Rebelscum.com Interview with Corinna Bechko & Gabriel Hardman
STAR WARS LEGACY: PRISONER OF THE FLOATING WORLD #1
Writers: Corinna Bechko & Gabriel Hardman, Artist: Gabriel Hardman, Rachelle Rosenberg (Colorist), and Dave Wilkins (Cover) $2.99, Ongoing
Despite her famous heritage, Ania Solo is just a girl trying to make her way in a galaxy gone bad. But it all gets worse when she comes into possession of a lightsaber and an Imperial communications droid—and discovers she has been targeted for death!
• She’s Han and Leia’s great-great granddaughter introduced to the Legacy saga! • In the aftermath of War, the Solo clan lives on! • A new ongoing series! • From the acclaimed creators of Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes!
Welcome to our Jedi Journals interview here at Rebelscum.com. I'm sure that like myself, many of our readers are unfamiliar with your work, given that this is the first foray into Star Wars for both of you. Could you please let us know a little something about your background and history in comics?
Gabriel Hardman: My career in comics actually dates back to the early 90’s but I soon took a detour into film work, storyboarding movies such as X2, Jurassic Park 3, Superman Returns, Tropic Thunder, Inception and The Dark Knight Rises. But I always wanted to get back to comics so a few years ago Corinna and I collaborated on an original horror graphic novel called Heathentown for Shadowline/Image Comics. From there I drew Agents of Atlas, Hulk and Secret Avengers for Marvel. I always wanted to write as well so Corinna and I approached Boom! Studios and ended up co-writing Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes with me drawing. We’re big fans of the Apes movies so we really threw ourselves into the project, finding that we had the freedom to tell a dramatic, compelling story in a previously established world. We also had a hell of a lot of fun doing it! We’ve continued writing Apes books with other talented artists like Marc Laming and Damian Couceiro drawing. I still balance working in movies with comics but Corinna and I were looking for another freelance project that we could co-write and I could draw.
Corinna Bechko: I’ve been an avid reader of comics for years but prior to writing Heathentown I mostly wrote prose. After Heathentown came out I really turned my attention to comics and was fortunate enough to have stories included in Fear Itself: The Home Front for Marvel, Bizarre New World, and Outlaw Territory. When BOOM! gave us the go-ahead for Betrayal there was no looking back. I’ve been writing comics full time ever since. I feel like Gabriel and I really hit a groove with our collaborative process then and we’ve been writing together every since.
Star Wars: Legacy is probably one of the most beloved Star Wars series, loved by fans for its intensity, characters, and being totally Star Wars-y. What brought you to pick up the mantle of this series?
GH: Dark Horse Comics editor Randy Stradley initially approached us about a new Legacy series. This was serendipitous for us because Star Wars was a universe we both wanted to take a crack at and had talked about prior to it being anything like a reality. Since it’s set in the future of the Star Wars timeline we’re not bound to any preordained continuity. We’re not writing a prequel to any stories that have already been told. The future is wide open in the Legacy era. That’s a very liberating prospect.
CSB: Who wouldn’t want to contribute a little something to this huge, rich universe? The fact that, as you said, Legacy is so very Star Wars-y was a gigantic draw for us. We’re both huge Star Wars fans and, more than anything, we want to get the feel of this book right.
Did you have any reservations about stepping into the shadow of the previous series by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema?
GH: Only in that I have so much respect for John and Jan, their whole careers, not just Legacy. We didn’t want to do anything that would step on the work they did. That’s why we’re introducing a new cast of lead characters. We want to put our stamp on this era without undermining the previous series.
CSB: John and Jan created such a vast tapestry that it’s hard not to be a bit intimidated. As Gabriel said, we have no intention of overwriting what they’ve done. Our run takes place close in time to the previous Legacy series but since it deals with different main characters it will have a bit of a different flavor.
A few specific questions about the new series (Prisoner of the Floating World) for fans that may have missed the announcements--is this continuing the adventures of Cade Skywalker and his crew?
GH: No, our series is all about Ania Solo, a descendant of Han and Leia. It’s very much in the same universe and Cade is out there somewhere but we’re focusing on Ania’s plight in an obscure outer-rim system at the start of our series.
CSB: Despite the fact that we won’t be following Cade we will see some of the fallout from the events of the previous Legacy series though. But we’ll be looking at it from a different point of view.
What timeframe is it set in?
GH: It’s approximately 138 years after A New Hope and roughly a year after the events of Legacy: War.
Is it an ongoing series, or a set of mini-series?
GH: It’s an ongoing.
What else can we expect from the series?
CSB: First and foremost, adventure! Ania Solo may not have had a lot of advantages in life but she’s got her wits and a trusty blaster, and she’s not afraid to use them.
I was hoping you could both speak about the creative process. I see you are both credited as writers on this. So how does that collaboration work?
GH: We write the scripts together as we do on our Planet of the Apes books. We plot fairly tightly and break down every page.
CSB: We figure out every aspect together as I take notes. After that, I take those notes and put them into a more conventional script format. Even when Gabriel is the artist as well as the co-writer we still write full scripts.
GH: Then we do a few more passes on the script to refine the action and dialogue. It’s really pretty straightforward. We’re lucky in that we live and work in the same house. We get to sit on either end of the couch and hash things out.
Gabriel, could you share a little about your art style and technique? How long have you been drawing Star Wars (since you were a kid? 2 Months? Whatever! :)
GH: Well, I’m sure I’ve drawn Star Wars pieces here and there over the years but I started drawing on the series in earnest a few months ago. Much like drawing Planet of the Apes, it’s a great feeling to have a fully developed sense on the world going in. If something doesn’t feel like Star Wars, it doesn’t go in the book. Most of the ships and planets in our Legacy are new or evolutions of previous designs. When designing for Star Wars, I’m always asking myself if it will fit with the work of Ralph McQuarrie, Joe Johnston and Nilo Rodis.
In your opinion, what makes a good Star Wars story?
CSB: I think it’s really basic. Action, adventure, loyalty to a worthy cause and to worthy friends. Of course, danger and romance have to be part of the mix too!
GH: Space fantasy that’s still rooted on a ground level. Adventure, swashbuckling, loyalty to friends and color-coded outfits. Oh, and color-coded planets too!
And finally I'd like to ask your opinion of the Force. How do you see the Force working in the Star Wars universe? We know it's an "energy field," that binds and penetrates. But we also have the midichlorians...So what is it really?
GH: I think the Force is brilliantly accessible shorthand that lets the audience feel a part of the mystical aspects of Star Wars without alienating them.
CSB: You know, wiser minds than mine have puzzled over that question and come to very different conclusions. I’d love to give some analogy here to the Higgs particle versus the Higgs field in our own universe, but I don’t think it would be very accurate. So I, like Ania Solo, simply accept that the Force exists but leave it to others to delve into its mysteries.
Thanks very much! I'm sure everyone is looking forward to the first issue that goes on sale March 20, 2013.