A&A The Official Chuck Wendig Q&A Thread - Chuck's Reponses Posted for 1st Round! (Aftermath Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by AdmiralNick22, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    I just submitted the first round of questions. The vast majority I posted as is, though given the large number of questions about Interludes I decided to post a general question about them.

    Hopefully Chuck will have the first round back to us by tomorrow! :cool:

    --Adm. Nick
  2. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    What's this? 24 answers in my inbox? How delightful... :D:cool:

    --Adm. Nick
    Last edited by AdmiralNick22, Sep 30, 2015
  3. Karl0413 Jedi Master

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    [IMG]
  4. Jedi Knight Fett Force Ghost

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    Can't wait all day got places to be, people to see. :p
  5. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    See below for the first batch of questions answered by Mr. Chuck Wendig! :cool:

    Question #1
    Regardless of epilogue matters, Sloane thinks that she has to conduct this Imperial meeting in order to save the future of the Empire. But this is a pretty sorry bunch of leaders we're talking here: a cruel and self-inflated moff, a crony of Palpatine who doesn't appear to be in the inner circle like Amedda or Dangor, and a retired general who's the only sensible one of the bunch. I assume the state of these characters is completely by design: but I am curious why it is these people who Sloane considers important to have on her "Imperial Future Council" instead of more important figures at Court or in the Admiralty. Is Sloane simply operating her independent splinter group separate from the Imperial government on Coruscant, under Amedda?

    Chuck - Well, these people aren’t entirely useless – Pandion is indeed a self-inflating bag of gas, sure, but Tashu (while bizarre) was a Palpatine advisor, and Shale was a major strategist for the Empire. Crassus has money, if nothing else, and legacy. But there is and should be a sense of drawing up the dregs, here.

    You have to remember, two Death Stars were destroyed, now. The first one, heavily populated. The second one, surely less so but still home to a series of the Empire’s finest. Further, if any remain, Sloane does not appear to have access to them. Right now, the Empire is reeling. It’s splintered. The second book will have some more things to say about this question.


    Question #2
    Aftermath has a number of references to other works, such as Rebels and A New Dawn. Did you do a lot of research and catching up before you wrote Aftermath? Even with the recent reboot, there's still quite a lot of content encompassing the Star Wars saga, was it overwhelming to work in a universe that has such an established continuity?

    Chuck - No, not overwhelming. I was already watching and loving Rebels, and I had seen some of TCW and did catch up on that. But the fact that the referential material was largely isolated to the movies, the shows, and a few books helped. Most of the research wasn’t really research – it was material I had already soaked into my spongy brain.


    Question #3
    How long after the Battle of Endor does Aftermath take place?

    Chuck - I think about three months.


    Question #4
    Was there is a specific reason you chose to make Admiral Sloane a main character? Was this your own choice or something decided with the Story Group?

    Chuck - Sloane was a favorite character. And I wanted to see the evolution of her. This was something discussed with the Story Group, yeah, but the decision to use her was left to me. I wanted to see this complex woman at the helm. Someone who may not have had the shot she presently has if Endor had gone another way.


    Question #5
    When writing your original characters, did you picture any particular actors playing them?

    Chuck - I didn’t! I try not to envision actors too much of the time, lest that voice creep into the voice I use for the actor. Though I’ll confess that Michael Fassbender has kind of become my go-to for Sinjir...

    AND DANNY DEVITO AS MISTER BONES okay maybe not that one.


    Question #6
    Two droids enter the field of combat: Mr. Bones and Chopper. Which one leaves?

    Chuck - THUNDERDROID. DROIDERDOME. Or something. Uhh, man, that’s a hard question, right? If this is straight combat, Mr. Bones wins. Because Bones is built for that kind of maniac psychoninja droid action. (And it’s why that my greatest wish in life – I mean, besides my son being healthy and happy and yadda yadda blah blah – is to one day hold a Mr. Bones action figure.)

