Cavan Scott (born April 18, 1973) is an author known for writing four of the novels in the Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space young-readers series, plus several issues of IDW's Star Wars Adventures and the miniseries Star Wars Adventures: Tales from Vader's Castle. He is currently working on Star Wars: The High Republic with Claudia Gray, Charles Soule, Daniel José Older, and Justina Ireland.
Beginnings on the Wild Space
Scott's first assignment with the Star Wars franchise first came when he and Tom Huddleston were contacted by Egmont UK Ltd and Lucasfilm Ltd. to write Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space, a seven-part junior novel series published by Egmont in the United Kingdom and by Disney–Lucasfilm Press in the United States of America. With nothing more but a general idea for the set-up, Scott spun out the characters for what ultimately became Adventures in Wild Space: The Escape, the first installment in the series. For Scott, there was a certain level of content that distinguished what was for younger readers, but he had no problem as he believes that there's a certain point where the children must be treated like grown-ups by telling them an engaging and interesting story. Additionally, Scott considered that creating his own characters was less stressing than writing already existing and cemented characters.
Among the characters Scott created for the series were Milo and Lina Graf, the protagonists, and Captain Visler Korda, one of the antagonists. Before getting into the project, Scott wrote an audition piece which differed from the finished product. One of the revisions was changing Lina Graf from a Twi'lek to a human. During the writing progress, Lucasfilm requested Scott to tap into the events of Star Wars Rebels, which aired on Disney XD by that time. While writing The Escape, the Lucasfilm Story Group asked Scott to rework the beginning under no specific explanation; in reality, Scott's novel started pretty much like how the then upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first installment of the highly anticipated Star Wars Anthology Series, was going to start. Scott finally discovered the truth when the film was released months later in December 2016.
Adventures in Wild Space: The Escape proved to be a success. As a result, Scott was hired to write a three more follow-ups while Huddleston wrote the other three. It was after the first book's release, however, that Scott and Huddleston met in person for the first time. Something Scott actually expected upon the series' conclusion was the growing popularity of the Graf children, leading to do the suggestion of seeing them grown up much later. Scott's suggestion turned out to be true, and he was really surprised upon later finding a mention to the Graf siblings in Emil Fortune's reference book Star Wars: Galactic Atlas during Celebration Europe, as it meant the Grafs had survived to the era of the current films. Scott deemed fantastic at the possibility for the readers to grow up with the characters, like it happened to Han Solo, Leia Organa and Luke Skywalker with the release of the sequel trilogy.
More adventures in the galaxy far, far away
But Cavan's work on Star Wars had actually started with Adventures in Wild Space. By the time Cavan had just written the Star Trek comic book anthology series Star Trek: Waypoint, he was suggested by Sarah Gaydos, the Star Trek editor on IDW Publishing, to submit a number of storylines for Star Wars Adventures, another anthology comic book series that was in development as IDW to be released in late 2017. Scott found the opportunity wonderful yet terrifying because he didn't know what he was gonna get, but accepted it. He was attached to work with Derek Charm, with whom he had never worked previously, but both went to knock things from each other over time. Said and done, Scott was invited to meet the other creative teams, and during one session, Scott submitted a number of storylines, including the one that developed in "Better the Devil You Know, Part I," starring Rey.
The series was officially announced in Celebration Orlando for a September 2017 release date, with Scott attached to write the first issue to follow up a preview issue by Landry Q. Walker. When writing the first issue, Scott came up with the idea to introduce Emil Graf, the grandson of Milo Graf, as the story's narrator to replace C-3PO and Magreda in that role, as someone who knew everyone in the galaxy. Lucasfilm suggested to name the character after Emil Fortune as a tribute, which Scott complied, as well to the creation of new characters like CR-8R, BB-00 and Noni. CR-8R became Scott's favorite character for his sarcastic and sassy personality whereas BB-00 was named after the nickname of his youngest daughter. Scott commented that the response to the series was phenomenal and helped to introduce Star Wars and comic books to a new generation, much like how the original Marvel Comics' Star Wars line introduced Scott to the franchise. Since the series' beginning, Scott campaigned to bring back the character of Jaxxon from the now-rebranded Star Wars Legends continuity into the new canon continuity established by Lucasfilm since 2014. Initially dismissing the possibility, Scott was surprised when the Adventures editorial team called him to ask him if he would like to write an story featuring Jaxxon. Scott leaped at the opportunity immediately and Jaxxon made a triumphant return to the Star Wars canon in Scott's "The Lost Eggs of Livorno," the secondary story of Star Wars Adventures Annual 2018.
