Not a lot of love for the catsuit round these parts this week. On Tumblr, Molly approached the outfit from a costumer’s perspective, and Ellen Hyde pointed out that it and the Jabba’s dancer outfit are the only Mara costumes recognized by the 501st – while you can get into the Rebel Legion with the green Visions of the Future getup, it’s not that many options. I realize the costuming organizations have to draw the line somewhere, but maybe the 501st will OK the Choices of One version one day?
But I do have a treat for you! Del Rey editor Erich Schoeneweiss has generously shared with us a piece of Mara artwork from Pablo Hidalgo’s Essential Reader’s Companion, which is due out October 2. It’s by Darren Tan and shows Mara’s first encounter with the Yuuzhan Vong in Vector Prime – and no, she’s not in the catsuit. Check it out under the cut.
Excerpts. It’s easy to miss, but if you head over to the Random House page for X-Wing: Mercy Kill, there are 32 pages from the book available. (Click on the cover.) It includes the dramatis personae that caused such a furor when the ARCs went out as well as the first pages of 22 chapters. Weird, yes? (via)
Convention swag. Star Wars Books has revealed some of the summer freebies on their Facebook. There’s a nifty 84-page sample books with excerpts and the Insider short stories, a Mercy Killiron-on and Scoundrels bookmarks. The catch: There are 7, but they won’t all be available at the same con, so unless you’re going to be at SDCC, CVI and NYCC, prepare to swap with some pals to get them all.
Interview. EUCantina interviews Lucas Books Art Director Scott Biel about creating covers for Star Wars books. He talks about the process, why the Mercy Kill cover got a makeover, and Mara Jade’s Choices of One jumpsuit.
Conventions. The Del Rey folks will have a double-sided poster that they’ll be giving out during summer con season. It features the cover art from The Essential Reader’s Companion and The Old Republic: Annihilation. Look for Del Rey at San Diego Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration VI, and New York Comic Con.
Spotlight.Essential Guide to Warfare co-author Paul Urquhart takes a look at ‘the best star-pilots in the galaxy’. But what we’re really talking about here is the art by Frank-Joseph “Mazzic” Frelier, which includes what I think is out first look at Syal Antilles.
In other Warfare-related matters, there have been three more installments of endnotes since we last checked in: 9, 10 and 11.
Awards. John Jackson Miller’s Knight Errant is a Scribe Award nominee for Best Original Novel in the Speculative Fiction category. The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers are also naming Expanded Universe alumni Kevin J. Anderson as the year’s Grandmaster. Other familiar names among the nominees include Mike Stackpole (for his Conan the Barbarian adaption) and A.C. Crispin for her Pirates of the Caribbean novel.
“The story arc was to very closely hew to the myth structure of the Hero’s Journey as outlined by Joseph Campbell, a huge influence on the creation of the Star Wars cinematic story. With that as its basic framework, the plot underwent much evolution and exploration. Its earliest descriptions had Luke Skywalker sending the three Solo children on an epic quest, upon which they encounter a new female character from the invading species sent to infiltrate the galaxy. This unnamed female corrupts Anakin, nearly turning him to the dark side, but she falls in love with him and Anakin instead redeems her. In a fit of intense sibling rivalry, Jacen and Jaina turn on Anakin, and in the resulting conflict, Jacen dies.”
So much in the EU depends on the authors and the execution, but I can’t say this story idea doesn’t strike me as a better one than the muddled mess we eventually got.
And, finally, Pete Morrison at Lightsaber Rattling took a look at the dramatis personae of Star Wars novels from the last few years and did a gender breakdown that showed male characters outnumber females almost 2 to 1.
Say what you will about EUC’s post, but it certainly got fandom talking!
Get your X-Wings in bulk. Knights Archive found a listing on Random Houses’ Smart Archive for an eBook bundle of the X-Wing novels. There’s no price yet, but it does include all the classic Stackpole and Allston books and goes on sale July 30th. That’s cutting it a little close for those who want to catch up or reread: Allston’s X-Wing: Mercy Kill will be out the very next week.
The blogside. Over at Tosche Station, Brian has a two-partretrospective of Fate of the Jedi. The series has garnered some mixed reviews, but overall I have to agree with some of Brian on this one, particularly regarding Luke/the Jedi, the arc-welding in Abeloth’s backstory, and the overall issues with Denning. Brian’s also revised his review of Apocalypse.
Interviews. EU Cantina talks to comic writer Tom Taylor about his upcoming Darth Maul mini-series, Invasion, and Boba Fett is Dead. Meanwhile, Newsarama has John Ostrander to discuss Dawn of the Jedi in some detail.
Whoops! I caught the release date change for Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Storieslast week, but not that it had changed formats from paperback to trade paperback. Guess someone likes the Sith…
There was another Star Wars Books chat today, this time with Jason Fry (and, via proxy, co-author Paul Urquhart) on The Essential Guide to Warfare. Chats for this type of continuity-baiting books do tend to be a tad calmer than for the big fiction books, so I’ll do a more straightforward recap.
However, because some of the questions touch on some fairly obscure parts of the EU, I have added a few notes and Wookiepedia links where called for. Be cautious: There may be spoilers in the links.