Steve Galloway, Literature Editor at Jedi News, catches up with Star Wars legend Alan Dean Foster, where they discuss Fosters earliest days with the saga right through to his most recent work, his adaptation of The Force Awakens.
Did you have any personal guidance from George Lucas or Ralph McQuarrie, or was it all done via paper media?
Things have changed now as these days you have the story group and every word is scrutinised and analysed and gone over and you can’t really write anything without it being vetted. With the original novelisation of the first film ‘A New Hope’ it was basically like, here’s the screenplay and some production art, go write the book! I then turned the book in and it was fine and that was the end of it, which from a writers stand point is wonderful.
I got to do everything essentially that I wanted to do and the same can be said for ‘Splinter of the Mind’s Eye’ as it was an original novel. There were only 2 things I was asked to take out of ‘Splinter’, one of which is lost to the mists of time and the one is that the book originally opened with a really complicated space battle, the whole of chapter one which shows how Luke and Leia are forced down onto this planet Mimban, which has been resurrected decades later, but other than that it was fine.
There was very little interference, I suspect as George, Gary Kurtz and everyone else were working 24/7 to make the movie to get it finished before they ran out of money. There is no time to deal with ancillary rights, now it is a giant enterprise and everything is analysed in depth.