Yakface discovered two variant covers for Marvel’s first entry into Journey to the Force Awakens, Shattered Empire, on eBay this morning. The Palpatine/Vader one is exclusive to Comic Pop Collectibles, while Luke and the Falcon will only be available from Third Eye. We knew there’d be variants – they’ve already revealed one, and Marvel editor Heather Antos tweeted about them last week – but the final number is a mystery. I expect there will be quite a few, though.
As for other releases, next week brings the standalone version of Daniel Wallace’s Imperial Handbook: A Commander’s Guide, in what may very well be our last Legends release. Of course, just over a month away is Force Friday, when the Journey to the Force Awakens will drop 5 novels – among them Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath – on us.
In related news, the first collected edition of the new Marvel titles is also a record-breaker – Marvel is expecting to sell more than 200K copies of Star Wars Vol. 1: Skywalker Strikes, Comicbook.com reports. It’s expected in early October.
Entertainment Weekly has the first excerpts from Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath, Del Rey’s entry in Journey to The Force Awakens.
It features a brief section set on Coruscant, Wedge Antilles (who we now know is one of the book’s main characters,) plus a character who first debuted in another of the new canon novels. (Now with a promotion.)
Much of the excerpt was up on Random House’s online catalog earlier today, but has since been removed.
Aftermath, along with the rest of the Journey books, goes on sale September 4.
Marvel’s second Star Wars announcement at SDCC is a crossover event called Vader Down. The six-part storyline will begin in Vader Down #1 and continue in the Star Wars and Darth Vader ongoings. The two series have already bounced off each other a great deal, but this time writers Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen are teasing things like Han Solo and Aphra meeting.
“Crossover events” aren’t something we’ve had a lot of in Star Wars comics, but Dark Horse did something similar – across their whole line, in multiple time periods – with Vector in 2008.
Just as the publishing panel at SDCC was getting into Del Rey, Entertainment Weekly has big news: Chuck Wendig is writing the entire Aftermath trilogy.
Good news, given the recent history with round robins. We haven’t had a one-author trilogy since… Coruscant Nights? Dark Nest? Not exactly sterling examples, but a nice sign that Del Rey has, perhaps, learned from past mistakes. (Now we just hope Wendig is good at more than tweets!)
Also being talked about at the panel was Marvel’s upcoming Chewbacca miniseries we learned of earlier in the day.
And the next Star Wars character to get a standalone mini-series is the mighty Chewbacca, MTV revealed today. Written by Gerry Duggan with art by Phil Noto, it’ll hit in October.
The Journey to the Force Awakens series finally gets a little bit of fleshing out on StarWars.com – and we finally get a synopsis for the centerpiece, Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath. As predicted, it features Wedge Antilles!
As the Empire reels from its critical defeats at the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance — now a fledgling New Republic — presses its advantage by hunting down the enemy’s scattered forces before they can regroup and retaliate. But above the remote planet Akiva, an ominous show of the enemy’s strength is unfolding. Out on a lone reconnaissance mission, pilot Wedge Antilles watches Imperial Star Destroyers gather like birds of prey circling for a kill, but is taken captive before he can report back to the New Republic leaders.
Meanwhile, on the planet’s surface, former Rebel fighter Norra Wexley has returned to her native world — war weary, ready to reunite with her estranged son, and eager to build a new life in some distant place. But when Norra intercepts Wedge Antilles’s urgent distress call, she realizes her time as a freedom fighter is not yet over. What she doesn’t know is just how close the enemy is—or how decisive and dangerous her new mission will be.
Determined to preserve the Empire’s power, the surviving Imperial elite are converging on Akiva for a top-secret emergency summit — to consolidate their forces and rally for a counterstrike. But they haven’t reckoned on the Norra and her newfound allies — her technical genius son, a Zabrak bounty hunter, and a reprobate Imperial defector — who are prepared to do whatever they must to end the Empire’s oppressive reign once and for all.
We also get the covers for the YA novels:
Phil Noto on all three! Note that MVP author Jason Fry, in addition to writing the Luke novel The Weapon of a Jedi, did double duty with Cecil Castellucci on the Leia book, Moving Target. Also getting a full synopsis is Claudia Gray’s Lost Stars:
The reign of the Galactic Empire has reached the Outer Rim planet of Jelucan, where aristocratic Thane Kyrell and rural villager Ciena Ree bond over their love of flying. Enrolling at the Imperial Academy together to become fighter pilots for the glorious Empire is nothing less than a dream come true for the both of them. But Thane sours on the dream when he sees firsthand the horrific tactics the Empire uses to maintain its ironclad rule.
Bitter and disillusioned, Thane joins the fledgling Rebellion — putting Ciena in an unbearable position to choose between her loyalty to the Empire and her love for the man she’s known since childhood.
Now on opposite sides of the war, will these friends turned foes find a way to be together, or will duty tear them — and the galaxy — apart?
The Journey to the Force Awakens books – which will also include several reference books, plus at least two comics – will be out on Force Friday, September 4.
Star Wars Books announced today that author (and Jader!) Janine K. Spendlove is writing a short story tie-in to the upcoming novel Battlefront: Twilight Company. The story will appear in Star Wars Insider #161, which will be on sale October 20th.
Janine is the author of the War of the Seasons trilogy and numerous short stories, including the Athena’s Daughters anthologies. She is an active pilot with the U.S. Marine Corps.