There's no question an area where Disney and Lucasfilm exceeds is finding the best talent around to pen comic books, books and novels for all their Star Wars ancillary products. A portion of that talent was on full display at Day 3 of New York Comic Con as a bunch of starry-eyed fans filed into Shop Studios on 39th St. to see up close five writers that have helped shape the landscape for Lucasfilm publishing the last few years.
The writers present have written some of the more enjoyable books the last few years including Delilah S. Dawson's "Phasma", Justina Ireland's "Lando's Luck", Mur Lafferty's "Solo: A Star Wars Story" novelization, Katie Cook's "OBI-123" and the brand new "Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy" by Amy Ratcliffe.
We went up and down the panel as each writer answered the usual questions "how did you get started" and "what inspired you" but what made the ordinary, extra-ordinary, was the energy in the room. It was an engaging experience to say the least and to hear these mundane questions answered solely from a female perspective was wonderful and surprisingly funny at the same time.
The panel had the crowd in stitches throughout and my personal favorite moments were listening to Mur Lafferty describe her original idea for the Maul scene in Solo (alone on a Friday night waiting for someone to call) and Justina Ireland's "There's a lot of shit out there!" exasperation when referring to the size of the storytelling galaxy. That proclamation was immediately followed by an apology to a clever 10-year-old in the crowd. Hilarious.
It was interesting hearing about their writing "rituals" and what it's like to be inside their heads as they write their licensed "fan fiction" From listening to Mad Max soundtracks, watching Star Wars or having a kid crawling all over you (Katie!) they each have a different way of putting pen to paper. Things took a tad more serious turn when the topic of social media came up and how each woman deals with it. Even though places like Twitter can be an extremely hostile space these days, it was nice to hear they hadn't experienced too much negativity or had the wherewithal to ignore the haters or block when appropriate.
As for inspiration? Each talked about the many moments that inspired and continue to inspire them when it comes to Star Wars. For Delilah it was Ewoks and Return of the Jedi that sealed the deal for her in 1983. Mur mentioned the grand adventure the two young kids (Luke and Leia) went on as endlessly inspiring. Justina mentioned the Darth Vader "finger wag" from Star Wars as the moment where she realized there was more going on here than just lasers and spaceships. Katie, who is primarily an artist, loved the world-building aspect of Star Wars and how for the first time they had something so deep they could get their hands on. As for Amy, it was The Clone Wars TV series that enamored her and that feeling of adventure and wonderment the show is so good at is what hooked her in for life.
All in all it was a really great opportunity to get up close and personal with this extremely talented group. The only problem was that one hour was not long enough for this much insight and perspective, could've easily been twice as long.
Look for Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy by Amy Ratcliffe to hit shelves October 30th and exciting releases from Justina Ireland coming soon! All the other books mentioned are for sale wherever books are sold!
See you next year! MTFBWY.
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