It’s okay to feel sorry for the TIE Fighter Pilot

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Author of fantasy Django Wexler is a life fan of Star Wars and has always wanted to write a story set in that universe. He got the wish last year when his short story “Amara Kel’s Rules for the Survival of TIE Pilots (Probably)” appeared in the anthology The kingdom strikes back: from a certain point of view.

“The idea is to show the views of the characters in these films who aren’t the main characters,” Wexler says in episode 474 Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “I was really happy to be a part of it. It was a really fun challenge. “

Wexler’s story focuses on the lives of TIE fighter pilots, who are usually treated as impersonal cannon fodder in Star Wars films. “I really went in X-Wing is a miniature game“It’s just an X-wings game against TIE fighters that you play on the board – and it’s expanded a bit, so I wanted to get into that in a short story,” says Wexler. “Well, when they told me to make one of them Empire strikes back, I came up with this as a story about a TIE fighter pilot. “

The films portray TIE fighters as incredibly reckless, who often dive into tight spaces and collide with asteroids, cruisers and each other, which Wexler thinks TIE fighter pilots must be the subject of intense propaganda. “I really wanted to look at the perspective of someone who somehow saw it and ended up with that shit,” he says. “And that’s why all her rules are mostly based on that,” Let the other guys be the ones who fly into the asteroids, if you want to survive the duty. “

Wexler hopes his story will make viewers think about the fact that most TIE fighter pilots are probably unhappy conscripts with families who love them. “No one really wants to be reminded that all the guys who were hit or hit or thrown off the bridge during these action movies,” he says. “That’s why when the rebels attack the Death Star, we can see the faces of all the rebels, and the guys from the TIE fighter are all in masks. It is so that we can have that imagination of violence without consequences. ”

Listen to the complete interview with Django Wexler in episode 474 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above). And take a look at some of the most important parts of the discussion below.

Django Wexler on short stories:

Tor.com did an amazing job in the space of short stories, and it was really my ambition to one day write a short story for them, because there were just so many of them – Martha Wells’ Murderbot’s diaries and Seanan McGuire Naughty kids series; there is a brilliant one called Gurkha and Lord Tuesday, which I love – and constantly. There are all these great novels they have made. … These are e-books, basically. The problem is that you can’t appreciate a real book for $ 2.99 and if you have it in bookstores – it’s just not worth their time. Conversely, you can’t appreciate a novel at $ 12 and expect to sell so many copies. And so the availability of e-books has just changed the basic economy to make it possible. “

Django Wexler on magic:

“Many magic systems in difficult fantasy things – and most of what I write is a kind of” hard “magic system – have some kind of computer bending, sometimes more explicitly than others. … In my first fantasy series, Shadow campaigns, one of the things she researches is that there is a basic truth of the magic system, which I elaborated in a kind of vague way, but then all the different cultures that are exposed to it do it and learn to manipulate different ideas about what it really is and how it works. And for whatever reason, it seems to me like a very computer concept, to have that basic reality, but reality is also defined by the way people use it. “

Django Wexler is included Asimov magazine:

“The first story I ever wrote – and I wrote when I was 15 – I wrote it and showed it to my father, and he thought it was really good. He told me, ‘You know how when you do something, we often tell you it’s good because we love you and want to support you?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I understand that.’ And he’s like, ‘Well, that’s not it. I think this is really good. ‘Anyway, we sent him to Asimov but they did not take it, which is probably best in retrospect. But it cemented Asimov as the the science fiction market for me – not small for other magazines, but that’s what I’ve read. So finally the fact that I sold them something was definitely an achievement.

Django Wexler in his short story “REAL”:

“He started life as Sailor Moon fan fiction. It was a story I wrote back in the days of my fiction and I shouldn’t say that not a single real word from fiction turned into this story because I just sat down and wrote it again. … It was about a person in the real world who sees what he thinks is a game / TV show that bleeds into the real world. But the basic concept and the final sting is all from that old story. I kind of generated it, so it’s not really based on any particular work of fiction anymore. So it was a good example of repurposing an old story, or even copying a single word from one document to another, but just taking a new crack in the concept and doing better, I hope. “


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