Hi Michael, it’s a pleasure to have you back at Jedi News!
Good to be back!
In the last few months, a lot of Star Wars has been thrown at us. What have you most enjoyed about these recent releases?
I love that there’s a wide range of things available, from Clone Wars returning to The Mandalorian to TROS. We’re covering a lot of different kinds of stories in different eras. It’s so great to have that range readily available.
Secret Agent Droids has seemed like the unofficial sequel to the Droids TV series, was this always the intention?
Yes, as a matter of fact, it kinda was. Both Tony (Fleecs, the series artist) are big Droids fans—and old enough to remember Droids—that we lovingly made it follow how that series felt to us.
In Secret Agents Droids we get introduced to Orlok and Likana. How do you go about creating a new character to fit into an established galaxy?
That’s become my favorite part writing for Star Wars, creating new characters. It’s such fun to play in this world, of course, but to be able to add characters to it—characters that make sense in the Star Wars universe, mind you—is really exhilarating.
Which is more fun to write, the hero or the villain?
Villain, for sure. There’s nothing better than writing a character who you can look at and say “I don’t agree with what you’re doing, but I do get why you’re doing it.”
Will we be seeing a return to these new characters in the future?
Nothing planned at the moment, but you never know.
Tony Fleecs is also a huge Star Wars fan like yourself. What was it like working with him?
Oh, it’s fantastic. Tony and I get along great, and we share a very similar Star Wars passion and aesthetic. We’re around the same age, so we share some of the same touchstones. And Tony’s just a great artist, so it’s a joy to collaborate with him because of that alone.
A lot of your stories have had a firm footing within the sequel trilogy with a lot of links back to the original trilogy. Has that been difficult to write with a movie that had still yet to be released?
It can be, because you always run the risk of crafting a story that conflicts with the upcoming movie, and you’re told that after, and you have to go back to square one. But, ultimately, you’re just trying to capture the spirit of Star Wars and place these characters in conflicts that are meaningful to them and this world. Being true to that makes concerns about what’s coming next a lot less important.
Your new story in Star Wars adventures focuses on the main characters from the sequel trilogy. What can you tell us about what we can expect?
What we’re going to see are these characters getting into unique adventures that show how they’ve gone over these films and really bring out what makes them who they are. The three issues focus on Kylo Ren, Rey, and Finn, respectively, and I took it as a good opportunity to shine a light on their individual journeys and who they are—and who they’ve become—as characters.
Did you know where the characters were going to end up in A Rise of Skywalker before you started writing?
Not in the least!
Your stories always feel like Star Wars. Your own series, starting with Black Star Renegades also has this feeling. Is it a conscious effort to write in that sort of style with those sorts of images, or does it just come naturally?
I think it’s a little bit of both, actually. The mythology that is Star Wars is coded into my DNA at this point and trying to figure out why is kinda like the chicken and the egg. Did I come to Star Wars, or did Star Wars come to me? That aside, I write this kind of story, naturally (I hope), because I love it and I think I thoroughly understand how it works. This myth, it just makes sense to me, and I’m lucky to be able to convey that understanding onto the page.
We’ve been teased that you are working on a new Star Wars project, can you tell us anything about it?
Well, since I’m so late responding to this interview, it’s been announced! I’m writing a Clone Wars miniseries, titled Clone Wars: Battle Tales. It’s a five-issue series—with all five issues releasing in April—focusing on war stories from the clones’ POV. We’re going to see some of our favorite Jedi, villains, and clones from the original animated series. But, most importantly, this series focuses on the clones—it’s their stories and them telling these stories.
Quite a bit; it’s a busy start to 2020. In March I have two series launching: Hexagon, an all-ages story about a young boy who plays an arcade game and finds himself launched into a galactic adventure. Speaking of writing that Star Wars kind of story, this is very much like that. It’s from the mind of world-famous DJ Don Diablo, and it’s a really fun story—I think young readers will especially enjoy it. Then, there’s Archangel 8, a supernatural crime story that’s a blend of Punisher and Hellblazer. That one’s coming from Axel Alonso’s new publishing venture, AWA/Upshot, and I think it—along with AWA’s other launch titles—are really going to turn some heads. And then, I have The Lost Carnival: A Dick Grayson Story, coming in April. That’s a YA OGN coming from DC. I’ve been working on this one for years, and I’m so excited for it to be out in the world at last.
There has been a lot of people saying they would love to see you write Star Wars for television. If Lucasfilm were to come to you for such a job, what would your pitch be?
I’ve already pitched it! And I can’t say what it is. It’s in the prequel era, I can say that. Let’s hope it sees the light of day, somehow.
Michael, it is always a pleasure to speak to you and to read all the work that you come out with. I hope we can talk again soon as I have a feeling, we’re going to be seeing even more of you this year! From the Jedi News team and I thank you!
Thanks in return!
If you want browse through or even purchase some of the original artwork from the series discussed with Michael, this can be found on Tony Fleecs’ website.