Ziro.hu caught up with author Paul Duncan to discuss his recently released The Star Wars Archives 1999 to 2005 and the work that went in to bringing the book together.

Was it always clear that you make two books?

No. The original plan was to include all six episodes in one book. I started looking through the materials and I felt there are two books here and I don’t want to choose between the materials. I’m an editor, so I’m supposed to reduce this to size, but don’t make me do this. I then had to talk to both Lucasfilm and to Taschen to persuade them both that it would be a good idea to make two books. Luckily, they both said yes. Then I knew that I could split up the research and use more material for both trilogies.

In December you had an interview where you mentioned that Padmé is a representation of democracy while Anakin is of individualism in The Phantom Menace.

Yes, I realized that Padmé always seeks cooperation and concordance in the movie. Anakin is the opposite. He does everything by himself: he builds C–3PO, he builds his pod, he wins the race and he blasts the droid control ship, all alone – or with a little help from R2, of course.

This analogy works in Episodes II and III as well. In Episode II, Anakin thinks they need a dictatorship instead of democracy and also wants to cheat death. In Episode III he says he is doing everything to protect Padmé but he really wants the greatest power of the galaxy for his own good. Padmé (and also Palpatine) become side characters in his plot. Democracy, concordance and unity are now dead, they lost the battle. So, their representation, Padmé must also die.

If you take that analogy all the way through it, it works. It’s interesting to see that these things are all embedded within Star Wars but they rarely appear within the chatter of the internet or anywhere else. There is so much information out there about Star Wars, it’s very difficult to cut through that and to get to the essential core ideas. I think one of the nice things about the book is that those ideas are given the space they need. George is almost reluctant to talk about some of these ideas because he’s designed his movies to work for children. He wants them to feed directly from the screen into the eye and then into the brain, to work in that way instead of being explained in words. It’s great to see that within the context of the book, George confirms these concepts.

It’s an in-depth and fascinting interview that cuts through to many of Lucas’ deeper messages in what is at its heart a childrens series.

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