April (Days 91-120)

Day 91 – Kneesa

Kneesa

Kneesa from the Ewok cartoon series (left) and Forces of Destiny (right).

Kneesa, or if you’re feeling fancy Princess Kneesa a Jari Kintaka, was the Ewok princess of Bright Tree Village. She was also the daughter of Chief Chirpa. She appeared in several episodes of the animated TV series Star Wars: Ewoks (1985-1986), the Ewok comic series, and the Forces of Destiny episodes “Traps and Tribulations” and “Chopper and Friends.”

Kneesa appeared in Star Wars Droids 4: Lost in Time which was part one of a two-part crossover event that concluded in Ewoks 10: The Demons of Endor. There were also several Ewok children’s books that included Kneesa.

Kneesa also appeared in the Dark Horse Comic trade paperback Star Wars: Ewoks – Shadows of Endor that came out in 2013.

Here’s the trailer for the Ewok cartoon. She was voiced by Cree Summer in the first season of Ewoks and by Jeanne Reynolds in the second season.

Kneesa was voiced by Shelby Young in the Forces of Destiny short “Chopper and Friends” below as well as “Traps and Tribulations.”

And here’s a video from Star Wars Explained that goes over both Legends and now canon Kneesa content.

Start from the beginning of the 365 Days of Star Wars Women project on the January Page.

Day 92 – Verona Blue

Verona Blue

Verona Blue is an actress who voiced several characters in The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and the video game Battlefront II. Some of the voices she portrayed include the voice of the female First Order trooper in The Force Awakens (photo upper right) and the voice of the antenna computer on Scarif in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Verona was kind enough to answer a few questions via email for 365 Days of Star Wars Women.

Are you a Star Wars fan? If so, when did you you get introduced to Star Wars and what is your favorite film or TV show?

Hi! I am Verona Blue, I went to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre school in the UK, but I am originally from Toronto, Canada – and I am a huge Star Wars fan!

My left arm is fully sleeved with a tattoo telling the story of the Stormtroopers, starting with Jango as the original on Kamino and the lineage from Clone trooper to Classic trooper. My sleeve won “best large colour” for the first ever Lucasfilm tattoo contest at SW Celebration 3, an award I display proudly in my living room. I also used to have a cat named Droideka and my heart-dog (who has now passed) was named Chewie. I really adore Star Wars, I’ve been a member of the 501st since early 99 and and am always and forever Dark Side.

My favourite SW film was Jedi, for a really long time, and then it morphed one day to Empire and now… I don’t know. I loved The Force Awakens so much and I actually had the opportunity last October to speak to JJ Abrams and I thanked him for creating Rey.

Can you tell me a bit about the voiceover work you’ve done for Star Wars projects? Did you need to keep your involvement in The Force Awakens a secret for a long period of time? Did people who knew you recognize your voice as the First Order trooper?

I have worked on all of the new SW films so far, as well as Battlefront 2, providing voices for secondary and background characters. I was the first ever female stormtrooper in The Force Awakens (I speak to Kylo Ren after Rey escapes) and I also provided all the PA announcements on the rebel base (you can hear them most clearly when Finn arrives for the first time to meet Leia). I also filled in a variety of cantina voices, rebel pilots and officer chatter throughout TFA and Rogue One. Working on these films is a huge thrill but you sign your life away to secrecy so no one knows anything and you can’t talk about it or how excited you are. Fortunately, the recording is one of the last parts of the production so we don’t have to bite our tongues for too long. It must be agony for someone who loves Star Wars and is also working on set from day one.

Verona Blue was the voice of the antenna computer in Rogue One.

Prior to providing voices for Star Wars I did some industrial and education voice over projects for private companies. I am the voice of an entire training program for stock brokers for a Canadian bank! Since starting on the Star Wars films I’ve had the opportunity to work on some other small video game and VR projects as well as Battlefront 2 which was the WEIRDEST thing I’ve ever done.

When we work on the movies we do all the officer and rebel voices in English. When working on the video game they weren’t going to translate the secondary and background characters so we had to do them in gibberish… but it had to SOUND like English, which is REALLY HARD and hilarious. I was in the first take of the day and as soon as one of my colleagues dove in to his “British accented English-sounded gibberish” I was overtaken with laughter and had to shove my scarf in my mouth so that I didn’t ruin the take given that I was standing directly in front of a microphone. After the director called cut on our group the entire room erupted in laughter. Everyone had been holding their breath, faces shoved in bags and pillows and knees, to keep it together. It was one of those days where you couldn’t look anyone in the eye or you’d start to laugh.

One of my favourite parts of providing voices for these films is the incredible group of people I get to work with and learn from. There’s some really prolific and talented people who are in our “loop group” and it’s humbling and wonderful to be able to watch them work. I definitely take my cues from some of the more experienced voice actors and try to step up my game every time, and just go for it with wild choices.

My friends who know where to find my voice always recognize it and I have received some emails and comments from parents telling me that their daughters were really excited to hear a woman’s voice come out of that First Order helmet. I am so proud to be part of that moment of delight.

Do you have a favorite female Star Wars character or a female character you would either like to voice or play? What projects are you working on now or have coming up?

If I had my druthers I would DEFINITELY play Aurra Sing in a live action bounty hunter TV show, or some kind of Sith. I hope I have the opportunity to perform an on-camera role in the Star Wars universe, but to be honest this has been such a huge dream come true already. I am currently on a show called BOSCH on Amazon and I worked on a pilot (currently untitled) so far this year. I have my fingers crossed about doing more animation voice over, and of course more Star Wars properties.

Verona is represented by Kazarian/Measures/Ruskin and Associates and you can see more of her work at VeronaBlue.com. She is @bathori on twitter and bathori on Instagram.

Day 93 – An’ya Kuro AKA Dark Woman

An'ya Kuro

Left: Jedi:Aayla Secura. Right: Star Wars Tales Pt. 1.

An’ya Kuro, also known as Dark Woman, was a Jedi during the Clone Wars. She tried and failed to train Aurra Sing in the Jedi arts. An’ya Kuro appeared in several Legends comics including Star Wars: Republic: Vow of Justice, the main Star Wars comic, and Jedi: Aayla Secura. She also appeared in the 2002 video game Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter.

