Category Archives: books and comics

WSJ sheds a tiny bit of light on the Star Wars publishing program


The Wall Street Journal writes about how Alan Dean Foster’s The Force Awakens novelization won’t be available in hardcover until January – something we’ve known since April. (The ebook will be out on December 18, along with the movie.) It was, not surprisingly, due to a request from Lucasfilm:

David Moench, the Del Rey spokesman, said the publisher would have preferred to put out the hardcover edition out on the day the movie opens in order to capture more sales.

“We would love to release both formats of the novelization simultaneously and not miss the holidays,” he said, “but we recognize the importance of protecting the story for the fans.”

Apparently, fans still prefer the physical books:

“It’s a collector’s mentality,” said Scott Shannon, Del Rey’s publisher. The “Star Wars” titles the publisher has issued have “way over-indexed” in terms of physical book sales to digital copies, said Mr. Shannon.

Perhaps the most interesting bit of information: Del Rey has sold more than 1.2 million Star Wars books in the past twelve months. (Only Aftermath and Lords of the Sith get namechecked.) That number extends to 70 million over the life of the license (including Bantam). It’s not clear if that number goes back to 1977 or 1991, but I suspect ’77. It would be interesting to see the numbers for at least the previous novelizations, but alas.

Fun fact: Although many Star Wars books have made it onto the New York Times’ Best Seller list, only four have made it to #1: The Return of the Jedi Storybook by Joan D. Vinge, Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire, The Phantom Menace novelization by Terry Brooks and (go figure) The Force Unleashed novelization by Sean Williams.

Journey to The Force Awakens: Blurb for ‘The Perfect Weapon’ short story

jtfa-perfect-weaponDel Rey has revealed a short blurb for Delilah S. Dawson’s ‘The Perfect Weapon,’ a Journey to The Force Awakens short story featuring Bazine Netal, one of the characters we’ll see at Maz Kanata’s castle in the film.

There are plenty of mercenaries, spies, and guns for hire in the galaxy. But probably none as dangerous and determined as Bazine Netal. A master of disguise—and lethal with a blade, a blaster, or bare handed—she learned from the best. Now it’s her turn to be the teacher—even if schooling an eager but inexperienced recruit in the tricks of her trade is the last thing she wants to do. But it’s the only way to score the ship she needs to pull off her latest job.

An anonymous client has hired Bazine to track down an ex-stormtrooper and recover the mysterious package he’s safeguarding. Payment for the mission promises to be astronomical, but the obstacles facing Bazine will prove to be formidable. And though her eager new sidekick has cyber skills crucial to the mission, only Bazine’s razor-sharp talents will mean the difference between success or failure—and life or death.

The short will be on sale as a $1.99 ebook on November 24.

Also of note, Del Rey’s Star Wars Books team have recently started a Tumblr.

Did Oscar Isaac get his wish for Poe Dameron’s homeworld?


Several months ago, Oscar Isaac talked about what planet he hoped was his character’s homeworld. Now, there was nothing wrong with his preference, but given that he was talking so openly about it, I doubt it was any form of canon at the time.

But it is now. Shattered Empire spoilers ahead!

Continue reading

Video: James unboxes the past week in Star Wars

origami plus TFA poster

I’ve got a new Unboxing Star Wars video up, with Yowie and I looking back at this past week in the world of Star Wars, with Star Wars Reads Day, the start of the new season of Rebels, some more Journey to the Force Awakens books, and of course we talk about the new poster for The Force Awakens.

Out this week: Shattered Empire #4, Darth Vader #11

It’s trailer day! But there’ll be a few things waiting for comic fans later in the week, too. Wednesday brings Shattered Empire #4, the last issue of the miniseries. (Luke fans, you definitely want to check out the preview.) There’s also Darth Vader #11.

And finally, a trade, Legends Epic Collection: The Empire, collecting several issues of Dark Times.

Short blurbs, earlier release date for Journey to The Force Awakens short stories?


Florian was first to spot these small summaries for the four Journey to The Force Awakens stories by Landry Walker. Each has a price of $2.99 and release date of November 24 – a week earlier than the December 1 date given at NYCC. Delilah Dawson’s The Perfect Weapon, which doesn’t have a summary yet (it’s the only digital short from Del Rey instead of Disney Lucasfilm Press) also has an Amazon release date of the 24th at the moment, though it’s only priced at $1.99.

The Crimson Corsair, presumably.

Captain Ithano of the Crimson Corsair?

The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku: “Every pirate in the sector is after the lost treasure of Count Dooku! Will Captain Ithano and his crew beat his rivals to the prize?”

