The Force Awakens prequel story incorporated Rian Johnson’s ideas
Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo reveals that ties to Star Wars: The Force Awakens were also shaped by Rian Johnson of The Last Jedi.
Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo revealed previous novels for Star Wars: The Force Awakens incorporated ideas from Rian Johnson. Star wars is perhaps best known as one of the greatest movie franchises of all time, but in truth, it’s even bigger than that – it’s one of the biggest transmedia franchises in the world, with stories that pass from one medium to another. It is a legacy of the ancient Expanded Universe, which saw Star wars Harness the potential of books, comics, and computer games in the decade leading up to the release of the previous trilogy.
In 2015, when Lucasfilm began marketing for the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, they incorporated a range of construction-related books and comics. Nineteen novels and comics were released under the “Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens” banner, telling stories that helped set the stage for the sequel era. The most important of them was that of Claudia Gray Line, which recounted the end of Leia Organa’s political career as she once again felt the shadow of the dark side descending on the galaxy; the book ended with a key moment in galactic history, as Leia – now a political outcast – began to form the Resistance against the coming threat of the First Order.
In a fascinating Twitter discussion, Lucasfilm Pablo Hidalgo revealed the beats of the story of Line is not from Star Wars: The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams, but rather with Star Wars: The Last JediIt’s Rian Johnson. As Hidalgo explains, at some point in production, a filmmaker is contacted by the Lucasfilm franchise with some connection ideas. This soon establishes what Hidalgo calls “bodyguard“- things to avoid – and real opportunities. Johnson had sketched out what he thought happened between the end of Return of the Jedi and the beginning of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and part of that became the plot of Claudia Gray’s novel Line. Check out Hidalgo’s tweet below:
Yeah. He had sketched out what he thought happened between VI and VII and part of that became the basis of Bloodline.
– Pablo Hidalghoul (@ pabl0hidalgo) October 8, 2021
Line is generally regarded as one of the best Star wars books from the Disney era, and Claudia Gray went on to write several other novels for Lucasfilm – including some of their most important connections. Her firm understanding of Princess Leia led her to be commissioned to write Leia: Princess of Alderaan, the official story of how Leia first joined the Rebellion, and Master & Apprentice – a story starring Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi – ultimately revealed the text of the Chosen One’s prophecy. And it looks like Gray’s first book, the one that launched her with Lucasfilm Publishing, was born out of Rian Johnson’s fertile imagination.
This director-led approach explains why Lucasfilm Publishing’s approach seems to vary from film to film. The best transmedia campaign to date supported Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, with the novel by James Luceno Catalyst and the novelization of Alexander Freed perfectly complementing the film and giving a full story of how the Death Star was built. Meanwhile, Hidalgo noted JJ Abrams and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker writer Chris Terrio sketched the bare bones of what became Charles Soule’s comic book, The Rise of Kylo Ren, which came out before the last film in the sequel trilogy and explored Kylo Ren’s downfall to the dark side. Presumably, a similar approach is also taken for links to Disney + TV shows, as Lucasfilm is preparing a number of Star wars books to tie The Mandalorian.
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Source: Pablo Hidalgo
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