Encyclopedia do you have full access to the Holocron, even the super-duper-secret stuff? And do Marvel and DC also use something similar to manage canon in their respective universes?

I?ll tell you something about the Holocron ? Wookieepedia has it beat in terms of sheer volume. The Holocron began way, way pre-Wiki and is a database formatted for Filemaker Pro. The appeal of the Holocron isn?t that it has the most information, but that it represents Lucasfilm?s official stance (every fact in the Holocron is essentially pre-approved) and that it has some interesting behind-the-scenes notes taken from conversations with George Lucas. But it?s not friendly for casual browsing.

The Holocron was hugely useful in putting together the Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia because it provided a good guide for which entries were important and should be included, and which entries were pretty slight and could be safely dropped.

DC and Marvel don?t have equivalent databases. For the work I?ve done in those universes, you?re basically just expected to know your stuff."

Joe Caroney's Leland Chee as a Jedi artwork at top via Wookieepedia.

Related Stories

August 14, 2012   Reminder: Facebook Chat With Leland Chee Today
September 3, 2011   A More Affordable Version Of The Jedi Path
January 23, 2010   The Jedi Path By Daniel Wallace
November 4, 2009   Star Wars Year by Year: A Visual Chronicle
October 24, 2009   A Few EU Interviews From Around The Web
May 10, 2009   SW: The Essential Atlas Release Delayed
August 8, 2008   Dan Wallace Radio Interview This Week

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