Michael and I determined to set Shadow Games in a variety of locales but, as things transpired, a little-used location will be the scene of the penultimate confrontation and an epic (I hope) battle … which—at the time of my expert-stumping queries—I was in the process of writing.
No, that’s not it in my little planet picture there. That’s Tatooine. I know lots and lots about Tatooine. My husband and I have written three songs featuring Tatooine, all of which are on our newly-released parody album “Jeff and Maya Bohnhoff: Grated Hits.” (Yeah, yeah, shameless plug. So buy the CD, already.) Jeff (aka, Chef Jeff Vader, All-Powerful God of Biscuits) also produced two very funny music videos and posted them on YouTube. If you have not seen them yet, please do drop by and check them out. They’re on the mysticfig channel. The songs are “Tatooine” and “Midichlorian Rhapsody“. (We also have a video up for a Lord of the Rings parody we did—”Come to Mordor.”
Anyway, there I was, sailing toward this BIG MOMENT when I realized that I knew very little about this Mystery Locale—a hole in the wall called Bannistar Station. I had chosen it because of where it lay along the path of our holostar’s tour, then became fascinated by it, then determined that it fit the bill with regard to more than location.
This required research. To begin, I looked it up in the Essential Atlas. Alas, there was no entry. No problem, I looked it up in my spiffy Star Wars Encyclopedia. No dice. Okay … I went to Wookieepedia (hi, Simon!) and found it had been used only in a comic book. Huh. There were two unrevealing images from the comic book. So unrevealing, in fact, that they suggested two completely different interpretations of the setting.
So … now what? Even if I made stuff up out of whole cloth, I at least had to know what was canon, or semi-canon about Bannistar Station. I called on an expert. Daniel Wallace, co-creator of the Essential Atlas, is one of my Facebook friends, so I asked him what he knew about the Mystery Locale. He gave me his thoughts on it, but cautioned me that they were just surmises based on … the comic books. I followed the online trail to the comic book’s publisher (a shout out to Dark Horse) and found a few more frames containing illustrations of the place. The mystery only deepened.
Next, I asked my editor at Del Rey. She asked our contact at Lucasfilm and he referred me to … the comic book.
Actually, he did more than that. He sent as many pertinent illustrations as he could find and tried to interpret them, but the upshot of it was that he wasn’t 100% sure of what we were looking at. Bottom line: not much is known about Bannistar Station. Which put me in a position that is both exhilarating and a bit scary—while adhering to the little that we know about the place, I get to make stuff up. About a place in the GFFA.
So as I sat down to write the action taking place at our Mysterious Locale, I crossed my fingers, prayed to the Muse and went for it. I hope readers will like the results!