    But if it’s not straight combat, then Chopper holds the advantage. Chopper is wily and capable of subterfuge. He’d get the best of Bones, I suspect.

    Question #7
    When writing political leaders like Mon Mothma or military leaders like Admiral Ackbar or Admiral Rae Sloane, do you find yourself even looking for inspirations from real world leaders, past or present?

    Chuck - Not outwardly, no – like, I don’t make a concerted effort to watch a specific politician and mimic them on the page. But I do follow politics and I’ve little doubt the overall vibe manifests.


    Question #8
    We learn in one of the first interludes that Mon Mothma plans to cut military spending by 90% and devote those resources to other areas, including bolstering the militaries of member worlds, once the Empire is defeated. How achievable is this goal given the state of war? Is it more significant in that it is a goal in of itself? What role do you think the New Republic's federal Starfleet would play in this scenario?

    Chuck - Is it a significant move? Sure. Is it doable? Well, we’ll have to see. If it is or if it isn’t, you can be sure it won’t be an easy, or entirely welcome, goal.


    Question #9
    Akiva is mentioned to be the first Outer Rim world to join the New Republic. However, well known Outer Rim worlds like Mon Cala are presumably already part of the New Republic. Was this a harmless typo or is Akiva the first "non-Rebel aligned" world in the Outer Rim to join the New Republic?

    Chuck - Though I don’t know if it is confirmed that Mon Cala is officially part of the NR as yet, you could argue that the distinction lies in who liberated the planets – in this case, the NR was responsible(-ish) for liberating Akiva.


    AN22 note: When I mentioned that Mon Cala makes sense to already be a member due to it's Rebel status, we briefly discussed shipbuilding at the world for the NR Fleet. His answer: Chuck - "Maybe a future interlude. :)" [face_dancing]


    Question #10
    We received multiple questions about your interludes, with many posters saying they were their favorite part of the book. What was your inspiration for them? Will we see follow ups to any of those stories in the next two installments of your trilogy?

    Chuck - The first thing floated to me when I got hired was, “Hey, what if this was a World War Z-style of book,” meaning, effectively a series of interludes depicting the state of the galaxy. Books offering a plot less about characters and more about a state of affairs. Which is awesome, but to me it also loses something magical about what makes Star Wars what it is. The characters, the adventure, a rag-tag bunch of players (in this case, new players) whose actions can help to change the entire galaxy. And so I had the idea of telling a more conventional story but then also taking these little vacations into other parts of the galaxy that would reveal for us how some worlds, some groups, and some characters (a few that we know, others we don’t) are dealing with the hot war between the reeling Empire and the returning Republic.

    Then, as a bonus, we get to take some of these interludes and, yep, they’ll see some continuation in the next two books. Follow-ups are in play (though I don’t know that every single interlude gets a direct follow-up).


    Question #11
    As a follow up to question #9, I wonder if you personally view Mon Mothma as making an objective mistake here. A lot of people are assuming this decision leads directly to the state of the galaxy in The Force Awakens, while others see it as a positive sign of why the NR is better than the Empire (and, for that matter, the Legends NR). Do you see it as a "yay, democracy!" moment, or an "oh no" moment?

    Chuck - Well, this will sound strange, but as a writer, it’s not really my place to judge the characters. I don’t punish or maintain sympathy. I just try to have empathy. And this is where Mon Mothma’s character goes. As noted earlier, it is a very significant move if she attempts it. With moves like that, it is inevitable that they are both YAY DEMOCRACY and OH NO at the same time. Democracy, as we have learned from our own experiences, is messy – it has a lot of moving parts in the U.S., and you can only imagine how many more moving parts it will have once it spans an entire galaxy.


    The only question he respectfully declined to answer was about his potential collaboration with Claudia Gray around Lost Stars, saying he doesn't answer process questions when connected to other individuals or authors.

    Not bad for the first round! More will be posted later today!
    --Adm. Nick
    Last edited by AdmiralNick22, Sep 30, 2015
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  6. The_Forgotten_Jedi Jedi Master

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    Heh, that is exactly who I pictured as well!

