EUC Interview: Tom Taylor

He has sent Luke Skywalker on a quest and taught Darth Vader a lesson. He has juggled knives for billionaires and eaten fire for passers-by on the street. He has written for film screened in California and radio aired in Melbourne. He has won many awards for his writing and lost many of his indoor soccer finals. He is the father of two and the husband of one.
He is the most interesting writer in the world. The above excerpt from Tom Taylor's website gives a small look at the life and career of a comic book writer who has quickly become a major force in the Star Wars universe. With three arcs of Star Wars: Invasion exploring The New Jedi Order, and Blood Ties - A Tale of Jango and Boba Fett revisiting the relationship between the legendary father and son, Taylor has been able to carve out a lasting spot for himself in Star Wars comics. Dark Horse has tasked him with two new titles that can only expand his legacy - the death of Boba Fett and the return of Darth Maul. Tom recently sat down with EUCantina to discuss the opportunity and the future. EUCantina (EUC): What's something your fans don't know about you? Tom Taylor (TT): I visit you all in your dreams every night and fight your personal nightmarish demons for you. You’re welcome. EUC:  Some fans feel that Darth Maul's return is a gimmick.  What would you say to them?

Darth Maul: Death Sentence Issue #1

TT: After seeing The Phantom Menace, I felt cheated. I wasn’t alone. One of the single best-looking bad-asses in the entire Star Wars universe went and got chopped in half and fell down a hole. There’s a cliché in comics and film, and story in general, that people don’t stay dead. But I’ll tell you this; if no one cares about the character, they don’t come back. They stay in their literary coffins and fade away. But there are characters who demand to exist. They’re too important to be confined to history. Darth Maul is one of these. He never left. More than ten years after Obi Wan bisected him, he’s still on posters and toys and t-shirts, screaming, ‘You can’t forget me, I’m still with you.’ And I dare anybody to look into the face of Maul on our very first cover by Dave Dorman, this face of pure freakish rage and evil, and tell him he’s a gimmick. EUC: What's the low down on your upcoming Darth Maul mini-series? Spoil us if you can! TT: Not sure how much I can give away on this yet, but I can tell you that it’s called Darth Maul: Death Sentence. Someone, somewhere, is stupid enough to put a price on Darth Maul and Savage Opress’ heads. Maul obviously doesn’t take kindly to this. He figures there won’t be a price on their heads if there’s no one left alive to pay it. Of course, there’s a lot more to it than this. There’s a prophecy and Jedi and evil and corruption… but you’ll just have to read it to know more. EUC: Did you create any professional goals that you want to achieve this year? What goal(s) have you achieved? TT: My main professional goal has been to keep the success of my creator-owned series, The Deep, going. The Deep: Here Be Dragons has been huge for me. And writing the continuing adventures of our multiethnic family of underwater explorers gives me more joy than almost anything else. Please do check it out. I did manage to finish writing the next graphic novel and ‘The Deep: The Vanishing Island’ should be appearing later this year. The next step, turning it into an animated series… As far as Star Wars, I’m killing Boba Fett and resurrecting Darth Maul all in the same year. You don’t need any more personal goals when life hands you these. EUC: What themes are explored in Blood Ties: Boba Fett is Dead? TT: Revenge, family, revenge, love, revenge, explosions (explosions can be a theme, right?) and revenge. EUC: Is it safe to say that Blood Ties: Boba Fett is Dead is after Return of the Jedi? TT: It isn’t safe to say anything at this stage. The walls have eyes and ears. One has nostrils. EUC: Can you tell us anything about the avenger or killers referenced in the Blood Ties: Boba Fett is Dead #2 blurb?

Blood Ties - Boba Fett is Dead Issue #1

TT: I can tell you that Fett has been taken out by an elite hit squad. His body is lying on the desert floor full of holes. I can’t tell you who sent the hit squad. Connor Freeman, an integral character from Star Wars: Blood Ties - A tale of Jango and Boba Fett is a very large part of this story. But there are others. Mysterious others. EUC: Boba Fett has been resurrected many times in the Expanded Universe. What does Blood Ties: Boba Fett is Dead offer experienced SWEU readers? TT: Honestly, this is just good wholesome, cold-blooded-killing fun. While the first Blood Ties had poignancy and twists and unresolved family drama and daddy issues, I really wanted this to be a far more action-packed, fun, revenge book. Sure, there’s still some nice moments in there. There’s still emotion. There’s even some happiness. But, mainly, there is a seriously large amount of explosions, blaster fire and a little dismemberment. EUC: Now for something completely different. If you could tell See-Threepio a joke, what would it be? TT: I don’t think I’d bother, Threepio wouldn’t get it. I’d tell a joke to Artoo. I think he has a wicked sense of humor. There must be a reason they beep out every word he says in the movies. EUC: Besides the Darth Maul mini-series, what else is on the cards? Are there any new Dark Horse projects on the horizon? TT: I’ve been so busy with Maul and Fett I haven’t had much time to look past them to what’s next. Obviously Randy Stradley and I are always chatting, and I’m sure there’s more coming. I can tell you that Chris Scalf and I do have an idea. It’s a big idea. It’s something I’ve been thinking of for a while. I haven’t pitched it yet but Chris has illustrated one image which sums up the whole thing and I think this one image is enough to make any Star Wars fan stand up and say, ‘Ooooooh.’ We will see… EUC: What's the number one thing you want readers to take away after reading your comics or plays? TT: The tiny mind controlling nano-bots embedded in each page.  Blood Ties – Boba Fett is Dead #1 will be released on April 25. Darth Maul: Death Sentence #1 will be released on July 25.

About the Author

Erin Amos joined EUCantina in 2012 as a communications coordinator. She contributes to EUCantina by arranging interviews with VIPs, and then conducting those interviews personally. She also works behind-the-scenes to bring fun and exciting giveaways to our readers.