Category Archives: books and comics

NYCC 2014: Marvel announces Kanan comic series

Kanan #1The 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.

A more detailed blurb for Heir to the Jedi

hearne-luke-heirRandom House has updated their blurb for Kevin Hearne’s Heir to the Jedi, the third of the new canon novels. It looks like we can count on there being at least two new female characters being vital to the plot. No, neither of them sounds like someone who will secretly end up to be Mara Jade.

Luke Skywalker’s game-changing destruction of the Death Star has made him not only a hero of the Rebel Alliance but a valuable asset in the ongoing battle against the Empire. Though he’s a long way from mastering the power of the Force, there’s no denying his phenomenal skills as a pilot—and in the eyes of Rebel leaders Princess Leia Organa and Admiral Ackbar, there’s no one better qualified to carry out a daring rescue mission crucial to the Alliance cause.

A brilliant alien cryptographer renowned for her ability to breach even the most advanced communications systems is being detained by Imperial agents determined to exploit her exceptional talents for the Empire’s purposes. But the prospective spy’s sympathies lie with the Rebels, and she’s willing to join their effort in exchange for being reunited with her family. It’s an opportunity to gain a critical edge against the Empire that’s too precious to pass up. It’s also a job that demands the element of surprise. So Luke and the ever-resourceful droid R2-D2 swap their trusty X-wing fighter for a sleek space yacht piloted by brash recruit Nakari Kelen, daughter of a biotech mogul, who’s got a score of her own to settle with the Empire.

Challenged by ruthless Imperial bodyguards, death-dealing enemy battleships, merciless bounty hunters, and monstrous brain-eating parasites, Luke plunges head-on into a high-stakes espionage operation that will push his abilities as a Rebel fighter and would-be Jedi to the limit. If ever he needed the wisdom of Obi-Wan Kenobi to shepherd him through danger, it’s now. But Luke will have to rely on himself, his friends, and his own burgeoning relationship with the Force to survive.

Heir to the Jedi is scheduled for a February 17 release. (via)

Exclusive: A spread from the Imperial Handbook

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Looking forward to Dan Wallace’s Imperial Handbook? We’ve got an inside preview at one of the pages from the upcoming book from Becker & Mayer. As you can tell from the image, we’ve got a section by Baron Fel on the various experimental TIE fighters, with notes from Luke Skywalker, Wedge Antilles, and Crix Madine.

The deluxe edition of the Imperial Handbook: A Commander’s Guide comes in mechanized protective case with inserts including an Imperial Order of Glory medal. The 160-page book goes on sale next week on October 14, and as previously announced, is considered Legends.

A look at the movement to ‘save’ the Expanded Universe

anakin_chokeEric Geller at TheForce.net posted a lengthy piece today looking at the ‘movement’ to ‘save’ the Expanded Universe.

It’s pretty ugly, this movement, so much so that even someone with a cast-iron case of trainwreck syndrome (hi) will want to look away. Yes, Eric quotes me, but I haven’t made a study of these people: What I’ve already run across in my regular travels on Facebook and Tumblr is more than enough. I love getting silly and (yes) occasionally childish with fandom (ahem, Tumblr) but the hatred and negativity of all this is just above and beyond. And I cut my fandom teeth flaming Star Wars authors for ‘bad’ books. I used to read Fandom Wank regularly, for fun. I moderated message boards during the prequel era. I can handle more than your standard amount of fannish negativity.

There’s nothing wrong with being sad, or even a little angry, about the Legends announcement. There’s nothing wrong with wanting that timeline to continue. But there is something wrong with letting things get quite this toxic over a bunch of novels, no matter how beloved they may be. It poisons the well.

I hope these folks are channeling something like the snotty, flaming 17-year-old I was once, and they’ll grow up and move on, with or without Star Wars. There’s little doubt in my mind that this will die down, regardless. But it’s beyond sad to see EU fandom, even if it’s just the fringes, reduced to such a sad state. We’re better than this. I hope.

Out this week: The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight

The Adventures of Luke SkywalkerTuesday sees the release of a new picture book, The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight. Written by Tony DiTerlizzi and featuring Ralph McQuarrie art, it’s the first fruit of an OT-based program with Disney Publishing.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, comic fans can pick up the collected Rebel Heist. Non-subscribers should start keeping an eye out for Star Wars Insider #152 on newstands.

James Luceno: Old Expanded Universe material “still there to pick and choose from”

luceno-tarkinAuthor 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.

Meet Kiri Hart, one of the women now driving Star Wars

kiri-hartThe Rebels blitz continues, with the Wall Street Journal today featuring Lucasfilm’s Kiri Hart.

Tasked by head honcho Kathleen Kennedy to develop and oversees new Star Wars content, Hart and her ‘team of five’ (the Story Group, ahem) keep a tight rein on the galaxy… Although she does know there’s room for a lot of different things in the franchise:

“I think there are boundaries, but we don’t want to rigidly define them,” she said. “It’s obviously not slapstick comedy, but there’s room for many different stories and genres that still feel like ‘Star Wars.'”

One filmmaker says she is “as close to a Kevin Feige as there is at Lucas,” and in a longer interview she details some of Lucasfim’s recent choices.

On development:

We pretty quickly arrived at a content plan that stretches out for several years and we didn’t go looking for those ideas. Those existed internally. We were in a situation of looking for people to help us execute the ideas we had.

On setting aside the EU:

I’m crazily passionate about this idea of narratives travelling across different platforms. It just feels like a golden opportunity. This is a fictional universe that not only supports [narrative coherence] but invites it.

In addition, we wouldn’t be giving the right green space to our filmmakers if we mandated they stay within the stories that have been told [in books.]

On diversity:

I haven’t experienced “Star Wars” being for boys, because I loved it from seven years old. I was so powerfully influenced by Princess Leia as a kid. I remember being transfixed by her — she was so empowered and smart and funny.

There are a lot of different types of characters. “Star Wars” should be diverse because it’s a big galaxy.

This certainly sheds some light for us on how things are working internally these days!

Book review: How Star Wars Conquered the Universe is a fun primer on the franchise

hswctuChris Taylor’s How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, out today, is one of those rare nonfiction books not fully authorized by Lucasfilm. An independent biography of the franchise, it covers from George Lucas’ own upbringing and influences to just post-Disney. Curious? Read the first chapter at Mashable (as well as one on the 501st) right now.

It’s also a pretty great read. I got my copy Saturday, finished it yesterday afternoon, and it flew. Taylor talks to fans and pros alike, highlighting both sides of the (increasingly more narrow) divide. Most of the attention thus far is on the moviemaking portion, where the book’s biggest sound bites come from.

Full disclosure: I was interviewed for and appear in the book, and received a review copy from Basic Books.

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Out this week: How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, Son of Dathomir collected

It’s been a while, but this week brings us two trades from Dark Horse, and one new unauthorized nonfiction book looking at the franchise as a whole.

Chris Taylor’s How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, out Tuesday, is touted as ‘the first comprehensive history of the Star Wars phenomenon.’ I may be a tad biased, but look for my review in the next couple of days.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir and the third volume of Brian Wood’s Star Wars comic, Rebel Girl, are both collected in trade paperback.

As for upcoming releases, we have Star Wars Art: Posters coming on October 14, a Shakespeare Star Wars box set and the Razor’s Edge paperback on October 28, and James Luceno’s Tarkin on November 4 – plus Dark Horse’s remaining trades.