io9 talk to Jeffrey Brown about why now was the right time to bring sequel era characters and events to his line of books.
io9: Why was now the right time for you to tackle the sequel era in this line of books?
Jeffrey Brown: I had a good break from making Star Wars books, getting to watch the new movies as a fan. But drawing Star Wars is always fun, I was starting to get ideas, and after wrapping up my middle grade Lucy & Andy Neanderthal series, a new Star Wars book was the perfect palate cleanser before starting my next series.
io9: Of the sequel characters, who were you most excited to get to “work with”? Was there an unexpected favorite you developed over the course of creating the book and designing the characters?
Brown: I’ve loved watching more and more kids dress up as Rey at conventions, and had been getting requests to draw her, so she was certainly at the top of the list, along with BB-8. Finn, Rose, and Hux were also fun. But I really wish there had been more space for the fathier caretaker kids—I feel like there could be a whole book about them.
io9: On your prior Star Wars books, you were working with characters and iconography so established that, even simplified, they’re immediately recognizable. Were there any particular roadblocks integrating the characters and worlds of the sequel movies into your style for this new book?
Brown: The biggest hurdle was figuring out how to draw Leia, Han, and Luke. Luke was probably the easiest, because beards make everything easier, but it was difficult to find the right balance to make those three look older, but not too old, and still have the kind of warmth and cuteness they had in the Vaderbooks. Some of the costuming took a bit of figuring out as well—Kylo’s helmet has quite a bit of detail, so simplifying that was another bit that took extra work. Another aspect of Kylo was his scar, which appeared in all of my idea sketches with helmet-less Kylo, but didn’t feel right for the full color drawings both in look and tone.
Read more at the link below. Rey and Pals is available from Chronicle Books on August 20th.