    ...Fassbender, not DeVito. :p
    BigAl6ft6 likes this.
  7. Karl0413 Jedi Master

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    I think Justin Beiber would be perfect to voice Mr. Bones instead of Danny Devito. You want terrifying, right? :p
    Last edited by Karl0413, Sep 30, 2015
  8. Taalcon Force Ghost

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    This thread is awesome. Thanks!
    CooperTFN likes this.
  9. Vthuil Force Ghost

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    Wow, even his own writer doesn't respect him.
    Jedi Ben likes this.
  10. SilentGuy66 Jedi Master

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    Pandion clearly wasn't a proper grand moff as he'd just decided to make himself one out of the blue but I'm wondering if there ANY real Grand Moffs active in the galaxy post ROTJ?
  11. Karl0413 Jedi Master

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    Show Spoiler


    Grand Moff Randd from Lost Stars

    Last edited by Karl0413, Sep 30, 2015
  12. SilentGuy66 Jedi Master

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    I've only just started lost stars.......
    Poor Greedo likes this.
  13. Karl0413 Jedi Master

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    Don't worry, it is quite good.
    Poor Greedo likes this.
  14. Poor Greedo Jedi Knight

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    EXCELLENT book. Believable characters and great insight into all the major events in the SW saga. Im jazzed for the inevidable sequel as well.
    SilentGuy66 likes this.
  15. Jedi Knight Fett Force Ghost

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    I am very happy to learn there will be more Interludes

    Here is to going sequel interludes to the following
    Tatooine Sheriff
    Han and Chewy
    Jakku
  16. JediMara77 Jedi Grand Master

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    Fassbender as Sinjir is inspired. =P~
  17. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

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    Also Mercurial Swift. He seemed like an intentionally important character.
    spicer likes this.
  18. Poor Greedo Jedi Knight

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    Can we get one of these Q&A's for Claudia Grays Lost Stars novel? If there is one, i didnt see it and i apologize. :)
  19. Link1130 Jedi Master

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    My feeling was that Jakku was going to be the climax in the second or third book. My presumption was that the team in aftermath was going from the relatively small time action in this first book to larger events in the later books. Classic escalation.
  20. GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin + Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    I can ask! No guarantees or promises, it's really up to her.


    Missa ab iPhona mea est.
  21. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    The next round of questions & answers below! :xwing::tie:

    Question #12
    Moving forward with Aftermath 2 and 3, is it safe to assume that we're going to be following the same group of characters for the most part?

    Chuck - It is!

    Question #13
    I heard that you tried to put in an HK-47 interlude and it got shot down. Was there anything else, either in the interludes or in the main story, that was verboten, or did they basically give you a free hand?

    Chuck - The one thing that was verboten was using the Holy Trinity of characters in a big way. This was valuable in two ways: one, it allowed us to tell a story about other diverse characters (in a galaxy that big, it’s good to highlight that the storyworld is not that small); two, it allows maximum impact for the revelations of TFA.

    Question #14
    Are the Acolytes of the Beyond Force-Sensitive themselves? Were they part of the Imperial establishment prior to the collapse, like Inquisitors, or just some random civilians with mystic interests?

    Chuck - *evil laugh*

    Question #15
    I'm interested in Chuck's vision of the Emperor's courtiers. The one we've had, Yupe Tashu, was obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and he was merely a cultist without actual mastery of the Force. But are there still Dark Side Adepts within the Emperor's inner circle?

    Chuck - I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to characterize him as an idiot. A kook, maybe. As for Dark Side Adepts — at this point, no, I don’t believe you’ll find that. At least not in the AFTERMATH trilogy.

    Question #16
    Was the military strength, and the general state, of the Empire post-Endor something that was decided on before you starting writing the novel, or were you given some amount of free reign?

