Forces of Destiny Creator Interviews: Team Leia

The Star Wars: Forces of Destiny creator teams open up about their experiences writing and drawing for IDW’s newest Star Wars series. 

Explore all corners of the Star Wars universe and discover how choices both big and small ultimately shape the destinies of characters we all know and love, such as Princess Leia, Rey, Padme, Ahsoka, and Hera along with your soon-to-be favorites from The Last Jedi,Rose and Paige!


IDW Publishing reached out to creators Pierrick Colinet and Elsa Charretier of Star Wars: Forces of Destiny – Leia for a behind the scenes look at the creation at this incredible first one-shot of the Forces of Destiny Series!


First of all, have you worked on Star Wars before, in comics or otherwise?

Elsa:  I first worked on Star Wars covers at Marvel. Star Wars Annual, Doctor Aphra, Darth Maul and Doctor Aphra. But Star Wars Adventures and Forces of Destiny are the first projects I got to co-write and draw, and honestly, I couldn’t have dreamt of a better opportunity. We received nothing but support and exciting ideas from everyone, it was fantastic.
Pierrick:  Before writing Star Wars Forces of Destiny, I got the opportunity to write a back-up story on Star Wars Adventures #2. It was short, but a great first step into this universe. We got to tell a major moment of the History of the Rebellion and got to feature a character I’d love to see more, Evaan Verlaine.


What can you tell us about your hero’s one-shot?

Elsa: It was a real challenge, I can tell you that! First, Leia means everything to me, as a character, and as a symbol. From the moment we knew we were doing the book to the very last edit, my only goal was to convey to younger readers the inspiration Leia was to me when I was their age. And of course, all this had to fit into a fun and action-packed story about her trying to save the galaxy while dealing with a crazy and stubborn tauntaun. So yeah, it was a challenge.
Pierrick: When IDW and Lucasfilm asked us to pitch a Leia story, they asked us very early on to set it on Hoth. And I remember thinking about Han’s line « There isn’t enough life on this ice cube to fill a space cruiser! ». We tried to make the best of the constraints a desert planet like Hoth offered. Snow can be a wonderful tool to design pages and we wrote the story around it, to create a special bond between Leia and the rare forms of life that live on this icy rock.


What intrigued you the most about Leia in particular?

Elsa: There are so many fascinating things about Leia’s personality. She embodies all the values and the diplomatic heritage of the Organas, and the « inner fire » of the Skywalkers. At 19, she already has the experience of a diplomat and the strength of a leader, and she is an inspiration to the Rebellion. When in doubt, just turn to Leia, and you know everything we’ll be all right.
Pierrick: Her resilience. She is unbreakable. Despite every possible horrible stuff thrown her way, the obstacles, the challenges, she keeps going and never loses sight of the goal. When episode 7 opens, Han has moved on, Luke is nowhere to be found, but she is still there. Ready to resist, forty years later.


Is there a creature, or planet, or vehicle from the Star Wars universe that you most enjoyed illustrating?

Elsa: I don’t think there’s one thing I wouldn’t want to draw in Star Wars. The character designs, the costumes, the architecture, everything has a little something that makes you want to have a crack at it. It’s a universe that borrows to so many cultures and religion : from the hairdos of the Hopis women to Taoism, from  Samurais to our occidental knighthood. There is some weird stuff, but weird stuff is the most fun to draw.


What’s your favorite story in the Star Wars universe?

Elsa: I know the right thing to say here would be Episode V. And that’s probably the one I’d chose, but I have a soft spot for Episode IV. It’s the one of the first times, the one where you discover this insanely cool universe. Every scene is a new surprise and you really have the feeling of watching something that is like nothing else. I’ll never forget  the first appearance of Leia, tiny, and yet, standing up to Vader, without batting an eyelid.
Pierrick: Well, I don’t think I can answer that question. It’s impossible to pick a favorite honestly. That’s what I love about Star Wars, the fact that there are so many stories. From the moment Episode IV opens, you know you’re entering a whole mythology, one that spreads over decades. I love the evolution of the politics, the Empire, the Rebellion. I love the evolution of the characters, seeing them fulfill their destiny and their impact on events that are much MUCH bigger than them.


Elsa, you’re doing all of the main portrait covers as well, can you tell us a little about your goal with those?

Elsa: The goal here was to show the essence of the characters, their strength, and how determined those gals are. To show that, throughout all Star Wars’ history, there have been strong and active women. Matt Wilson’s colors conveyed that strength absolutely perfectly.