Here at Fantha Tracks we love books and therefore we also love the authors that add to the galaxy we love so much. Justina Ireland has been an absolute gem and given us some of her time to discuss all things Spark of the Resistance as well as some insight in to what it’s like writing for Star Wars. Her two Star Wars books, Spark of the Resistance and Lando’s Luck are out now and you can find Justina on twitter @justinaireland and online at

FT: I’ve just finished Spark of the Resistance and truly enjoyed it, but please tell us a little bit about the book and where does it fit within the canonical timeline?

JI: Gah, I’m really, really bad about timeline stuff because at this point in my life my brain is pretty much a soup of events. Which is unfortunate, because I spend a lot of time writing about history. But, if I remember correctly, Spark takes place after Allegiance, Resistance Reborn, and the Finn and Poe Choose Your Destiny book and right before Black Spire.

And if I’m wrong, well, that’s why we have Story Group, The Keepers of the Timeline.

FT: What was it like writing Rey, Poe and Rose? Did you enjoy it or feel a bit of pressure as these are such beloved characters? Or did it come naturally as you’d already written about one legend in Lando?

JI: I went into this book wanting to have fun, because I think Star Wars should be fun. There are a lot of fandoms that take themselves so seriously that I have always shied away from them, and honestly life is too short to get into screaming matches over fictional characters. That’s what real world issues are for.

So, I went into this wanting to write a book that felt like a fun Disneyland or Disney World ride. I did the same with Lando. I love how the rides, even the rollercoasters, at Disney amusement parks are fun but don’t leave you feeling like you need a chiropractor. I aim for the same feeling in all of my middle grade books. People are always going to disagree about characterization (regardless of the medium) so all you can do is try to give them a fun time.

FT: What was the inspiration behind the devilish weapon, the Echo Horn?

JI: Social media, LOL. And that is all I will say about that.

FT: One of my favourite parts of the book was when the three heroes were discussing the use of said weapon and the ethics behind it, why was this such an important addition to the novel?

JI: I think we need to see our heroes having moments where they struggle with the idea of doing what’s right over what could be convenient. The only difference between a hero and a villain is restraint, and to never see those deeper philosophical moments always feels like we’re cheating a reader. It is, of course, a brief moment, because there are adventures to be had.

FT: The Zixon are a new addition to Star Wars lore, what’s within the name? How much fun is it that you’ve created another sentient Star Wars race after the felinoid Lynna depicted in Lando’s Luck?

JI: The name, like so much, is the result of pounding out a bunch of random letters on the keyboard and trying to find a name in there. It’s very scientific. And honestly, I’m just here for the Ewok readalikes. Ewoks were the thing about Star Wars that captured me as a kid. People are boring. Sentient animal-like races are awesome.

FT: The acclaimed artist, Phil Noto, has drawn some fabulous illustrations within this book, when did you first get to see them?

JI: Right after I’d done my first or second draft. It was very cool seeing the world of the book come to life.

FT: This book is part of the Star Wars: Journey to Rise of Skywalker series, how much story are you given about the new film and does the Star Wars fan inside of you want to ignore all spoilers?

JI: I ask for as few spoilers as possible because again, my memory is a soup, and I am never sure what is an element that is a spoiler and what is something I added to a plot and subsequently revised out. So when people tell me things I smile and nod and immediately forget what they told me. This is, coincidentally, how I’ve managed to stay married for twenty years (kidding, maybe).

FT: I adored the little note of Poe and Finn’s adventure on Tevel which was depicted in Cavan Scott’s book. How is it working in within the wider canon? How do you choose what to add in?

JI: I love working within the larger galaxy. I was never into team sports, but team writing? Sign me up. Sometimes I’m not certain what is going on concurrently so I will leave a note within text like “Need a reference to Poe’s previous mission” and either my editor or Story Group will provide. Again, team sports. It’s brilliant.

FT: Speaking of working within a team, how have you found Project Luminous? I realise you can’t say anything but has it been fun developing a story with a wide group of peers and what did that look like?

JI: Everyone is awesome except for DJO. That guy sucks.

I’m kidding, of course. It’s been amazing to create an entire…thing…with other people who enjoy writing Star Wars. I’m really hoping people come to love these new characters as much as I do. That is the dream.

Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Spark of the Resistance
  • Hardcover Book
  • Ireland, Justina (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 10/04/2019 (Publication Date) - Disney Lucasfilm Press (Publisher)