Below is a screenshot from the story “Darth Vader: Extinction” you can find in Star Wars Tales #1 & #2 that shows An’ya Kuro facing off with none other than Darth Vader.

Day 94 – Siri Tachi

Siri Tachi

Left: Boo cover of Secrets of the Jedi. Right: from the Japanese cover of the book The School of Fear.

Siri Tachi was a Jedi who was trained by Jedi Master Adi Gallia. She was a talented pilot who went on to train Jedi Ferus Olin. Siri debuted in the book Jedi Apprentice: The Captive Temple and appeared in two other Jedi Apprentice books. She also appeared in eight Jedi Quest books, the video game Star Wars: Jedi Fighter, and the book Secrets of the Jedi.

Siri Tachi, like Satine Kryze, had a complicated romantic history with Obi-Wan Kenobi. Below is a fan video about Obi-Wan and Siri which can give you an idea about at least one fan’s feelings about Siri and Obi-Wan. Like Satine, Siri died while she was with Kenobi.

Day 95 – Delilah Dawson

Delilah Dawson

Delilah Dawson is the author of Phasma and several short stories based on Star Wars characters. She has also written two Star Wars stories for the comic Star Wars Adventures and wrote the comic Forces of Destiny: Rose and Paige.

Dawson has also written books using the name Lila Bowen including the Shadow book series. She was kind enough to answer a few questions via email for 365 Star Wars Women.

When were you introduced to Star Wars? What appeals to you the most about the galaxy far, far away (favorite characters/movies, etc.)?

Like any kid born in 1977, I was always aware of Star Wars and slept on Star Wars bed sheets, but it was the Ewoks that made it real for me. I got to stay up late to watch The Ewok Adventure, and I became obsessed. I mean, murderous alien bears who are kind to lonely young girls? SOLD. I still have my Princess Kneesaa plush from that Christmas. To this day, I really love the strange species, fun animals, and vibrant cantina scenes in Star Wars. I can watch people every day in my own life, but the fantastic creatures really draw me in… which is why I try to invent at least one new species in every story I write for Star Wars.

Did you read many Star Wars Expanded Universe (now Legends) books? If so any favorites? How about canon books? Any favorites or favorite time periods?

I read oodles of them and especially enjoyed anything focusing on the Mandalorians, but I quit reading when the Vong got boring and Chewie died. I’d have to say Revenge of the Sith was my favorite, and I’m a huge fan of Matthew Stover. And I loved playing KOTOR and KOTOR 2, which I suppose fall into the Legends category. But I’m also a big fan of the new canon and love all the new authors. There’s just so much going on, and it’s all wonderful!

How did you find out you were going to write Phasma? Were you looking to write a Star Wars book or was it a happy surprise?

I received an email titled ‘A Very Awesome Email’, which it was. 🙂 I’d been very open on Twitter and elsewhere that I reeeeeeally wanted to write a Star Wars book, and after writing The Perfect Weapon, a novella about bounty hunter Bazine Netal, I had high hopes that I might get a shot at a full book. When that email arrived, I made a noise that I have never made before nor since, a noise that nearly shattered the windows. It was two days before my birthday in 2016, and I still remember it clearly. It’s a great feeling to know one of your dreams is coming true!

What kind of guidelines or guidance did you get from Lucasfilm about the outline of events in Phasma?

I can’t go too deep into the details, but I can tell you that I felt lovingly supported by my Del Rey editors, the Story Group, other Star Wars authors, and everyone at Lucasfilm. It’s a natural and organic process that insures the author gets to tell a story uniquely their own that also serves canon and the Star Wars universe overall. It was a great experience.

Do you think Phasma survived the events of the The Last Jedi?

I wrote her to be indestructible and would assume nothing else.

If you could write a story about one of the new characters you created for Phasma what character would you choose.

Cardinal and Vi, 100%! I have such a soft spot for Emergency Brake, and I love Vi, and I think there’s a lot of potential for them as a team, as long as it doesn’t involve knitting. But of course I know that I could have a great time with any story challenge Star Wars offered me.

Would you enjoy writing more Star Wars books in the future? If so, are there any specific characters (other than Phasma) or time periods you’d love to get a chance to write about?

Oh, definitely. They know how eager I am! The great thing about how Star Wars books are made is that they seem to be really careful in selecting who writes what, which means that they match writers to stories that maximize their talents. I feel certain that anything they offered me would be right up my alley. Cardinal and Vi would be great, and I’d also love to sink my teeth into the Knights of Ren. I specialize in violent women, but I think I could easily expand into angry emo boys with bad childhoods. I’d especially love the chance to do the Episode IX novelization. And they know I’d love to write more comics, too.

You have written a few short stories for Star Wars that gave backstories for different characters – Pilot Greer Sonnel who appeared in the novel Bloodline in “Scorched”, mercenary Bazine Netal from The Force Awakens in “The Perfect Weapon”, and Imperial spy Garindan ezz Zavor from A New Hope in “The Secrets of Long Snoot.” I’m curious for “Scorched” and “The Perfect Weapon” how much you knew about the characters before you wrote these stories and for “The Secrets of Long Snoot” did you have any guidelines for what you could or could not do for this character?

For Scorched, I got to read an early copy of Bloodlines and see Greer in action–but a later version of Greer. The creativity came in when I had to extrapolate back to see what she would’ve been like when she was younger and not yet living with her affliction.

For The Perfect Weapon, I had the words ‘female James Bond in space’ and a photograph of Bazine in Grummgar’s lap. When I asked for more information, as no one had seen The Force Awakens yet and had any idea what the current world was like, I was told to hit Google for spoilers. At first, that was scary, but then I realized I had a ton of freedom in building her character from scratch, including explaining why she wears the cowl and why her fingers are coated in black ink. I also got to make up two planets, which made me feel a bit megalomaniacal!

And for The Secrets of Long Snoot, there was a ton of freedom. I scoured Wookieepedia and other online sites for info, but the cool thing about Garindan is that no one had yet tackled his character in depth, so I really got to explore if the rumors about him were true.

