Transcript of Timothy Zahn Live Chat

September 29, 2011 at 10:20 am | Posted in Books, Events, Star Wars News | Leave a comment
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Yesterday’s Star Wars Books live Facebook chat with Star Wars author Timothy Zahn was hectic as always but Zahn got quite few answers in amdist the flurry of questions from eager fans. Below you will find a transcript of the live chat with all of Timothy Zahn’s answers to fan questions. 

Q: With the release of Revan and Darth Plagueis books, any chance of a Thrawn novel someday?

There’s always a chance of anything in the Star Wars universe. At the moment, though, I have no plans for a Thrawn-only novel.

Q: I like your use of first person narrators. Did you ever consider using one for a Star Wars novel?

Most of my Star Wars novels involve multiple plot threads, which means multiple points of view. Mike Stackpole pulled it off in I, Jedi, but I’m not sure my type of Star Wars story really lends itself to first-person.

Q: We know you really aren’t a fan of major character deaths, but what are your thoughts on the last adventure of the “Big 3”? Would you have an interest in penning that? Either way – how do you think they should go?

I’ve always been a fan of how Conan Doyle ended Sherlock Holmes: he didn’t die, but just retired to the country. I’m not sure the Big 3 have to die. But if they do, I’m not really sure I want to be the one to do it.

Q: Are we going to see 20th Anniversary editions of the other two novels in the Thrawn Triology?

Star Wars Books: Hey guys: just to let you know, we don’t currently have plans to do a 20th anniversary book for the rest of the series. (DP)

Q: How long did it take to write Heir To The Empire and Choices Of One? And do you want to write more Star Wars Story’s in the future?

My early Star Wars books took 8-12 months to write — I was slower in those days. Now, I can write a novel in four months; three if I’m particularly inspired.

Q: Do you still plan on doing a Skywalker family novel with Luke,Mara and Ben in the future and do you have an outline for it?

Q: Do you want to write any future story’s in the prequel era, the original trilogy, or EU era?

Q: Mr. Zahn, I loved Joruus C’baoth! Great Dark Jedi character, any chance you’re going to do a standalone novel on any dark-sided character besides Mara during her Empire days?

I have 4 or 5 ideas for new SW books, but none of them are outside the movie age(s). I would be willing to do a darker character if such an idea occurred to me, but there’s no such story in the works.

Q: Tim, at San Diego Comic Con you described Mara Jade as a “useful” character. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what it is about her character that makes her useful to a storyteller.

I think of Mara as useful because she’s a former Imperial, with all the baggage that implies, a Jedi, and a good foil for Luke. All that makes her a character you can do lots of things with and put in lots of different situations.

Q: Mr Zahn, your books are amazing. Thrawn is one of my top favorite Star Wars Characters. How did you come up with Thrawn himself?

Q: Hey Mr Zahn. I would be interested in knowing how you came up with the concept of the great character Talon Karrde?

Some of my thoughts in creating Thrawn, Karrde, and Mara are included in the annotations for the special edition of Heir to the Empire. Too complicated to go into here, unfortunately.

Q: Hi Mr. Zahn. Hope all is well. If you get to do anniversary editions of Dark Force Rising and The Last Command, do you think you will have as many annotations in those as in Heir to the Empire? Just wondering if you have as many thoughts on the other books as the first. Thanks!

IF we do special editions of Dark Force Rising and The Last Command, they will also have as many annotations as I can come up with, along with new novella-length stories. But as Star Wars Books pointed out, that decision is still pending.

Q: Mr. Zahn, have you ever thought about writing a book set in the Legacy era?

Q: Have you ever thought of writting a book in the prequel and or Clone Wars era?

Outbound Flight was in the prequel era, but I have no plans at the moment for anything else there. As to post-Legacy stories, again, I have nothing firm in mind. There is a possibility of a Luke/Mara/Ben story set before Legacy, but again there’s nothing firm on that yet.

Q: Any chance you will show up at Celebration VI next year in Orlando?

We are hoping to get to Celebration VI next year, but we haven’t yet worked out the details.

Q: As you covered more books and more back story about Thrawn, Mr. Zahn, you gradually uncovered a more complex being than we first saw in Heir to the Empire and the rest of that trilogy (i.e. his intensely loyal followers in the Empire of the Hand, his vendetta against slaving races like the Vagaari and Nuso Esva’s people). How much of that did you foresee when first creating the character? I’m thinking particularly about the various accounts of Outbound Flight’s destruction that are at least inferred before we actually saw the real thing in the Outbound Flight novel- when you first began to explore Outbound Flight as more than a throwaway line, did you already plan that Thrawn never intended to destroy it if he could help it, that it would be done with his weapons but not technically by his hand?

“Outbound Flight” was, as you said, a throwaway line which I never intended to do anything more with. When Del Rey asked for the story, I needed to mesh that incident with the way I’d subsequently developed Thrawn. The way it worked out in the novel was the result of that consideration.

Q: Do you watch The Clone Wars television series on Cartoon Network?

Q: Who is your favorite Star Wars character from the EU, PT , OT and the Clone Wars?

We don’t currently get Cartoon Network, and so we have never gotten into The Clone Wars series, though we have seen a few on DVD. An earlier question was about favorite characters from the movies: Han in the OT and Obi-Wan in the prequels. Still, Palpatine steals every scene he’s in.

Q: Are the knife-wielding aliens in Choices of One meant to be the Nogrhi in disguise? Or some sort of genetic offshoot of the Nogrhi? When they sprang into action it seemed we would get a definitive epiphany about that, and we did not. They seemed to be fulfilling a similar role though. Will we see more of them in the future?

No, the aliens in Choices of One aren’t Noghri, but an entirely diffferent race.

