Illustration for article titled How Elizabeth Hand Turned Boba Fett Into a Fully Rounded YA Hero

We’re anxiously awaiting Elizabeth Hand’s next novel, Hard Light. But in the meantime, did you know she was also a prolific author of tie-in novels? In an article for the Washington Post, she explains how she wrote the novelization of Twelve Monkeys, and that opened some doors.


In particular, it led to Hand writing some X-Files and Millennium books, among others, and then she got an even better offer—to continue a series of YA books starring the 10-year-old Boba Fett. Hand writes:

I loved “Star Wars,” and my 10-year-old son was a huge fan. He had a Boba Fett helmet! How could I say no?

Those books were a delight to write. David Levithan, my editor at Scholastic and himself a successful Y.A. writer, introduced me to Lucasfilm’s Jonathan Rinzler. They both offered encouragement and very little in the way of restrictions. With each story, I was given a title and a character or place that had to come into play: Aurra Sing; Jabba the Hutt; Mace Windu; the planet Aargau (which existed in the “Star Wars” universe only as a name, so I got to create an entire planet’s history, ecology and culture).

Otherwise, I pretty much had free rein to create the plot, characters and young Boba’s own sensibility. Boba Fett grows up to be a bounty hunter, the nemesis of Han Solo, but as a mom, I felt I had a responsibility to show him as a resourceful, sensitive, sometimes frightened orphan who overcame his fears and even made a few friends his own age.


The best part is where she describes the fan mail she got, including one kid who had to write a book report about a great American—and it was down to Thomas Jefferson, or Elizabeth Hand. [Washington Post]

Contact the author at and follow her on Twitter @CharlieJane

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