Star Wars Insider Interview


Excerpted from the Star Wars Insider magazine, Issue #65, Feb. 2003, "Jedi Knights and Vampire Slayers: The Star Wars/Buffy Connection," written by Dave Gross:

On his first Star Wars movie experience - Drew Goddard was only two years old when Star Wars first hit screens, but his parents assure him they took him to the movie.  It was the sequel that would leave the strongest impression on him.  "I clearly remember Empire, walking out of that theater with my dad, just stressed out about how we were going to get Han back.  I was just so like, 'How are we possibly going to do this, Dad?'"

Favorite Star Wars movie - "Really, there's two, right?  Star Wars and Empire.  This is one of those decisions that, any given Sunday, it'll change.  I have to go with Empire.  I think the heart of it has to do with nostalgia, because I remember that so clearly with my dad."

Everyone answers the question carefully, because they've discussed it before - and not without a certain danger, as Goddddard and his boss, Joss Whedon, recently proved on a trip to the San Diego Comic-Con.

"We were driving down in this Winnebago, and we were like, 'Okay, we've got to get in the spirit of things.  Let's get into an argument.' So we were just kind of joking, and someone said, 'Which one is better, Star Wars or Empire?'  We all started laughing, 'Oh, yeah!  We're going to get into a geek argument!'  And honestly, five minutes later, we're shouting at each other.  We were joking, we were making fun of ourselves, and the next thing you know we became everything we were joking about.  We were just yelling and screaming at each other.  It really got violent."

Favorite Star Wars character - Drew Goddard claims Han Solo as his number-one choice, but Yoda is his close second.

"Actually, in a weird way, Yoda has lost points with me because of Clones.  I still love him, but I feel like everyone loves him now.  It's not as fun anymore.  I used to be obsessed with Yoda, and I have one of those Yoda [sculptures] at home.  And now it's like everyone's like, 'I love Yoda, too!' Well, 'Yeah, screw you. I loved Yoda long before you did, you jerk.'"

Who's Who on the Buffy staff - While the writers haven't spent much time thinking of which Buffy characters have Star Wars counterparts, they quickly assign themselves parts in the space epic.

"Joss is always doing a Lando impression," says Drew Goddard.  "Always.  You know, I've got to go with Han.  I just love Han."

However, he admits that there's a catch.  "There's a difference between who I'd want to be and who we've all agreed I am.  The problem is that we all had to agree...'cause if Doug gets to be Han, I don't get to be Han, which is no fun.  But we've agreed Doug gets to be Han.  So then they made me Chewbacca, because I'm tall and I'm loyal.  The other Drew was R2 to Jane's C-3PO."

Writing Star Wars references into Buffy - Like Fury, Drew Goddard doesn't go out of his way to make Star Wars references.  "No, they just come naturally, especially when we're writing Andrew and Jonathan, or Xander.  Star Wars is just such a benchmark for every male that age, so when you're writing these characters, it's just natural."

Writing for the three nerdy villains is particularly easy, he says.  "If I need something for them to talk about, I stick my head out of my office, and I listen to whatever Doug and Drew are arguing about, and I just write it down."

Parting shots - If there was any doubt in our minds about the Buffy writers' love of Star Wars - and there wasn't - it would have vanished when Drew Goddard had an epiphany long after the question about his favorite character.  "I'm changing my answer!  I'm changing my answer right now.  My favorite character is not Han.  My favorite character is Palpatine.  I love him!  I forgot how much I love him.  He's so good.  To me, he's the thing that sticks out the most of Episodes I and II.  I love him!  His speech where he goes, 'I love democracy.  I love this council.'  I just love it!"

Later, while chatting about scenes we hope to see in Episode III, he suddenly blurts out, "Oh, I can't wait!"

For more, including interviews with Jane Espenson, Doug Petrie, Drew Greenberg and David Fury, check out Star Wars Insider at your local bookstore.