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Before Force Awakens, New Star Wars Book Satisfies Carlsbad Fans

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May 6, 2015 1:13 p.m.

Before Force Awakens, New Star Wars Book Satisfies Carlsbad Fans

GUESTS:

Tricia Barr, co-author, "Ultimate Star Wars"

Adam Bray, co-author, "Ultimate Star Wars"

Beth Accomando, film critic, KPBS

Related Story: Before Force Awakens, New Star Wars Book Satisfies Carlsbad Fans

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

THIS IS MIDDAY EDITION. I'M MAUREEN CAVANAUGH. THE TRAILER FOR THE NEW STAR WARS MOVIE COMING OUT IN DECEMBER RACKED UP MORE THAN 30 MILLION VIEWS IN THE FIRST DAY OF ITS RELEASE FOR IT SEEMS THAT THERE ARE QUITE A FEW PEOPLE LOOKING FORWARD TO STAR WARS EPISODE SEVEN BUT IT WOULD BE MORE ACCURATE TO SAY THERE ARE QUITE A FEW PEOPLE WHO ARE CRAZY YOU HAVE ANYTHING RELATED TO STAR WARS. NOW A NEW COMPREHENSIVE ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO THE STAR WARS UNIVERSE HAS BEEN RELEASED. JOINING THEY ARE TRICIA BARR AND ADAM BRAY TWO OF THE FOUR AUTHORS OF THE BOOK ULTIMATE STAR WARS. KPBS ARTS REPORTER BETH WHO IS A SELF ADMITTED STAR WARS GEEK AND WHO RECENTLY ATTENDED THE STAR WARS CONVENTION ALSO JOINS US. TRICIA THIS IS A LARGE COFFEE TABLE BOOK WITH PAGE AFTER PAGE OF PICTURES OF JUST ABOUT EVERY CHARACTER AND LOCATION IN THE STAR WARS UNIVERSE. WHY DID YOU WANT TO CREATE THIS?
IT WAS A WAY TO COMPILE EVERYTHING IN THE EXISTING MOVIES AND THEN THE TELEVISION SHOWS AND TO BRING EVERYBODY UP TO SPEED AND PUT ALL THE INFORMATION BEING USED GOING FORWARD EDGE OF THE NEW MOVIES. THEY HAVE TAKEN SOME OF THE STORIES FROM THE BOOKS AND COMICS AND MADE THEM LEGENDS SO TO WEED OUT THAT INFORMATION. YOU CAN GO THROUGH IT AS YOU'RE WATCHING THE MOVIE SOMEONE ABOUT THE CHARACTERS AND THE PLANETS.
HOW IS A BOOK ORGANIZE?
THE BOOK IS UNIQUE WHERE EVERYTHING IS LAID OUT IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER SO YOU ENCOUNTER ALL THE CHARACTERS AND LOCATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY AS IT APPEARS BEGINNING IN EPISODE ONE AND MOVING THROUGH THE FIRST TWO MOVIES AND THE CLONE WAR IN AND REVENGE OF THE SITH AND THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY.
I HAVE TO MENTION THIS WE CAN SHOW PEOPLE A RADIO CALL IT IS PHOTOGRAPH DENSE. IT IS WALL-TO-WALL PICTURES ON EVERY PAGE. WERE YOU SURPRISED WITH HOW MANY CHARACTERS AND BACK STORIES AND HOW MUCH STAR WARS TECHNOLOGY HAD TO GET INTO THIS BOOK?
