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Interviews -
Face To Face With The Masters

Any citizen of the galaxy may be summoned to answer to the Jedi Council. Here you may read the transcripts of such sessions.

Cellblock 1138 - 1997-1999 - 2000 - 2002 - 2003+

A.C. Crispin

Name: Ann Crispin (A.C. Crispin)

Alias: Kabe

Species: Chadra-Fan

Homeworld: Chad

Political Affiliation: Rebel to the Max!

Weapon of Choice: My mouth : )

Vehicle of Choice: An Appaloosa (that's a horse), The Millennium Falcon

TheForce.net: We understand that your books will cover the ten years of Han's life before Star Wars. Is there anything in Han's life that you didn't cover, and if so, why? Do you think that material will be covered in the prequels?

AC: Per Lucasfilm's request, I did not cover Han's time in the Imperial Academy, or his first meeting with Chewbacca when he saved Chewie and thus caused the Wookiee to swear a Life-Debt to Han. I don't know whether any of that will be covered in the prequels, but from what I've heard, the time-frame for the prequel trilogy makes that unlikely. I've heard that the prequels are supposed to end two decades before SW:ANH. If that's true, the time frame would be all wrong.

TheForce.net: When you first got the assignment to write these books, what were the first things that came to mind that you wanted to write about? What interested you about the characters?

AC: When I first got the assignment to write the books, I hadn't read any of the Star Wars novels, so I didn't have any ideas about them. I was eager to write about Han's early life, since he has -always- been my favorite character. I am a dyed in the wool Harrison Ford fan, and have been ever since Star Wars.

After I'd read some of the novels, I was excited by the fact that I could really do something very -different- with these books. Han didn't believe in the Force, so he obviously hadn't been exposed to it at all. Therfore I couldn't "use the Force" : ) at all in plotting the books. Rather than be unhappy about that, I thought it was a great challenge to come up with something really unique and special.

After getting some of the "true facts" about Han's childhood and early life from Lucasfilm, I really enjoyed the chance to sit down and construct a believeable backstory for the character. It's like playing "reverse dominoes" -- making up an early life for the character based on hints in the movies. I've done the same thing for Mr. Spock's father, in a book called SAREK.

The character of Han was always my favorite. I adore scoundrels. I considered Han a much more interesting character than Luke, I must admit. "Bad boys" are much more fun! Also, I was 26 when the first Star Wars film came out, so Han was much more my age. Luke seemed to me like a kid, not a romantic object. But Han...well, lots of women can easily get romantic notions about Han. : )

TheForce.net: Since the books have not come out yet, can you tell us a little about the stories? When are they to be released?

AC: By the time you release this interview, Book 1, THE PARADISE SNARE, will probably be out on the stands. I just received an advance copy yesterday. So Book 1 will be released in May, Book 2, THE HUTT GAMBIT, will be released in early fall, and Book 3, REBEL DAWN, will come out around Christmas of 1997.

The three books cover Han Solo's life for the 10 years before SW: ANH. Book 1 takes place when he's 19. Book 2 takes place when he's 24-26 or so. Book 3 takes place when he's 27-29 or so. The books will cover -most- of the things that have been established as canon for the character...things like Han meeting Lando and Jabba and Boba Fett, and flying the Millennium Falcon for the first time...stuff like that. There's also a big plot concerning the Hutts, and the Empire, and the rebels. But I can't be more specific than that! : )

TheForce.net: Harrison Ford recently said that he felt Han Solo's character was 'thin' and that he had no interest in playing the character again. What are your thoughts on his comments? Do you agree or disagree?

AC: I think Mr. Ford should read my trilogy, then he'd know there's a lot more to Han Solo than we saw on the screen. : ) After he read my books, he'd know exactly why Han said and did the things he says and does in the films -- especially in SW - ANH.

TheForce.net: We have heard it said that the droids in the Star Wars Universe are merely tools and very little else. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think that the Millenium Falcon could be viewed as a character?

AC: I thought the droids had quite distinct personalities, and I enjoyed them. I think the Falcon has a personality, too. I regard them all as characters.

TheForce.net: While most of the Star Wars novels include the full cast of characters, your story will focus mainly on Solo and Chewbacca. Did you find this constraining or easier to work with? Was working with a franchise character difficult since you were limited as to what could happen to them?

AC: I liked having the smaller "canvas" to work on. I enjoyed focusing on Han. When I read the other novels, I always find myself wishing there would be more about Han. So, no, I didn't miss not having R2D2, Threepio, Leia, Luke, or any of those people. After all, I have Lando, Jabba, Boba Fett, Chewbacca plus lots of other interesting characters to work with -- including some mentioned in other works, and some I created myself.

TheForce.net: How much will the films and Brian Daley novels influence your works? Any cameos?

AC: The films have been a tremendous influence on the books. I derived the basic plot from one line in SW: ANH that Han says. (No, I won't tell you which one! : ) ) I will be referring to the Brian Daley novels when it is appropriate in my timeline, in Book 3. Yes, there are lots of cameos, and I think the "truefan" SW fans will get a kick out of recognizing all the cameo appearances.

TheForce.net: As a fellow Star Wars fan, what questions do you have that you'd like to see answered in the prequels?

AC: I'd like to learn something about the Clone Wars, as well as all the standard things -- who was Luke and Leia's mother, why did Anakin Skywalker become Darth Vader, what was Obi Wan Kenobi's role in that, how did the Emperor rise to power -- all that stuff.

TheForce.net: What non-Star Wars books by you or other authors would you recommend to Star Wars Fans?

AC: For my own books, I'd recommend my StarBridge series from Ace. The books are: STARBRIDGE, SILENT DANCES, SHADOW WORLD, SERPENT'S GIFT, SILENT SONGS, and ANCESTOR'S WORLD. Book 7, VOICES OF CHAOS is currently underway. Ru Emerson and I are collaborating on it. The books are character-based science fiction.

As for other people's books...don't get me started. I'd go on all night. Rather than books, I'll give you authors: Ursula K. LeGuin. George R.R. Martin. Robin Hobb (who is also Megan Lindholm). Barbara Hambly. Vonda N. McIntyre. Margaret Mahy. Charles Dickens. Jane Austen. Charlotte Bronte. Tolstoy. F. Scott Fitzgerald.

TheForce.net: What's your opinion of the Ewoks? (Careful! Touchy ground! ;) )

AC: My opinion of the Ewoks is that I like Wookiees better.

Some pictures from The Blockade Runner, Crystal's Galaxy Crossroads

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