Interview with Landry Walker

December 22, 2015 at 12:01 am | Posted in Books, Disney, eBooks, Interview, Lucasfilm, Star Wars, Star Wars Books | Leave a comment
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As part of the ramp up for the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Disney-Lucasfilm Press released four eBook short stories written by Landry Q. Walker. Each of the four stories stars an alien side character for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We took the time to interview Landry to get to know more about him, the project, and the stories within. Enjoy!

With Tales From A Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens being your first Star Wars project, how did it come about?

Landry Walker: I was working at the Sideshow Collectibles office – I do freelance story development for with them with their Court of the Dead property, and I checked my email. The email basically said “Hi. Do you want to work on Star Wars?” And then a bunch of other stuff about the project, I think. I handed the phone over to my comics collaborator Eric Jones who was with me that day and had to have him read the email because I had stopped breathing after that first sentence.

Each of the stories focuses on a different alien character from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Did you get to choose which characters you got to write about or were they provided for you?

LW: A little of both. My editors had characters they definitely wanted to highlight, but at the same time I was given a lot of freedom to choose what grabbed me. We sat down for a meeting and they laid out all these different images and we discussed who is who and what is what. To be honest, the entire experience was such an exciting whirlwind that I’m not sure which ones I was directed to and which one’s I picked. Pretty sure I picked the Corsair, Zuvio – but my memory might be deceiving me.

“The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku” has a lot of humor to it that’s very much in line with the Hondo Ohnaka episodes from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. There is even a nod to him at the beginning of the story mentioning The Book of Hondo. Are you a big Hondo fan?

LW: I have to admit to having come late to the party with Clone Wars. I had coincidentally only just started watching the series when I got the email to work on Star Wars. My friend Jason at Sideshow had pushed me in the right direction and I was just getting invested.

So long story short, I binge watched the show. Then watched it all again. Now, I grew up with the original trilogy, I was 6 when the first Star Wars came out. I was a die hard fan. Clone Wars as a whole now ranks as some of my favorite Star Wars anything, barely below Empire.  In regards to Hondo specifically? Hondo is amazing. His ego is a force of nature. We’re now many years after the Clone Wars. Decades even. There has to be a Book of Hondo or nothing makes sense to me anymore.

And even more to the point, the Crimson Corsair story is, as I have described it, my love letter to the Clone Wars. The only thing that would make me happier than to write more of that is to somehow write Ahsoka someday – she is my favorite Star Wars character now.

I’m not sure if you can answer this one or not, but is Kix the Stormtrooper with the black and gold armor as seen in the publicity still with the Crimson Corsair and all the other aliens, and is the Crimson Corsair a Kaleesh or does he just wear a Kaleesh mask?

LW: Well, the Corsair does wear a Kaleesh helmet. Is he Kaleesh? Possible that even his crew doesn’t know for sure. And really, does it matter? That’s what I love about Star Wars, the lack of racial identification. Maybe he’s Kaleesh by birth and raised amongst Hutts. Maybe he’s a Quarren who identifies with a culture of another species? In Star Wars, who you are matters more than what you are – most of the time anyway. So he’s the Corsair, and that’s what matters most.

Regarding Kix… hmm….that’s a good question that I couldn’t really speculate on. Regardless, the guy you’re talking about looks pretty awesome. I wouldn’t mess around with a guy who writes such things on his helmet.

Of the four stories released, “The Face of Evil” is my favorite, but “All Creatures Great and Small” easily raises the most questions. In that story you have Bobbajo telling an in-universe morality tale to inspire hope and distract listeners from the danger that surrounds them. Yet through that storytelling, you blur the lines of truth, lies and tall tales. What was your goal with the ambiguity of the story versus the variation of truths based on point of view? In itself, it’s a fascinating subject to explore and it certainly makes Bobbajo one of the most interesting characters out of the entire bunch.

LW: Not sure I can answer that part of my thoughts behind my motivation better than you just did. Eloquently put. Storytelling in a shared universe will always lend itself to interesting contradictions based on both character perspective and author perspective. If you consider that everything you know of as “truth” is itself filtered through a specific contextual lens, then canon becomes a secondary thing. We see this in reality, facts and history are subjective, and much of what we believe as “truth” is itself, at best, a compromised and biased account. Did Luke blow up the Death Star? As we know it, yes? Is it possible that there are other sides to that story that change the basic spin of things? Possibly?

So I played with that idea. Is Bobbajo telling a tall tale? Probably. Does it matter in the least? Nope. It’s a story, take of it what you will and leave behind the rest. Each of these stories explores a different genre: Pirates, Western, Horror, Fable. Bobbajo’s story is a fable, and like all fables, the point is in the big picture. The little details? Not so much.

Beyond Star Wars, are there any of your works you’d like to recommend to readers who enjoyed these stories?

LW: Ah, that’s a trick. Just like each Star Wars book is an attempt at a different tone, almost every comic or novella I have written has been something of an experiment – most of which has been done with my aforementioned collaborator Eric Jones, and sometimes with our friends Rusty Drake and Pannel Vaughn. We created a critically acclaimed Supergirl mini-series that DC is just putting back in print called Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade. We did a deconstructive superhero/Greek myth/opera called Danger Club, a story that has often been described as Lord of the Flies meets Teen Titans. I’m doing the aforementioned Court of the Dead stuff for Sideshow, much of which has been more background development or writing, and Eric and I will be launching a kickstarter in early 2016 for a new creator owned project – that’s the first official announcement for that one, I think. So if you people liked my Star Wars work, please find me on Twitter (@landryqwalker) or our Facebook page (Idiot Ink), and support what is to come!

Again we want to thank Landry Walker for taking the time to answer our questions. If you haven’t picked up the new Star Wars stories he’s written, you can find links to them below via Disney’s official product pages. They’re worth checking out.

Posted By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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