Talking Agent of the Empire With John Ostrander

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Thanks to Dark Horse Comics I had the chance to not only read an advanced PDF of Agent of Empire, but also the chance to talk to one of my favorite writers: John Ostrander. Here are his thoughts on the new series Agent of the Empire:

1) First off I and I’m sure countless fans want to say Thank You for your additions to the Star Wars expanded Universe.

I’d like to know how Star Wars entered your life for the first time, and what the movies mean to you.

 

JO: My introduction to Star Wars came on a visit to my local comic book store. I saw a paperback on the counter that was called STAR WARS (the movie hadn’t come out yet). I bought it, read it, and thought it was pretty cool so I decided I would see the movie. I was blown away from the start.

First, the blast of the theme and then the scroll. (I’m an old time Saturday morning serials fan so I remembered those and knew what it was doing.) Then comes that pretty big space ship from over our heads into the screen. It’s being chased. Then comes that freaking star destroyer and it goes on for DAYS. I mean, that thing was just HUGE. And then it goes on through the final assault on the Death Stars, with the X-wings diving into that trench and we’re given a pilot’s eye view. Woo hoo! I was hooked.

There was nothing else like it. There had never been anything near like it. Also, film in this era was full of anti-heroes. We thought we were a cynical time and, in many ways, we were. There was Viet Nam. There was Richard Nixon. There was very little to root for. And then we had a farm boy, throwing a line across a chasm and grabbing the Princess he’s saving. She gives a kiss of the cheek “for luck” and then they swing across the chasm on the line just ahead of pursuit. Here were people to ROOT for, to cheer, who weren’t going to let us down.

That was my introduction to Star Wars. That IS my Star Wars. My characters may not always reach that height of heroism but I AM a Star Wars fan, first and foremost, who happens to get paid to write his small part of the saga. How cool is that?

2) You have written several stories from the viewpoint of the Rebellion and  the Empire is there one faction you enjoy writing more than the other?

JO: I’ve written more from the Rebellion/Republic side so right now it’s refreshing to write from the Imperial side of things but there’s not one side that I prefer more than the other. Both sides have their own challenges and pleasures.

3) Tell me a little about Jahan’s role as Agent of the Empire.

JO: Jahan Cross is an Imperial agent working directly for Armand Isard, the head of Imperial Intelligence. Jahan has a cover of being a diplomatic envoy so he has lots of reasons for being where he is but he can also go undercover and work anonymously when required. He believes that the Empire is necessary; he lived through the Clone Wars as a boy so he has direct experience in what chaos looks like. He has courage, intelligence, and wit and a strong ruthless streak.

4) Jahan’s work seems to create a lot of enemies in the Empire’s political machine, will that play out in the series?

JO: The Imperial Intelligence network is complicated and there are rival agencies and rivals within an agency. This will be a factor as we go on but won’t be front and center in every story.

5) Tell me a little about your collaboration with the artist Roux, the art and coloring on this book are fantastic!

JO: Stephane is an extremely talented artist. Our editor, Randy Stradley, is the one who found him and brought him on board. Great storyteller, wonderful designer. I give him descriptions but then he realizes them so much better than I could imagine.

 

Thanks so much to John and Dark Horse. You guys are going to love this book! Stop by tomorrow for my review :)

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