Dark Horse Comics’ “Star Wars: Legacy” explores the future of the Star Wars universe set 138 years after the defeat of Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi. The series focuses on Ania Solo the great-great granddaughter of Han and Leia and her band of mismatched, reluctant heroes. The series is created by the team of writer Corinna Bechko and writer/artist Gabriel Hardman.
The initial story arc of “Star Wars: Legacy,” Prisoner of the Floating World, has reached its conclusion with the release of issue five. To find out more about the series and the formation of this new band of rebels, the Hollywood Comic Books Examiner caught up with the creative team at SDCC to talk about this era of Star Wars.
Hollywood Comic Books Examiner: Through the first arc of the series you have put together a cast very similar to that of the cast of A New Hope. They come together as five people from all parts of the galaxy. Was that by design?
Gabriel Hardman: It is definitely by design. It felt like that is what it needed to be Star Wars. A lot of what we are doing is trying to get the feel of Star Wars across without repeating the stories in anyway and having characters that are very different personally from the other characters.
Ania Solo is clearly related to Han and Leia and she’ll share aspects with those characters. But with Sauk her friend, and AG the former assassin droid who has a past with [Ania] on some other level of consciousness that you don’t see in a droid usually. These characters are not aping the mold of Han, Luke and Leia.
Examiner: Is Ania aware of her past? Her great grandfather restored freedom to the galaxy and her great uncle almost destroyed it. How much is she aware of?
Corinna Bechko: I think she is aware of it in that everyone would know that history.
Hardman: But she is not connected to it in anyway. She doesn’t really benefit from it and she is kind of off on her own. Eventually we’ll find out why but it’s not going to happen that soon.
Examiner: In “Star Wars: Legacy” #5, AG is tells her that Han Solo was just a smuggler he was a criminal.
Hardman: That’s everything to do with our feeling about Star Wars. The part of Star Wars we like the most. The kind of feeling of the everyman, a working man’s Star Wars, especially in the first trilogy, where none of it is about people being privileged its about who they are. It’s about essentially regular people coming together trying to do something. And we have seen so much of what’s come after that is about the legacies of Luke Skywalker and it feels that all that gets caught up in royalty. We didn’t want to tell a story about that. We wanted to tell a story about a relatable person.
Examiner: AG-73 is pretty interesting because of his secret connection to Ania. How far out is that planned? Was it something that you came up with early on?
Hardman: Absolutely, there’s a whole back story to that. The only way a back story is useful is if you are really telling the story in the foreground. It is something we keep mysterious and as the stories demand it we bring it forward to find out what is really going on.
Bechko: You get more of it later.
Hardman: It will develop over the course of the story.
Examiner: AG-37 seems to speak for the Comm Droid saying it might have some sort of connection to the Jedi Jao Assaum. Is that AG talking about himself or is he really speaking for the Comm Droid?
Hardman: I think he is talking about himself.
Bechko: Ag is reading into him a little too much.
Examiner: Does the Comm Droid have a name?
Hardman: No [laughs].
Bechko: However, I love the Comm Droid.
Hardman: Initially we thought we should give the Comm Droid a name. And then we kind of liked the fact that he didn’t have a name and it was kind of charming in and of itself.
Examiner: Is he kind of like the R2-D2 of the story he doesn’t talk and he is very instrumental in everything?
Examiner: Darth Wredd alludes to the fact that there are a lot of Sith out there and that the rule of two is being broken.
Hardman: Well in the previous “Legacy” series the one Sith, which not so clearly many Siths, were …
Hardman: Fractured and they were hiding in different spots throughout the galaxy. And Wredd has set out to make it his job to kill all the rest of them and takeover ]the galaxy] himself.
Examiner: Who has been the most fun to write? The Comm Droid has been pretty fun. . .
Hardman: Sauk her pal.
Bechko: And Ania’s been pretty fun.
Hardman: Sauk’s a little comic relief but he also is kind of part of it all in a lot of ways.
Examiner: Who is the most fun to draw? What do you like drawing most?
Hardman: I really like drawing Sauk. I like drawing Mon Calamari. There is something a lot of fun about it. It is such an odd design but it is something that for whatever reason I feel like I take to.
But I like drawing the Imperial Knights as well. I like their costume design.
Examiner: How much of it did you design and how much of it did you take over from the previous series?
Hardman: A lot of it I’ve designed. The design of the Imperial Knights follows from the previous “Legacy” and there are things with Coruscant the bigger, higher level people involved that were designed. But I’ve really tried to design as much of it as possible. A lot of it is new stuff we are seeing.
Bechko: There is a whole new species that is prevalent in the first arc.
Hardman: Yes a new species. Part of the marching orders was to do new stuff just see more of this big galaxy instead of going to Tatooine.
Bechko: They basically told us stay away from Tatooine.
Hardman: Which was not a problem, it is supposed to be this out of the way outer rim place and yet everybody goes there all the time. Because it was in that movie and that doesn’t seem very realistic.
Examiner: Now that they have saved the prisoner from the floating world what are they going to do next?
Bechko: Well, we’ll have something centered a little bit more on Sauk’s people.
Hardman: The next arc revolves around Dac, the Mon Calamari home world.
Bechko: At the end of the previous series …
Hardman: It was decimated. So there is some stuff to do with that. Launching into the next arc they’re sort of going to go on a manhunt for Darth Wredd because no one else is interested in doing it.
Examiner: What’s the name of the next arc?
Bechko: Outcasts of the Broken Ring.
Hardman: Very pulpy.
Bechko: We like the baroque names.
Examiner: You are bringing another artist in for the next arc?
Hardman: Yes, Brian Thies is drawing the next arc and then I am drawing the arc after that which I am working on right now.
Be sure to check out “Star Wars: Legacy” where the first five issues are available now and soon will be collected by Dark Horse Comics.
Thank you to Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman for their time and to Dark Horse Comics for scheduling the interview.