Interview with Tom Taylor and Colin Wilson

For many fans of Star Wars Expanded Universe, the New Jedi Order book series was, and still is, one of the biggest achievements to the EU. Nothing had been tried like it before in the EU and nothing to this day has matched it. However, even 19 novels could not truly tell the immense story the era held within it. In fact, it was so immense Dark Horse felt the need to create a whole comic line based in the New Jedi Order era: Invasion.

Enter writer Tom Taylor (above, right) and artist Colin Wilson (above, left) to the scene. Brought in to work on the series, EUCantina.net sat down with the talented creative team behind the new Invasion series.

interview-long

EUCantina.net (EUC): Mr. Taylor & Wilson, welcome to EUC! It’s great to have you both here.

Tom Talyor (TT):  Thanks for having us. I like what you’ve done with the place… nice curtains.

Colin Wilson (CW): Could I have a glass of house red please?

EUC:  Thanks, Tom! Colin, sure. Now, how have you both been? Busy, I’m sure, with the recent release of the preview issues for Invasion and the first issue coming out.

TT:  Yes. Hideously, madly busy, but in a good way. We’re creating Star
Wars
. I’ve been busy doing much worse.

CW: Yeah, it’s been hectic, but that’s what we are here for, and we wouldn’t want it any other way. The fan reaction to Invasion #1 has so far been wonderful, but it just means that we’ve gotta work at it that much harder…

Cover to the first issue of <em>Invasion</em>

Cover to the first issue of Invasion

EUC: Both statements are very true. So, let’s get started right off the bat with Invasion. How often will the main characters from the books be in the comic series? What’s it like drawing/writing such iconic characters?

TT: The main characters will be around but we really want to flesh out our
family… or what’s left of them. These characters are a lot more than meets
the eye.  As far as what’s it like writing the big three – It’s insane.  I remember playing with the action figures when I was a kid. To grow up and then get to play with them all over again is incredible.

CW: I never had Star Wars toys when I was I kid, but Tom lets me go around to his place these days to play with his. He won’t admit it to anyone, but he’s still got a whole bunch. They’re a bit too small to be much use to me for likenesses, but luckily we’ve both got copies of all 6 films. And then there’s the internet…

EUC: Oh, very interesting information Colin…We shall keep that in mind. Now, keeping with Invasion, will readers see major Vong tech like the Embrace of Pain,  Shaper Hand creation, or anything like that?

TT: Yes.

CW: What’s a Shaper Hand?

TT: You’ll see as soon as we design it

The Vongs Embrace of Pain

The Vong's "Embrace of Pain"

EUC: That should be fun to watch for now, that’s for sure. Would you say its hard crafting a story around a well known and enjoyed timeperiod in the SW universe?

TT: If we didn’t have our own characters it would be almost impossible. Fortunately, we’ve been lucky enough to create our own protagonists and throw them into this well known time to see how it affects them.

CW: The fun part for me is that, after 3 years of drawing various SW series, I get to work with all the key characters from the films – or at least the last three. That’s made me sharpen up my entire game…

EUC: Very cool to see so much passion in those creating our EU items.  We spoke a bit about the Vong before; is anything going to be centered from a Vong’s perspective in the series?

TT: We will see.  Or they will

CW: That’s up to Tom, but I’d certainly prefer to keep the whole Vong experience a bit of a mystery. That way they can be undefined and so much
more sinister… they are the bad guys after all…

EUC: I can see the value in that. But, Colin, what’s it like creating these massive, mean, evil Vong to be seen? That’s only been done a handful of times, perhaps even less.

CW: Visually it took me a while to realise that the Vong were very much a
clean slate. I’m comfortable with that now, and so visually things are going
to get a little more extreme…

A Vong Warrior as drawn by Colin Wilson

A Vong Warrior as drawn by Colin Wilson

EUC: Awesome to hear. Will Invasion be from the perspective of a particular group of people or is it going to be kind of a grab bag stories from the NJO type of  thing?

CW: The Galfridians rest at the center of Invasion, and with the family already split up after Book 1 we’ve got a bunch of threads in there to keep the pages turning.

TT: Definitely from the perspective of our main family for the most part but every time I create a new character I want to write *their* story.  For instance, there have already been people asking me about the story of Sarkkin and Panha (from the prequel).  I’d love to write a one shot about how a Chiss and a Wookiee ended up exploring the outer rim together. Hopefully, Invasion will run forever and allow us to see all of their stories.

EUC:  Speaking of Invasion’s run, do you feel Invasion meant as a long term or short term series?

TT: I’m not sure how Dark Horse sees it but I see it as being *very* long. I’ve got notes littered around my house for where this thing goes and I doubt anyone could guess what’s coming.  I’ve actually just finished the outline for the second story arc and even *I* was surprised by the ending.  The first story arc moves quite quickly, partly because we wanted to throw people straight into the Invasion and partly because I want it all to hurry up and get to where I know it’s getting to.  I’d seriously happily write this thing forever.

CW: We’re in for the long haul!

TT: Damn straight.

EUC: Now that’s nice to hear also. So if you’d write the thing forever, what’s it like working with Lucasfilm and Dark Horse?

TT: Really amazing.  Obviously, there are a lot of levels the storylines
have to pass through at Dark Horse and Lucasfilm but, so far, we’ve been
given a huge amount of creative freedom.  Sue Rostoni, Leland Chee and
Freddye Lins have been very supportive and helpful and Colin and I both chat
to Wes Dzioba a lot – great guy.  As for Randy Stradley, I owe that guy a big present… with a bow.

CW: All plain sailing so far. I’m amazed at how much rope Dark Horse and
LucasFilm are giving us to play with, and we’re not planning on hanging
ourselves with it anytime soon….

EUC: Well guys, thank you so much for joining me and I look forward to the release of the next Invasion issue.

TT & CW: Thanks for having us!

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