Zahn Talks Writing Han Solo and Standalone Films He’d Like to See

With the barrage of rumors surrounding standalone films in the Star Wars, decided to catch up with Expanded Universe author Timothy Zahn to discuss what it takes to write Han Solo and the kinds of standalone films and spinoff projects he’d like to see in the Disney Star Wars era.

On the topic of new projects beyond regular episodic installments: of all, none of this has been confirmed by Disney or Lucasfilm, and I’m not looking to you at all to confirm it. I’m just interested in your perspective as a Star Wars author, and even more importantly, as a Star Wars fan, on the rumor today that the first two standalone Star Wars movies will be about Young Han Solo and Boba Fett respectively.

Timothy Zahn: All of this is at the rumor stage of course, but, the fact is, I would like to see more Star Warsbeyond the core saga. I’d like more Star Wars TV, and certainly more Star Wars books. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. The Galaxy Far, Far Away is impossibly huge with story ideas and possibilities.

On writing Han:

HW: Is there a difference between the way you wrote Han in Scoundrels as opposed to the way you wrote him in the Thrawn Trilogy or Hand of Thrawn Duology?
TZ: Oh yeah, he’s much more mature in the later books. He’s taken on more responsibility. He still chafes at it at times. But he does the jobs that need to be done. He’s more aware of what’s at stake, what the consequences could be if he succeeds or fails. And that’s because he has a family at that point, which brings a whole new set of responsibilities with it. In Scoundrels on the other hand, since that’s set right after A New Hope, he’s much more footloose and fancy free. But even then you can see that once he’s assembled the team he’s working with, he’s not going to abandon them. The seeds of “Responsible Han” are already there. But he would deny it probably.

On spinoff Star Wars projects he’d like to see:

HW: What other characters from the movies would you like to see get the movie spinoff treatment?
TZ: Lando is an obvious one. You could do a lot with Lando during the time leading up to The Empire Strikes Back. If we’re going post-Jedi era I would frankly like to see Wedge put together Rogue Squadron. I think you could have a whole series of Rogue Squadron movies that would be great. Wedge is peripheral, but he is verypopular and rightfully so. Who else helps take out two Death Stars? You could even do an X-Wing TV show focused on Rogue Squadron that, just like the books, would be peripheral to the main Skywalker-Solo saga. That means you could introduce a lot of new characters anchored by Wedge. You could make wonderful stuff out of the X-Wing books.

See, I’m not the only one who thinks a Wedge-centric film and an X-Wing television series would be absolutely fantastic viewing.

The whole interview is fantastic and there’s a lot more to read. Head to’s interview for more with Timothy Zahn.

Pete Morrison Breaks Down The EU Gender Numbers

There’s been a whole lot said in the last week or so about the need for better developed female characters in Star Wars and the Expanded universe. Over at Lightsaber Rattling, Pete Morrison decided to look at EU novels since 2006 and crunch some numbers.

Some figures Pete unearthed:

  • Male Character Per Novel Average: 9.9
  • Female Character Per Novel Average: 5.13
  • Ratio of Male to Female Characters: 1.93 to 1.

It’s important to note that this isn’t a look at the quality of female characters written into these books (which is another topic entirely), just the quantity. However, it seems that even on the strict numbers front, fans asking for more to be done with female characters have a point. Female characters are nearly outnumbered 2-to-1 in the Expanded Universe since 2006.

In addition to breaking these numbers down further by year, Pete has also written a great editorial to go along with this piece. Go to the link above and read through his excellent post.

Check Out Nanci’s ‘Survivor’s Quest’ Retro Review at EUCantina

Our own Nanci has a new review over her other gig at EUCantina. This time around, she takes a look back at Timothy Zahn’s Survivor’s Quest.

As a self-contained story, Survivor’s Quest doesn’t add much to the main storyline. As a standalone novel, it could easily be passed over if one is trying to catch up with the main storyline.

However, skipping the book entirely would be a grave disservice.

SQ is a must-read for fans of the Chiss, the Empire of the Hand, the Fels, and the 501st Legion. In fact, SQ is the novel that first canonized the 501st, named for the fan costuming organization. We meet two new prominent Chiss, Formbi and Drask, and learn more about Chiss culture and hierarchy. This novel first identified the Empire of the Hand, the government established by Grand Admiral Thrawn in the Unknown Regions.

Check out the rest of Nanci’s review at EUCantina.

Catch Nanci and Brian on the Star Wars Book Report Podcast

A little while ago, my Tosche Station Radio co-host Nanci and myself did a guest spot with the Star Wars Book Report. If memory serves, we talked about fan fiction, fun at conventions, and our thoughts on the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe.Hop on over there to listen to us go off-the-rails on someone else’s podcast!

SW Book Report Episode 49

Check Out Nanci’s Guest Post on Fan Fiction at Club Jade

Our own Nanci has a post up at Club Jade examining the media perception of fan fiction since the release of 50 Shades of Grey.

Until now, I’d couldn’t believe that the mainstream media hadn’t yet made the erroneous connection that fanfic = porn.  So an article on CNN entitled Fifty Shades of Grey shines light on erotic fan fiction”, I wasn’t that surprised.  But I still facepalmed; especially when I saw the accompanying photograph of Kirk and Spock.  The third sentence of the article states, “Welcome to the world of fan fiction, where fans tweak or add to existing series, novels and characters —oftentimes with a steamy twist” (emphasis mine).

It is the word “oftentimes” that bothers me about that statement.  Yes, I know there is erotic fanfic on the internet (refer back to Rule 34).  I’ve read it; heck, I’ve written it.  I don’t think “smut” (as it’s called) is anything to ridicule or look down upon, and I’m not ashamed to read or write it.  But that does not mean that the majority of fanfic is porn, and I hate that people will see novels like “50 Shades” and believe that is the case.

As a fanfic writer myself, the implication that all I’m doing is writing badly written porn really ticks me off. I’ve read some tremendous fan fiction that deserves praise for being well written fiction. So yes, I’m annoyed with 50 Shades and how the media is portraying fanfic.

Hop on over to Club Jade to read the rest of the article.