It’s been a long time coming for The High Republic. The publishing initiative, once known as “Project Luminous” in a time that now feels so distant, is upon us, and we’re on the brink of being introduced to countless new characters who will make their unique mark on the Star Wars universe.
During the Star Wars: The High Republic Launch Event, author Claudia Gray revealed that a new pilot in her novel Into the Dark was inspired by actor Matthew McConaughey.
Gray explained that she didn’t want to have a knock-off version of Han Solo piloting the novel’s vessel.
“I didn’t want to do somebody that was gonna be just like Han Solo. And I definitely didn’t want to Diet Han Solo. He’s kind of a rogue, but he’s a less interesting.
The author wanted to find the right template for this character, Leox Gyasi, and landed on inspiration from McConaughey in his early career:
“So what is a template for a pilot who has some of this scoundrel energy and isn’t Han Solo at all? And somehow my brain was like, ‘you need to give 1990s Matthew McConaughey a spaceship and see what would happen’.”
There have been many takes on the “rogue pilot” trope in Star Wars since Han Solo broke new mold in the Original Trilogy, but ’90s Matthew McConaughey being an inspiration is certainly an original idea. The actor was known as the young “cool dude” of that era, and the look combined with influence from his performances in films like Dazed and Confused should make for an interesting character, though Leox likely won’t be encountering any outer space bookshelves like McConaughey did in Interstellar.