YES. SOME OF IT WAS A SURPRISE. THIS IS MY THIRD BOOK WITH STAR WARS SO I THEN WEEDING THROUGH THE MATERIAL FOR A BIT. BUT THERE IS A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF INFORMATION AND MATERIAL THAT WE DUG THROUGH. THE GREAT FOLKS AT DK WERE WORKING ON THIS TO THE ABSOLUTE LAST MINUTE TO TRY TO PICK IN TERMS OF PHOTOS THE VERY BEST MATERIAL AVAILABLE. WE WENT THROUGH SEVERAL PHOTOS FOR ANY GIVEN ENTRY SEVERAL TIMES UNTIL THE BOOK WAS FINISHED JUST TO GET THE BEST ONE WE COULD USE.
WHEN I WAS LOOKING THROUGH THE BOOK, IT STRUCK ME THAT THIS BLOCK, YOU GO THROUGH CHRONOLOGICALLY AND EVEN WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE NEW STAR WARS TRAILER THERE IS A CONSISTENCY IN THE VISUAL IMAGERY ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE FIRST FILM IN 1977. WOULD YOU AGREE WITH ME?
YES. GEORGE LUCAS WAS WORKING ON THE ARTWORK AND THAT IS VARIABLE WIND CHILL. THEY USE THAT AS THEIR DESIGN -- THAT IS VERY INFLUENTIAL. THE ARTIST THE CAME IN LATER ON THE VERY INFLUENCED BY RALPH McQUARRIE. HE SET THE TONE THAT EVERYONE HAS TRIED TO LIVE UP TO.
THE ONE THING I THINK PEOPLE WOULD COMPLAIN ABOUT IS THE FACT THAT STAR WARS STUFF LOOKS SO OLD WHEN THE FIRST FILM CAME OUT AND IF YOU GO TO THE FILMS THEY SHOULD'VE TAKEN PLACE PRIOR TO IT THE TECHNOLOGY WAS SLEEKER. SO THERE IS A CONSISTENCY IN TERMS OF THE DESIGN STYLE, BUT I THINK SOMETIMES THERE IS THIS FEELING THAT HE CLEANED IT UP WHEN HE GOT BETTER. SO IN THAT RESPECT, THERE IS A LACK OF CONSISTENCY.
WHY HAVE THESE MOVIES INSPIRED SUCH MEN DUMB? -- FANDOM.
IT CAPTURED IMAGINATIONS AND IT CAME OUT IN THE 70s AND I THINK PEOPLE GOING TO SEE THE FILMS COULD SEE THEMSELVES IN THE POSITION OF GEORGE LUCAS MAKING A MOVE BECAUSE HE WAS VERY YOUNG AND JUST OUT OF SCHOOL. THE FILMS INSPIRED A LOT OF PEOPLE TO BECOME FILMMAKERS. STAR TREK FANS APPEALED MORE TO THE SCIENCE-FICTION FANS TO MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN GOING INTO THE SCIENCES OR DEVELOPING A CELLPHONE THAT LOOKS LIKE A COMMUNICATOR, BUT THE PEOPLE WHO SAW STAR WARS WHICH WAS SCIENCE FANTASY I THINK WERE JUST INSPIRED TO CREATE MOVIES AND YOU CAN SEE THAT IN ALL THE FAN FILMS. I THINK INSPIRE THEM IN A DIFFERENT WAY. BECAUSE THEY COULD IMAGINE DOING THESE THINGS.
YOU RECENTLY ATTENDED THE STAR WARS CONVENTION. I WANT TO PLAY SOME OF THE FAN THAT YOU RECORDED. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED WAS OF THE CONVENTION FANS RIGHT AFTER THEY SAW THE TRAILER.
[ CHEERING ] I WAS CRAZY AND EXCITED BEFORE, AND NOW I AM GOING TO EXPLODE.
I WAS AT THE BIGGEST FAN OF THE PREQUELS SO I WAS SKEPTICAL, BUT IT IS GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT.
JUST HEARING WERE CAMEL SAY THE FORCE IS STRONG IN MY FAMILY I IMMEDIATELY KNEW WHERE HE WAS GOING AND I THOUGHT THIS WOULD BE CRAZY.