You’ve also written three comic stories for Star Wars Adventures and Forces of Destiny about the Tico sisters and (of course) porgs as well as the comic series Ladycastle. And it was just announced you’re writing a comic version of Dragonriders of Pern (congrats!) How did you get into writing comics and do you hope to always go back and forth between writing books and comics? Does your writing process change a lot working on these different mediums?

The thing I’ve learned about writing comics is that there is no proven way to break in, and I definitely beat my head against a wall for a few years, trying to figure out how to make the leap. I was invited to write some short comics for the Boo! anthology for Monkeybrain, which got me on a panel about writing comics for women at GenCon, which got picked up by The Mary Sue because it went bonkers wrong. That day, I received an email from an editor at BOOM! Studios inviting me to pitch. I pitched Ladycastle, and that was my first comics job. I feel so fortunate that my editing team generously helped me ramp up quickly into writing comics, as it’s a completely different art form than novels. After Ladycastle, I got to write some Adventure Time and Labyrinth for BOOM!, and when IDW needed a writer who’d read the script of The Last Jedi and could write comics, I was on that shortlist, which led me to Star Wars Adventures and Forces of Destiny.

I love going back and forth between books and comics–comics are the sorbet between the heavy meals of novel writing. I can whip out a comic script in two days, so that’s a nice sense of satisfaction amidst the slog of longer works. I hope to do more in comics, both IP and creator-owned, and have several things coming down the road, including The X-Files Case Files: Florida Man for IDW.

Can you talk about any books/comics you have coming out soon or are working on now?

My X-Files comic, Florida Man, is out in April. Then my trope-smashing Fantasy book, Kill the Farm Boy, cowritten with fellow Star Wars author Kevin Hearne, is out in July, and they’re calling it a mix of Princess Bride and Discworld. The last book in my Shadow series, written as Lila Bowen, is out in October, called Treason of Hawks. And the comic adaptation I’m writing of Dragonflight, first in the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey, will hopefully be out later this year. With more stuff on the way!

You’re very active on twitter talking about your writing process, publishing in general, and answering questions from new writers. Would you recommend being active on social media to new (or established) writers?

This is a tough one, because my answer to ‘How do I get a big social media following?’ is ‘Get a time machine and go back to 2008 and start then.’ The best advice I can give to new writers is to write the best book you can. Don’t focus on social media and brand and platform or giving writing advice, especially before that advice has brought you the success you’re aiming for. Head down, butt in chair, work on the book and on becoming the best writer you can be. That’s what sells your book. I think Twitter has great value in finding your cohort, and I met so many of my writer friends there, but you have to have something you’re excited to talk about, some way to offer value, if you want to see your follower count rise. And, hey– Twitter doesn’t sell books. If every one of my followers bought one of my books today, I’d have 3 New York Times bestsellers next week, but that doesn’t happen. Just write, and use social media in ways that boost your energy and support. Don’t waste time or let it drain you. I… have a lot of thoughts on this. But I remember being new to writing, so I always try to pay it forward on Twitter with advice and am always happy to answer unGoogleable questions about publishing or writing.

Thanks again to Delilah for taking the time for this interview. You can find her on twitter @DelilahSDawson and on her website whimsydark.

Day 96 – Daisy Ridley

Daisy Ridley

Daisy Ridley played Rey in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. She will return as Rey in Episode IX. Ridley had only been in a few short films and TV episodes before she was cast in The Force Awakens.

Here’s a clip from Daisy’s audition for The Force Awakens.

In between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi Ridley played Miss Ary Debenham in the 2017 film Murder on the Orient Express. In 2018 Ridley will appear in the film Ophelia directed by Claire McCarthy, which IMDB describes as a re-imagining of Hamlet, told from Ophelia’s perspective and she voiced Cotton-Tail in Peter Rabbit. Other films Ridley has coming up include Chaos Walking, A Woman of No Importance, and Kolma.

To get an idea of Daisy as Daisy and not Rey check out 73 Questions with Daisy Ridley from Vogue.

Day 97 – Sei Taria

Sei Taria

Left: Valorum and Taria in The Phantom Menace. Right: Taria in Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan Last Stand on Ord Mantell #1.

Sei Taria was an aide to Supreme Chancellor Valorum in The Phantom Menace. When Valorum lost his position in the Galactic Republic Taria also lost hers. Actress Kamay Lau played Taria in The Phantom Menace.

Like many smaller Star Wars characters Taria only got a name and a backstory in games and reference books, in this case the Star Wars Customizable Card Game and the Star Wars Character Enclyclopedia. Other than The Phantom Menace most of Taria’s appearances are in materials now considered Legends including the novels Cloak of Deception and Darth Plagueis. She also appeared in the comics Qui-Gon and Obi Wan: Last Stand on Ord Mantell 1 and Jedi Council: Acts of War 4.

To learn more about Sei Taria’s entire story visit her Wookieepedia page.

Day 98 – Tenel Ka Djo

Tenel Ka Djo

Left: Cover of The Lost Ones. Right: from the book Essential Atlas.

Tenel Ka Djo was a Jedi Knight who started to attend Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Academy when she was a teenager. She was friends with Han & Leia’s children Jacen and Jaina Solo. Tenel Ka appeared in several books in the Young Jedi Knights, The New Jedi Order, Dark Nest, Legacy of the Force, and Fate of the Jedi books. All of these books now fall into the Legends category.

Natalie Zutter and Emily Asher-Perrin talk about Tenel Ka a lot in their re-read of Young Jedi Knighst: Lightsabers for Tor.com. Tricia Barr talked about her character for FANgirl Blog in Blood, Honor, and Matriarchs: The Hapan Women of Star Wars.

Like so many Legends characters there is a LOT to Tenel Ka’s story. Check out her Wookieepedia page to learn more.

Day 99 – Celeste Morne

Celeste Morne

Left: Knights of the Old Republic: Vector Pt. 1. Right: Dark Times Pt. 11.

Celeste Morne was a Jedi Master who appeared in Legends comics. She was a part of a secret division inside of the Jedi Order called the Jedi Covenant where she served as a Jedi Shadow. Even if you have no idea what this really means, you have to admit it sounds very fancy.

Most of Morne’s appearances occurred in the Vector crossover event between the Knights of the Old Republic, Dark Times, Rebellion, and Legacy comic series.

