We first spoke to our latest guest last August when he had just been announced as the writer of the first Dawn of the Jedi novel Into the Void. Please welcome back to Jedi News Tim Lebbon.
JN – Tim, welcome back to Jedi News. You are setting out your stall right at the very beginnings of the Star Wars saga in an era established by Jan Duursema and John Ostrander. How do you put your own mark on the era, while keeping continuity with what Jan and John have started?
TL – While I worked closely with John, Jan, my editor and Dark Horse whilst working on the outline, it’s very much my story and my characters, written in my own style. So while it’s set in the same time––and fans will meet characters and go places featured in some of the comics––it’s a story that also stands alone in its own right.
JN – We spoke a few months back when you’d first been announced as having the job. What have the past few months been like, working on the book and watching all the happenings and changes in the Star Wars universe take place?
TL – It’s been an absolute thrill. Working on the book was a joy––I don’t think I expected to enjoy it quite as much as I did, and it was so exciting creating new characters that will (I realized a little nervously as I was writing the book) become a part of the EU!
As for the changes that have been taking place, I think it’s difficult to judge until the results are available to be seen. Personally, I’m really excited at the prospect of more Star Wars movies.
JN – Lanoree Brock is your main protagonist in Into the Void. can you tell us something about her and her history, without giving anything away of course!
TL – Lanoree Brock is a Je’daii Ranger, who spends much of her time travelling the Tythan system in her customised Peacemaker cruiser (faster engines, bigger guns). She’s strong and hard-headed, the daughter of two Je’daii Masters. But she is also occasionally troubled, and there’s conflict to her character as well. This becomes emphasised when she is sent on her mission in this novel … the conflict becomes externalised, and it quickly becomes the most complex, challenging mission she has ever undertaken.
JN – Much of what you write helps establish the very foundations of the Jedi, the Jedi Order and by extension the sith as well. How much research did you do to see where the two orders divulge, rejoin and conflict over the centuries, as this would inevitably have an effect on how you help lay out the beginnings of the Jedi.
TL – To be honest, I didn’t look forward too much. This is very much a story of its time, so I became familiar with the Dawn of the Jedi comics (the first two arcs) and had to ensure my story didn’t clash with anything in John and Jan’s planning. And it was also nice being able to use characters that will appear in both novels and comics.
JN – If the opportunity to continue the Dawn of the Jedi era were presented to you, would you want it to be a direct sequel or would you prefer to hop down the timeline and surge ahead into Star wars history?
TL – I’d love to write a trilogy featuring Lanoree all set around the Dawn of the Jedi era. I think she’s a fascinating character, and even while writing this novel i realised there’s a lot more to her than meets the eye. We’ll see.
JN – Lanoree is a wandering Jedi, out travelling the known galaxy and operating largely under her own instincts and jurisdiction. In many ways the Jedi of your era are more autonomous and independent. Looking at it objectively, do you think this step back from that autonomy towards a more centralized Jedi Order made them more susceptible to corruption, or more ordered and prepared to reign for 20,000 years?
TL – Though she is a Ranger, I think Lanoree is more independent than most. That’s a result of her training and what happened in her early years … she likes her own company. I think any stable society actually needs both––a central order to run things, with the advantage of knowing everything (or almost everything) that’s going on around them; and those loner figures like Lanoree, able to view the society almost from the outside in. The central figures keep control, and if corruption creeps in, it’s more likely that the loners will see that.
JN – Do you believe the era would hold up well to a spin-off film? By that I mean would the era take too much explaining to unfamiliar cinema going fans, or would a judicious scroll-up at the start of the film set the scene well enough?
TL – Do you believe the era would hold up well to a spin-off film? By that I mean would the era take too much explaining to unfamiliar cinema going fans, or would a judicious scroll-up at the start of the film set the scene well enough?
TL – I think a Dawn of the Jedi movie would be an awesome idea. With everything happening at Disney, they could work in a Dawn trilogy while at the same time making movies in later eras. I don’t think it would take much explaining. The title says a lot, and I think the traditional scrolling info at the beginning would be enough to more than set the scene. Who knows what might happen? I suspect Disney will be telling original stories, not adaptations, but that doesn’t mean they can’t tell a story in this era. It’ll be exciting to see what they do!
With thanks to Greg Kubie at Random House. You can visit Tim’s website here.
Tim Lebbon Interview Copyright 2013 Jedi News. No part of this interview can be reproduced without prior written consent from Jedi News.