MY FAVORITE PART WAS THE SHOT WITH THE [ INDISCERNIBLE ] WIND DOWN THE WATER.
I'M A STARTED CRYING AT THE END.
THOSE BANDS -- AMAZING. YOU GUYS READ THAT ARENA. -- WERE AT THE ARENA. YOU COULD REALLY FEEL IT. I DID NOT CRY BUT I GOT GOOSEBUMPS.
DO YOU THINK STAR WARS IS IN GOOD HANDS WITHOUT GEORGE LUCAS?
ABSOLUTELY. I THINK JJ APRONS ABRAMS -- IS PERFECT FOR THIS. ALSO KATHLEEN KENNEDY HAS BEEN INVOLVED WITH STEVEN SPIELBERG AND GEORGE LUCAS FROM THE VERY BEGINNING. SHE HAS GOT TREMENDOUS CREATIVE INPUT AND TALENTS THAT WE HAVE BEEN SEEING FOR DECADES. BEHIND THE SCENES. AND JJ ABRAMS IS ONE OF US WHO GREW UP LOVING STAR WARS. SO I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE GREAT.
I THINK YOU WERE AMONG THOSE WHO WERE GRATEFUL TO SEE THAT GEORGE LUCAS IS TAKING A STEP BACK.
STAR WARS FANS HAVE A LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM. WE ADORE HIM FOR GIVING US STAR WARS AND EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, BUT WE START TO CRINGE AT THE EWOKS AND THE SPECIAL EDITIONS. SO THERE IS A SENSE OF YOU GAVE US ALL THIS WONDERFUL STUFF AND NOW YOU'RE GOING IN AND TWEAKING IT. CITED THE FACT THAT HE HAS PULLED BACK GIVES US HOPE THAT THESE PEOPLE WHO ARE FANS ARE PEOPLE WHO GREW UP WITH THE FILMS AND WERE HOPING THAT THEY ARE GOING TO BRING THAT FRESH ENTHUSIASM AND BRING THE FRANCHISE BACK TO THE ELEMENTS THAT WE REALLY LOVED.
WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR BOOK, THE ULTIMATE STAR WARS, WHO IS IT FOR? THE FAN YOU WILL KNOW EVERYTHING OR IS IT FOR SOMEBODY WHO WANTS TO LEARN MORE AND DOESN'T KNOW MUCH?
THE FAN WHO KNEW EVERYTHING, THEY ARE UNDERSTANDING WHAT'S INCLUDED. SO WE'RE HELPING THEM START OVER. YOU ARE WRITING IT KNOWING THAT I USED TO USE THE SOURCEBOOKS. BUT THEY ARE ALSO USING IT FOR INSTANCE GREDO IT WAS BARELY IN A NEW HOPE THAT HE IS IN THE CLONE WARS SO IF YOU ARE SO MANY WHO IS NEW AND LIKE THE CHARACTER, THEN YOU DISCOVER YOU CAN FIND THEM IN THE CLONE WARS AND LEARN A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT HIS HISTORY, THAT HELP SOMEONE WHO IS NEW FIND THINGS THAT WILL INTEREST THEM. THEY CAN DO THAT FOR ANY CHARACTER. EVEN IF THEY WANT TO KNOW ABOUT A VESSEL BECAUSE USING IT ON THE SCREEN DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN YOU KNOW WHAT IT DOES. WE WROTE THIS FOR EVERYBODY. A PERSON A REALLY CARES ABOUT ALL THE FACTS AND INFORMATION AND ALSO FOR SOMEBODY WHO IS JUST COMING IN AND WANTS TO LEARN.
APPARENTLY THEY CAN IN A STAR WARS HAS GONE THROUGH SOME CHANGES OVER THE YEARS.