Celeste Morne on the cover of Dark Times #11 with Darth Vader.

To learn more about Morne head on over to her page on Comic Vine.

Day 100 – Beth Revis

Beth Revis

Beth Revis is a YA science fiction author who wrote the novel Rebel Rising. She was kind enough to answer a few questions via email for 365 Days of Star Wars Women.

When were you introduced to Star Wars? What appeals to you the most about the galaxy far, far away (favorite characters/movies, etc.)?

I honestly cannot remember a time in my life when I wasn’t aware of Star Wars on some level. My mother taped the original trilogy off of television and my brother and I watched those VHS tapes so much that to this day I remember where the commercial breaks are supposed to go. As kids, we had one official (Vader) lightsaber–we’d take turns using it while the other one fought back with a stick or a PVC pipe.

What appeals to me most about the series now is the expansive world (or should I say galaxy?). It’s truly a mark of George Lucas’s original brilliance that the world of Star Wars can grow and encompass so many different stories and characters. But as a kid, what I loved most was Leia. She was everything I wanted to be–and now that I’m grown, and have seen my princess become a general, she is still everything I want to be.

On your website you rank the Star Wars films as follows: RO, RotJ, ESB, TLJ, ANH, TFA, RotS, AotC, TPM. Is this a firm ranking from you or do movies switch back and forth at times? Do you think anything could knock Rogue One out of first place? Any guesses where Solo will end up in this ranking?

It’s not a firm ranking–especially with the new stories coming out!–but Rogue One will always be special to me since it enables me to enter the world as a creator instead of a dreamer. And Return of the Jedi is the film of my childhood (Ewoks are awesome, I will fight you over this). But I actually really love the new angle that the new stories are taking. The phrase “Let the past die,” is a great way of reminding us all that we cannot live in nostalgia forever, and that one of the best things about Star Wars is the way it can grow, and therefore change.

I’m not sure where Solo will end up, but I do know that Donald Glover as Lando has put it pretty high already.

Did you read many Star Wars Expanded Universe (now Legends) books? If so any favorites? How about canon books? Any favorites?

I read a bunch of the Young Jedi Academy novels when I was in high school. I remember signing up for those book monthly subscription services just so I could get the collected volumes of those books, and my friend and I would swap the books on the school bus so we could each get the full story.

As for the new canon books, I think Claudia Gray’s Bloodline is my favorite, probably because I identify so much with Leia now that she’s grown.

How did you find out you were going to write Rebel Rising? Were you looking to write a Star Wars book or was it a happy surprise?

It was a happy surprise–and one I’m still pinching myself over! I’d loved Star Wars forever, and burned with secret envy at all the authors folded into the new canon, but had no idea how to break into it. When my agent called to let me know they wanted me to write a book, I screamed into a pillow so I wouldn’t wake my sleeping baby and then continued to freak out so much I woke the baby anyway.

What kind of guidelines or guidance did you get from Lucasfilm about the outline of events in Rebel Rising?

I think people expect that the authors are giving a very rigid guideline and forced to conform their stories, but to be honest, I was met with nothing but respect. Everyone I worked with really respected the role of an author and made sure to give me creative freedom. I was given the guideline of where the book fit in the timeline (between Jyn being picked up by Saw as a child to when she’s in prison as a young adult), but pretty much I could do what I wanted to within those two points. There were a few things that I wanted to add but couldn’t, but that was because I was fan-servicing myself by including some characters that really had no place being in that part of the story, or dropping in allusions that weren’t true to the narrative. Every suggestion from Lucasfilm was about making the book better, not fitting it to a mandated, restricted form.

I have seen comments from several people that they didn’t feel connected to Jyn Erso until they read Rebel Rising. I’m assuming you have heard this feedback as well. Did you have a hard time getting into Jyn’s head to write this book? Do you think she’s a hard character to relate to or that a full backstory was needed to appreciate her?

I was able to read the script (and some of the linked books) early so that I could understand the character better, and of course, I read all this with an eye to really focus on Jyn, so I never felt that disconnect that others have mentioned. I actually found Jyn’s development to be something fairly easy to suss out–we got the dots of her past, and I just connected them.

Did your writing process change much with Rebel Rising compared to books that weren’t a part of a large film franchise? Any specific challenges with this book?

My process did actually change significantly. I’d never before written a novel to an outline, but obviously it was more time conducive to make an outline for this project and get feedback on it prior to actually writing the whole book. It really revolutionized my writing, and I’ve adapted to using outlines for my own creative work now.

On your website, you refer to a love for putting Easter Eggs in your books. Are there Easter Eggs in Rebel Rising that haven’t been discovered to your knowledge? Any hints if this is the case?

I do love Easter Eggs! To my knowledge, there is only one left that no one else has caught, but it’s really obscure. It’s funny, the ones I thought would be hardest to find were the first ones people noticed, but no one’s caught that last one, which I thought was pretty easy…

Would you enjoy writing more Star Wars books in the future? If so, are there any specific characters or time periods you’d love to get a chance to write about?

I WILL DO ANYTHING FOR STAR WARS ANYTHING AT ALL I JUST WANT TO PLAY IN THIS GALAXY FOREVER MY HEART IS THERE

(But also, Doctor Aphra is amazing and if I could write a YA novel about her time in school before she joined with Vader, I would die with a smile on my face. But also just anything.)

For Star Wars fans who have only read Rebel Rising is there another book or series of yours you feel is the easiest to recommend?

My Across the Universe trilogy is essentially a murder mystery set in space, so if you’re in Star Wars for the stars side, grab that one. My book coming out this September, Give the Dark my Love is the story of a girl who goes from learning alchemy to help people to becoming a necromancer because why not (I refer to it as my Vader story with more death). So if you’re in Star Wars for the wars side, preorder it now!

Your Paper Hearts series is described as writing advice, tips, philosophy and more designed to help authors at every point in their career. What inspired you to write this series?

Before I was published, I taught high school English. I actually really loved it–the actual teaching side of the job, I mean, not the grading or politics. I naturally think about stories by breaking them down, and so when I quit teaching to write full time, I still talked about books and writing in a “teacher” way on my blog and at public speaking gigs. Eventually, my readers asked me to compile all the posts that were scattered about, so I used Wattpad to put them all in one place, organized and neat. After that hit a hundred thousand reads, I started getting messages from others to turn it into a full book.

