Drew Karpyshyn: I saw the first movie in theaters when I was six or seven, and I was hooked. For many years I dressed up as a jawa for Halloween.
Can a number (and unfortunately growing) of contradictions in the SW universe really interfere with the work? How do you cope? I remember you wrote about Vaapad, even though Vaapad wouldn't be invented until almost a millennium later. This is corrected in the paperback. Probably to keep the canon. What do you think about it?
DK: With so much material out there, and so many authors working in the universe, mistakes are going to happen. I think, considering the scope of Star Wars, they do a pretty good job catching them, but sometimes stuff slips through. It's part of working in something so popular and successful.
Both Bane and Revan are evil characters. Villains. Ok, Revan can include half, although he had his BIG Dark Side moments. But Bane Trilogy is based solely on negative hero. It didn’t bother you in writing? It's easier/nicer (or harder) for you to create hmmm replace the word 'evil' expression 'Dark Side user’?
DK: I think it's a lot of fun to write villains. It's let me imagine doing things I would never do in real life; it lets me give free reign to the dark impulses inside all of us. I think that's partly why villains appeal to so many people - they can do the things we never can.
You get the impression that for some time Dark Side is… sexy? On top? The Dark Lord Trilogy, Darth Bane Trilogy, Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side, Darth Plagueis, Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories, return of Maul (although it’s imo a little grotesque) and Darth Malgus, major-bad character from The Old Republic. Do you think it's just a fashion or a certain balance (Balance of the Force :P), compensation for continuous victory Jedi or generally positive character?
DK: I think people are always drawn to the dark and dangerous side of things, and in Star Wars that means the dark side of the Force. Plus, with the movies often focusing on the Jedi and light side users, it's fun to see the other side of things.
I'll tell you frankly that Darth Bane was one of my favorite Sith ever. I followed him in all possible books, comics and RPG manuals. Existed in the mind as someone who has done what he has done on Ruusan and created Rule of Two. I was in a big shock when you, at the beginning, present Bane as a miner, sorry but ordinary bruiser. Intelligent/cunning with this thing called the Force, but ... an ordinary guy. Then you dragged him to the army, and only at the end training took place. Where did the idea come from? And how the miner-soldier suddenly discovers the weakness of the Sith, and he knows what is better? It's same if you ceased to be a writer, went on to theoretical physics, and after 2 years, said that Einstein was wrong and it should be the other way around.
DK: I think it's important to show how a character like Bane - who represents everything that is evil and terrifying about the dark side - came from a very normal beginning. He wasn't born into his destiny, he had to earn it through hard work. That's one of the reasons he's so compelling.
Many people say that „Revan” has many contradictions with Knights of the Old Republic 2? Did you take into account the story of this game? And what do you say to allegations that „Revan” is a book created for The Old Republic on a „need to shoot people to buy MMO”? Among other things, in our forum, where Revan-character is very recognition, fall found that the end of the book was terminated in a hurry, because you chased the dates of the TOR. And used characters haven’t been described to measure their potential.
DK: Fans have a lot of attachment to KOTOR and KOTOR2, so obviously they are going to feel very strongly about these characters in the Revan novel. I tried to stay true to the spirit of the original games, but the games were very fluid and much of what happened or was said was based on player actions, and it changed with every player. Obviously I can't account for all that when I write a novel, so I have to go with what was considered the canon version of events. As for the KOTOR2 complaints, different fans interpret things differently - go on a message board and you find people arguing about what did or didn't happen. So it's natural for that controversy to be echoed in the book.
Do you plan in the future to write anything else in the Star Wars universe? Revan/Darth Zannah Returns?
DK: Right now I'm focusing on my original fantasy trilogy, Children of Fire. But once that's finished, I might return to Star Wars. It really depends on what projects are out there waiting for me.
You would be able to replace the Old Republic era to another?
DK: Most of my work with Star Wars has been in the Old Republic era, and I'm pretty comfortable there. But if the right opportunity came along I might try a different era.
You can tell whatever story „Children of Fire”? Will the book be inspired by someone else's work (creation of the Word for example…), don’t know - R.A. Salvatore, J.K. Rowling, RR Martin, Zelazny, Tolkien, R.E. Howard?
DK: Obviously I try to make my style unique, but growing up I read a wide variety of authors that probably influenced me in some way. I think people will see some GRRM influence in my books, as well as a strong Terry Brooks/David Eddings feel to the fast-paced style.
I don’t want to ask you about ME trilogy ending or what has happened afterwards. I'll try from the other side: you went from projects that have the next part (Neverwinter Nights 2, KotOR2, ME3), but where you get a great job, without sweetening speak - with success for this titles. Did you think after such a departure from what would be with second/third parts of this projects, which can be a lot worse without your intervention? Or rather you not care, because it's not your job, now pay me for something else?
DK: I tend to focus on whatever project I'm working on at the moment. If something I helped create - like KOTOR, NWN or Mass Effect – continues after I leave, I'm happy to see it go on, but I try not to pass judgment on it.
What do you think about Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition? Me, a man who finished two games minimum 50 times, where they imprinted on me a great, positive mark - this vision scares. I have before my eyes even a new, *better*, a made at the present time - Duke Nukem. Diablo 3. Fragmented Star Craft 2.
DK: I never really want to judge something until it's finished and I've experienced it for myself, so I can't really say too much right now.
TOR (and I had such a sentence from the first day of my subscription) inevitably coming to Free2Play format. What do you think? Did you count that the title beat or at least threaten World of Warcraft?
DK: I'm not part of BioWare anymore, and I don't play games myself. So I don't really know how the long-term success of TOR will be judged. I do think the story and game are a lot of fun, and with Free2Play more people will get to experience it, so I look at that as a good thing.
What do you think about this show? The whole project in general? Viewing? Do you have a favorite episode? What do you think about the potential uses of Bane&Revan in TCW?
DK: I hear a lot of good things about the Clone Wars, but I haven't actually ever watched it. It's on my list of things to do, but I always seem to have a lot of other things on my plate and I've never gotten around to it.
One last question on this date, what do you think about Lucas retired and transactions between the Disney Company and Lucasfilm? As a co-creator of Star Wars, and as a fan?
DK: Like everybody else, I'm in wait and see mode, but I'm excited by the news that they want to make more Star Wars movies. As a fan, I think more SW is a good thing.
With a series of classics: favorite movie Episode?
DK: Pulp Fiction, The Princess Bride, Unforgiven and The Matrix are some of my favorite films.
I love Pulp Fiction too, but I was concerned about your favorite Episode of Star Wars.
DK: Ah, I didn't realize that's what you meant. My favorite Star Wars movie is Empire.
Favorite SW hero?
DK: I always liked Han Solo
Favorite SW-movie scene?
DK: The fight between Luke and Vader on Cloud City (and the big "I am your father" scene) are hard to beat.
Favorite SW book?
DK: Not counting my own books, I really enjoyed Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover.
Are you planning on your part in the Celebration Europe II, July 26 to July 28, 2013, Essen, Germany?
DK: No plans to go there right now, but if I can convince the publishers to send me I will be there.