Hey there, Port Havenites! I had the absolute pleasure to meet and chat with Cavan Scott at Star Wars Celebration. The following is an interview we recorded there and I’ve since transcribed into this article. This chat is easily a top highlight from the weekend. Cavan Scott is every bit as kind, funny, and frustratingly (and I mean frustratingly) good at secrets in person as he is online. I cannot recommend his stories enough. Both on the merits of the works themselves and on the wish to support someone who’s so supportive of the fandom. We talked Sunday afternoon, the day before Project Luminous was announced, and in revising our talk I am thoroughly annoyed in the best way at his secret keeping skills! I was able to ask him a follow up question after the fact which will be at the bottom of the article. Please enjoy and see below for important links.
YB: Hello, I’m here with our site friend Cavan Scott. I’d like to say you’re a site friend?
CS: Yeah, yeah.
YB: We have a running joke on our live show actually that we cannot go a week on our StreamCast without mentioning you in some way.
CS: Well, I’m glad to hear it. That’s good to know.
YB: But there’s so much to talk about. You just released Choose You Destiny: Anakin and Obi-Wan. It’s a big ol’ hunt for missing Yoda. All of that good stuff. How does it feel to finally have that book out for people to read?
CS: Oh it’s fantastic, I mean those books take such a long time to plan and to come together. So yeah, it’s been great. And it was at a time where I was writing quite a lot of Anakin or Vader in various different times. So it’s mad now to actually see it all out there. The reaction to those books has been fantastic.
YB: Now you were just saying that there’s a new way that people are going to be able to access these books?
CS: Yes! There’s a skill through Alexa – through the Amazon site – I think it’s to do with making sure that kids have a safe area for skills and apps. And we’ve done audio book version of Han & Chewie and Obi-Wan & Anakin. So basically it’s performed to you, it’s exactly the same story as the book, and you get the choices and you tell Alexa which way to go. And linked into that we’ve created a couple of- two original missions set in the Prequel Era. We have a pod race episode where you’re a pod racer on Tatooine a few years after Anakin’s legendary race. And you get your choices of where you’re going to go and how you’re going to perform the race. And then a clone trooper where you’re on a [rescue mission]. There might be some familiar voices from The Clone Wars in it.
YB: That’s fantastic! Now speaking of audio adventures. Dooku: Jedi Lost is coming out.
CS: Yes! Very soon.
YB: I am so excited to be able to listen to this. I got to listen to the excerpt [at the Penguin/Random House Audio booth]. Just in general how did that project come to your doorstep?
CS: It was something that was mentioned to me last year at San Diego Comic Con. Because they knew that I originally wrote audio drama, that’s my sort of background. And I’d been mentioning to them how good it would be to do new audio dramas for Star Wars. I think it went to about September they finally came to this is what we want to do and they knew it was going to be Dooku. They had a sort of shopping list of elements from Dooku’s life that they’d like to get into it. And it went from there really. And it’s been quite a fast process. And what I’ve loved about it is we announced it a couple of weeks ago, no one had a clue it was coming and now it’s out in a couple of week’s time, you know? It’s really nice to have a thing where we can say “this is coming and you will be able to hear it in a month.”
YB: Now we were talking before- there’s a frequently asked question about this book- if it would ever get put into, like, text form. But this is meant to be an audio drama which is different than an audio book. Can you go into what is the difference between an audio drama and an audio book?
CS: Sure. Well this is written purely as a script. So it’s written as you would write as screenplay or a stage play. There is a narration in it. We have Ventress speaking in first person talking to the listener. So there is an element of narration. Again, for a lot of people listening to this it might be their first experience with audio drama so we want to bridge the gap between the two. But largely it’s the narrators who narrate all the audio books coming together in the same booth and acting out the story. So, if it was going to be printed it would not be a novel because we’d have to novelize it. Because it was not originally written [that way]. It’s going to be about 6-7 hours of audio. Covering 50 years of Dooku’s life and beyond. It was never meant to be [a novel]- now that doesn’t mean it won’t one day end up in a book form. The original audio dramas of Star Wars had their [books] eventually. But at the minute this is supposed to be the beginning of something new for Star Wars. So it’s really quite exciting.