Q: Another question, Mr. Zahn. When you wrote Outbound Flight, how much did Del Ray have in mind, or you yourself for that matter, of the Yuuzhan Vong?

In Outbound Flight I definitely meant for the unnamed threat to be the Vong. However, Del Rey (and LFL) pointed out that since Our Heroes wouldn’t officially meet and identify them until the NJO series, I could never specifically say that

Q: As a toy collector too do you have figures of your characters? (with two versions of Thrawn and Mara and one of Talon) And with the Fan Choice poll open just a tad longer on the internet, would you like to see a figure of Rukh or any of the Noghiri?

We do have several of the toys based on my characters. As to Rukh or anyone else — hey, the more, the merrier!

Q: When you prepared Heir to the Empire, the graphic novel Dark Empire by Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy was already in the works. Both entries becoming jump-starts for the franchise in their respective medium…Did you brainstorm and exchange ideas that early on (you both worked with cloning and bringing back dublicates….)?

I had access to some of the preliminary Dark Empire material, but we didn’t really work together. They did their story, I did mine, and we all trusted LFL to make sure we didn’t step on each other’s toes.

Q: Would you ever think about doing a reedit of the Thrawn Trilogy ala The Hobbit was when Lord of the Rings came about to fit the time line of the Star Wars Prequels?

I wouldn’t want to reedit The Thrawn Trilogy, mainly because I see them as part of the age in which I wrote them, and that all their good parts and bad parts should be left the way they were.

Q: Tim, I’ve always been a fan of Star Wars, but it wasn’t until I started reading the EU novels – beginning with your Thrawn trilogy – that I fell completely in love. This was cemented by the Hand of Thrawn duology, Vision of the Future remaining my favorite novel to date. Thank you so much for your contributions to our galaxy far, far away. I’m curious, how much do you personally keep up with the ever-expanding EU? How much do you peruse your contemporaries’ work for pleasure, not just for research?

I really don’t have time to keep up with all the Star Wars material out there these days. I have to rely on LFL, Del Rey, and Wookieepedia to keep me informed on new developments.

Q: Are you currently working on a new book, or have one coming out soon ? LOVE your books!!!!!

I have several books in the works. You can check the Notes section of my Facebook page for details. No new Star Wars books officially contracted for at the moment, but Shelly and I have one in mind that I’ll probably be starting the end of this year.

Q: Hello! The Thrawn trilogy was one of my favorite parts of the EU in general- so many amazingly crafted characters and so much plot. If you could meet one of the characters you wrote, who would it be?

Of all my original characters I’d probably most want to meet Mara … unless I was in a big military struggle, in which case it would be Thrawn … unless I had a cargo to move, in which case it would be Karrde.

Q: Unless it was a hacking job to be done, in which case it would be Ghent?

Exactly! For hacking, slicing, or just upgrading my computer, Ghent is the man!

Q: Will we ever see a book featuring the Lando and Mara adventures while searching for Caardas?

I’ve thought off and on about doing the Lando/Mara adventure mentioned in The Hand of Thrawn duology. I’ll add it to the list of ideas to pitch to Del Rey someday.

Q: Will you be doing more on the war between Thrawn and Nuso Esva in future books? I’ve always been a fan of Thrawn and Thrawn’s Empire, and Nuso Esva makes for a very compelling opponent.

No plans at the moment to do another Thrawn/Nuso Esva book, but I’ll add it to the list. (If this keeps up, I may need to ask Shelly for a ten-book contract.)

Q: Another question that just popped up. Did you see the Holiday Special before writing about Kashyyk in the Thrawn trilogy?

I have never seen, nor am I likely to see, the alleged Holiday Special. (I may have seen the opening once, but that might have been a dream.) My description of Kashyyyk came from the West End Games source materials.

Q: Any chance of learning more about Nuso Esva? I loved how you made him Thrawn’s own Moriarty.

Very perceptive comment. In fact, if you shift each of the consonents of Nusoesva’s name back one consonent, and shift each vowel one back (and treat “y” as a vowel) …

Q: What is your opinion of the audiobook and comic adaptions of your novels, especially the Thrawn Trilogy? I’ve also read that The Thrawn Trilogy was supposed to receive a soundtrack like the one for Shadows of the Empire. How did you like the idea and the fact it wasn’t done afterall?

I’m not much of a fan of abridged stories, and I’ve never heard the original audio adaptations of The Thrawn Trilogy. I was glad to hear that they were bringing out an unabridged Heir audio for the 20th anniversary. As to the comics, again a lot got left out, but I was reasonably pleased with the result.

Q: Will any of the Big 3 be in your next Star Wars 2013 novel? Even if they will have minor roles? Will any of them have major roles in it? Luke? Han? Mara?

I’m really not supposed to talk about future Star Wars plans, especially when my ideas haven’t yet been approved by Del Rey or LFL. Be assured, though, that I’ll let you all know titles and (some) details as soon as I’m allowed to do so.

Q: Have you ever watched Star Wars in other languages like German? If yes, what do you think of the different dubbings?

We once got to see Star Wars in Italian at a convention. It was a very interesting experience. (We also saw The Terminator in German once.)

Q: There’s still so many evils in unknown space that Thrawn protected the galaxy from, any thoughts of doing a Chiss series, dealing with their expansion and wars they may have fought? Maybe a few years before Thrawn came in?

I’d love to do a Chiss series. Maybe I’ll Shelly for a 15-book contract.

After the chat ended, Timothy Zahn was kind of enough to extend the offer to answer fan questions on his personal Facebook page…

I’m also happy to answer questions on my Facebook page, so if I didn’t get to yours feel free to come over and post it there. (But if too many of you write at once, it’ll take awhile to answer, so please be patient.)

You can read the full, unedited live chat here on Star Wars Books Facebook page.

Posted By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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