    Chuck - I was told more or less where everything was headed, and it was somewhat up to me to get it there. With, obviously, back-and-forth between editors and the Story Group.

    Question #17
    Can you provide any more details or thoughts on how much of the Imperial armed forces were destroyed, defected to the New Republic, were confiscated by new found Imperial warlords, or fell into the hands of local sector/planetary forces, post-Endor?

    Chuck - I can’t speak to exact numbers, but listen, the Empire is hurting. Look at it this way — imagine, if you will, that during WWII, all of Berlin just up and exploded. Attacked by the Allies with a big bomb — boom. Exploded in a way that killed HItler and the top brass and took out some serious infrastructure, at least at the local level. That doesn’t automatically end the war, maybe, but it certainly puts the Third Reich’s future in question. And it would some epic moves to bring it back from the brink. It’s a wonder they did not immediately up and sign a treaty for surrender. But they’re still around and it’s due to some key folks holding it together in various ways.

    Question #18
    Would you like to write more SW novels after the Aftermath Trilogy? Perhaps a novel or a trilogy set between ROTJ & TFA featuring the OT3 Luke,Han and Leia? Or an OT3 novel that leads into TFA?

    Chuck - At present, probably not? I’ve enjoyed plotting the series and writing the first book (I’m on the second book now which is also hella fun). I will note that some of the response from the community has given me pause. For the most part, the response has been great. Fans in general are awesome, and it’s nice to share that love with folks. But while it’s starting to quiet down now, for a while there it was pretty venomous in terms of what was coming my way both publicly and privately. (And I don’t just mean criticism of the book — I mean something bigger, stranger, and altogether nastier.) That said, if they invite me to write more and it’s about a story that tickles me in some way and it makes sense in terms of my schedule… then I’d at least consider it.

    Question #19
    If you had an X-wing and could paint it with any color or paint scheme you liked, what would you choose?

    Chuck - I would submit my X-Wing to the artful mercies of Sabine Wren.

    Question #20
    How much inspiration did you get from the "old" post-ROTJ EU? What are you favorite Star Wars books/authors from this era?

    Chuck - I loved the first Zahn trilogy and many of the Stackpole books. After that I kinda faded out a little bit in terms of the overall EU. It’s a lot of books! No issues to those who want to read that consistently in one universe, but I needed to diversify my reading habits and my story intake.

    Question #21
    Does the Empire discriminate against same-sex relationships, or have they moved beyond such bigotry already in a galaxy far, far away?

    Chuck - Believe it or not, the next book will get into this a little bit.

    Question #22
    Do you have any plans to reintroduce any characters from the old Expanded Universe in the next two books?

    Chuck - Not at present, but never say never.

    Question #23
    A lot of posters asked about the mysterious fleet admiral. Any insights subtle hints you can provide on the character and your inspiration for him?

    Chuck - *evil laugh*

    --Adm. Nick
    Last edited by AdmiralNick22, Sep 30, 2015
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  22. Cynical_Ben Jedi Grand Master

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    This is.... kinda depressing to hear. I enjoyed Aftermath, and I'm really sorry to hear that some of the backlash with its reception gives him pause as to even writing more Star Wars books beyond the three he's contracted for. That's poisonous stuff.
    Last edited by Cynical_Ben, Sep 30, 2015
  23. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    Yeah, I am truly saddened by the way Chuck has been treated. That dark, insidious side of fandom is something that can rear it's ugly head. :(

    But, on a more positive note, Chuck did express to me that he admired and appreciated what he has presumably seen here at TF.N, so we have been a small part of reminding authors that for every a-hole fan, there are dozens of good intentioned & rational ones. [face_peace]

    --Adm. Nick
  24. Jedi Knight Fett Force Ghost

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    There is a very nasty side to the star wars community and it really is sad that they exist.

    I really hope he will write more star wars books after Aftermath but its up to him.:)

    @AdmiralNick22 is that it for the questions?
  25. JediMara77 Jedi Grand Master

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    This really piqued my interest.
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