Interview with The Force Awakens Novelization Author Alan Dean Foster

TFA NovelTony Healey sent us an excerpt from his interview with Alan Dean Foster, the author of the upcoming novelization of The Force Awakens. In the interview Foster reveals what source materials he used to help him write the story, and shares what is it like to be back in the Galaxy far, far away…



Alan Dean Foster wrote the novelization of A New Hope, and the earliest Expanded Universe novel, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye. He also wrote the novels for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness.




Excerpts from the interview:


TONY HEALEY: Before we move on to the last part of this interview, I wouldn’t live with myself if I didn’t mention a pretty big project of yours out in December. That would be THE FORCE AWAKENS. I know you cannot say anything with regards to the story itself, but you’re in a uniquely privileged position in that you know the whole story. Have you seen any of the movie, or did you work from the screenplay alone in writing the novelisation?


ALAN DEAN FOSTER: Just the screenplay, plus some concept art and production visuals.  I really wanted to have access to the latter so that if I describe something, or someone, in the book, it matches what actually appears on the screen.  You know how fans are.  If I give someone sideburns and in the film that character appears without them, it will give rise to 468 blog entries.


TH: You adapted both Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness. I did hope you’d do the novelization of THE FORCE AWAKENS, and was over the moon that that was the case. I understand Lucasfilm have AFTERMATH by Chuck Wendig coming out this winter, and that they’re really trying to ensure everything forms a cohesive whole in terms of canon. Did you have any contact with the Lucasfilm story group during the process of writing the novel?


ADF: Yes.  I of course had to have some leeway, but the group certainly made their opinion(s) known.



TH: It must seem a lifetime ago that you wrote STAR WARS and SPLINTER OF THE MIND’S EYE (I have a copy of both sitting on my shelf right now). How does it feel to be adapting Star Wars again? To quote a certain Dark Lord, is the circle now complete?


ADF: Depending on one’s age, it was a lifetime ago.  And yet I can see the interior of the original Industrial Light & Magic warehouse, on Kester St. in Van Nuys, CA, with the Death Star run models out in the parking lot, as clearly as if it was yesterday.


The circle will never be complete as long as fans continue to enjoy the Star Wars universe.



TH: What is it, do you think, keeps people going back to Star Wars? Generation after generation, it seems to connect with people like no other property I can think of.


ADF: It reduces storytelling to enjoyable basics.  Good guys vs bad guys, with a few variants to keep things interesting.  Not unlike WWII tales.  You sit back and enjoy.  It’s cinematic/literary comfort food, like a good hamburger or grilled cheese sandwich.



The full interview with Alan Dean Foster will be live this Saturday 27th of June on Make sure to check it out.


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Founder of SWNN, MNN and The Cantina forums.

Born on April 24, 1980.

Val Trichkov (Viral Hide)

Founder of SWNN, MNN and The Cantina forums.Born on April 24, 1980.

28 thoughts on “Interview with The Force Awakens Novelization Author Alan Dean Foster

  • June 26, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Kind of disapointed that there wasn’t anything we could really gleen from that.

    • June 26, 2015 at 10:38 pm

      They’re using a lot of practical effects rather than CGI, for sure.

      • June 28, 2015 at 5:13 pm

        They´re using a lot of practical effects and a lot of CGI. Just like “prequels”.

        • June 29, 2015 at 4:23 am

          But the stormtroopers are people in suits unlike the prequels.

  • June 26, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    I think I need to get a Star Wars fix in today.

    • June 27, 2015 at 4:42 am

      Every day, and I keep coming back for more!

  • June 26, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    AWESOME f-ing QUOTE: “The circle will never be complete as long as fans continue to enjoy the Star Wars universe.”

  • June 26, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    “It reduces storytelling to enjoyable basics” … Is he throwing shade at star wars??

    • June 26, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      not at all. it IS classic straight up storytelling at its heart and thats just fine.

      • July 1, 2015 at 4:44 am

        Yeah Star Wars the literary equivalent of a “grilled cheese.” … real nice.

