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USA TODAY Interview

October 3, 2014

USA TODAY: October 2nd, 2014: ‘Star Wars’ trilogy is retold in new kids’ book

StarWarsDiTerlizziMcQuarrie

Tony DiTerlizzi’s 7-year-old daughter Sophia already is a huge Star Wars nerd, and he’s getting ready to spread the love to a whole new generation of fans.

The children’s picture book The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight (out Tuesday) kicks off a new series of Star Wars books from Disney Publishing for the younger set. Older sci-fi geeks will love it, too, because it retells George Lucas’ original Star Wars movie trilogy using the artwork of conceptual designer Ralph McQuarrie.

McQuarrie, an Oscar-winning illustrator who also worked on E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and the original Battlestar Galactica, was one of the first artists tapped by Lucas in the mid-1970s to begin visualizing what his Star Wars universe would look like.

“It’s such a great experience to look into that process of visualizing this world that we all know and love so much as it was being formed,” says DiTerlizzi, 45, the author, artist and co-creator of The Spiderwick Chronicles series with Holly Black. He will appear at New York City’s Books of Wonder on Oct. 11 for the third annual Star Wars Reads Day, and DiTerlizzi also is on a Star Wars/Star Trek panel at New York Comic Con Oct. 12.

The writer talks with USA TODAY about working on the new book, McQuarrie’s influence and how today’s generation connects with Star Wars differently than his did.

…Read the complete interview, as well as watch an exclusive video, at USA TODAY.

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Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.