Towards the end of 2017, Scott joined the project of From a Certain Point of View, an anthology book with forty-three different stories centered on several characters from the 1977 original film Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope to celebrate the film's 40th anniversary. When asked which character and moment he wanted to choose, Scott replied that he wanted to focus on Obi-Wan Kenobi's death. The wise Jedi Master originally portrayed by Alec Guinness meant so much for Scott as Kenobi had been the first Star Wars action figure Scott ever had when his grandmother bought him when he was little. Though he thought that another author had already chosen that moment, editor Elizabeth Schaefer replied that no one had asked to tackle the moment. To prepare for writing it, Scott rewatched the prequel trilogy and thought about possible flashbacks of Luke Skywalker's childhood. The idea that Obi-Wan left toys for Luke when he was a child was Scott's own, basing it on the Star Wars Kenner toys he played with as a kid. Scott also felt that having Obi-Wan revising his past, present and future created the sense that he was literally going to step into a larger world. Scott overall liked the experience of writing the story as he could finally wrote a Star Wars tale for adults.
In 2018, in anticipation of the then upcoming release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, the second Anthology film, Scott was asked by Lucasfilm to helm a Choose Your Own Adventure-esque book series focusing on Han Solo and Chewbacca. The project originally started as a normal book series with straight chapters; the idea to make them gamebooks came quite late in the planning process. Scott had no problems with the change, as he had loved the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks written by Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson. Prior to this, however, Cavan had never done a gamebook after a failed attempt in the mid-2000s to make one centered on Pirates of the Caribbean. Ironically, much like it happened with the first installment of Adventures in Wild Space, Scott's original outline inadvertently resembled too much the upcoming Anthology film of that year so he had to tweak some changes. While making the series, Scott provided a series of short but straightforward illustration briefs for Elsa Charretier, the illustrator of the gamebooks. The idea to focus in all four Star Wars eras came directly from Lucasfilm.
While promoting the launch of Star Wars Adventures during San Diego Comic-Con 2017, Cavan was approached by Michael Siglain with the concept of making an Star Wars anthology of all-age horror-inspired stories. Scott and Siglain shared a love to classic horror films from those of the Universal Monsters to the ones of Hammer Films. Scott wanted the series to have a similar feel to that of Amicus Productions' 1965 classic Dr. Terror's House of Horrors, one of Scott's favorite horror films which starred Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, the actors who played Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin and Count Dooku in original and prequel trilogies respectively. Thus, the idea for Star Wars Adventures: Tales from Vader's Castle was born. Derek Charm teamed up with Scott again to illustrate the series while Story Group's Matt Martin made sure that the horror content would be still suitable for all ages.
In the earliest stages of development, Tales from Vader's Castle was intended to be set around the same time as the 2015 film Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, so Scott suggested a number of appropriate characters from the sequels' era, like Poe Dameron. However, it was then decided to set it instead around the same time as Rogue One. As a result, the characters had to change and the Poe story Scott originally pitched was replaced with one starring Han Solo. Similarly, Scott was unable to write the Nightsisters into the third issue's story starring Han given the timeline's changes. Likewise, the story of the fourth issue featuring the Ewoks was intended to star Wicket W. Warrick and Teebo, but the timeline displacement caused Scott to change them for Chirpa and Logray respectively, a change he ultimately liked. While working on the second issue, Scott desisted from parodying Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankestein and instead parody Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula due Christopher Lee's legendary portrayal as Count Dracula, even naming the planet Bray after Hammer's Bray Studios. The story for the fifth issue came up quite late in development, on the other hand.
Scott's original plans for the series was to have a different title for each issue which referenced some iconic horror movie. While the first issue's title was going to be "The Haunting of Hera Syndulla," Scott changed it to "The Haunting of the Ghost" as a reference to Shirley Jackson's 1959 gothic horror novel The Haunting of Hill House. Other influences for the series included Disney's 2013 film Frozen, which inspired the setting and story of the third issue. The character of Thom Hudd was named and partially modeled after Tom Huddleston, Scott's teammate from the Adventures in Wild Space series. Additionally, easter eggs to the Legends continuity, like the TV movie Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, were included as well. Aside from Charm, Scott and Siglain had several illustrators invited too as guest artists to collaborate each one with an issue: these were Chris Fenoglio, Kelley Jones, Corin Howell, Charlie Kirchoff and Charles Paul Wilson III. In anticipation of the series' release in October 2018, Scott expressed his interest on making Tales from Vader's Castle a Star Wars Halloween tradition which could be revisited year on year.
Before the release of Tales from Vader's Castle, Scott certainly hoped to make a follow-up series despite that he had no way to know how things were going to turn about. Fortunately, Tales from Vader's Castle was highly acclaimed and Scott was hired to write Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader's Castle, a sequel series. Scott partnered again with Francesco Francavilla to do the framing of the series, focusing on stories starring Darth Maul, Asajj Ventress, Jabba the Hutt, Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin. Following the well-received inclusion of Vaneé in Tales from Vader's Castle, Cavan decided to use him as the narrator and Francesco pitched the idea of having Vaneé holding a flaming staff. Given Scott's love for the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "Brothers," it was decided to have the first issue's setting be Lotho Minor, featuring Darth Maul in his disturbing appearance with spider-like robotic legs.
