‘Scoundrels’ Interview with Timothy ZahnDecember 31, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Posted in Books, Interview, Star Wars, Star Wars Books | 2 Comments
Tags: scoundrels, timothy zahn
Scoundrels comes out tomorrow. To help get everyone ready, we have an interview with Timothy Zahn covering everything from Aurebesh to lightsaber bread knives, but without any major spoilers. Enjoy!
First of all, congratulations on Scoundrels. What a fun and satisfying adventure this was to read. Was it fun to write?
Timothy Zahn: It was an immense kick. With a complex heist story like this you need to know pretty much every detail before you start, and as a result the actual writing just flew by. Actually, the whole process went pretty quickly – from our first conversations about the book to the finished first draft was less than eight months, with the writing time only three months.
Can you share some of the decision process that went into choosing the individual scoundrels?
TZ: Since we were hoping this would be a book that first-time readers could pick up and enjoy, we wanted to make sure they didn’t need to know anything except the movies going in. Ergo, most of the cast was made up of brand-new characters. The handful of EU characters and references – Winter, Kell, Xizor, Black Sun – might as well be new characters as far as first-timers were concerned, since no prior knowledge of their other EU appearances was necessary.
Did you watch any of the Ocean’s Eleven movies in preparation for writing the novel?
TZ: Since I wasn’t going for a copy of the casts or plot I didn’t need to rewatch any of the movies. What I was interested in recreating was the tone of the movies: a crew of professionals who (more or less) trust each other working together toward a common goal, without any thoughts of betrayal to distract them.
Zerba was one of my favorite scoundrels, but one thing that was never explained was why his lightsaber was shrinking. On one hand it was kind of funny, but was there any technical reason for it?
TZ: I’m assuming there was some degeneration in the crystal that was at fault. The idea was to have a lightsaber in the book – hey, it’s Star Wars; we need lightsabers – that could be used as a tool but really nothing more.
And really, the concept of a “light-breadknife” is just plain amusing.
There was a surprising amount of use of Aurebesh in the novel, more so than I can remember in any other book. Was that simply coincidence?
TZ: No, it was very deliberate. I wanted to add something to the alienness of the Star Wars universe, and thought that adding bits of Aurebesh would be a good way to do that. Again, it’s not something that should distract first-time readers, but is a nice Easter Egg of sorts for the more knowledgeable EU fans.
At what point did you come up with the big twist?
TZ: That particular twist was the brainchild of Shelly Shapiro and the Del Rey editorial team. As I understand it, someone had an idea, and they all kept tossing in pieces and refinements until they had something they could suggest to me. At that point, of course, it was so cool I was delighted to run with it.
We’d like to thank Tim for taking the time to answer our questions. As always, you can keep up to date with the latest Timothy Zahn news by following him on Facebook. Scoundrels is available at all major retailers in hardcover format, and is also available in digital and audiobook formats. You can find links for participating retailers on Random House’s site.