ALAN DEAN FOSTER: I WAS ABLE TO FILL IN SOME CUT SCENES OF STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Alan Dean Foster is an acknowledged master of novelizations. His experience in the tough task is dating back to the first Star Wars and Aliens movies. 69-year old veteran was called on duty once again to make movie to book transformation of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. And he did splendid job!
It’s a great honor to welcome at Land of Books Alan Dean Foster, who shared his experience in the world of Star Wars and many more interesting inside info about his works.
– Alan, the book adaptation of Stat Wars: The Force Awakens received a lot of praise? The big question is would the fans of the saga get more answers compared to the movie?
– Absolutely. I was able to fill in some scenes that were cut from the final edit. Also I was able to add new dialogue, and get into the thoughts of the characters. That is what a good novelization should do.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– Novelizations usually must be completed in a very short time, often 3-6 weeks. The hardest thing to do is include last-minute changes to the story, when they are sent out by the filmmakers. The novelization writer is not required to include such last-minute additions…but as a fan, I feel it is my responsibility to do so, so that the book will match up with the film story as closely as possible.
– Tell us something more about the painting of the main characters? Did you have the creativity freedom to add something extra into their portraits?
– Only a very little. Disney is very big on keeping control of their characters, so they wanted to make sure I didn’t write anything that might change what is shown in the film. Still, I was able to provide some more insight into the characters, by revealing their thoughts as I imagined them.
– How hard is to write under the big expectations by the fans of Star Wars?
– I learned very early on in my career that if you write blue, someone will want red, and if you write red, those who love blue will hate it. So I can’t worry about the expectations of others. I can only write the story as best I see fit. No matter what you write, someone will like it and someone will hate it.
– As a Star Wars veteran which Episode of the saga is your favorite and why?
– I actually favor the first film. Even though many people prefer Empire Strikes Back, the first film had a freshness and an impact that subsequent films can never equal.
– Which world took you more time and efforts to be created – Star Wars or Star Trek?
– That’s a good question. I really can’t pick between them.
– Your opinion on Lucas’s words that he didn’t like the retro feels that J.J. Abrams brought to the future with Episode VII?
– George once told me that he wanted to make small, experimental films. I think he would have liked to experiment more with Star Wars, too. But I think he just got tired of trying to meet all those fan expectations you mentioned earlier.
– Who are you?
– Endlessly interested in everything and never satisfied. Every answer leads to ten new questions. Friendly but need my private time. I’m never happier than when I’m wandering the streets of some new city or empty trails in some mountains or rain forest.
– What are your writing habits?
– Up around 7 am. Read the news from all around the world. Do some research, ponder some story, then set it down in the computer. In the afternoon, I may do a little more research and writing, or go to gym, or do the shopping (my wife is an invalid, so I have to do a good deal of domestic stuff).
– When we will see your next novel and would you unveil something more about it?
– OSHENERTH, a fantasy set entirely underwater, came out in mid-December just ahead of TFA. THE DEAVYS, a young adult fantasy set mostly in New York City, will come out in February.
– Would you share the three most important things when turning a movie into a novel?
– 1. Always try to respect the style and work of the original screenwriters. 2. The most important thing is to show clearly what the characters are thinking, because the film can’t really do that. 3. Remember that someone is paying their hard-earned money for the book, and you have to do a lot more than just transcribe the screenplay into prose.
– After more than 100 published books, how did you find inspiration to create new projects?
– 125. For someone with imagination, inspiration is everywhere. I’m thinking of the recent archaeological discoveries in Bulgaria. Nice story material.
– If you may ask yourself one question in the interview what it will be?
– Q: Why do you keep writing? A: I have no choice…I love to tell stories.
Take a look at his books
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Splinter of the Mind’s Eye: Star Wars (Star Wars – Legends)
Star Wars: The Approaching Storm
Alien: The Official Movie Novelization
Flinx Transcendent (Pip and Flinx)
Star Trek Into Darkness