Can you talk about any books you have coming out soon or are working on now?

My next book, Give the Dark my Love, will be available on September 25. It’s my evil little book about how a girl becomes a necromancer and descends to darkness, and I loved every minute of it. Killing characters is so much more fun when you can bring them back and kill them again…

Thank you so much for taking the time for this! I absolutely love Jy and I thought you did a fantastic job with Rebel Rising!

Thanks! That story really is near and dear to my heart <3

 

You can find Beth on Twitter @bethrevis and on her website.

Day 101 – Carrie Beck

Carrie Beck

Carrie Beck was a producer on Star Wars Rebels and Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures. She’s also the executive producer on the Forces of Destiny shorts. But that’s not all. Additionally, Beck is a member of the Lucasfilm Story Group and serves as vice president of animation development at Lucasfilm Animation.

Beck talked with SYFY about all of the animation projects she has worked on at Lucasfilm in this interview. She also spoke with the podcast Fangirls Going Rogue on Episode #47.

Finally here’s an interview Carrie Beck did on The Star Wars Show.

Day 102 – Jude Watson

Jude Watson

Judy Blundell – known to many readers by her pseudonym Jude Watson – is the author of dozens of Star Wars young reader novels. She wrote books for the Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice, Jedi Quest, and The Last of the Jedi book series. She also wrote journal books from the perspective of Leia Organa, Queen Amidala, and Darth Maul.

Here’s an interview Judy Blundell did with The Ultimate Book Guide in 2009 and Jude Watson’s website. The video below is Judy Blundell reading a bit from her book What I Saw and How I Lied.

Day 103 – Riyo Chuchi

Riyo Chuchi

Riyo Churchi was a Pantoran senator who served in the Galactic Senate during the Clone Wars. Churchi appeared in over a dozen episodes of the TV series The Clone Wars. She also appeared in the young readers book The Clone Wars: planets in Peril and the video game LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars. Actress Jennifer Hale, who voiced Aayla Secura in The Clone Wars and Bastila Shan in Knights of the Old Republic, voiced Churchi in The Clone Wars.

Here’s a clip of Riyo Churchi from The Clone Wars episode “Trespass.”

Day 104 – Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Solo: A Star Wars Story (left) and in Fleabag (right).

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is the actress bringing L3-37 to life in Solo: A Star Wars Story. She has also appeared in the TV series Fleabag, Crashing, and Broadchurch. Waller-Bridge wrote and produced Crashing and wrote several episodes of Fleabag while also serving as that show’s Executive Producer (Fleabag is an adaptation of a one-woman play Waller-Bridge created). But that’s not all you should know about Phoebe. She created the new series Killing Eve that recently premiered to rave reviews and HBO just announced that they picked up another series Waller-Bridge helped create, Run.

So, as you can see, Phoebe Waller-Bridge is (to steal a line from Finn) “kind of a big deal”.  And not just because she gets to hang out with Lando in the Millenium Falcon in a galaxy far, far away. But that is extremely cool.

Here she is talking to TIME late last year.

Day 105 – Lovey

Lovey

Lovey was one of the glamorous individuals Rose and Finn saw gamble at the Canto Bight casino in The Last Jedi. She was seen gambling with the Master Codebreaker and her true name is, as of yet, unknown. Lovey was played by actress Lily Cole.

You can find Lovey in The Last Jedi novelization, the children’s book The Last Jedi: Rose and Finn’s Secret Mission, and The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary.

Day 106 – Korr Sella

 Korr Sella

Korr Sella (Korrie) served as an envoy to the New Republic in The Force Awakens. The majority of her role was cut out of the final version of the film. Sella worked under General Leia Organa and died on Hosnian Prime while she was delivering a warning from Leia about the dangers of the First Order.

Here’s a screenshot of Korr Sella right before Starkiller Base destroyed Hosnian Prime.

And here’s the scene with Sella and Organa that was deleted from the film.

Korr Sella appeared in the novel Bloodline, The Force Awakens novelization, graphic novelization, and comic adaptation. You can also find Korr Sella in LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Actress Maisie Richardson-Sellers played Sella in The Force Awakens.

Day 107 – Camie Loneozner

Camie Loneozner

Camie Loneozner was a resident of Anchorhead on Tatooine. She appeared in a scene near the beginning of A New Hope at Tosche Station with Luke Skywalker (and a few other of Luke’s friends) that was cut out of the final version of the film. Actress Koo Stark portrayed Camie in A New Hope.

Camie also appeared in the novelization of A New Hope and, more recently, in the novelization of The Last Jedi. She was mentioned in the novel A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy.

Here’s the deleted scene of Camie (after a scene with Luke and Biggs Darklighter) from A New Hope.

And here’s a bit of what you may have missed about Camie if you’ve never read the A New Hope Novelization.

“The girl on his lap stretched sensuously, her well-worn clothing tugging in various intriguing directions. Her voice was casually throaty. “Oh,” she yawned, “that was just Wormie on one of his rampages.”

Hmmmm. OK. Camie also appeared in many other, now Legends, materials including the comics Star Wars 1, Star Wars 17: Crucible, and Star Wars 31: Return to Tatooine. She also made an appearance in the young readers book Star Wars Journal: The Fight for Justice and the comic Empire 8: Darklighter, Part 1.

Upper left: Star Wars 31: Return to Tatooine. Upper right: Star Wars 17: Crucible. Lower left: Star Wars 1. Lower right: Empire 8: Darklighter, Part 1.

Day 108 – Female Pilots in Return of the Jedi

Female Pilots in Return of the Jedi

Vivienne Chandler (left) and an unknown actress (right).

Were there any female rebel pilots in Return of the Jedi? From a certain point of view – yes. But there could have been a few more if editing had gone a different way.

Below is a screenshot of actress Poppy Hands who played on A-Wing pilot in Return of the Jedi. She appeared in the film, but her dialogue was dubbed over with a male actor’s voice.

female pilots Return of the Jedi

Two other women shot some footage as pilots in the Battle of Endor, but none of these scenes made the final cut of the film. You can see footage of all three actresses in the video below.

