And while we’re on the topic, here are James’ shots from Preview Night!
Before we get any deeper into the SDCC madness…
Press. LucasBooks and the Expanded Universe was highlighted in an article that appeared on the front page of Friday’s Wall Street Journal. (That’s the print version above.) It’s situated behind a paywall online, but there are ways around that. Writer Alexandra Alter appeared on NPR to talk further about it on Tuesday.
Crucible. There’s another Troy Denning interview at Lightsaber Rattling. Shockingly enough, not everyone agrees with what he had to say about Jaina Solo. And here’s a video that features Denning talking last week in Minnesota.
Namesake corner. Mara again? Here’s a new piece of art from the new card game, by Anthony Foti. She also made the cover of the latest expansion, and you can see she’s on at least one more card there, too.
This Mara figure – Hasbro’s third – started as the 2011 Fan’s Choice – as Mara Jade Skywalker, actually. (Curious, but not particularly so.) The sculpt was revealed at Celebration VI and moved to the Black Series earlier this year. It should be available… Well, I’ve heard the fall, but who knows. I’ll keep an eye out.
Sure, she’s in the catsuit, because of course she is, but it’s still pretty neat. This sketch, by Shunya Yamashita, was posted on the Kotobukiya Facebook today. (Thanks to @ASMzine for bringing it to our attention!)
Ashley Eckstein’s Her Universe is bringing the expanded universe to SDCC! They’ll be debuting a new Mara Jade tee using Daryl Mandryk’s art from the Choices of One paperback cover, and a Jaina Solo tee using John VanFleet’s art from the Sword of the Jedi teaser image. Only 100 of each will be offered at the con, however, and they’ll only be online “for a limited time only.” They’ll be online during SDCC.
It also sounds like they’ve revamped their booth, which is promising.
UPDATE: Here’s the chat link, and huge thanks to Ashley for the kind words!
Fan art. Lucasfilm may not have revealed what (most) of the Rebels character design will look like yet, ENGELHA5T on DeviantArt has created several OT-era characters in the style of The Clone Wars. Of particular interest to us would be Mara Jade, but there’s also Han and Chewie, Thrawn and Pellaeon, a teen Leia and even a Luke, may of them with cardbacks as well. You can check out his full gallery, but be warned it does contain some more adult works, though they do seem to be hidden if you’re not logged in to DA.
Del Rey. We actually heard about it way back at Celebration, but now Del Rey has officially announced their Star Wars Action Team. It’s not quite up and running yet, but the general gist is that you “spread the word” and get points. Please don’t break down any doors. On that note, here’s some of the swag they’ll have at SDCC.
Comics. Newsarama has a first look at the next arc of Dark Times, A Spark Remains.
Reviews. Over at Big Shiny Robot, James reads Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #3,The Clone Wars: The Smuggler’s Code and Legacy #4, where Ania Solo learns sometimes shooting first isn’t the best solution.
Our Tumblr passed 300 followers not too long ago, and while posting has slowed at times, there’s still plenty of stuff that doesn’t make it all the way here. So if you’re on Tumblr, follow us!
In brief. This is the greatest beginner’s guide to the Expanded Universe ever. I am not kidding. You’ll laugh, then you’ll cry from laughing. Oh, and a pretty cool Skywalker-Solo family tree.
On that note… What is my favorite official Mara Jade art? It’s not a big surprise because it’s been chilling in the masthead fora while now, but here’s the full scan.
Crafts. A Star Wars felt crib mobile that will automatically make your child 20% cooler. And let’s not forget the shoes: The Sith ones have spikes – the Artoo ones have Artoo, and I’m way more chill with them now that I see that the action figure isn’t actually standing in for the heel.
Fact you can use. What’s the problem with boob-shaped armor? Enter a new realm of fantasy nit-picking.
Photoshoppery. This may be self-serving, but I posted all the sequel/spinoff graphics I’ve done so far. ALIENS.
Just cool. A Darth Vader Meditation Chamber fireplace. I want one.
Your moment of zen. Baby in an X-wing uniform.
If you were wondering why The Clone Wars’ Ashley Eckstein was chatting on the Star Wars Books Facebook today, well here’s your answer: She announced that Her Universe has acquired the rights to make Expanded Universe products! (As you may recall, the Mara Jade shirt for Celebration VI was a one-off and limited availability due to not having the EU rights.) Here’s what Ashley had to say about what’s to come:
We are designing Several NEW Star Wars designs this year. Everything will be debuting in May. We are making shirts, dresses, jewelry…We have Rogue Sqaudron designs AND I am SO excited to announce that Lucasfilm has given us the rights to design shirts for the women in the EU, so expect more Mara Jade and Jaina Solo designs!
She later asked fans to be sure to speak up about what EU stuff you’d like to see.
Later, a (male) fan asked “Why do girls pretend to like Star Wars?” (Really people? Really?) Ashley handled that pretty well:
Girls definitely do not pretend to like Star Wars. It’s a fact that close to half of all Star Wars fans are girls. There may be some girls and boys that pretend to know more about Star Wars than they really do, but I would encourage you to talk about Star Wars with them and teach them more. Sometimes people may pretend to know more than they really do because they want to fit in. But even if there is a seed of interest in Star Wars, it’s our job as fans to welcome NEW fans into this Universe. Especially during this exciting time! We are about to get more movies!
Of course there was plenty asked about The Clone Wars:
I honestly don’t know Ahsoka’s eventual fate. I encourage you to watch the Season 5 finale on Saturday because there are some surprises. You will get some answers and then you will also probably have a lot more questions…You must tune in and bring some tissues…
There’s plenty more, so check out the chat!
Looking for some new Mara Jade artwork? Fantasy Flight Games slid a few image of Mara Jade into the base set of Star Wars: The Card Game, which came out in December. The game features artwork on all of the cards, ranging from concept art from Ralph McQuarrie to new artwork done for Fantasy Flight. While not directly named on any cards, Mara Jade makes her appearance as the Emperor’s Hand on two cards in the Sith deck sets for the Dark Side player.
We were a tad worried about the latest Mara Jade figure when Hasbro cancelled the Droid Factory line, but the word out of Toy Fair today places her back among the upcoming releases – in the Black Series wave 2. It doesn’t appear she’s getting a size upgrade – the series will contain standard 3¾” figures as well as the new 6″ ones – just geared towards “collectors,” which I’m guessing means the figure will be even harder to find and cost more than it would have before. (Sigh.)
Thanks to @ASMzine and @Yakface for the heads-up and answering my not-a-collector questions, and Jedi News for their liveblog, which confirmed that the figure is the Fan’s Choice version we saw last year.