With its superhero line of titles and its line of Star Wars books Marvel Comics is home to two rich, imaginative universes of compelling, and iconic characters and writer Charles Soule has a foot in each of them. In 2015 the lawyer turned prolific writer kicked off his run on Daredevil. Then, in 2016, he began working on the ongoing Star Wars: Poe Dameron series, which is set shortly before the beginning of the Force Awakens film. This year, Soule expanded his Star Wars tales by launching a new volume of Darth Vader, which chronicles the titular Sith Lord's early days.
In a wide ranging discussion with CBR, Soule focused on his experience ring in a galaxy far far away, explaining the evolving focus of Poe Dameron, the joy of writing an inexperienced Darth Vader, and much more.
CBR: Charles, while you're expanding your roster of creator-owned projects, you're still a very prolific writer of work for hire books. You've done quite a few books featuring Marvel and DC superheroes, and you're currently a frequent contributor to Marvel's Star Wars line.
Charles Soule: The Star Wars franchise seems to be great at capturing young imaginations, and that has continued over many generations. I'm certainly no exception; I've loved it since I was little, and back then I would make up stories set in the Star Wars Universe with my brother and sister.
So when the opportunity came to possibly write Star Wars books at Marvel, I immediately went to Jordan D. White, the editor of the Star Wars line, and let him know to please keep me in mimd if anything ever opened up. A bit later, luckily for me, I was offered the Lando book, my first project in the Star Wars world. I then continued with a number of projects. Right now I'm writing both the Poe Dameron series and the new Darth Vader series. They're dreams come true. I'm having such a great time with both.
I feel like I have this weird PhD In Star Wars-ology from growing up with the films, the toys, the TV shows, comics, books… even those weird Ewok made-for-TV movies. Everything. I know the characters very well, and most of the ins and outs of the universe – vaporators and holocrons and so on. I feel like I have some good stories to tell in the Star Wars galaxy. Fortunately, people have been responding pretty well to my books so far - hopefully I'll get to keep doing this for a long time.
Your Star Wars work allows you to collaborate with great artists like Phil Noto and Angel Unzueta on Poe Dameron and Giuseppe Camuncoli on the new Darth Vader series.
Yes! Because a lot of people really love Star Wars, the projects attract some truly talented creators to work on the line. I'm just glad I get to collaborate with these people to the degree that I do. Initially I worked with Alex Maleev and Paul Mounts on Lando and then Marco Checchetto on the Obi-Wan & Anakin series. They were fantastic, it was wonderful to get to do a long run with Phil, and now Angel and Giuseppe are knocking their books out of the park. Everyone I've worked with has been amazing.
Your two current Star Wars titles are named after individual characters, but Poe Dameron almost feels more like an ensemble book about Black Squadron, the group of pilots Poe leads. Was that your intention with the book?
Absolutely. It's an ensemble book, and even more it's really about the Resistance and the struggle they go through leading up to Episode Seven. As the book has continued, we've been able to expand our focus beyond just the pilots, too. Issues #1-13 primarily focus on Black Squadron, the special missions team Poe leads before Episode Seven. Then everything after issue #13 has been more about the Resistance, its growing pains, and its ability to successfully complete their mission of stopping the First Order.
That means we're now seeing more of Leia Organa, the other pilots, and the infrastructure of the Resistance. We're also looking at things like how they're viewed in the wider galaxy and what the New Republic is like. It's been fascinating for me to explore those bits and pieces. I think the readers will like it too – Star Wars fans tend to like to look in the nooks and crannies of the galaxy.