When I did the breakdown of women in Return of the Jedi for FANgirl blog I also spotted these two female rebel pilots in the briefing room.

These women were the first female pilots in Star Wars (The Empire Strikes Back had some female Rebels, but not pilots). Audiences would have to wait for The Phantom Menace to get a female pilot who had some lines.

Day 109 – Bana Breemu

Bana Breemu

Bana Breemu was a character cut out of Revenge of the Sith. She was a member of the Galactic Senate representing the Humbarine sector and was part of the Delegation of 2,000. If you’re wondering who the Delegation of 2,000 were they were a group of senators who had a lot of concerns about Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine (for good reason!) In another deleted scene from Sith Padmé references this delegation.

Below is a compilation (of mostly deleted scenes) that show the beginnings of what would become the Rebel Alliance. Bana Breemu shows up at about 2:35. Actress Bai Ling played Breemu.

The character Bana Breemu originated in the now Legends novel Labyrinth of Evil by James Luceno.

Day 110 – Sola Naberrie

Sola Naberrie

Sola and Padmé in a deleted scene from Attack of the Clones.

Sola Naberrie was Padmé Amidala’s older sister. Her scenes were cut out of the final version of Attack of the Clones. She apparently appeared in the funeral procession at the end of Revenge of the Sith but it must have been only in a wide shot because she can’t easily be identified in that sequence. Actress Claudia Karvan played Sola in both Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

Sola also appeared in the young readers book A Queen’s Diary and was mentioned in a few other Legends books, but it was never really spelled out what happened to Sola Naberrie in either Legends of canon materials. The same can be said for most of the Naberrie family. I’ll go into the little that is known of Naberrie women in future 365 posts – but again, that is all now Legends territory. As far as canon materials go nothing is known of any of the Naberries after Revenge of the Sith.

Sola is Leia and Luke’s aunt. Her kids are their cousins. I know I’m not alone in wanting to know what happened to the Naberrie family. I did the math (and I don’t care much for math) and Sola would have been 50 years old at the time of A New Hope and 80 years old during The Force Awakens.

Padmé’s family (the Naberries) can be found in two places in Star Wars films. The first place includes scenes completely deleted from Attack of the Clones – which included Padmé returning to her family home to visit her parents Jobal and Ruwee Naberrie, her sister Sola, and Sola’s two children Ryoo and Pooja.

Pooja and Ryoo racing down the stairs in a deleted scene from Attack of the Clones.

Sola, Jobal, and Padmé sitting down for a meal in a deleted scene from Attack of the Clones.

The second place the Naberries appeared is during the Padmé funeral procession sequence at the end of Revenge of the Sith.

Padmé’s parents Ruwee and Jobal in Revenge of the Sith.

Pooja Naberrie in Revenge of the Sith.

This video compilation of all the deleted scenes from Attack of the Clones includes all of the Naberrie content that didn’t make the final cut of the film.

Day 111 – Jenny

Jenny

Jenny in a deleted scene from A New Hope with Han Solo and a screenshot from the final film (both images are from Jenny’s Wookieepedia page).

Jenny was a character that did a bit of flirting with Han Solo in the Mos Eisley cantina in A New Hope. These scenes were cut out of the film, but you can still see a quick glimpse of her speaking with a Rodian in the final version of the film. Actress Jenny Cresswell played Jenny in A New Hope.

Jenny is also mentioned in the novel A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy (so yes, she is a canon character for those wondering).

In the video below you can see Jenny get a kiss from Han Solo at about 2:20 and spot her again leaving Han and Chewbacca’s booth at about 3:25.

This seems as good a time as any to celebrate three women who appeared in A New Hope for a second or two in the background. If you’ve read my breakdown of female roles in A New Hope you know that finding women even in the background of A New Hope was noteworthy.

Start from the beginning of the 365 Days of Star Wars Women project on the January Page

Day 112 – E.K. Johnston

E.K. Johnston

E.K. Johnston is the author of Ahsoka and the short story “By Whatever Sun” that was a part of the anthology From a Certain Point of View. Her other books include A Thousand Nights and The Story of Owen. She was kind enough to answer a few questions via email for 365 Days of Star Wars Women.

When were you introduced to Star Wars? What appeals to you the most about the galaxy far, far away (favorite characters/movies, etc.)?

When I was very little, I started listening to the Return of the Jedi on vinyl. It was kind of a radio play type thing, with the voices and sound effects and whatnot. I really don’t have memories before I knew what Carrie Fisher and Darth Vader’s respirator sounded like. My favourite character has always been Leia Organa, with Padmé, Hera, Sabine, and Ahsoka rounding out my top five (not necessarily in that order!). Clearly I’m in it for the Rebel Girls.

Did you read many Star Wars Expanded Universe (now Legends) books? If so any favorites? How about canon books? Any favorites or favorite time periods?

I think the only two Legends books I’ve ever read are KENOBI and RAZOR’S EDGE, both of which I absolutely adored. I’ve read most of the new canon (at least, the ones about the good guys). LOST STARS has my heart forever, though I also love THE LEGENDS OF LUKE SKYWALKER and the plot of Battlefront II pretty dearly. For me, it’s less an era than it is the characters: I want to read about the women.

How did you find out you were going to write Ahsoka? Were you looking to write a Star Wars book or was it a happy surprise? Were you a fan of The Clone Wars (and specifically Ahsoka) before you started writing this book?

I had asked my agent if he could look into getting me a Star Wars contract, so I had my hopes up! Eventually, I did get a very exciting phone call, and then we were off to the races. I loved the Clone Wars, and Ahsoka. For various reasons, I didn’t watch the show until after it was done, but it was certainly love at first sight.

What kind of guidelines or guidance did you get from Lucasfilm about the outline of events in Ahsoka?

They asked for a YA story about Ahsoka becoming Fulcrum, which put me on a pretty tight timeline (YA books are, generally speaking, YA because they’re about a teenage character, and Ahsoka was already 18 when I started). Aside from that, everyone was so generous with their time, making sure we stayed away from both A NEW DAWN and KENOBI in terms of the beats Ahsoka hit as another “Jedi, Alone”.

How excited were you to see Ahsoka return near the end of Star Wars Rebels and see that her character survived long past the events of the end of that series? Did you have any idea that was the case?

