Remember way back in 2009, when LucasBooks announced that the Fate of the Jedi paperbacks reprints would be in the slightly taller premium paperback format – and then changed their minds? Well, it seems like it’s just as well, because now it gives Del Rey a quick, easy way to make the canon novels stand out among the piles of Legends when they come out in paperback. The A New Dawn paperback, due out late next month, will be the first, but Tarkin and Heir to the Jedi have all been listed with the new format.
Props to Florian of Jedi Bibliothek for bringing it to my attention – though the Star Wars Books header photo in question has been up since January.
The premium paperback issue was rather controversial back in the day, but it seems that EU fans have bigger fish to fry these days. Below, a picture I took in 2009 to show the differences between trade paperback (The Clone Wars: Wild Space,) premium paperback (Stephen King’s Just After Sunset) and mass market paperback (Dark Force Rising.)
I miss Borders.
What’s up with the Jedi Temple? Mike Cooper at Eleven-ThirtyEight takes a look at how the Jedi Temple has been portrayed in the new canon – and what it might mean for the old canon.
Today, of course, sees the release of James Luceno’s Tarkin, our final novel for the year. If you’re on the fence, you can read the first fifty pages now, or Tosche Station has a Go/No Go.
The book seems to be receiving good reviews from the sort of folks who would enjoy a Luceno novel about Tarkin, but not being one of them, I shall abstain. I do, however, find that Mike Cooper’s review squares pretty well with my past experience of the author.
As for Wednesday, we even have a Dark Horse hardcover, the Dark Times Gallery Edition.
The big fiction announcement at NYCC this weekend was… A Kanan ongoing series from Marvel. It’s being written by Greg Weisman (which may or may not explain his absence from the second season of Rebels) and begins with ‘The Last Padawan,’ in yet another prequel to the cartoon, this one going back to show how Kanan survived Order 66. Apparently if this does well, more Rebels focused comics may be on the horizon. But at the very least, it adds a different era to Marvel’s Star Wars lineup.
Amy Ratcliffe has a nice interview with Weisman on CBR.
There wasn’t a novel announcement at Del Rey’s panel, but we did learn that Palpatine’s first name (from George Lucas) is revealed in James Luceno’s Tarkin.
Author James Luceno talks about Star Wars, the new canon and his upcoming novel Tarkin with SciFiNow.
He says he’s seen the series bible for Rebels and that when it comes to the old EU:
I chose not to really reference too much EU material only because of the setting of the story, but it was still there. It was still there to pick and choose from.
Though he does point out that there’s not that much to begin with in the primary setting of the novel. (5 years after Revenge of the Sith.)
However, as far as Episode VII goes? He knows nothing. But he makes a good point as to the Story Group:
Without spilling secrets they can say, ‘I think this isn’t a good place to go with this book’ or ‘You might want to steer clear of this topic.’ This is part of an effort to maintain a so-called continuity where every book and every game and every comic will all be part of a single story going forward, and that wasn’t the case earlier on.
Tarkin is due out November 4.
Jedi News spotted that Random House has posted a longer blurb for James Luceno’s Tarkin:
He’s the scion of an honorable and revered family. A dedicated soldier and distinguished legislator. Loyal proponent of the Republic and trusted ally of the Jedi Order. Groomed by the ruthless politician and Sith Lord who would be Emperor, Governor Wilhuff Tarkin rises through the Imperial ranks, enforcing his authority ever more mercilessly . . . and zealously pursuing his destiny as the architect of absolute dominion.
Rule through the fear of force rather than force itself, he advises his Emperor. Under Tarkin’s guidance, an ultimate weapon of unparalleled destruction moves ever closer to becoming a terrifying reality. When the so-called Death Star is completed, Tarkin is confident that the galaxy’s lingering pockets of Separatist rebellion will be brought to heel—by intimidation . . . or annihilation.
Until then, however, insurgency remains a genuine threat. Escalating guerrilla attacks by resistance forces and newfound evidence of a growing Separatist conspiracy are an immediate danger the Empire must meet with swift and brutal action. And to bring down a band of elusive freedom fighters, the Emperor turns to his most formidable agents: Darth Vader, the fearsome new Sith enforcer as remorseless as he is mysterious; and Tarkin—whose tactical cunning and cold-blooded efficiency will pave the way for the Empire’s supremacy . . . and its enemies’ extinction.
Tarkin is currently due out in hardcover and eBook on November 4.
Well, now that we’ve got had our first look at a new/old upcoming comic, let’s see what you can actually pick up this week…
Today, send your eBook reader of choice to your eBook retailer of choice to download the free sampler containing previews of all four of Del Rey’s announced upcoming books. It gives us our first look at John Jackson Miller’s A New Dawn, James Luceno’s Tarkin, Kevin Hearne’s Heir to the Jedi and Paul Kemp’s Lords of the Sith. I skimmed it last night, and let’s just say that ‘underwhelmed’ seems to be the word of the day…
Meanwhile, comic readers will have Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #3, the second-to-last issue, waiting for them on Wednesday.
Del Rey offering a Star Wars book sampler on July 15. The 58-page free digital sampler contains previews of all four announced upcoming canon novels, John Jackson Miller’s A New Dawn, James Luceno’s Tarkin, Kevin Hearne’s Heir to the Jedi and Paul Kemp’s Lords of the Sith. It will be available in non-Amazon eBook formats as well.
A novel rumor? How very… Well, it’s been a while. With Del Rey teasing James Luceno’s Tarkin today, up sprang a good amount of speculation that his EU mistress Natasi Daala may make an appearance… And a rumor that we could see Mara Jade in this book as well.
The Daala part is pure speculation, but I can see her as a firm maybe. It would be nice to see the character redefined to be less of a grab-bag of lame sleeping-her-way-to-the-top stereotypes – there’s really only room for improvement, and it’s not like they can make her president in this time period. Despite how many books they kept bringing her back for in the old EU, she’s not really what I would consider to be a significant character, which gives them that much more leeway. (Whether Luceno is the one to make those improvements… Well, it could be worse, I guess.)
But Mara Jade, as Luke Skywalker’s wife and a character with a still-significant fanbase all her own, is perhaps the most-high profile EU character who could (possibly) connect to the sequel trilogy, and an appearance in the new canon at this early point will rocket expectations sky high. (Do we really need more of that? Aren’t expectations for Episode VII high enough already?) My first instinct – that they’d put Mara in to kill her off earlier in the timeline – would just be cruel to fans that are still (occasionally) somewhat bitter over Legacy of the Force. Better no Mara than to kill her off all over again.
Now, some seem to think Mara could be the ‘new ally’ in Heir to the Jedi, and while I don’t think that’s the case either, it’s at least a book that a fair share of Mara fans may pick up – which I’m not quite sure is the case for Tarkin.
And, of course, any hints leading to Mara (and even Daala) could equally apply to Shira Brie. You can’t say the early EU didn’t have a type.
Obviously I’m not really putting much stock in this rumor, but if this was a ploy to make me at least skim the ARC when it comes in – well done.