Writer Marc Guggenheim tells StarWars.com about his upcoming story that connects to Marvel’s Dark Droids crossover event.
If there’s an important mission, these are the droids you’re looking for.
StarWars.com is excited to reveal (with happy beeps) that D-Squad — the all-star team of droids led by R2-D2, as seen in a memorable arc of Star Wars: The Clone Wars — is back in a new Marvel miniseries, Star Wars: Dark Droids: D-Squad.
In Dark Droids, this summer’s horror-fueled comics crossover event, a mysterious threat called the Scourge begins to corrupt droids, cyborgs, and mechanical beings of all kinds. The spinoff Dark Droids: D-Squad mini, written by Marc Guggenheim with art by Salva Espín and David Messina, finds Artoo reactivating his supercrew once more (with some personnel changes — the new lineup consists of R2-D2, IG-88, 4-LOM, WAC-47, BT-1, and 000) to combat this danger; in addition, issue #1 features a backup story starring Ajax Sigma, a new character that first appeared in last year’s Star Wars: Revelations #1, who’s promised to play a major role in the crossover as a whole. Before Dark Droids: D-Squad kicks off in August, StarWars.com caught up with Guggenheim for a mission briefing.
StarWars.com: We know that in the overall Dark Droids story, something is corrupting droids across the galaxy. Where does your miniseries come in?
Marc Guggenheim: D-Squad picks up directly after the events of Dark Droids issue 2. Without spoiling that issue, suffice it to say, that the corruption that is affecting droids throughout the galaxy is made apparent to R2-D2 in a very pointed and personal way. We pick up in the aftermath of that development and with Artoo realizing that he’s going to need some help if he’s going to fight back against this menace.
StarWars.com: Fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars will remember D-Squad from a memorable four-part arc that saw Artoo lead a team of droids. Did you revisit those episodes in preparation for this?
Marc Guggenheim: Absolutely! Rewatching those four episodes was the very first thing I did!
StarWars.com: I always loved the idea of D-Squad and I'm glad to see the concept return. How have you enjoyed writing a droid team, including some members who only speak in bleeps and boops?
Marc Guggenheim: I won’t lie: It’s a challenge to write a comic where almost all your cast speaks an untranslatable language. At the same time, though, that’s part of the fun. In the series, we have entire pages where it’s just droids speaking to each other in binary. Fortunately, we have the perfect artist in Salva Espín. I’ve remarked numerous times to the editors that I’ve never seen a better match of artist and material. In the hands of a lesser artist, the whole story would probably collapse in on itself.
StarWars.com: Dark Droids has been presented as being a horror story. Would you say the same is true of the D-Squad miniseries?
Marc Guggenheim: No, actually. D-Squad is more of a romp. It’s high adventure mixed with as much humor as I could conjure. I approached it like the first Avengers movie, but with droids instead of superheroes.
StarWars.com: The first issue will have a 10-page bonus “The Book of Ajax” story. How does Ajax’s mission in Dark Droids connect to your previous Star Wars work, the recent Han Solo & Chewbacca series?
Marc Guggenheim: “The Book of Ajax” is pretty cool. It pulls together threads from Han Solo & Chewbacca and Star Wars: Revelations and ties them directly into the first issue of Dark Droids. It’s really a character piece about Ajax Sigma, the droid who has been at the heart of my Star Wars work to date and who plays prominently in Dark Droids. The story is an exploration of Ajax’s morality and the difficult balance he has to strike between what he feels he has to do as a revolutionary versus his obligations as a leader. The cherry on top of the sundae is that the story is drawn by my partner on Han & Chewie, David Messina.
Marc Guggenheim: Is it a cop-out to say Artoo? Yeah, it’s probably a cop-out. But it also has the virtue of being true. I’m just constantly amazed at how vivid Artoo’s voice is as a character, despite the fact he doesn’t ever speak a word of English. But despite that, you know exactly who he is. You know he’s feisty. You know he’s brave. You know he’s got spunk and moxie. It’s a really incredible achievement in storytelling, to be frank.
All that being said, I’ve probably had the most fun writing WAC-47. As a friend of mine from college would say, Wac’s just “such a happy idiot.” Thank the light the galaxy isn’t depending on Wac to save it.