With the September 24th release of Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion: Razor's Edge fast approaching, TFN got in touch with first-time Star Wars author Martha Wells for a brief Q&A.
When did you first see a Star Wars film? Which one is your favorite?
When A New Hope first came out in 1977, when I was 13. For a long time, A New Hope was my favorite, but after some years I got over the trauma of the cliffhanger ending of The Empire Strikes Back, and now it's my favorite.
Who is your favorite Star Wars character?
I think it's Leia first, then Han, but I also like Chewie and Luke a lot.
Do you think Star Wars needs more books starring female characters?
Yes, I do.
Between Leia, Luke, and Han, whose voice was the most challenging to capture?
I didn't find any of them all that challenging, mostly because their voices are so familiar to me from growing up with the movies, and from seeing the movies so often.
Which one was the most fun to write?
I really had the most fun with Leia.
I thought you did a great job capturing Leia's occasional exasperation and sarcasm. Did you re-watch the movies to get a feel for her personality?
I've re-watched the whole first trilogy pretty frequently over the years, so the only one I watched again before I started writing was A New Hope.
After you wrote this book, with all of Leia and Han's internal monologues reflecting on their strange relationship, did it make you look at the movies in a new light?
Not really. The way I wrote their relationship was how I always saw it. When the trilogy was first coming out, I saw them as having a connection that started with the shared danger of the escape from the Death Star, and that managed to grow into a friendship despite the fact that they had conflicts. (I think everybody has that friend who you really love, and whose opinion you respect and value, but who still irritates the crap out of you sometimes and you know the feeling is often mutual.)
You explore the fact that Leia's role in the Rebellion is partly functional and partly symbolic. How do you think her status as a figurehead complicates her other responsibilities?
Having to present a certain image, and having to be very aware of how people perceive her as a symbol would make it very difficult. I think she's good at making the hard decisions, but being able to carry them out while also trying to fulfill these expectations could be very tricky, and probably take an emotional toll on her.
Thanks to Martha Wells for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us here at TFN! Razor's Edge will be released by Del Rey Books on September 24.
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