The Force Awakens toy blitz begins with the livestreamed unboxings from around the world. It’s ongoing through Thursday morning, so I hope y’all have lots of coffee on hand…
And, of course, there’s a new emoji!
This past week, a few seconds of footage drove us nuts, we wondered just how much of a fanboy Kylo Ren is, how to pronounce AT-AT canonically, and some goofiness in first class.
Jawajames, Yowie the Skunk and Baby Jawa are back at it again! They take unboxing Star Wars stuff very seriously in today’s video for Force Friday Countdown: Wednesday. This time, they review Star Wars fruit snacks; DK’s Ultimate Star Wars by Tricia Barr, Adam Bray, Dan Wallace, and Ryder Windham; and Adam Gidwitz’ retelling of The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to be a Jedi?. Need more info on Ultimate Star Wars? James has a Q&A with Tricia and Adam and a follow-up interview with Adam from this past May.
And if you missed it, check out their first video from Tuesday.
We heard she was up for the Rogue One role that eventually went to Felicity Jones, but Star Wars isn’t ready to give up on Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany, it seems. The Wrap reports that she’s on the shortlist for the new female lead in Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII, alongside Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’s Olivia Cooke. They’ll supposedly be among the actresses who’ll chemistry read with John Boyega later this month.
Aside from the The Force Awakens stars expected to return (including Boyega and Daisy Ridley, who’s signed for at least three films) the only name we’ve heard connected with the second film is Benicio del Toro, who’s reportedly in talks to play a villain.
Paul Kemp under contract for at least one more Star Wars novel. He did have an undetailed duology announced pre-Legends, but has so far produced only one canon novel, Lords of the Sith.
Jawajames is back with a new Star Wars unboxing video. Undeterred that he wasn’t selected to be one of the official unboxing hosts for Force Friday, he’s rounded up some recent and upcoming Star Wars products to review with his co-hosts, Yowie the Skunk and Baby Jawa. Reviews include Star Wars cereal, Dark Disciple by Christie Golden, and the upcoming retelling of A New Hope: The Princess, The Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy by Alexandra Bracken.
We all know by now (hopefully) that this Friday, September 4th, is Force Friday, when a huge chunk of The Force Awakens merchandise is going to drop. And naturally, what we’re most excited about are the 5 novels in the Journey to The Force Awakens line.
But first, there are other things coming out this week. Tuesday brings season 1 of Rebels on Blu-ray and DVD. Shockingly, there are no comics coming on Wednesday. (Shattered Empire, Marvel’s entry into Journey, will be out later in the month.)
You’ll also be be seeing things like coloring and sticker books for Journey, but for our purposes, here are the standouts:
From Del Rey, we have Star Wars newcomer Chuck Wendig tackling Aftermath, our first canon story set after Return of the Jedi. We know it stars Wedge Antilles and new character Norra Wexley, but not much more than that. First of a trilogy. An excerpt is available, though I wouldn’t be shocked to see another in the coming days.
Disney Lucasfilm Press has four novels total. Claudia Gray’s Lost Stars is a YA novel that follows two childhood friends, one who joins the Empire and one who becomes a Rebel. The last three are set during the original trilogy, one each for Luke, Leia and Han, though we’ve recently learned they all feature prologues (at least) set in The Force Awakens era. I’ve heard these described as both for young readers and as YA, but the presence of illustrations make me think it’s the former. Jason Fry’s The Weapon of a Jedi and Greg Rucka’s Smuggler’s Run are both set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, while Cecil Castellucci and Fry’s Moving Target is our first canon story to be set between Empire and Return of the Jedi.
A handful of reference books will also be out on Friday: Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know by Adam Bray, Cole Horton, Michael Kogge and Kerrie Dougherty and Benjamin Harper’s Ships of the Galaxy. Both are targeted to young readers, and we know that Ships, at least, has blueprints to TFA ships. We can also expect an assortment of things like sticker and coloring books, which may contain ‘new’ characters.
We’re expecting a lot of hints and small pieces in these books, but most of the heavy-hitting movie tie-ins will be out later. The Force Awakens novelization will be out on December 18 as an eBook, the same day as the film, with a hardcover edition to follow in January. We fully expect the traditional compliment of reference books – making of, concept art, etc – but those haven’t been formally announced yet. (Though are also expected in January at the very soonest.)
Revealed today at StarWars.com, the cover for Battlefront: Twilight Company by Alexander Freed. The game tie-in comes out November 3, 2015, in the long drought (ha) between Force Friday and The Force Awakens. As it happens, the novel’s blurb quietly went up a few weeks ago and I never got around to posting about it, so here you go:
The bravest soldiers. The toughest warriors. The ultimate survivors.
Among the stars and across the vast expanses of space, the Galactic Civil War rages. On the battlefields of multiple worlds in the Mid Rim, legions of ruthless stormtroopers—bent on crushing resistance to the Empire wherever it arises—are waging close and brutal combat against an armada of freedom fighters. In the streets and alleys of ravaged cities, the front-line forces of the Rebel Alliance are taking the fight to the enemy, pushing deeper into Imperial territory and grappling with the savage flesh-and-blood realities of war on the ground.
Leading the charge are the soldiers—men and women, human and nonhuman—of the sixty-first mobile infantry, better known as Twilight Company. Hard-bitten, war-weary, and ferociously loyal to one another, the members of this renegade outfit doggedly survive where others perish, and defiance is their most powerful weapon against the deadliest odds. When orders come down for the Rebels to fall back in the face of superior opposition numbers and firepower, Twilight reluctantly complies. Then an unlikely ally radically changes the strategic equation—and gives the Alliance’s hardest-fighting warriors a crucial chance to turn retreat into resurgence.
Orders or not, alone and outgunned but unbowed, Twilight Company locks, loads, and prepares to make its boldest maneuver—trading down-and-dirty battle in the trenches for a game-changing strike at the ultimate target: the very heart of the Empire’s military machine.