AN: Iorillo asks: Do you think Lucasmight consult your canon Star Wars: A New Hope (ANH)radio drama while adding scenes for the Special Edition?
BD: You have it somewhat backwards. Iconsulted his original script for some of the scenes I included. Footage thatdidn't make it into the original version will in all likelihood be included inthe reissued Hope. As for George's going out and shooting new footage of thescenes I created, that would be expensive and time consuming, even if he wereso inclined, which I think unlikely.
AN: Iorillo asks: Do you wish you'dbeen allowed more freedom by Lucasfilm Limited (LFL) "way back when"?
BD: Sure, but I don't in the leastblame them for being cautious. Remember, Hope had just hit, bigger than anybodyexcept George Lucas and a few others had ever dreamed of. People werescrambling to map out where the saga would go from there, and continuity was aprimary concern. As a writer who's been down the sequel road myself, I assumeGeorge didn't have the details completely ironed out (and in any case, ideaschange on their way from your brain to the final draft.)
When I was hired to dothe first Han Solo I was told that it had to take place before, not after Hope.I could not use The Force or any other mental or PSI powers. I could not use Vader, the Empire, TIEfighters, the Rebellion,or any of the other major characters from the movie save Han and Chewie.Nothing about a gambling or resort planet because the comic strip types weredeveloping ideas along that line. You get the idea: I was very much hemmed in,but I understood why. If some of the tie-in folks had gotten the bit in theirteeth, they'd have been all over the galactic landscape. Some ran wild anyway.
AN: Contestant Mike Jasman asks aboutyour interest in doing more SW books if you could, and if any projects with LFL are in the works.
BD: I've accumulated lots of notesover the years for various LucasArts-related ideas. I'd like to do more novelsin due course, when time and circumstances are right. As for other works-- readon.
AN: Jasman asks, "Did you get towork with George Lucas directly on any of you projects?"
BD: No, although I always receivedguidance and overview from his organization. When you realize that Geroge isrunning a business empire, doing his own projects, trying for some kind ofpersonal life and standing at the center of a universe of tie-in projects, it'snot surprising that he's busy frying his own fish. What I've heard from him andothers about his reaction to my various works has been very positive, however--very gracious.
AN: Jasman wonders if you had anyinput in the casting of the radio drama?
BD: No, casting is a specialty in andof itself and Mary Lylah ("Mel") Sahr did a great job.
There was onesuggestion I tried to make because a PR writer sitting in on the recordingsessions of ANH was also doing an authorizedbiography at the time with Orson Welles. I suggested to some of the higher-upsthat getting Welles to do the narration would be a fantastic coup for a modernSF radio serial, a kind of closing of the circle that started with the MercuryTheater's famous War of the Worlds broadcast-- which panicked a lot ofAmericans.
That notion was shotdown not by Mel but by others, owing to Welles' reputation of being difficultto work with. The series narrator did a great job, but Mother of God would Ihave loved to hear Welles have a go at what I'd written.
AN: Were you consulted on West End Games' Han Solo and the CorporateSector sourcebook? You are listed as a "special thanks to" in thecredits.
BD: I was unaware of that, and Iappreciate the nod. But while West Endinquired about my helping them promote that project, they wanted me to do it*gratis*. Sorry, but they were already about to turn a profit on mywork-for-hire. No complaints; that was in the contract. But common respect andjustice decree that for anything extra, "the workman is worthy of hishire."
AN: Mike Jasman asks if there are anynew non-SW projects in the works.
BD: I'm now trying to bring homerewrites on a very long novel, GammaLAW, that I've been writing for years (inbetween other projects) and thinking about for more than a decade. Owen Lockand Ballantine del Rey has already seen 1600 pages of manuscript and I hope tohave the last 5-600 in to him by the end of '95.
[[GammaLAW waspublished posthumously in 1998, broken into four books. The subtitle of thefirst, Smoke on the Water, also happens to be a spiritual sung at Brian'smemorial service.]]
After that I've abacklog of ideas to get to-- particularly another cycle of books about Hobart Floytand Alacrity Fitzhugh. There's also an adventure-horror novel and a number ofother things including, at least at the time of this writing, a possible comicbook effort-- something I've never tried before.
[[These are sadlymerely tantalizing glimpses into what might have been, with the exception ofthe comic book, which eventually became Dark Horse's The Protocol Offensive, cowrittenby Anthony "C-3PO" Daniels. Daniels also took over Brian's normalduty of penning the foreword to his collected radio scripts when the scriptbookfor Return of the Jedi came out after Brian's passing.]]