The new ongoing series launches on www.starwars.com in May with a preview web-only issue, followed by a second preview web-only issue in June. The series, set 25 years after the Battle of Yavin (the historic clash between the Rebels and the Empire that led to the destruction of the first Death Star), kicks off in traditional format on July 1.
We spoke with Australian playwright-turned-comic scribe Tom Taylor here, who set up “Invasion” for CBR readers.
Now CBR News checks in with artist and Taylor’s fellow countryman, Colin Wilson, to see what the long-time “Judge Dredd” penciler loves about “Star Wars: Invasion,” set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
CBR News: You are obviously quite knowledgeable about “Star Wars” considering your previous work on Dark Horse’s top-selling comic, “Legacy.”
Colin Wilson: “Quite knowledgeable” would not be the description I would use. Like everyone else in the Western world, I’d seen the films of course, but only the original three. And so it was a really steep learning curve. Working on “Legacy” wasn’t too critical. Being set 140 years after the Battle of Yavin, and beyond, allows for a little more freedom. It was the Rebellion story arc I illustrated last year that became the real test. This was also the first time that I had to visualize a lot of the Star Wars characters we all know and love – Luke, Leia, Admiral Ackbar… and so I went back to those early films and undertook some serious visual research.
Are you a long-time fan of the franchise?
The original film had a huge impact on me when I first saw it back in the seventies. I was already a huge science fiction fan, but no-one had done sci-fi like that before, with that scope, and such attention to every little detail. It’s what I still love about the whole Star Wars universe – the stories arcs can be universe-spanning space adventures, and yet a huge amount of effort goes into making every small detail completely convincing and ‘real.’
What makes drawing the Yuuzhan Vong a difficult assignment?
The Vong are a real challenge, because so little is known about them. But early on I realized that this was also a huge advantage, as well. Once I got a good visual handle on these guys, I could pretty much do what I want with them, at least visually. The important thing I’d like to retain about the Vong is their aura of mystery. With these guys, anything can happen, and usually does. Big, bad, threatening… what else does a comic artist need?
Luke plays a role in “Star Wars: Invasion.” Is it fun drawing such an iconic character?
Visualizing an older, wiser Luke in middle age is a tough one. We all remember the iconic, fresh-faced teenager of the original film, but the Luke in our “Invasion” story arc has had a lot happen in his life, both good and bad. I’ve got to somehow show this, and yet allow the character that we all know and love show through.
What other characters do you get to play with? Any others classic characters? And what about Jacen Solo from the “New Jedi Order” books.
Early days yet, but there will be several existing Star Wars characters who will make an appearance in “Invasion.” Luke and Jacen, but also…..
Are you enjoying working on this project with Tom? What’s he like to work with as a collaborator?
Tom and I have been working on a variety of different projects over the last couple of years, and working together on “Invasion” is taking things to a whole different level. This is the first time that I’ve been able to collaborate on a project like this from the very start, and also the chance to discuss every little detail face to face with the writer as I draw the pages. We get together at least once a week, look through the latest completed pages, and discuss the content and subtext of what’s to come. A new experience for me, and I think the advantages of such a close collaboration are already evident in “Invasion.”
What else are you working on these days?
Apart from a couple of interesting new projects that Tom and I are playing around with, I am also completing some “Judge Dredd” stories for 2000AD, and looking into the possibility of publishing an English language edition of my French series “Du Plomb Dans La Tete” (“Headshot”). Warner Bros. optioned the screen rights to this three-book series late last year, and the translation that writer Matz and I recently completed of the three books has already published by Casterman. It’s a terrific read.