Delving into the Sith ways
But before returning to Vader's castle, Cavan was assigned to handle an special task: write a prequel audiobook to the 1999 film Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace focusing on the early days of Count Dooku, one of the major antagonists of the prequels. Scott was unworried about the job, however: he had previously done several audiobooks for other franchises like Doctor Who and had heard many soap operas and audio dramas like BBC Radio 4's The Archers, The Avengers and The Shadow to name a few, so he had been preparing for these kind of jobs for so many years, being like a second nature for him. Ultimately, writing Dooku: Jedi Lost made Scott a bigger fan of the Dooku character.
For Scott, Dooku: Jedi Lost was quite a hard story to write at some points, given that he and Lucasfilm talked about the ending quite a lot before even writing the beginning as they planned it. Scott's overall plan was looking at something that would hang the entire story from Dooku's early childhood to the point where he left the Jedi Order. The depiction of Dooku's past and emotional side was meant for Scott to lead the audience speculate whether the architect of the story is Dooku or Darth Sidious, showing that behind his independence and ego, Dooku was just a mere slave of the mastermind behind the plan who naively believed himself to be the Chosen One, making his story a tragedy. In developing Dooku's origins, aside rewatching the prequels and some episodes of The Clone Wars, Scott was first given a list of potential things to include and some notes of the Story Group about which kind of areas of the Star Wars canon they could explore or whether the content was too dark or suitable. Among them, was Dooku's relationship with Sifo-Dyas, a Jedi Knight who was mentioned in passing in the 2002 film Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones. Scott also checked on the Legends version of Dooku's origins.
The only other major character from the films with a substantial role in the audiobook was Grand Master Yoda, who had been established to have been Dooku's Jedi Master back during his days as Padawan. Scott didn't know if Yoda was the right character to spend more time with, feeling that he should just leave glimpses of Yoda throughout the story, but he opted to depict master and apprentice to have some kind of friendship. When writing Dooku's and Yoda's last scene, Scott knew it was going to be emotional but he didn't really expect it to be as it was, leading him to go through the scene so many times and struggle with Yoda's characterization in the audiobook. For Asajj Ventress, Scott initially planned to tell the story through Ventress' point of view, but realized that Dooku wasn't that kind of person who would sit down and just tell his stories. Using Ventress meant for Scott an opportunity to offer her views on the things she was discovering about her Sith Master, which is one of the reasons for which he believes that the audiobook's title refers to both Dooku and Ventress. Moreover, Scott illustrated the relationship between Dooku and Sifo-Dyas in a way the latter's place in the story is to remind Dooku that they are equal to downplay Dooku's growing arrogance.
In regards to new characters, Scott introduced Dooku's family–specifically his father Gora, his brother Ramil and his sister Jenza–as a way to expand on Dooku's backstory. In Scott's opinion, Jenza's purpose in the story was that of serving as Dooku's catalyst of his final embracement to the dark side of the Force and final test to prove his worth for Dooku and Ventress. In regards to Rael Averross, Dooku's apprentice, Scott worked closely with Claudia Gray, whose novel Master & Apprentice, which was published before Jedi Lost, featured Averross in a major role as well. Scott ultimately deemed such collaboration as particularly beneficial for their works. The character of Lene Kostana was inspired by that of Thame Cerulian from the Legends continuity, as Scott didn't necessarily want to recanonize Cerulian to explore different ways and was intrigued at the idea of having two masters for Dooku. At one point during writing, Scott was asked by George Mann about the possibility of including a reference to Darth Caldoth, a new Sith Lord that Mann had created for his then forthcoming Myths & Fables novel. Scott complied and a reference of Caldoth was put.
Star Wars work
- Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space
- Star Wars: Choose Your Destiny
- The High Republic: The Great Jedi Rescue
- The High Republic: The Rising Storm
- The High Republic: The Rising Storm audiobook
- "Time of Death"—From a Certain Point of View
- "Fake It Till You Make It"—From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back
- "Starlight: First Duty" – Star Wars Insider 201–202
- "Starlight: Past Mistakes" – Star Wars Insider 205–206
- Life Day Treasury
- Star Wars Adventures (2017)
- "Better the Devil You Know, Part I"
- "Better the Devil You Know, Part II"
- "Tales from Wild Space: Stop, Thief!"
- "The Lost Eggs of Livorno"
- Star Wars Adventures Free Comic Book Day 2018
- "Powered Down, Part I"
- "Powered Down, Part II"
- Star Wars Adventures Free Comic Book Day 2019
- "Roger Roger"
- "Hide and Seek"
- "Swoop Racers"
- "Hare-Brained Heist"
- "Life Lessons"
- "The Lost Stories, Part 1"
- "The Lost Stories, Part 2"
- "The Lost Stories, Part 3"
- Star Wars Adventures (2020)
- Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures
- "The Haul"
- Star Wars Adventures: Tales from Vader's Castle
- Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader's Castle
- Star Wars Adventures: Shadow of Vader's Castle
- Star Wars Adventures: Ghosts of Vader's Castle
- Star Wars: The High Republic
- Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures — The Monster of Temple Peak