  • June 26, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    alien was a great novelisation , probably his best adaptation of someone elses work.

  • June 26, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Personally, I’m thrilled that Foster will be doing the TFA novelization. He not only wrote the very first Star Wars film novelization (and still a personal favorite of mine) but he also wrote the very first “EU” novel back in 1978.

    I lost count of how many times I read each of those novels back then, especially since there was no home video option for watching Star Wars. The book and the comic adaptations were it, when the movie wasn’t in theaters to go see again.

    Can’t wait to see how he handles the TFA novelization!

  • June 26, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Spoilers!(From Splinter of a minds Eye)
    That scene in Splinter of a minds Eye were Luke slaps Leia and later Leia gets him back in the sewers….classic

  • June 26, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Holy crap ! Seeing the covers of the first two novels I ever read in the English language gives me goosebumps. Summer reads of 1977 and ’78. Good times ! Seeing as A.D. Foster is penning TFA, I just might read my first SW novel since RTJ (which I didn’t particularly like BTW)

  • June 26, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Look it really is 1977 all over again – we’ve even got the original novelist please love us you notorious bunch of haters you. We’re doing everything we can to bring back your childhood.

    I have fond memories of ADF’s novelisation, read it a dozen times. So even if I’m a cynical bugger I’m still looking forward to him fleshing out the new film. Even if they did choose him because they don’t want to jinx themselves.

  • June 26, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    amazingly still have both first print books. yeah im old (43) I actually won a copy of splinter in 1978 showing up at the re screenings of star wars (yep they put it back into theaters after 77) dressed as a lil han solo, and found the original star wars novelization – pre movie – at a good ole garage sale.

    its beyond surreal whats happening these days. NEVER would have imagined this whole new era of starwars. im thrilled and overjoyed that ill be growing old with my lifelong friend…star wars..

  • June 26, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    I’d like to thank Viral Hide for posting this for me. Be sure to read the interview in its entirety Saturday as Alan has a number of interesting projects in the works.

    Very stoked for an Alan Dean Foster novelisation. What a great way of linking the sequel trilogy with the originals by having the first author to ever tackle Star Wars in print. I definitely *don’t* have a bad feeling about this!


  • June 26, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Here is an excerpt from the novelization!!!

    A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away…

    Looks awesome so far!!!

    • June 26, 2015 at 11:51 pm

      … I’d like to dedicate this book to Jar Jar Binks fans the world over

      • June 27, 2015 at 8:28 am

        They keep saying there’s going to be a female hero. It’s Jar Jar’s illegitimate daughter he had with a Mon Calamari, back during the Clone Wars. Her name is Mow Mow

  • June 27, 2015 at 2:25 am

    As much as I am not a fan of Disney, or their evil empire, I commend them for going to great lengths to preserve some continuity between the OT and the new films. I am looking forward to reading the novel right after seeing the film (the original SW adaptation, by Foster, is a great way to experience ‘A New Hope’ in expanded form and through a fresh lens).

  • June 27, 2015 at 4:32 am

    Not sure how I feel about the hamburger comparison, but I am thrilled this guy is doing the Novelization. Historically the novels have always had a life of their own since they have so much more time for development than the films. The Episode 3 novel was a masterpiece and I can’t wait to read this one!

  • June 27, 2015 at 4:45 am

    Is any one going to read the book before the movie? I think I’m going to start it, maybe read the first act.

  • June 27, 2015 at 6:32 am

    Alan Dean Foster is mythos. Splinter of the Minds Eye remains mt favorite StarWars book. This guy was the pioneer of everything we know to be EU. Thank you Dean Alan Foster, welcome back to this childhood dreams universe

  • June 27, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    Good day all, I am an aspiring author of some books of my own. Alan Dean Foster is an ideal person to pen the Force awakens novel. I am stoked about the movie and its far reaching stroke into the starwars universe.

  • June 29, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    I wonder… how did ADF feel when he found out that Luke and Leia were long-lost, siblings?

  • June 30, 2015 at 6:30 am

    yes wooooohoooo

Comments are closed.