That’s it for Inside Star Wars Insider panel, thanks for joining us!
Wilkins says they have a folder of photos they’ve “used to death” that they’re not to use ever again.
A fan dressed as Ahsoka Tano asks how the covers for the magazine are chosen. “We link into what’s in that particular issue. We try to find pictures people haven’t seen before.”
A fan asks who Wilkins would like to have interviewed most. “I would love to interview Brian Daley. Sadly he passed away.”
“Having Warwick Davis come into the office to guest edit was maybe my favorite issue we’ve done.”
Warwick Davis coming in and guest editing an issue of Insider was an amazing moment for Wilkins as well.
When asked about a moment that made him say, “I have one of the best jobs in the world,” Wilkins goes back to his interview with Mark Hamill.
They’ve done a lot lately on the table-top and roleplaying games, as well.
“When I came on, The Force Unleashed was great. We’ve done a great piece on Battlefront.“
A fan from Canada asks Wilkins what the best Star Wars video game you’ve done an article on.
The hope and dream, according to Wilkins, is to get Star Wars Insider published in every country in every language.
Wilkins: “The German editor is a very good friend, actually. He emails me all the time. We give the German magazine material and they translate it.”
A German fan asks about the interaction between Titan and the publishers of the German edition of the magazine.
Wilkins: “If you check out titanmagazines.com, you can get back issues for the last couple of years.”
“Maybe one day we’ll look at reprinting them.”
The archives of the magazine go back to the beginning, right to the first Bantha Tracks.
The next question is about what Legends character Wilkins and Ratcliffe would bring into the current stories.
Wilkins: “We plan as far in advance as possible. In terms of going to a monthly schedule, probably not, I’m afraid.”
First question: How far in advance do you plan issues and will you move to a monthly schedule?
That’s it for fiction announcements, they’re opening the floor up for audience questions now.
January/February will see the return of Blade Squadron! It’s called Blade Squadron: Jakku. Mark Williams and David Williams writing with Chris Trevas on art. The events of this story tie into Aftermath: Empire’s End.
Issue #170, just before Christmas, Voices of the Empire is a short story that ties into Rogue One. It’s written by Mur Lafferty and features art by Jason Chan.
Issue #169 Turning Point is set just after Return of the Jedi. It will be written by Jason Hough.
Issue #168, coming in September, we’re getting Blade Squadron: Kuat By Mark Williams and David Williams, art by Chris Trevas. This will tie in with Aftermath: Life Debt
The audience cheered at the idea of the fiction from Insider being collected, Wilkins said he’d pass that along.
Chris Trevas drew Mads Mikkelson’s likeness as an Imperial in a piece of art for a Blade Squadron, long before he was cast in Rogue One.
The artists take great delight because they get to establish the look of a character. Lucasfilm approves it and might make tweaks or changes, but it goes through the process.
“We get the best writers to write the stories.”
Del Rey, the publishers of Star Wars fiction, take the lead on the stories and let Wilkins take care of the art. “They are the masters,” Wilkins says.
Issue #149 contained the first part of the Blade Squadron story and that was the first story in the unified canon and Wilkins wasn’t quite aware of the significance of that until later.
Discussion turns to new fiction!
Ratcliffe and Wilkins admire a cover featuring Lando Calrissian and his cape, both wishing they were wearing a cape.
If you subscribe, you get a totally different cover than what goes on the newsstand. For the subscribers, they like to put something that you won’t get anywhere else.
Wilkins is talking about his favorite covers of Insider, one favorite was a Celebration exclusive where Han Solo was frozen in carbonite on the cover and for that issue they changed the name of the magazine to The Empire Strikes Back Insider!
During the issue focused on The Force Awakens, Wilkins accidentally wrote The Force Unleashed most of the time and had to, before publishing, go through and fix every instance of it.
Both Ratcliffe and Wilkins want to interview Carrie Fisher, if no other reason than to meet Gary Fisher.
Another interview Wilkins likes doing is with Roger Christian, the creator of the original lightsaber, because he can remember the most astounding details for everything.
Stuart Freeborn was Wilkins’ second favorite interview. For Wilkins, it was like talking to Yoda.
Here is the young Director Krennic:
When the interview was conducted, Mark Hamill had just celebrated an anniversary of playing the Joker. Wilkins opened the interview with, “Happy Birthday, Mr. Joker.” Hamill proceeded to do the entire interview in the voice of the Joker.
The absolute highlight for Wilkins during his career was to interview with Mark Hamill.
Wilkins and Ratcliffe were distracted by a young man in a Director Krennic costume and have pulled him up onto the stage.
According to Wilkins, there’s a lot more to Star Wars than people whizzing around in spaceships, there’s mythology and depth there that the magazine tries to pay attention to.
With the influx of fans from The Force Awakens, there has been a significant increase in subscriptions to Star Wars Insider.
“As soon as we press the button to send the magazine to the printer, that’s when we get a call from Lucasfilm that says you might want to hold for a couple of days, there will be a big announcement.” Keeping the magazine on schedule is difficult.
Wilkins says it’s difficult to do news in the magazine because of the internet. With the magazine, we try to “show stuff we like.” They try to include news, but it doesn’t always work out.
Wilkins says that Amy Ratcliffe is one of their star writers. He calls out other Insider writers in the audience.
Wilkins worked for the publisher, Titan Comics, on a general sci-fi magazine and was asked one day, “Do you like Star Wars?” Since then he’s edited 61 issues of the magazine.
There were many titles they discussed for Star Wars Insider, one of which was The Comlink.
Wilkins explains the history of the magazine, “Star Wars Insider started as a fan magazine called Bantha Tracks in 1978.”
There is a Celebration exclusive Dark Side and Light Side cover of Star Wars Insider. The team has a bet on which cover will sell more copies, Rey on the Light Side is currently winning!
Wilkins describes Insider as “the official Star Wars magazine, it comes out every six weeks, hopefully, and we cover all things Star Wars. And it comes out worldwide.”
Ratcliffe asks Wilkins, “Have you ever cosplayed?”
“I was an Obi-Wan Kenobi at a children’s party once. The children were in tears.”
Jonathan Wilkins has taken the stage to the cheers of the crowd!
We’re here at the Behind-the-Scenes stage, waiting for the panel to start! Amy Ratcliffe has a mic in hand, ready to begin with Star Wars Insider editor Jonathan Wilkins…