SUVUDU: I like that you’ve portrayed Leia in such an active role. She’s leading an important secret mission and is a seriously skilled pilot. How did you choose to go in this direction?
BW: This has been a source of some minor controversy and some angry emails sent my way, and to be honest it surprised me. I can’t see how anyone can watch those original films and not see a Leia that is not just capable, but totally likely to do everything I have her doing in my series. Look at A New Hope: the first overt action she takes is to shoot a stormtrooper. She goes face to face with Vader and doesn’t blink. She successfully resists torture. She bluffs Tarkin and watches the genocide of her own people as a result. She takes over her own rescue, brandishing a blaster rifle. She helps fly the Falcon. She runs the Yavin mission briefing. What is she, twenty years old?
I wrote what I felt was inside her, based on all that and what she goes on to do in Empire. It just made logical sense, and I was looking for a reason to do it. I felt that, post A New Hope, she was probably hurting the most out of the whole cast, and would therefore be the most gungho to continue the rebellion against the empire.
SUVUDU: I’ve also enjoyed your storyline involving Vader and Palpatine, with the former being called on the carpet for the massive failure to protect the Death Star.
BW: Again, I was looking at the first film and seeing a lot of stuff happen and then no follow-up. First, Leia and Alderaan, Luke having lost the only family he knows, plus Ben, Wedge having lost all his pilot comrades, and Vader having failed, really really failed, to stop the destruction of the Death Star. Lots of stuff to come to terms with, and to answer for. For issues #13 and 14, we have a great little story about how Vader climbs back on top after his demotion and humiliation. It’s a brutal story. A path of blood from point A to point B and C and so on as Vader does what he needs to do.
Excellent justification for not only the state of those characters after A New Hope but for what they do in the series.