The worlds of Star Wars are full of countless alien species, each stranger and more fascinating than the last. Here you’ll find six stories for kids about just some of the amazing aliens who appear in the smash-hit movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Featuring a dashing tale of piracy and double crosses, the story of a wise Jakku constable and an unfortunate droid, and a mystery that can be solved only by the gruff cook at Maz Kanata’s castle, this collection will bring thrills and chills as it takes you deep into the corners of your favorite galaxy far, far away. . . .
Constable Zuvio must get to the bottom of things when a faithful droid commits a bank robbery in “High Noon on Jakku.”
The Frigosian cryptosurgeons of Takodana give a criminal on the run just what she asks for in “The Face of Evil.”
The repugnant scrap trader Unkar Plutt may finally have met his match in the twisty tale “True Love.”
Bobbajo the Crittermonger spins a tale of bravery against impossible odds in the fable “All Creatures Great and Small.”
When his sous chef turns up dead, the cook at Maz Kanata’s castle holds an unusual competition to find the culprit in “A Recipe for Death.”
And pirates, gangs, and bounty hunters alike race to find precious cargo in “The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku.”
Here with me today is the one and only Landry Q. Walker!
1 Most obvious question I’m sure you get a lot. What made you decide to become an author?
I don’t recall if I have ever been asked it in general terms. Writing always appealed to me, and I had my eye on it before the age of ten. I decided to pursue writing (specifically comics) with more aggression in high school when I realized that I had all these amazingly talented friends wanting to draw comics but not producing much. So my thought was I could write comics that they would draw. I’m still making comics with those friends, both Eric Jones (artist of Supergirl Cosmic Adventures, Danger Club, and more) and Pannel Vaughn (colorist on Disney Adventures stuff).
2 Are you a panster or a plotter?
I had to look these terms up! Panster, for certain. Most of my work has a very rough outline – maybe a few scenes that I have locked in here and there. After that, it’s wherever the page takes me.
3 What is your writing process like?
Depends on the project. Comics I usually create a page template, then start plugging in small scene descriptions here and there, maybe a few bits of dialog in random places. Then It just grows from those seeds. I almost never write comics in a linear fashion. With prose, the exact opposite. I start with page one and end on the last page. I very rarely rewrite anything, but when I do I usually do I just through the old version out, maybe keeing one or two small bits, and start over.
Key for my process is music. Finding the right music to inspire is an absolute must, and I wills it and stare tat the blank page until I find the right music. Then I put that music on loop, usually for hours, sometimes for days or weeks. I get to where I hear that piece of music in my sleep, and with every note I remember all the little dialog and scene moments that flash into my head while listening. Because of this, I pretty much never take notes – excpet when I do. Then I write them all over my wall.
4 Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Depends on the piece. Sometimes I’m inspired by a bit of work I’ve watched or read. Sometimes it’s just random. Sometimes I’m inspired by genre trpes and the idea of playing with them.
5 How many books have you written? And do you have a favorite?
Comics? No idea how many now. Many of them were drawn by the aformentioned Eric Jones. We used to keep count. Now? It seems like a lot to me, but I’m not insanely prolific either.
Prose books I’ve written maybe a dozen – three of which are available to the general public. The rest were written for Disney to use internally, I think. Avengers origin, Black Widow origin, that sort of thing. I think other creators they have hired have been given them to read. Not really sure.
Favorite? In terms of comics… difficult to say. I’m very fond of this Batman comic I wrote – Joker’s Asylum: Mad Hatter. It’s a story about compulsion. I wanted to explore the insanity of Batman villians in a way that’s less glamorous than writers usually choose. The book came out great, but that’s really due to the incredible art of industry legend Keith Giffen. His pencils, with light finsihes by equally legendary Bill Sinkiewicz, really sold my poor script.
In terms of prose – if we were to count each Star Wars story I wrote seperately (six short stories), my favorite is The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku. I could have kept writing and writing that book. As it was, I went well over the word count I was assigned.
6 What do you like to do besides writing?
Hanging out with friends and family. Hunting for comics at stores or flea markets. Arguing or learning about the craft of comic book storytelling. Medieval history. Archery.
7 So, obviously, you’re a Star Wars fan. How long have you been a fan? And what intrigued you to write short stories set in this expansive universe to begin with?
I saw Star Wars when it opened. I was six years old. Some time shortly after I was somehow at a birthday party held for a child at George Lucas’ house. Mark Hamill was there. There were these resin or acryic “May The Force Be With You” stars on the tables. We got to take that home. Star Wars was pretty much all that mattered for the next several years. Go figure.
8 If you could sit down and meet with any one Star Wars character, who would it be and why?
Ahsoka. She is the very best. That is why.
9 You’re book titled Star Wars: Tales From a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens Volume One was released as a hard cover a few months back. Did you have any involvement in the cover art design? Where did you get the ideas for the titles for each short story? Anything particular inspire them?
No involvment on my end on the art whatsoever. It was a wonderful surprise seeing the entire book in physical form. The titles were a combined effort. I think I came up with some. I know Jennifer Heddle deserves solid credit on that front. It’s all a blur, really. That said, everything about those stories is based on individual genres. And we all really wanted those genres to come through with the titles. I think it worked out pretty solidly.
10 Out of all the characters you got to write about in these short stories, which one is your favorite?
Crimson Corsair! Well, even more than that, the character that shows up at the end of the Crimson Corsair story. Truthfully, I could make a case about what I enjoyed of each of them.
11 So apparently I’m not the only one who bought a Constable Zuvio figurine when it came out. 😉 I personally, after his image was revealed before the movie came to theaters, was looking forward to meeting him in the movie. He looked awesome! Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, but thanks to you, we got to learn a little bit more about the elusive Kyuzo, since we were all wondering what happened to him. But as I was reading his short story, there were a couple questions I had. It’s alright if you can’t answer them.
Constable Zuvio remains a favorite of mine. I would have liked to see him in the film, but it really doesn’t bother me that we didn’t. The world of Star Wars is so vast, there’s always been plenty of room for non-film characters.
I probably can’t answer any of these. Let’s find out!
12 My first question is, does he know Rey? Or is she just another scavenger beneath his watchful gaze?
I plead the fifth!
13 Has he always been humorless, or is that just a byproduct from living with a bunch of thieves and cutthroats?
I feel like his demeanor and his strong sense of justice are both natural to him. But that’s just what I was thinking when I wrote the story. I don’t think I explored any such backstory in the book, so it remains just a bit of motivation I mentally assigned to drive my writing of Zuvio forward.
14 How did he and his cousins even wind up in a place like Niima Outpost? Have they ever even seen their homeworld Phatrong?
15 Do you think we might get more stories in the future of some of these characters? And if that were an option, which ones would you like to keep writing about?
All I could really say is that I would love to write more with all these characters. Absolutely. First choice, Crimson Corsair and crew. Second choice, Constable Zuvio. I’d also like to do a follow up with Ryn Biggleston some day.
16 Also, I’m assuming from True Love that Crolutes and Gilliands DO NOT look anything alike? By the way, this short story cracked me up. It was so good and totally took me through a loop.
My assumption is that your assumption is absolutely correct.
17 Finally, do you have any advice for aspiring writers out there?
Make your own opportunities. Break all the rules. Don’t wait for an invitation. And most importantly, WRITE.
Thank you, Landry, for sharing your time and answers with us! You can find Landry at his social media links below: