We got the opportunity to chat with Alex Segura via e-mail. The author of the novel Free Fall shares us how he worked with Lucasfilm Story Group, whether he has spoken to Oscar Isaac about Poe Dameron and why he has hidden many Easter Eggs in his book. Enjoy!
– Alex, how did you get connected to Disney Publishing? Did they approach you or you had an idea about a Poe novel, and you approached them?
– Michael Siglain, who oversees Lucasfilm Publishing, reached out.
He asked if I had an interest in doing some Star Wars, to which I gave an enthusiastic “Yes!” in reply.
– Who helped you from Lucasfilm Story Group? Could you give us an example, in what sense did they help you while writing your story?
– The Story Group was immensely supportive – whether it was brainstorming a plot beat or giving details to add to the overall story. It was a fun, engaging process overall.
– Kijimi is an essential part of your story. Did you cooperate with your fellow writer Rae Carson on developing this world? Did she have recommendations on Kijimi what can be read in Free Fall? Or did you have any advice which we can see in The Rise of Skywalker novelization? Or everything was developed by Lucasfilm Story Group and you two implemented it in your novels?
– I didn’t talk to Rae directly, but I did read her novelization and enjoyed it a ton! Most of my info came from my editor, the amazing Jen Heddle, and Story Group.
– You also had Babu Frik in your novel as well, we know more about the little creature from your book than The Rise of Skywalker. Was him the most fun character to write about, or someone else? Why?
– Babu is the best! I was so happy we were able to include him, and he’s a key part of the story.
– While developing the younger version of Poe Dameron and Zorii Wynn, did you have a conversation about him with Oscar Isaac and Keri Russell, or that is not how the Force works?
– I didn’t talk to Oscar or Keri, but I am a huge fan of both!
– Poe and Zorii kissed multiple times in your story, but I am not sure they are in love in Free Fall. What is your take on this?
– Like most teenage relationships, Poe and Zorii’s is a complicated, very emotional one. I don’t think we can define their relationship beyond what you see on the page – which is complex and evolving.
– I sense some similarity in the stories of young Poe Dameron and Luke Skywalker. A young boy in a far end of the galaxy, with famous parents, who wants to do great things and end up on the good side of things. Was that intentional? Did you have Luke’s story in mind while you were working on Poe’s journey?
– I had coming of age stories in mind, of which Luke’s is one of the most popular. I wanted to show what Poe went through to become the man we meet in The Force Awakens, and the bravery it took to leave the world he knew to explore and learn in the far reaches of the galaxy.
– You wrote a lot about the crime world after the fall of the Empire. How did you work out this interconnected world of different crime syndicates?
– I wanted to paint a picture of what organized crime is like in the Star Wars universe, so I did as much research as I could – in tandem with my editor – and tried to give it an organic, realistic feel to it, while honoring everything that has come before and would come later.
– You managed to connect your book with different stories of the Star Wars universe, for example, Solo, Resistance, Galaxy’s Edge, The Mandalorian etc. Was that your idea, or advice from Lucasfilm Story Group?
– It’s a mix – I know Easter Eggs are an important part of any fandom, so I wanted to make sure Free Fall had some memorable ones!
– You also had some characters and ships from Legends stories. For example, Centurion-class battle cruiser from The Old Republic era, and a character from the game Star Wars Galaxies (Tarand Crowe). Are you a fan of Legends, or why did you canonize these ships and characters?
– I’m a fan of many iterations of Star Wars, so it felt like a nice nod to stories I loved as a fan.
– Could you share us which was the funniest experience while you wrote Free Fall? And what gave you the most to think about while you wrote the novel?
– Funniest? My favorite line is related to Babu, and it comes pretty early in the book – before we even meet him. Readers who’ve enjoyed the novel will know what I mean.
In terms of what gave me the most to think about – I think Poe’s journey was my big focus, and trying my best to be true to what people that age experience and have it dovetail with what we know happens after.
– As fas as I see, Free Fall is well received by journalists and fans – we prayed it as well on Ziro.hu. What do you think, will you have more stories set in the galaxy far far away? Do you have any story pitches in mind?
– I’d love to do more! Certainly.