All Creatures Great and Small : “A storyteller uses his captivating skills to calm frightened villagers on Jakku.”

High Noon on Jakku: “A renegade droid causes problems for Constable Zuvio on Jakku.”

The Face of Evil: “A notorious thief learns to be careful what she wishes for on Takodana.”

The four Landry stories are expected to be released in print, along with two new entries, in the spring. A sixth story, ‘Bait’ by Alan Dean Foster, will appear in a December issue of the Star Wars Insider.

Star Wars out this week: Shattered Empire #3, Chewbacca #1

It’s hard to believe that after last week’s glut of comic releases that we’re still getting new comics on Wednesday, but so it is. Fans don’t have to wait long for Shattered Empire #3, and there’s also Chewbacca #1, which launches a new mini-series.

Don’t forget, we learned of several upcoming books, short stories and the next comic mini-series at NYCC this weekend. Our next novel, however, is Battlefront: Twilight Company by Alexander Freed on November 3.

NYCC: Next Marvel limited series goes back to the prequel era for Obi-Wan & Anakin


Obi-Wan & Anakin, a 5-issue limited series from writer Charles Soule (Lando) and artist Marco Checchetto (Shattered Empire) will debut in January, CBR reports. Here’s the official synopsis for #1:

“Before their military heroism in the Clone Wars, before their tragic battle on Mustafar, and many decades before their final confrontation on the Death Star… they were Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Padawan learner, Anakin Skywalker. It’s been a few years since Obi-Wan pledged to train the young “chosen one,” but even as they have grown closer through training, it has been a difficult road. Now, called to a remote planet for assistance, Master and Padawan may be pushed to the breaking point. Writer Charles Soule (Lando, She-Hulk, Daredevil) and artist Marco Checchetto (Star Wars: Shattered Empire, Avengers World, Punisher) bring us a tale of the Jedi at the height of their power…”

Marvel has previously touched on the very end of the prequel era with the Rebels tie-in Kanan: The Last Padawan.

UPDATE: CBR has an interview with Soule about the mini-series.

NYCC: New novels coming from Claudia Gray, Chuck Wendig, and a LOT of short stories

Aftermath: Life Debt and Aftermath: Empire's End jacks on display at NYCC. Photo thanks to @LillianSkye_.

Aftermath: Life Debt and Aftermath: Empire’s End jacks on display at NYCC. Photo thanks to @LillianSkye_.

A new novel, the next two Aftermath titles and a handful of short stories were announced at NYCC this afternoon.

NewRepublic: BloodlineAftermath: Life Debt (Summer 2016) and Aftermath: Empire’s End (2017) will be the next two from Chuck Wendig, while Claudia Gray has New Republic: Bloodlines set for a spring 2016 release. It’ll be set six years before The Force Awakens, and it doesn’t seem to be a Lost Stars sequel. (The Life Debt and Bloodline covers were spotted earlier today by Jedi Bibliothek.) UPDATE: Chuck Wendig on the upcoming books.

We also have short stories coming based around the aliens in Maz Kanata’s castle (as seen in Vanity Fair.) The first, ‘Bait,’ from Alan Dean Foster, stars a character called Grumgarr and will appear in the Star Wars Insider. Another, ‘The Perfect Weapon’ from Delilah Dawson, will be released electronically and feature Bazine, the woman in black. It’ll be released electronically in November, and there’s a temporary cover over at


There’ll be four more stories from Landry Walker called ‘High Noon on Jakku,’ ‘All Creatures Great and Small,’ ‘The Face of Evil,’ ‘The Crimson Corsair and the Treasure of Count Dooku.’ They will also be released electronically, not as a Tales of book as we reported before. (Whoops.) All the e-novellas will come out on December 1, and the Landry ones will released in print, along with two more stories, in April.

At the panel, Pablo Hidalgo said that the Story Group took into account worldbuilding from George Lucas, the early Micheal Arnt script, and things Rian Johnson wanted to explore in VIII when building Journey to The Force Awakens. They’ve closely mapped out what happens after Return of the Jedirevolving around Jakku – and the lead-in to The Force Awakens, but things between those two points are looser for creative freedom. He said to reread the Journey books in a year, and see what you catch.

As for Shattered Empire, Greg Rucka revealed that he hadn’t actually pitched the book to include movie characters like Luke, Leia and Han when the first cover was revealed. But he also promises that #4 will be a love letter to Luke, comparing him to Qui-gon Jinn.

You can listen to the panel audio over at The Wookiee Gunner, who also has helped me fill in a few gaps here.