Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion: Razor’s Edge hit bookshelves earlier this week (read our review), marking author Martha Wells’ debut entry in the Star Wars universe. Wells was kind enough to sit down with us for a brief interview to discuss the novel’s characters, fan fiction, and more.
EUCantina (EUC): When Ralph McQuarrie died in March 2012, you confessed to writing Star Wars fan fiction on your blog, how his beautiful artwork inspired you to create stories of your own. Besides the films, what set your imagination aflame for Razor’s Edge?
Martha Wells (MW): I think I’d talked about writing fan fiction long before March 2012. But even before Star Wars came out I always loved space opera novels, with strange planets and aliens and the feel of epic fantasy in space. That’s one of the reasons why I became such a big Star Wars fan when I saw first saw it when I was 13.
EUC: Razor’s Edge has an almost 50/50 cast. Without spoiling anything, how do the differences between male and female friendships play out in the book?
MW: I don’t think there are inherent differences between male and female friendships, though I think there are a lot of differences between the false stereotypes of male and female friendships. I think all the friendships in the book are more dependent on the individual personalities of the characters and the situation they’re in rather than their gender. The friendship between two characters who are, for example, captain and first officer, is going to have a different dynamic than that between two characters who aren’t in a military situation or are the same rank.
EUC: Can you compare and contrast the leadership styles of Princess Leia, Caline Metara, Aral tukor Viest?
MW: I think Leia is a diplomat first, and concentrates on bringing people together by the goals they have in common. She gives orders when she needs to but her real gift is to make sure that people are following her because they want to go in the same direction as she is. Caline Metara is a charismatic leader, and while she’s extremely competent, she does make sure she engages her crew’s emotions so they see themselves as members of a tightly-knit family with her as the head of it. Viest rules more by fear and intimidation than anything else.
EUC: Is there a moral to Razor’s Edge?
MW: If there is one, I think it’s bound up in Caline Metara’s actions, and how she lets herself believe that her goal of revenge is more important than the lives of people who just happen to get in the way.
We’d like to thank Martha Wells for kindly answering our questions. If you’ve enjoyed this, check out our previous interviews – including Maya Kaathyrn Bohnhoff and Timothy Zahn – right here. Empire and Rebellion: Razor’s Edge is on sale now.