FUNNY STORY, so Rebels airs a week later in Canada, which meant I basically deleted my Twitter for a bit, and then ended up watching the finale in a subway station parking lot in Toronto almost two weeks after it aired in the US. I cried actual rainbows in the car, and probably shouted at the screen a bit, and then I pulled myself together—or so I thought, because halfway across the parking lot, I had to sit down on a bench and cry again. I was so excited. And no one spoiled me. And I am SUPREMELY grateful for that.

You also wrote the short story “By Whatever Sun” that featured a character you created for the novel Ahsoka, Miara Larte, with Ashley Eckstein in FACPOV. How did you hear about this project and how did the team up with Ashley come about? Did you know right away you wanted to write something about Miara for this project?

All of that actually began with Ashley. She told me she had an idea, and asked if I would write it. She wanted to put female pilots in the front row of the medal ceremony, and she wanted to use Miara. Obviously I said yes! Collaborating with Ashley was awesome, and working on the FACPOV anthology was soooooo much fun.

This is more of a reader question. In “By Whatever Sun” Miara is at the medal ceremony in Yavin at the end of A New Hope. I got the feeling that she wasn’t a part of the Battle of Yavin but had gathered there with other rebels a short time afterward. Is that correct? Any chance Miara was in the Battle of Scariff or another famous rebel battle from a different film or TV show?

To be honest, I have avoided thinking about it. You know, just in case. 😉

(I have thought about it SO MUCH. She’s not in the Battle of Scariff because, uh, reasons *coughs*, and Miara no longer flies single-pilot craft, so she wasn’t in the Battle of Yavin either.)

Would you enjoy writing more Star Wars books in the future? If so, are there any specific characters or time periods you’d love to get a chance to write about? If you could write another story about one of the new characters you created for Ahsoka what character would you choose? More Miara or a different character?

I would love to. I’d love to write Sabine Wren (before Rebels, not after. Okay, maybe after too.) or, for something completely different, Palpatine. Kaeden and Miara are the two characters I hold closest to my heart, of course, and I’d love to see them in the wider Rebellion.

Can you talk about any books/comics you have coming out soon or are working on now? For fans that have only read your Star Wars stories is there a book of yours you feel like is the most obvious to recommend?

I have a new YA out next year called THE AFTERWARD. It’s an epic fantasy set post-quest, when the knight and thief who fell in love while saving the world have to readjust to normal life and deal with things like student loans and the crushing weight of expectation.

If readers found me via Star Wars, I would recommend THE STORY OF OWEN for a follow-up. It’s not a space adventure, but it is about a dragon slayer and his bard (or, perhaps more accurately, a bard and her dragon slayer), living in modern southwestern Ontario.

You can find E.K. Johnston on Twitter @ek_johnston or at her personal website.

Day 113 – Caroline Blakiston

Caroline Blakiston

Caroline Blakiston played Mon Montha in Return fo the Jedi. She was the first actress to play this role. Blakiston has been working as an actress for over fifty years and she’s not letting her age (85) slow her down.

Early in her career Blakiston appeared in three episodes of the 1961-1967 series The Avengers. Most of her work has been on television – she has appeared on dozens of series, mini-series, and TV movies over the years. She is probably best known for playing Lady Patience Hardacre on the 1983-1990 series Brass. More recently she played Aunt Agatha on the TV series Poldark (2015-2017).

Here’s Carolin Blakiston talking about her role on Poldark. have no fear, she is still playing women who are forces to be reckoned with.

Day 114 – Zule Xiss

Zule Xiss

From the Star Wars: Republic comic series.

Zule Xiss was a Jedi Padawan who appeared in several issues of the Star Wars: Republic comic series. After she lost her Master she joined the “Padawan Pack” – a group of Padawans who were left without Masters. Asajj Ventress killed Glaive (Zule’s Master) and in the same battle sliced off on of Zule’s arms.

Asajj Ventress and Zule Xiss from the Star Wars: Republic comic series.

Day 115 – Sionver Boll

Sionver Boll

Sionver Boll was a doctor who appeared in two episodes of the TV series The Clone Wars involving the Zillo Beast. Actress Cara Pikko provided Boll’s voice in “The Zillo Beast” and “The Zillo Beast Strikes Back”.

Boll was a Bivall, as was Okalin who was an advisor to the king of Onderon in several other episodes of The Clone Wars. Boll created the bomb that created a sinkhole from where the Zillo Beast emerged. Boll was quite empathic towards the Zillo Beast and tried to convince Sheev Palpatine that the creature could be sentient and should be spared.

You can see Sionver Boll in this clip from The Clone Wars.

Day 116 – Darth Traya

Darth Traya

Darth Traya (AKA Kreia) was a Sith Lord who appeared in the video game Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. Darth Traya started out as a Jedi Master but was exiled by the Jedi High Council. She later took on two Sith apprentices (Darth Sion and Sarth Nihilus) and became the Dark Lord of a Sith Triumvirate. Like many Legends characters, there’s a lot more to Darth Traya’s story. These are just a few highlights.

More recently Darth Traya has appeared in the mobile game Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.

Here’s a video about Darth Traya from 100% Star Wars.

Day 117 – Jaina Solo

Jaina Solo

Jaina Solo images from the Japanese covers of The New Jedi Order: Destiny’s Way and Force Heretic: Remnant.

Jaina Solo, like Mara Jade, is one of the most popular and important characters (male or female) that came out of the Star Wars Expanded Universe (now called Legends). Jaina was the daughter of Han Solo and Leia Organa and was the twin sister of Jacen Solo. She was a Jedi Master and has a long and fascinating story that is well worth exploring if you aren’t already a fan of hers.

Jaina was first mentioned in the novel Heir to the Empire and first appeared in the novel The Last Command. She appeared in comics such as Dark Empire II and the Star Wars: Invasion comic series and dozens of novels including multiple titles from the series Young Jedi Knights, The New Jedi Order, Dark Nest, Legacy of the Force , and Fate of the Jedi.

For Star Wars Extended Universe fans, especially female fans, the importance of Jaina is clear. Jaina was the character that inspired Star Wars author Tricia Barr’s blog FANGirl. FANGirl contributor Kay wrote this piece as thank you to Jaina.

