Jeffrey Brown the author of last years hit children’s book “Star Wars: Darth Vader and Son”. When this book was realized was a month before my daughter was born and I couldn’t help but ask where is the female version. Well my request was answered with the newly released sequel “Star Wars: Vader’s Little Princess”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Jeffrey about his books and what we can expect next. If you want to ask him your own questions be sure to check out the upcoming Virtual Chat between Jeffrey, Daniel Wallace and Jonathan Rinzler on May 1st, click here to submit questions.
Mike Gencarelli: Are you surprised by the success of “Star Wars: Darth Vader and Son”?
Jeffrey Brown: I am. I thought it would do well, on the basis of it being a Star Wars book if nothing else, but I didn’t anticipate the incredible response it got. I’m most surprised by how much kids love the book. I wrote it from and for the parents’ perspective, but kids really get a kick out of it.
MG: What has been your son’s reaction to the book?
He likes it, although I suspect spending a year watching me write and draw the book too some of the shine off it. He doesn’t like it as much as my nephew who’s just about the same age.
MG: Where did get your inspiration for “Star Wars: Vader’s Little Princess”?
There wasn’t really enough space for Leia in the first book, so I knew I wanted to do more with her. At the same time, I felt like I’d used up most of the four-year-old jokes and situations, so making Leia a teenager seemed obvious, and provided a lot more potential material – especially being able to show her dating Han Solo.
MG: Did you find this follow-up more challenging?
I did – first, because I’d used up some key bits of dialogue and scenes from the movies, and second, I don’t have a teenage daughter. Fortunately, I have a few friends with teenage daughters, and was able to get some ideas from them as well as my editor at Lucasfilm, J.W. Rizler. who has daughters.
How much research did you do within the “Star Wars” universe to complete these books?
Even though I’ve seen the films countless times, I re-watched them repeatedly the whole time I was working on the book. I also used numerous books, issues of Star Wars Insider, looked at toys, and finally had a good reason to spend some time intensely studying my collection of Topps Star Wars cards.
MG: Have you ever heard a reaction from George Lucas on these books?
I heard that he asked for more copies of Darth Vader and son, which is extremely flattering. As much as I was having fun with the Star Wars universe, I wanted to be true to it, and so I feel like I did it right.
MG: Can you give us a sneak preview for “Star Wars: Jedi Academy”
Jedi Academy is the story of Roan Novachez, a young boy from Tatooine expecting to spend middle school at the Pilot Academy, but ends up at Jedi Academy instead. The story is told through Roan’s journal, comics, letters from family, notes from class, and even pages from the school newspaper. It’s very different from anything I’ve done before in many ways, and I hope kids have as much fun reading it as I had making it.
MG: You co-wrote last years’s “Save The Date”; do you expect to do more feature films?
I do, although it might be a while. I have a handful of ideas I’d like to work on, but I also have a ton of books I’d like to draw, and have more Star Wars books that I’m already working on. So for now I’m just letting the film ideas percolate in the back of my mind until it’s time to really get to work on them.
MG: Tell us about your upcoming book “A Matter of Life”?
I’ve had the idea of writing some stories about my experiences with religion for a while, and A Matter Of Life started out as that book. My dad is a minister, and I’m a father now myself, so at some point the book became about fatherhood as much as anything else. It’s more meditative and thoughtful than the other work I’ve been doing lately, and is probably my most personal autobiographical book yet.