It’s Force Friday, and we’re celebrating Star Wars with a journey into the Expanded Universe.
Then, make sure to come back here to check out our interview with author Rebecca Roanhorse, who took a break from her career as the Hugo and Nebula award-winning author of fantasy novels inspired by her Indigenous American ancestry to pen this crucial chapter in the Star Wars saga…
What is your first Star Wars memory?
I remember playing with my older brother’s action figures. I built space stations out of Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs. I made leaf boats and would float Luke, Han and Leia down the gutters during rainstorms to fight earthworms. I created elaborate backstories and terrible tragedies for them to live out. I honestly can’t remember the first movie I saw, but I remember playing my version of Star Wars since forever.
What’s your background with the Star Wars Expanded Universe of books, comics, and games? Do you have a favorite EU novel?
Before I landed this project, I hadn’t spent a lot of time in the EU, but now I feel fairly steeped in it. My favorite novel is a tie between Bloodline and Battlefront: Twilight Company. I’m also a fan of the Poe comics and a lot of the narrative in the Battlefront game. All are such a rich addition to the core story.
You have a kid—how big of a deal is Star Wars in your house? Who is the bigger fan?
I am the bigger fan. She thinks I’m a big nerd (and she’s right!) but I also saw her paying very close attention to Rey on a recent The Last Jedi rewatch. I have no doubt she’s come around.
How did this opportunity come about for you?
A little bit of luck, a little social media, and a lot of good will. I talked on Twitter and in other places about Indigenous influences in Star Wars and how I wanted to see an Indigenous author working in Star Wars.
My editor at Saga saw that and mentioned it to the editor at Lucasfilm. The team at Lucasfilm and Del Rey were familiar with my work, coming off the Nebula and Hugo wins last year. They asked if I was available and I pretty much dropped everything to say yes. And here we are.
I’m interested to know about the security involved: How much did you learn about the new film? What parts of your soul did you have to sign away to learn it?
My whole soul. Just kidding, I know nothing.
You kept the fact of the book’s existence secret until it was already written—was that difficult to keep to yourself?
Publishing is an exercise in keeping secrets, but this one did hurt. It continues to hurt. I cannot wait for the novel to be out in the world and really hope people love it as much as I loved writing it.
Did working on this book change your relationship with the franchise at all?
Oh yes. I fell all that more deeply in love, especially with characters like Poe and some I cannot mention. Getting to spend time in their heads made them all the more real and their challenges and tragedies all the more painful. I am very attached to their fates now, even beyond my book.
Without spoiling anything, can you give readers a sense of what to expect from Resistance Reborn?
You will see all the familiar Resistance faces like Poe, Finn, Leia and Rey, and a lot of others, both brand new and old favorites. You’ll visit Ryloth and Corellia and some very interesting and strange corners of the galaxy. You will hopefully laugh and definitely cry. And above all, you’ll be ready for Rise of Skywalker!