Kay also shared with me this photo of the Jaina Solo Black Series figure. This figure was created after Jaina won a Hasbro fan poll in 2016.

 

Here’s a brief look at the history of Jaina Solo from Star Wars Community.

Day 118 – Queen Trios

Queen Trios

Queen Trios in Darth Vader Annual 1 (left) and Darth Vader: 16 (right).

Queen Trios became the Queen of Shu-Torun when Darth Vader killed the rest of her family after a failed assassination attempt on Vader’s life. Trios debuted in Darth Vader Annual 1 and played a large role in The Shu-Torun War arc of the Darth Vader comic series. She also appeared in The Ashes of Jedha and Mutiny at Mon Cala arcs in the main Star Wars comic.

Darth Vader Annual 1

Day 119 – Maz Kanata

Maz Kanata

Maz Kanata in The Force Awakens and Forces of Destiny.

How do you describe a space pirate like Maz Kanata? She has lived over 1000 years, hangs out in her castle on Takodana, and is the perfect person to go to if you have a problem that needs a quick solution. She appeared in The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and the thirty-minute compilation episodes of Forces of Destiny. She also has a crush on Chewbacca (understandably).

You can also find Maz Kanata in Star Wars Battlefront II, the novels Last Shot and Aftermath: Life Debt, and the comic Poe Dameron 26. Maz also appears in a few episodes of LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures and LEGO Star Wars: The Resistance Rises (which you can watch in the video below).

Day 120 – Leigh Zieske

Leigh Zieske

Leigh Zieske is a book designer for Disney Lucasfilm Press. She has worked on some of the most popular Star Wars books that have been released over the last few years and she was kind enough answer a few questions via email for 365 Days of Star Wars Women.

How were you introduced to Star Wars and what are some of your favorite films, TV shows, characters?

I was introduced to Star Wars as a child and I’ve been a fan since I saw the opening credits. My family used to have movie marathons of all the classic films on VHS at home. Every Christmas my brother and I would have a lightsaber duel with the wrapping paper tubes. While Rogue One is my favorite of the recent movie releases, my all time favorite Star Wars movie is Return of the Jedi. Leia driving Luke through Endor on a speeder bike is one of my favorite scenes in any movie. Also, EWOKS!

Can you explain what a book designer does and how the design of the book can affect someone’s reading experience?

A book designers job is to visually guide the reader through a story. We compile the text and illustrations, but we also add visuals to enhance clarity. Before we can even get to that point, I sit down with the editorial team to figure out who this book is intended for and how to best convey the spirit of the material. This includes discussing how many page designs we need to let the reader know if the narrator is speaking or if something is a flashback. From there we find the right person to illustrate and continue coming up with creative solutions. We’re not done until someone walking by goes, “oh, that’s cool!”

Is this your first position as a book designer? I’m curious what led you to this position (your education and work experience) and if book designing was always a goal or if it was something that you discovered.

This is my first position as a book designer and I have fallen in love with the publishing world. After completing my MFA in graphic design, I came upon the job through a creative staffing agency I was working with. I’ve always been an avid reader; so when I was presented the opportunity to help create YA covers for Star Wars books, there’s no way I could pass it up.

What are some of the books you’ve worked on during your time at Disney Lucasfilm Press? Is there one book you are the proudest of?

There are so many books to choose from! I think I’ll always look fondly at the young adult books I’ve worked on including Ahsoka, Rebel Rising, Leia: Princess of Alderaan, & the upcoming Solo YA Most Wanted. Unlike most of our books, the YA novels do not have interior art. The challenge is deciding how to best present the central character(s) so a passerby will stop walking and take a second look. We get one chance to either make a statement or lose a reader. Also, I like to sneak in something special, or unexpected on the case. Don’t forget to check under your dust jacket…

Is there a certain part of your job that’s your favorite part of the book designing process or a part that you find the most challenging?

I think my favorite part of designing is the collaboration of creative people. I love sitting down with an author or editor to understand their vision and then picking out artists who can bring the words to life. It’s so fun to bounce ideas around with people who feel passionately about making an amazing product.

How many titles are you usually working on at one time? Is there an average time between when you learn about a new book and when the cover (or overall design) of the book is finalized?

On average I’m working on about 2-4 books plus a few smaller projects.

I could be working on a movie tie-in project with photography in the morning and by the afternoon I’m compiling art notes for a children’s book. Things are constantly changing and we have to be able to adapt. Our books typically take about 3-4 months to complete once they’ve been written.

When it comes to covers, interiors, etc. do you submit a few different looks and one gets chosen? Are you usually given any guidelines for designs or do you get to start with a blank slate? Do authors have a say in what the book covers look like?

Options, options, options! If there’s only one idea on the table, you’re not really doing your job. I try to present a minimum of three options to the artists and to the editorial team for covers. Once we get layouts back from the artist we can start to narrow things down from there. Every project has slightly different specifications, but the biggest rule is to include the Star Wars logo. It may seem obvious, but including the logo, art, and a title can get tricky sometimes. Our authors are included in every step of the process. Some of them give us their ideas, others are just excited to see their words in action.

 

For people who want to learn more about book designing, especially as a potential career choice, what advice or information can you pass on to them?

Go to school! While you’re there keep in mind that every project assigned is an opportunity to show the world who you are and what you’re into. I took a rebranding project and created the story of a post-apocalyptic militarized CDC. Explaining that project and process to create it got me in the door at Lucasfilm by broadcasting how much I love storytelling. So, if you’re a Star Wars fan, do a Star Wars project and put it online. You never know who’s looking.

Are there any books coming up (perhaps that have been announced but not released) that you’re especially excited for people to see the book design for?

Right now, I think I’m most excited to see Choose Your Destiny: A Han & Chewie Adventure on shelves. I had so much fun reading the Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid that being part of the Star Wars version feels surreal. I still find myself making sound effects as I flip through it.

You can find out more about Leigh on her website.

And in case you’re curious about the surprises lurking under the dust jacket Leigh mentione above, here’s an example @Geek_Kay was kind enough to take a photo of for 365. Check your books Star Wars fans!

Start from the beginning of the 365 Days of Star Wars Women project on the January Page