Review: Empire’s End (mostly) crushes the empire, finishes off Aftermath trilogy

Empire’s End finishes off the Aftermath trilogy with a satisfying conclusion for some, and even more questions for others! In other words, it’s a Star Wars novel in the year 2017.

I’ve found myself cooling a bit on the trilogy as time goes on. Not enough that I won’t still recommend it, but simply as a function of the timing involved. When Aftermath was released, we were months away from The Force Awakens, and in the fever-pitch of anticipation. Anything was a possible hint! Life Debt came out months after, and we had a better idea of what to expect. And now, Empire’s End, when we’re just barely starting to ramp up to The Last Jedi. And I’m finding my old intertrilogy/original character apathy begin to creep in, a little.

Which is not to say Empire’s End is a bad read, mind.

A continued lack of spoilers beneath the cut. Continue reading

Josh Gad brings on (even more) friends to pester Daisy Ridley about The Last Jedi

It takes a lot of star power to top Dame Judy Dench, so Josh Gad has assembled an all-star cast for his final (hopefully) Daisy Ridley question session on The Last Jedi secrets, including Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow, Leslie Odom, Jr., Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Penelope Cruz and more.

Star Wars out this week: Empire’s End

Out Tuesday is Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath: Empire’s End, the final book in the new canon’s first trilogy. The Norra Wexley and Rae Sloane double-sided poster are exclusive to the Barnes & Noble hardcover.

Already out and about are two excerpts and a reveal, while Lucasfilm editor Jennifer Heddle offers six reasons to be excited about the book. Look for my review tomorrow.

Rebels Recon: ‘Legacy of Mandalore’

Lots of Mandalore knowledge dropped in ‘Legacy of Mandalore,’ and even more in Recon. Andi talks to Tiya Sircar, Pablo Hidalgo, Henry Gilroy and Dave Filoni about the episode.


The episode also featured the return of a very specific title… Which seems to have been given a new meaning. It’s not mentioned in Recon, but more on that in a few days.

Thrawn to get exclusive cover, poster at Barnes & Noble

Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn novel will look a little different if you buy it at Barnes & Noble. The U.S.’s largest book chain will have a cover with a black background, while other retailers will get a white cover. It also comes with an exclusive poster.

B&N exclusives are nothing new for Star Wars, as several recent releases have also featured posters, including next week’s Aftermath: Empire’s End. But Thrawn will be the first novel to feature a different cover.

Thrawn is Zahn’s first novel in the new canon and his tenth overall. It’s due out in hardcover and eBook on April 11.

The Last Jedi is plural – in translation, anyway

Several foreign translations for The Last Jedi title came through today, and it’s noteworthy because every single one of them – French, Spanish, German and Italian) – implies that the term ‘Jedi’ is a plural. (The term Jedi itself is both singular and plural, so it depends entirely upon context.)

I’m no linguist, but I do tend to side-eye most pre-release fan theories in any context, so take it as you will. In any case, as The Mary Sue’s Dan Van Winkle reminds us: “we don’t know who made these decisions,” and after almost 34 years it’s still possible to debate whether the Jedi in Return of the Jedi (singular, in translation) is Luke or Anakin. I may not be inclined to set any flags down just yet, but you can’t deny that it’s a nice piece of evidence for those who do.

Post-Rogue One novel Inferno Squad coming in July from Christie Golden

The Star Wars book schedule is rounding out with a new post-Rogue One/A New Hope novel from Christie Golden. Inferno Squad features an elite Imperial squad that’s tasked to take on what remains of Saw Gerrera’s Partisans. Here’s the blurb:

The Rebellion may have heroes like Jyn Erso and Luke Skywalker. But the Empire has Inferno Squad. After the humiliating theft of the Death Star plans and the resulting destruction of the battle station, the Empire is on the defensive. In response to this stunning defeat, the Imperial Navy has authorized the formation of an elite team of soldiers, known as Inferno Squad. Their mission: infiltrate and eliminate the remnants of Saw Gerrera’s Partisans. Following the death of their leader, the Partisans have carried on his extremist legacy, determined to thwart the Empire — no matter what the cost. Now, Inferno Squad must prove their status as the best of the best and take down the Partisans from within. But as the danger intensifies and the threat of discovery grows, how far will Inferno Squad go to ensure the safety of the Empire?

The book will be out in hardcover and eBook on July 25. I can’t say this one appeals to me, and Golden seems like an odd choice for it – we last heard from her with 2015’s Dark Disciple – but seems like this is a continuation of the new EU’s tendency to focus on brand-new characters.

Force Friday annoucement, reveal gives us our first look at Rey in The Last Jedi

StarWars.com has officially annouced that Force Friday II is set for September 1, but more importantly (for our purposes) they’ve also given us our first look at Rey, Finn and Poe in The Last Jedi. Rey is not only front and center with a lightsaber, but she’s sporting a new hairstyle! Finn has a new shirt! Poe looks… Pretty much the same!

Head below the cut for the full packaging. Continue reading

Celebration’s The Last Jedi panel will be Friday, April 14

To the surprise of no one, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and director Rian Johnson will be on a Celebration Orlando panel on Friday, April 14. The Last Jedi panel is expected debut the film’s first trailer, or at the very least a behind-the-scenes feature, as the con is expected to launch the movie’s first wave of publicity. Expect some other “special guests” to appear as well.

For the past few Celebrations, the first big movie panel has featured the upcoming release, while a second on Sunday focuses on the other upcoming films.

The new Star Wars Show also features more Rogue One behind-the-scenes and a visit to Sideshow.


UPDATE: Johnson took the occasion to post a new behind-the-scenes shot on Tumblr:

http://rcjohnso.tumblr.com/post/157290828820/were-coming-to-orlando-for-a-star