Alan Dean Foster is writing the novelization of The Force Awakens, Del Rey revealed today at their panel at Celebration Anaheim. It’ll be out in eBook on December 18, the day the movie comes out, with a hardcover to follow on an unspecified date in January.
Foster was the ghostwriter for the original Star Wars adaptation (credited to George Lucas) back in the ’70s, as well as the author of the first actual Star Wars novel, Splinter in the Mind’s Eye. This won’t be his first return to the franchise: He also wrote a prequel novel, The Approaching Storm, which came out ahead of Attack of the Clones.
This was already floating around, but it was confirmed that Del Rey is repackaging A New Dawn and Tarkin together as Rise of the Empire. We learned that that book will contain three new short stories, one of which ties into Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath. (Sadly, that’s just about the most we heard on Aftermath.)
That was just about the only real news out of the Del Rey panel that wasn’t already revealed earlier in the con.
As for Marvel, we got a few things: Greg Weisman will be writing the second arc of Kanan; They will be doing an adaption of The Force Awakens, but not anytime soon. Star Wars #6 is not John Cassidy’s last SW comic for Marvel… And Simone Bianchi will be drawing Star Wars #7, which is a one-shot Obi-Wan story on Tatooine.
A couple of quick updates this morning: We’ve learned at Celebration that Alexander Freed will be writing Battlefront: Twilight Company, the November novel from Del Rey.
(The actual Battlefront game was this morning’s big draw, but more on how that’s relevant to us later. )
Marvel has been dropping their news ahead of their panel as well. First we learned that a Lando Calrissian limited series will follow Princess Leia. It’ll be from Charles Soule and Alex Maleev and issue #1 comes out in July.
And this morning, some Shattered Empire details. The limited series will be written by (as we knew) Greg Rucka, with art and cover from Marco Chechetto. (Is the Phil Noto piece just a variant?)
The Del Rey and Marvel panels are tomorrow, so no doubt we’ll learn more then.
Princess Leia #1 was March’s best-selling comic. Not best-selling Star Wars comic, not best-selling Marvel comic, best-selling comic of the month. Star Wars #3 and Princess Leia #2 also made the top 5, with Darth Vader #3 in the top 10.
We learned today that Del Rey will be setting up in Booth 1211 for Celebration… And they have lots of treats. First and foremost, there’s a 2015 Book Sampler with a cover by Phil Noto. The cover clearly teases Lords of the Sith and Dark Disciple… But what else could be in it? Dare we hope for a peek at Aftermath? Chuck Wendig just finished the first draft the other day, but stranger things have happened… And note how the poster image carefully covers big chunks of the timeline… Battlefront? A novelization, even? (And for those not attending, the last sampler was put online for free, so chances are that’ll happen again.)
There are some nifty book cover pins, too. (Don’t forget Saturday is Aaron Allston Tribute Day!) There’s also a schedule of signings. Authors listed include John Jackson Miller, Christie Golden, James Luceno, Drew Karpyshyn, Alan Dean Foster, James Kahn and Michael Kogge.
Del Rey will also be handing out some Marvel stuff… Does Marvel not have a booth of their own? Curious.
No comic, novel adaptions of The Force Awakens until January? That’s what Florian of Jedi Bibliothek has uprooted, anyway. Good news for the spoiler-free among us.
Naturally, it was Florian of Jedi Bibliothek who discovered the writer of Marvel’s first entry in Journey to The Force Awakens, Shattered Empire. A catalog lists Greg Rucka, who had an influential run writing Batman (among many others.)
Rucka was already on the JTFA slate with the Han-centric YA novel Smuggler’s Run.
We don’t know much about Shattered Empire overall; though the series was announced with a Phil Noto cover image, the catalog lists the book’s artist as TBD. It also lists it will be a trade paperback, not individual issues, though the original announcement calls it ‘an event series.’ A series of trades? At this point, I fully expect we won’t get a formal announcement until Marvel’s panel at Celebration Anaheim.
This week the releases start on Tuesday, with William Shakespeare’s The Phantom of Menace by Ian Doescher in bookstores.
Wednesday brings not only Darth Vader #4, but Marvel’s first collection of the old Dark Horse stuff, the that’s-a-mouthful Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Empire Vol. 1.
Today’s talker: How slavish devotion to continuity can damage a series (and a fandom.) Continuity is important (and Club Jaders were big advocates for more of it back in the early days of the Expanded Universe) but when it outweighs and hinders the story and characters, it can become a problem. That’s something we saw in the waning days of the old EU. The solution? It’s somewhere in the middle.
We saw saw the first blurbs for the Journey to Episode VII YA books a few weeks back, and now one of them has been revised. Jason Fry’s The Weapon of a Jedi (Amazon) now teases a “a dangerous duel between Luke and a strange new villain” instead of “Luke’s first-ever duel with a lightsaber.” (via)
Fry himself is leading us on a merry chase on Twitter.
We learned a little about Aftermath, Del Rey’s key piece in the Journey to The Force Awakens, a few weeks ago: Namely, that Twitter-winning author Chuck Wendig is writing it, and that it involves “a fan favorite from the films” and “other familiar faces.” And Club Jade has learned who a few of those faces are.
So. Spoilers. Under the cut.