‘Into the Void’ Interview with Tim Lebbon

Where did the idea for Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void begin?

Tim Lebbon: When I read the comics and began to appreciate the scope of the story they were telling, I wanted to create a story that had the same sense of scope, scale and danger.  And yet it had to fit comfortably within the era and the time period that John and Jan were writing about.  So I thought a big, system-threatening danger that had nothing to do with their tale was the way to go.

Was it your idea to use a female protagonist for the story?

TL: Yes, when the idea for the novel began to form I knew it was going to be a brother and sister involved, and I knew right away that it was the sister who’d be the main character.  I enjoy writing strong female characters, and Lanoree was no exception.  Apparently Into the Void will be the first Star Wars audio book narrated by a female narrator, which I think is fantastic!

Some authors have remarked that when creating a character, the most important first step is choosing a name. Was naming Lanoree important to her development?

TL: Sometimes for me that’s true, and in this case I did name her first. Actually Lanoree is an anagram of Eleanor, my daughter’s name (and Dalien is an anagram of my son’s name, Daniel). I do find that if I’m developing a story, the deeper I get into planning/thinking things through without coming up with a name, the harder it is.

When diving into this era of Star Wars, did you read any of the Dawn of the Jedi comics? If so, what did you think of them?

TL: Yes, I had to become very familiar with the comics so that I didn’t contradict them or write a story that would cause John and Jan problems down the line. I didn’t want to destroy a city they were going to use in their second arc! So I was lucky enough to be sent the first series of comics, and to see the proposal for much of the second arc. John, Jan and I had some in-depth chats (along with my editor and the Dark Horse guys), when I was coming up with the story, just to make sure there were no problems. And on the contrary, we had fun trying to make it so that there was some crossover between novel and comics––characters, places, events. That’s always fun, for us as writers as well as readers and fans.

Saying that, I had a lot of freedom whilst coming up with my story. It’s my original story set in that particular timeline, and my own characters. And the comics … I loved them, such a distinctive feel yet still grounded in the EU.

Was it exciting to be writing at the very beginning of Jedi history in the galaxy far, far away?

TL: Very much so. I was thrilled when I was asked to write a Star Wars book, and even more excited when I heard the particulars about the era I was going to be writing in. I love origin stories––that’s why for me the best superhero movies are usually the first, and sequels generally don’t quite live up to them. And the whole Dawn of the Jedi era is the origin story to end them all.

(Warning …from here on, it is a bit spoiler-ish)

Diving into some of the details of the book, what went wrong with Dal? We know he had an aversion to the Force, but it’s never fully revealed what spurred that dislike of it at a very young age.

TL: I think he felt disregarded, perhaps even ostracised, when he found that he wasn’t Force-sensitive like the rest of his family. That stewed within him. So it was partly his fault how much that affected him, but also partly his family’s fault for not readily accepting that he was different. Part of his dislike came from the fact that, however much he tried, he could not connect with the Force. And then after that, the idea that his family thought less of him because of that. There’s also the idea that by keeping him on Tython seeking the Force, his family in some way aided his growing madness. It’s a tragedy, really. None of it should have been this way.

Toward the later sections of the book, Lanoree and Tre get into some pretty rough spots. I couldn’t help but find it a little odd that Tre was so willing to help and save Lanoree, even at the risk of his own life, but Lanoree seemed very reluctant to extend him the same courtesy. Why was she so quick to abandon him all the time?

TL: I don’t think she ever actually abandons him. Tre is a character with a very shady background, and as this story progresses he’s trying to do good, help Lanoree, perhaps make amends for past deeds, in his eyes if no one else’s. And as for Lanoree, it’s perhaps a fault of hers that she looks down upon him a little when they first meet. Do Je’daii Rangers have a sense of superiority? Perhaps Lanoree does, just a little.

Were the Je’daii afraid that Dal might succeed and actually open a hypergate to another world? And if so, why were they afraid of this outcome?

TL: That’s very much a grey area in the book, so best left as it is :-)

Where did the idea for Lanoree’s science experiment come from and what purpose did you want it to serve in the story?

TL: I wanted something very particular to Lanoree––a talent that she has discovered that she’s very good at––and also something that, if it occurred in later eras, would be very ‘dark side’. So the Alchemy of Flesh was a good way of showing differences between these early times and later eras. And of course, the experiment comes in useful later in the book.

Last but not least, would you like to return for another Star Wars book?

TL: I’d love to write a Lanoree Brock trilogy set in the Dawn of the Je’daii era. I think she’s a fascinating character with a lot more going on than first glance reveals, and it’s such a rich landscape.

We’d like to thank Tim for taking the time to answer our questions and for writing such a fun book. If you’d like to find out more about Tim Lebbon or if you just want to stay up to date with his latest book releases, you can check out Tim’s website timlebbon.net and you can follow him on Twitter @timlebbon.

Posted By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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