Interview with Scott Allie, writer for the comic series Jedi – The Dark Side:
You’re quite the twitter user. How valuable do you find the various forms of social media such as Twitter and Facebook as a means of promoting your work?
SA:I don’t know, I don’t think I use it as effectively as I could. I get on there at random times and throw some stuff around. I think Twitter can be really useful, but I don’t know that I do it all that effectively. I’m told I really need to get on Facebook, but I don’t want to.
What are your feelings on the Star Wars catalog going to an e-book format and does Dark Horse Comics have plans to follow suit?
SA: Dark Horse is getting really aggressive with digital comics. We just launched a very successful online store that’s right now the #2 comics app, I believe. It’s a big part of our future, and I hope we can get the Star Wars stuff on there soon. I think all publishers need to do it, although I myself prefer to read on paper. It’s great that the Star Wars prose is available electronically.
How closely do you have to work with Lucasfilm in order to ensure you don’t step on anyone’s toes with regard to continuity? Can you describe that process a little?
SA: I personally don’t work with them, but Randy, the editor on the book, is in close communication with them about everything. I submit work to Randy, and he gives me their feedback. Sometimes they inset their notes directly into my script, and it comes back to me to make the changes indicated; sometimes Randy handles it all. They have a much better knowledge of the continuity at their fingertips.
Since this is the story of Qui-Gon and Xanatos I’m assuming it follows their history as told in the Jedi Apprentice series: A.) Will it depart from that history in any fashion?
SA: In small ways, yeah, it’ll depart. But only small ways—details that were offered in small doses in the prose, that didn’t fit in the context of the bigger story. But we took great pains to make the story fit the continuity.
Does it expand on that history?
SA: A great deal. This section of Qui-Gon’s history is barely touched upon in the expanded universe stuff, and so there was a lot of room to develop.
Will there be any foreshadowing of the future Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan relationship?
SA: No, not really. Foreshadowing like that didn’t interest me too much. There is a little bit of that, relating to his relationship with Anakin, in the first series. One real wink and a nod to that. But that sort of foreshadowing, foreshadowing to stories already told, isn’t that interesting to me. If you spend too much time on that sort of cleverness, I think you lose track of the story at hand. This story takes place so much earlier for Qui-Gon, he’s really a different guy, and so for me, right now, what’s interesting is how that guy will become that guy from the movies.
For you, as a writer, what makes Qui-Gon unique? Along the same theme, what makes Xanatos unique as a character?
SA: Well, if I can say one thing about each of them—Qui-Gon is this wise and brilliant Jedi, obsessed with having a deep relationship with the Force, and developing his instincts, trusting intuition—and it leads him to absolutely demanding that he be allowed to train the guy who will become Vader, the greatest mass murderer in the galaxy. It makes me question his relationship to the Force. In Xanatos, we have a young Jedi who gets corrupted not by the Sith, but by other factors. There’s something really interesting there.
This story is set to take place well before the events of The Phantom Menace. Can we hope to see the Jedi Council as it was comprised at that time?
SA: I have a couple scenes in the main council chamber, but you never see too many of them at once. Two or three. Ironically, one of the masters from back then was a character I named, Micah Giiett. I named him a long time ago, when I wasn’t working on any Star Wars stuff, but Randy asked for a name, and I threw that out there. So I was happy when Randy suggested I plop him into a scene when the Master I wanted would have been anachronistic.
A lot of your comic work is horror oriented, can we expect some horror elements in Jedi – The Dark Side?
SA: Some, yes. The stuff I like best in horror fiction is the dark side of character, moral corruption, and so there’s room for that here.
Will Jedi – The Dark Side tie into the Clone Wars at all or is it more of a stand alone story?
SA: Well, it’s wayyyy before the Clone Wars, so no. Stand alone. But part of the point of the story is to get away from the biggest galactic political things. There’s some of that, but I wanted to get small, as Steve Martin said, focus on some great characters, and make it personal. So I didn’t want to get plunged into the middle of a big war. Of course, this is called Star Wars …
Are there plans for another story arc after this series, centered on the adventures of Qui-Gon Jinn?
SA: Yes. This is meant to be a cycle of stories exploring this particular era in Qui-Gon’s life, and actually a later arc will be as much of a horror story as Lucasfilm will let me get away with. But Dark Side is not the end of this story for me …
The Roqoo Depot Staff would like to thank Scott Allie for taking the time to answer our questions, and for the wonderful assistance from Dark Horse and Lucasfilm.