Star Runner Chronicles Takes to the Stars!
Oct 28, 2022
Following on the success of last year’s Fallen Star and Dark Star, Atlantis Studios announced this month the publication of the Rising Star graphic novel, the third volume of its star-spanning epic the Star Runner Chronicles. This book, along with the two previous editions, are available to order in this month’s Previews.
The first two books follow heroine Aurora Palmer, a rebellious teen who is forced to seek the truth behind her mysterious past when unpredictable powers emerge. She explores her origins and masters her abilities to expose a secret government agency and confront a sinister alien menace.
This science fiction teen drama is complex and sprawling with multiple, diverse characters and settings in each issue. Series creator and editor James Watson has worked professionally producing comics for over 20 years, including many based on film properties. For this article, he agreed to a brief interview about the previous books of the Star Runner series, its core themes, and where the series is going.
PREVIEWS: What was your inspiration for the Star Runner Chronicles?
James: I wrote the first draft of Fallen Star as a teenager living with my grandparents in southern Maine. I didn’t have a summer job, so I spent a lot of time writing, drawing, and reading comics. My room looked out over the woods, and at night I could see the bright Milky Way stretching across the sky. It inspired so many ideas!
I began to imagine what it might be like to know that you came from the stars, but then to be stranded here, forced to look up at your true home in the sky each night. How would this knowledge change your choices, your friends, and the plans you made for the future? What might you sacrifice to find your way home?
Ultimately, this is the core conflict of the Star Runner Chronicles. The more Aurora learns more about her origins, the more she realizes she has a responsibility to two worlds: the one she’s connected to genetically, and the one that adopted her. Rising Star raises the stakes when she’s asked to make a choice between the two.
PREVIEWS: What kind of heroine is Aurora? How has she evolved?
James: While Aurora is essentially good, but she’s not especially strong or confident. She makes mistakes and reacts emotionally, like every 17-year-old. She has a constant weirdness when she interacts with her powers, but her inner monologue allows the reader to see she deals with them. We get to be part of her journey.
In Rising Star, Aurora has been in training for nearly a year. She is improving her abilities to manipulate matter and navigate her parent’s starship. But deep down, she’s insecure in her role, and it’s all a little overwhelming. When the tough choices happen, she’s forced to face them alone. No one else can do it for her.
PREVIEWS: What do you love most about writing this series?
James: I love writing the characters. We purposely have filled this world with a mix of characters, both teen and adult, and each have their own journey.
In Rising Star, the teens split up halfway through the story: Scott and Aurora go off on one quest, while Kristine and Monica remain behind to solve a troubling mystery involving an alien artifact. Meanwhile, an old villain from Fallen Star returns, making things more complicated, and showing that past choices have consequences.
PREVIEWS: Are there any new characters we meet in this book?
James: This chapter introduces the new character of Kalen, a handsome young Star Runner related to Aurora’s family. He appears in a heroic fashion, then offers Aurora the opportunity to have all of her dreams come true. What do you do when your head tells you one thing, and your heart tells you another?
PREVIEWS: Where is this series going? What can we expect in the future?
James: It’s always been our intention that the Star Runner Chronicles will travel to star systems and planets close to us, and even ultimately to the center of the Galaxy. But Aurora will progress to each step organically as her understanding of the technology improves, and the path to that journey becomes clear.
We’ll see the romance between Scott and Aurora grow over time. What started as cute and flirty in Fallen Star becomes more central to the series as their bond to each other grows. Being a teen in love can be so complicated. Ultimately, they’re better together than they are apart, something we explore in this story.
The graphic novel Rising Star features the art of penciller Leo Cordeiro, inker Carlos Eduardo, and colors by Mohan Sivakami from a script by creator James Watson. This special edition trade features cover art by Claudia Ianniciello of Magnus Arts.