By: Dominic Jones
Earlier this month, Lucasfilm publishing released a new young readers tie-in novel to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, titled Star Wars: Guardians of the Whills by Greg Rucka. The book focuses on the characters Chirrut Imwe (payed by Donnie Yen in the film) and Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) prior to the events in the film. Rucka spoke with StarWars.com recently about writing the novel, developing the culture on Jedha, and how Baze and Chirrut differ from Saw Gerrera (Forest Whittaker).
On how he approached writing Baze and Chirrut Guardians of the Whills, Rucka said,
"With Guardians of the Whills, I entered into the story knowing how the characters end. They’re not going to grow beyond Rogue One, you know? Not in the way that, for instance, Rey will be a different woman in The Last Jedi than she was in The Force Awakens. So instead of working forward, or fixing the characters in time, I was actually able to work backwards, and I was working backwards along a very specific parameter — roughly six months or so before the events of Rogue One. That was actually pretty liberating, because it meant that Baze and Chirrut in the book, by necessity, had to match very closely to the men that Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen gave us, and the men they gave us were so beautifully and deftly brought to light it made my job much, much easier. It wasn’t a question of depicting Baze and Chirrut as much as it was a question of telling a story that let us see Baze and Chirrut, if that makes sense."
On the difference between Baze and Chirrut and Saw, Rucka said,
"Saw doesn’t want to make things better, at least not in the context of the individual life. To Saw, making things better is burning the entire Empire down. And it’s not like Baze and Chirrut would disagree with that end goal, but to get there, Saw is willing to break a lot of dishes, and to let a lot of innocent lives suffer. That kind of thinking is anathema to Baze and Chirrut. That kind of thinking is a dark reflection of the Empire. And if you become the thing you’re fighting, even if you win the battle…haven’t you ultimately lost, anyway?"
Rucka also described the relationship between Baze and Chirrut, saying,
They’re partners in the truest sense of the word. They are absolutely and unquestionably committed to each other. They can argue, they can fight, but they never, ever doubt the other. Nothing is going to break them apart, we see that in the movie. Maybe, in their past, they had their differences, but they’re two men in their middle age, and they’ve seen a lot, and they’ve been through a lot, and they know not only themselves but each other. They have — and I love this about them — nothing to prove to anyone.
Star Wars: Guardians of the Whills is available now in the US and Canada, and hits shelves on June 1st in the UK.
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