YB: Star Wars does have a long history, a rich history of audio drama so it’s exciting to see it come back. Now this is coming out around the same time as Claudia Gray’s Master and Apprentice.
YB: I got my copy here [at Celebration], I am so excited! Were you guys able to trade notes at all?
CS: We were. And it was great. We don’t usually get to work together, we see each other at cons and panels. We chat generally about writing Star Wars. The two books were commissioned around the same well- Claudia was already working on it when Dooku was commissioned. And Claudia had introduced a new Padawan for Dooku in Rael. And so we decided we needed to get him into Jedi Lost as well. So it was great to have someone where we could bounce ideas back and forth. Not just about that character but just generally about different ideas we had about how the Order worked. Because both books really explore training for the Jedi. Which in new canon we’ve not really seen. So it was great to have someone- it’s such a solitary life writing. And while we have a community of Star Wars writers the chance to work with another one – especially someone like Claudia – was just too good an opportunity to miss.
CS: It’s amazing! Because obviously I’m based in the UK. So, you know, most of my work comes out here now and not in the UK. So it’s a really weird situation. But I love the love and the enthusiasm- that’s not to say that Brits aren’t enthusiastic but we are naturally reserved. You know, and perhaps a bit cynical at times. And it’s the love in the room for it. And Star Wars fans, you know there are different people who like different parts of Star Wars and sometimes that causes friction. That friction is not seen here. And it’s different going to something like say San Diego Comic Con where there’s so many different fandoms, there’s so many different things. But yeah, it’s just amazing to just immerse yourself. And that’s what this is. Celebration is the right word for it.
YB: I will say real quick. I know that- at least you tell me that you are not informed on everything going on in Star Wars.
YB: But what’s your general reaction to [The Rise of Skywalker] trailer?
CS: Oh I loved it. And my barometer for all of this is how my daughters react. And as soon as they saw it I got texts from home. I’ve watched it 12 times and that kind of thing. There’s so much, I mean for me seeing Lando in the Falcon, again, you know? And the laugh. And the flip oh- there is so much! There is so much for such a short teaser! There was so much packed in to it. And it was just emotion. There’s the scene where there’s the cloud of smoke or dust or whatever and the ship is going through. And the swell of the music at that point is just – yeah they know what they’re doing with this. So people have been saying we want the trailer, we want the name, you know? But now, again, sometimes I think we’re so used to having information over such a long period of time that you forget that if you have a short amount of time that the anticipation can really build now. You know, we haven’t got long before we see the end of the Saga! Which is just crazy!
YB: When the trailer looked like the Episode 1 trailer I lost it.
CS: This is a bookend. This is incredible! We’re not far to it. You know, people joke that it’s not long ’til Christmas but it’s going to speed up and speed up and speed up.
YB: And uh, hopefully we will see some material announced soon that will ease that process.
CS: Yes, maybe, maybe we will…
YB: Well that’s what I have for right now. Is there anything else you wanted to talk about?
CS: Just that it’s been great, thank you to everyone at home. I love working with you on the stuff we’ve done. Because again it’s talking to fans. And that’s the most important thing. And that’s what I’ve loved about this, just people coming up and just chatting, swapping fan theories, obviously saying I know nothing about anything. But that’s what this is all about. So thank you.
YB: Thank you very much!
After the interview I was allowed one question about Project Luminous:
YB: How did the five of you find out you’d be working together? Was it a clandestine meeting where you all showed up at Skywalker Ranch like in Clue: The Movie or were you aware when you signed on? Did you all get brought on at once?
CS: We didn’t know who the five were at first. Michael Siglain [Creative Director for Lucasfilm Publishing] was keeping it very close to his chest. Then, a few weeks before we were due at Skywalker Ranch, we received an email telling us who we’d be working with. It was a slightly surreal experience. In fact, it’s all been surreal, from waking up and wandering Skywalker Ranch in the early hours of the morning, to realising the scope of what we’re going to be working on…
Dooku: Jedi Lost will be published by Random House Audio on April 30th, 2019. You can order it here: Link to Random House. Project Luminous will be released in 2020 featuring work by Cavan Scott along with Claudia Gray, Daniel Jose Older, Justina Ireland, and Charles Soule. There’s no information yet about the story or the format (formats?) for release.