Exclusive Interview: Tye Nelson, Legacy of the Force

Tye Nelson was a Nominee at the FanFilm Awards Here we asked him a few questions about his inspiring journey into filmmaking.

” What inspired you to create a film adaptation of a Star Wars Extended Universe novel?

Our original inspiration was actually a conversation between Jaci and I about putting together a scene for our showreels, something that neither of us had done before. We wanted something agressive, a fight scene. When trying to figure out what would work, and how things could play out, as a Star Wars fan it occurred to me that we already had something that was written that I could adapt. I played with the idea of a fight that occurred earlier in the book, where Jaina took Jacen’s arm, but the final conflict had more appeal and depth for where we wanted to go, so I adapted that portion from Troy Denning’s book “Invincible”.

Can you tell us about the novel you chose to adapt from? How did the Author feel about it?

“Invincible” is essentially the final conflict between Jaina and Jacen Solo. It’s the build up of the entire “Legacy of the Force” series. Being a Star Wars fan, I’ve read the majority of the Expanded Universe books since the Thrawn trilogy by Timothy Zahn came out back in the early 90s. I kept up with everything post Return of the Jedi and for the most part I enjoyed the stories that were written. Jaina and Jacen’s story was interesting, they were literally characters that I watched grow from birth, to being the age we represented in our film; everything fell in line, Jaci and I looking the age and part of the Solo twins, we both wanting to explore characters that were engaged in such a heated moment that had a real connection and history to one another; “Invincible” was the story that fit our needs.

The author, Troy Denning, is awesome! We had so much support from him. I had reached out to Troy when we made public, audition tapes that we submitted to Episode VII. In one of the comments, a viewer had said we were mispronouncing “Caedus”. I decided to write Mr. Denning, let him know we were putting together a fan film adapted from events in “Invincible” and asked how he and the other story group members pronounced “Caedus”. He gave me an honest answer and we made the change in post. From then on we kept in contact with Mr. Denning, letting him know our progress, and he was more than supportive, even posting that Jaci and I would have made the perfect Jaina and Jacen if Lucasfilm/Disney had gone that route. We couldn’t be happier with his support, and to me as the executive producer and writer of the script, if there was anyone who I wanted to impress, it was Mr. Denning. We were adapting his words. His approval of the work, is better than any award.

The Nano Killers are the main obstacles in this story. What are they, and where are we in the storyline of the book in your film?

The Nanokillers are something we struggled with, there are still questions about them in comments on our youtube page. Nanokillers are a genetically engineered weapon that attacks the very make-up of a living being. Blood samples are taken from a subject and the Nanokiller is designed to attack that species of life, leaving all other life alone and unharmed. In Legacy of the Force, the Mandalorians are targeted, followed by the Hapans. Though by targeting the Hapans it also meant that Jacen Solo’s daughter would be targeted. That essentially is where we are in our film. Jacen’s choice between doing what he believes is right for the galaxy and doing what is right for his daughter. “Right” being the objective word coming from an unhealthy, injured soul.

How did it feel to play Darth Caedus? And how do you pronounce that name?

Caedus was fun. In my initial discussions with the director of the film, Danny James, we had discussed the need to make sure that Jacen/Caedus wasn’t a stereotypical bad guy. That there was depth to him, he believed what he was doing was right, that the ends justified the means. The great thing, is that it was already written, we had the books to fall back on, and use as examples of why Caedus makes the choices he was making.

Caedus is pronounced KY-dus. 🙂

What challenges did you experience making this film?

The biggest thing I learned from this project, was that no matter how much I thought I was prepared to go into shooting the film, I could have been more prepared. Almost every aspect from pre-production through post-production has been a learning lesson for me and I legitimately thought I was on the ball, that I had either taken the time to prepare or that I could throw money at a problem to fix it, but in hindsight, this was essentially my first project that I saw through to completion. The experience of every challenge I faced was necessary, and hopefully I can take those learning lessons and apply them to future projects.

Will there be more films about the Solo family line? Can we expect a series from the extended universe?”

There are more films about the Solo family line, both being created by other fans and by Lucasfilm/Disney. As for me, this will likely be my only foray into the fan film genre. We enjoyed the process, but the idea is to make films that one can be paid for and fan films don’t allow for that opportunity.

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