SF & Fantasy

New Release Interview: Star Wars: Into the Void by Tim Lebbon


SWWhen are Jedi not Jedi?

When they are Je’daii!

Author Tim Lebbon has been given the task of writing in the Star Wars universe long before any other story has been told. Back when the Jedi were Je’daii and lightsabers were a thing of the future. The book? Star Wars: Into the Void! It is released today and already has garnered some great reviews from book reviewers and fans alike.

I decided to interview Tim about his work on the book. That Q&A is below. First, here is a bit more about Star Wars: Into the Void:

On the planet Tython, the ancient Je’daii order was founded. And at the feet of its wise Masters, Lanoree Brock learned the mysteries and methods of the Force—and found her calling as one of its most powerful disciples. But as strongly as the Force flowed within Lanoree and her parents, it remained absent in her brother, who grew to despise and shun the Je’daii, and whose training in its ancient ways ended in tragedy.

Now, from her solitary life as a Ranger keeping order across the galaxy, Lanoree has been summoned by the Je’daii Council on a matter of utmost urgency. The leader of a fanatical cult, obsessed with traveling beyond the reaches of known space, is bent on opening a cosmic gateway using dreaded dark matter as the key—risking a cataclysmic reaction that will consume the entire star system. But more shocking to Lanoree than even the prospect of total galactic annihilation, is the decision of her Je’daii Masters to task her with the mission of preventing it. Until a staggering revelation makes clear why she was chosen: The brilliant, dangerous madman she must track down and stop at any cost is the brother whose death she has long grieved—and whose life she must now fear.

Includes a special, full-color excerpt from the Dark Horse comic Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi and an original Dawn of the Jedi short story by John Ostrander!

New Release Interview: STAR WARS: INTO THE VOID by Tim Lebbon

Shawn Speakman: STAR WARS: INTO THE VOID publishes today. Tell Suvudu readers how you came to be tapped to write the beginnings of the Jedi Order? Was it a quick answer?

Tim Lebbon: My agent: “Meanwhile, do you fancy writing a Star Wars novel?”

Me (0.32 seconds later): “Hell yes!”

I’d worked with the Lucas Books editor when she was at another publisher, and they were looking for a dark fantasy writer to write a novel to tie in with the Dawn of the Jedi comic series. I was thrilled to be asked, and when I heard more about the era the novel was set in and exactly what they were after, my excitement only grew.

Shawn Speakman: Tell readers a bit about the story, about Lanoree and Dalien, and how you decided to frame their emotional lives?

Tim Lebbon: Wow, that’s a big question. Firstly, it’s important to say that I was given free reign to come up with a story that interested me and which fit into the universe, and the story arcs being created by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema in their comics. It took a little time to develop the proposal, then some more time––and lots of in-depth conversations––to fine tune it. But it was a fun, very rewarding process, and I have a lot of respect for John, Jan, my editor, and the Dark Horse guys.

When I started developing the story I knew that it had to be a brother and sister, and instantly I knew which way around they should be (Lanoree the protagonist, Dalien the antagonist). It just seemed to work well that way, and I always love writing strong female characters.

My editor also suggested that I find a way to explore some of the Je’daii training, and so the flashback sections featuring Lanoree and Dal as children, travelling across Tython visiting the Je’daii temples, became a vital, very integral part of the story, as well as great fun to write. I’m coming to realise that they’re also very important to the whole Star Wars mythology, as they describe some of the very first Je’daii training methods. These flashbacks help set up just what Lanoree and Dal are going through later in the book.

Shawn Speakman: Since the story takes place early in Star Wars history, what kinds of challenges did that pose? Did it give you more freedom to create? Or was it difficult to merge that time period with what we know to be true in Star Wars?

Tim Lebbon: In a sense there was more freedom, because obviously there were not dozens of novels, comics, stories, or even movies set before my novel that I had to brush up on. But it was also difficult––and important––to try to get over that this is very deep history. They use Force-swords (made of metal!), not light sabers. And of course there are more fundamental differences, such as how they treat their relationship with the Force. It was a challenge, but I like challenges.

Shawn Speakman: Out of the six movies, what is your favorite? And are you looking forward to Episode VII?

Tim Lebbon: I’d have to pick Star Wars (A New Hope). I think a lot of that is nostalgia, because I saw it when it first came out and I was eight years old, and it left a lasting impression. But it is also a total classic, and very close to perfect. As for Episode VII, I can’t wait. We’re living in such exciting times when it comes to Star Wars, and I’m thrilled to be involved with the EU right now.

Shawn Speakman: What are you currently working on?

Tim Lebbon: I’m just finishing up a brand new Alien novel, one of three that Fox have licensed. The other two novels will be by James A Moore and Christopher Golden. Together, all three (they’re linked, but not really a trilogy) are an exciting expansion of the existing Alien universe.

I’m also working on a new novel called The Silence for Titan in the UK and USA. I’m writing a thriller called Endure, and the third of my Toxic City novels (currently in development for TV at ABC Studios) is due out later this year.

There you have it. From the Star Wars author’s own keyboard. Star Wars: Into the Void by Tim Lebbon is in fine bookstores today!

Is the saying, “May the Force be with you?” around during these early times?

You’ll have to wait and see!


One Response to “New Release Interview: Star Wars: Into the Void by Tim Lebbon”

  1. Ila in Maine says:

    Very interesting article. I’m looking forward to learning more about the Je’daii training as it develops in the future, if you think it will?

    Training halls and the like, do you think that will happen and how do you think the training will progress and change?

    Thanks for your time.

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