WE HAVE HAD SEVERAL DECADES OF WHAT WAS FORMERLY CALLED THE EXPANDED UNIVERSE, THE NOVELS IN THE COMIC BOOKS AND VIDEO GAMES, AND IT COMPILED INTO A TREMENDOUS BODY OF WORK. BUT AFTER DISNEY'S ACQUISITION OF LUCASFILM AND THE NEW PLANS OF THE SFO WORD, THEY DECIDED TO REBRAND THE EXPANDED UNIVERSE AND HOW THEY CALL IT LEGENDS. THEY HAVE SAID IT TO THE SIDE AND STARTED FRESH WITH THE MOVIES IN THE TWO ANIMATED SERIES, AND THE NEW PUBLISHED MATERIAL STARTING I BELIEVE IT WAS THIS PAST SUMMER WAS THE STARTING POINT MOVING FORWARD WITH MARVEL COMICS AND THE NEW NOVELS. THAT MATERIAL, THE OLD MATERIAL WHICH IS NOW CALLED LEGENDS, DISNEY STILL OWNS IT. LUCASFILM STILL OWNS IT AND IT IS STILL THERE TO DRAW ON IN THE FUTURE. IT'S LIKE IN REAL LIFE WERE LEGENDS, SOME OF IT MAY BE TRUE AND SOME MAY BE MADE UP. WE WILL FIND OUT AS WE MOVE FORWARD.
I'M INTERESTED IN WHAT YOU SAID BEFORE ABOUT CONTRASTING STAR TREK AND STAR WARS. STAR TREK IS APPEALING TO SCIENCE-FICTION AND STAR WARS THE SCIENCE FANTASY. IS THERE A DIFFERENCE IN BOTH FANS OF BOTH SERIES?
I THINK THERE'S A DIFFERENCE IN I DON'T KNOW IF IT IS MORE TO DO WITH THE SOURCE MATERIAL FOR THE TIME AT WHICH THE FANS WERE CHANGING. I THINK THE STAR WARS FAN BASE IS REALLY INTERESTING. IT'S A LOT MORE INTERACTIVE. AT THE STAR WARS CELEBRATION PANEL I THOUGHT IT WAS PRETTY INTERESTING THAT KATHLEEN KENNEDY CAME OUT AND SAID WHEN I WENT TO THE STAR WARS CELEBRATION IN GERMANY I WAS AMAZED AT THE R2-D2 BUILDERS CLUB IN THE FANS WOULD BUILD THESE DROIDS. AND SHE SAID I DID WITH THE -- SHOULD HIRE SOME THESE PEOPLE AND TWO OF THEM WERE HIRED. SO THAT THEY CROSS OVER BETWEEN FANDOM IN THE ACTUAL FRANCHISE. STAR WARS FANS, THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO DRESS UP FOR CHARITY EVENTS CALL FOR LIBRARIES, FOR COMIC BOOK DAYS AND GO OUT AND ENGAGE WITH THE PUBLIC AND TAKING A BEYOND COSPLAY. THEN THERE'S ALL THE FAN FILMS. THERE IS AN INTERACTIVE LEVEL.
WHAT KIND OF REACTION HAVE YOU GOTTEN SO FAR FROM THE ULTIMATE STAR WARS?
FANS HAVE LOVED IT SO FAR. NOTHING BUT EXCITEMENT. FROM WHAT I HEAR, THE SALES ARE GOING REALLY WELL AND FANS ARE EATING IT UP BECAUSE IT SETS THE FOUNDATION MOVING FORWARD AND LOOKING TOWARDS THE MOVIES. I'VE HEARD FROM PEOPLE AT LUCASFILM THAT THEY HAVE IT ON THEIR DESK AT THE COMPANY, AND THEY USE IT AS THEIR PRIMARY REFERENCE SOURCE WHILE THEY ARE COMING UP WITH NEW MATERIAL.
DOES THAT MAKE YOU GUYS THE ULTIMATE SOURCE NOW?
WE WERE THE ONES WHO STUDIED REALLY HARD AND IT PAID OFF.
WANT TO LET EVERYONE KNOW THAT TRICIA BARR AND ADAM BRAY WILL BE SIGNING COPIES OF THE BOOK AT THE CARLSBAD LIBRARY THIS AFTERNOON. AND BETH WENT TO STAR WARS SEVEN COME OUT?
NOT SOON ENOUGH. DECEMBER 18.
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH.