Joe Schreiber

Our Star Wars author interview with Joe Schreiber (November 6, 2009).

You talked previously about your first experience with Star Wars – but I find it more interesting to talk about people’s first experience with The Empire Strikes Back. Do you recall how you felt after hearing ‘I –am- your father’?

JS: It’s funny because I’ve talked to a few other people about that, and I think I’ve forgotten how upsetting that was to hear for the first time.  I remember there being a lot of debate about whether or not Vader was lying.  You didn’t want to believe it, but you sort of knew it had to be true.

Along those same lines, do you have a favorite Star Wars film – and any reasoning behind it?

JS: Empire is the best movie.  Period.  It’s a clinic on structure, character dynamics and tension.  The only thing it has working against it is that it’s an Act II movie which means you’re not going to get satisfying resolution in the end.

Who inspires the most fear in Star War: Darth Vader or the Emperor?

JS: Vader.  At his best, he’s a void.  Soulless.  It’s terrifying.

I know authors don’t necessarily have a lot of time for reading, but were you a fan of the Star Wars literature line prior to being invited to write Death Troopers? Had you read any books, either as a kid (like some of the Brian Daley stories) or the more modern novels? Did you do any research/reading of any Star Wars literature for your work in Death Troopers?

JS: Most of the research I did centered on the “non fiction” Star Wars literature, the references and essential guidebooks.  I think writers need to make time for reading — all kinds of reading, in all different genres — but I didn’t read much of the other Star Wars novels.

On a similar subject, what is your favorite Star Wars novel?

JS: See above…

I think the horror theme works well in the original trilogy era.  Do you think it would have worked in the prequel era?

JS: I hope so.

If you were a Star Wars character (movie or Expanded Universe), who would you be?

JS: Salacious Crumb.  I love the idea of perching on some enormous amoral crime lord and cackling as he sends various helpless victims to their doom.

With the success of Death Troopers could this turn into a regular gig for you?  Personally I wouldn’t be against a Star Wars horror story every year.

JS: Believe me, if the opportunity arises, I’d jump at it every time.

The ending of Death Troopers, with the zombies attempting to travel under their own, leaves an opening for some pretty frightening possibilities.  Do you have any intention of following up on this, or is Death Troopers the end of the line?

JS: The next book, due out in fall of 2010, isn’t a sequel.  But it does follow some of the same themes.

Circumstances permitting, would you have any interest in writing the first R-rated Star Wars novel?

JS: I thought I already did.

You recently revealed having completed work on a prequel to Death Troopers.  Should we expect a darker, more horror-based novel now that Star Wars fans have had the chance to ease into the genre, or should we expect a tone closer along the lines of Death Troopers?  What kind of story are you trying to tell this time?

JS: It’s another very scary story with a cast of original characters interacting with some of my favorite Star Wars tropes and technology.

In discussion, it’s been said often that the Blackwing project would make for a good story to either follow up on or go back and reveal the origin of. I was glad to see your next Star Wars book will be a prequel giving us some of that background. I know the implant will explode should you give out any details, but is there anything you can give us in terms of what to expect?

JS: Not yet.

Will we find out who ordered the Blackwing project in the first place? Will there be any familiar characters in this story too?

Stay tuned.

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