Exclusive: George Lucas' little girl talks with us about the family business

The Force doesn't fall very far from the tree.

Katie Lucas, the 20-year-old daughter of Star Wars mastermind George Lucas, earned her first screenwriting credit for writing "Jedi Crash," an upcoming episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and talked exclusively with SCI FI Wire about it.

Katie Lucas' dad executive-produces the Cartoon Network animated series. In Katie's episode, Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter) is seriously injured, leaving his young padawan, Ahsoka (Ashley Eckstein), to take charge of the situation and find help for her Jedi master.

Katie Lucas is no stranger to the Star Wars universe, having made brief appearances as different characters in Episode I—The Phantom Menace, Episode II—Attack of the Clones and Episode III—Revenge of the Sith.

SCI FI Wire recently caught up with Lucas via e-mail. In part one of this edited two-part Q&A, Lucas discusses The Clone Wars, her episode and her fascination with the way in which minor characters gain popularity with the Star Wars fan base. Star Wars: The Clone Wars airs Fridays at 9 p.m.

Are you on the writing staff of The Clone Wars, or was your episode a one-off?

Lucas: I worked on Clone Wars as a freelance writer for about two and a half years before they asked me to be a part of the writing staff full-time. I feel so blessed to be a part of such an amazingly talented group of people.

Give us a preview of "Jedi Crash," which leads directly into the next episode, "Defenders of Peace." How would you set up the story?

Lucas: "Jedi Crash" is probably my favorite of the episodes I've written for this show so far. It's a very poignant episode about the pursuit of peace during wartime. It's something we've never really seen before in the Star Wars universe, so it was very interesting territory to explore.

You've grown up in and around that Star Wars universe. What from the universe did you personally want to learn more about that's perhaps touched on in the episode?

Lucas: I mostly wanted to know and expand more on existing characters that had brief but memorable appearances in the film and have massive fan bases. In "Jedi Crash," we get a more in-depth view of Aayla Secura [Jennifer Hale], who became wildly popular after the [live-action] films came out. It's always interesting to me that such characters with barely any screen time become the most popular. I definitely got a lesson in that with Dave Filoni, our director, and his love for [Jedi Council member and Kel Dor Jedi master] Plo Koon [James Arnold Taylor], who is also featured in this series. I think fans will be stoked to see some of the "old friends" we have lined up for the upcoming seasons.

It's one thing to put words on paper and another thing entirely to see them come to life in an episode. What was it like for you to watch the finished, fully animated episodes?

Lucas: "Jedi Crash" was actually the first professional script I'd ever written for anything. So to see it come to life on screen for the first time was something I'll never forget. My dad screened my episode for me and my whole family over Thanksgiving. It was really incredible to share that moment with my family and friends.

The "Jedi Crash" episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars premieres Jan. 16 at 9 p.m. on Cartoon Network.

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