It’s a bit of a shock, but also kind of fun, to find your Twitter feed blowing up because of a blockbuster announcement. Yesterday the news came out that the first Star Wars™ stand alone movie would be Rogue One. I can’t tell you the thrill that ran through me with the news. I don’t think I’ve stopped grinning like a fool since I first read about it.
There are a bunch of questions that have popped up, and I want to answer them as best I can. But, first, one thing really needs to be done.
Everyone has been unbelievably kind in their comments about my novels, including Entertainment Weekly. I loved writing those books and the time I got to spend in the universe. Marrying the comics and novels was a blast, second only to working with Timothy Zahn, Peet Janes and Aaron Allston. Every time I see a member of the 501st wearing a flight suit with a red stripe, I have to smile; and having boxes of action figures of my characters show up at the door is like having Santa visit at random.
But the reason Rogue One is getting made has nothing to do with my novels. The only reason the movie will be made is because of your reaction to and reception of the novels. The way you embraced them and the characters opened a whole new realm within the GFFA. Before you latched on to the eclectic collection of pilots, Star Wars™ was all princesses, pirates, droids and Jedi. Everyone else was expendable set dressing.
Let me share a secret: back when Rogue Squadron came out, no one (except for me) thought it would hit the New York Times Bestseller list. No one. We were off into unexplored territory, so when it hit, folks were stunned. And then, the week when The Krytos Trap was coming out, an obscure writer named Stephen King had five novels on the NYT list. Five! And everyone at Bantam was sure that the X-wing series’ Cinderella run was over.
And yet, because of you, The Krytos Trap knocked a King book off the list!
Without your support and enthusiasm, no one ever would have noticed the Rogues, and we’d not be waiting for this movie. So, again, thank you!
On to questions:
1) Has any reached out about having me write more X-wing novels? As of today, no. That’s a decision Disney and Del Rey and Lucasfilm will make, and probably after there’s a script in hand.
2) Has anyone at Marvel reached out about having you script an X-wing comic? Same answer as above. Writing the comics for Dark Horse was a blast, and I’d happily write more. What folks want is going to depend on how they want to develop the property.
3) Are you going to be asked to write the script? Nope. Hollywood uses scriptwriters to write scripts. While I’ve written scripts in the past, I’m not known for it. This project is so high speed they’re putting the best people on it.
4) Do you have any inside info on the movie? No. For this project, and Ep 7, I’ve actually been keeping myself spoiler free. I’ve not even watched trailers. I want to go into the theatre the same way I did in 1977 to watch A New Hope.
5) Who would you like to see play [fill in name pilot here]? Whomever the casting directors think is best for the part.
6) Do you have any secret wishes for Rogue One? Well, this is hardly a secret, since I’ve mentioned it numerous times at conventions. I wish the producers would hire Timothy Zahn and me (and I included Aaron when he was still with us) to be pilot extras in the film. Kill us off horribly, doesn’t matter. Or, since this film is set later, I’d love to be cast as a pilot instructor, with a uniform that has the name Horn on the breast in Aurbesh.
The reasons for this are simple. First, it would be a blast to visit the set and be part of the production. Second, it would complete a cycle. Tim and I were able to portray Talon Kaarde and Corran Horn respectively for cards in the Decipher Star Wars™ CCG. Being able to portray again characters that we created, or characters within a portion of the universe that we helped explore, would be a blast. Third, it would be a fun in-joke for readers, and a nice homage to the old EU.
Fourth, Tim and I could then go to conventions and not have to lug books to sell. We could just have photos of ourselves from the movies and sell those.
As I said above, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to hear this news. It reconfirms for me the power of your love for the Rogues. I’ll be watching for news of the movie, and I’ll add new posts when/if I am able about any details I learn.
This movie will be about the Rogues, but it’s being made because of you. Thank you, and pass the popcorn.