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.
Jedi-Bibliothek spotted previews of the four Journey to The Force Awakens books for young readers on iTunes – and they reveal – or confirm – at least a few things about the film. Turns out, the prologues to Moving Target, Smuggler’s Run, and The Weapon of a Jedi are actually set in The Force Awakens era. In Moving Target we get a glimpse of Leia – and a confirmation of her title – and Han tells a story about the Millennium Falcon in Smuggler’s Run. Luke’s situation will have to wait for the movie, though – Weapon of a Jedi features a red-armed C-3PO and Jessika Pava, a pilot with Blue Squadron. (We’ve heard of her before, spoiler-lovers!)
I’ve cropped the Phil Noto art, above, but head to Jedi-Bibliothek for some screenshots and a bit of story. (Including Lost Stars, which, alas, has no such illustration.)
The Journey to the Force Awakens novels will all be out September 4.
Out on Wednesday at your retailer of choice are two comics, both milestones for their respective titles. Star Wars #8 is the start of both a new storyline (‘Showdown on Smuggler’s Moon’) and a new artist, Stuart Immonen. Kanan #5, on the other hand, is “the final chapter of the secret origin of Star Wars Rebels’ Kanan Jarrus.” (The series will continue with a jump into the Rebels era.)
Meanwhile, Force Friday looms ever closer…
The lone brand-new release of the week comes Wednesday with Marvel’s Lando #2 (preview.) Also shipping out to comic fans is the second printing of Lando #1 and the ‘remastered’ edition of their Empire Strikes Back adaptation. (AKA the one with the ‘modern’ coloring
sucking all the gloriously insane 70’s out of it.)
Meanwhile, dropping (very quietly) on Tuesday is the standalone version of Daniel Wallace’s Imperial Handbook. James did an unboxing video back when this first came out, in all the deluxe box set glory. Like The Jedi Path and the others that preceded it, this one is Legends.
StarWars.com has revealed some short synopses for the three original short stories that will be packaged in the A New Dawn/Tarkin bind up, Rise of the Empire.
The first, ‘Mercy Mission’ by Melissa Scott, follows a young Hera and her father, The Clone Wars’ Cham Syndulla, on Ryloth. ‘Bottleneck’ by John Jackson Miller features Grand Moff Tarkin and A New Dawn’s Count Vidian. And Jason Fry’s ‘The Levers of Power’ features Admiral Rae Sloane during the Battle of Endor.
Rise of the Empire comes out in trade paperback on October 6.
In an interview with StarWars.com, Shattered Empire writer Greg Rucka reveals a few thing about the series. Mainly, that it stars a pair of married Rebels, Shara and Kes Bey.
“Shara flies, Kes is a ground-pounder, and a very experienced one,” says Rucka. “So, they have spent more time apart than together, and they’re in the Outer Rim world where the Imperial presence is felt, and they’re hoping that they can bring an end to this. But they’re both very tired veterans, and they come out of [the Battle of] Endor with the elation that we see in [Return of the Jedi]. ‘We’ve won. It’s over.’ — only to discover that, no it’s not. The Empire was huge.” Despite the fireworks, despite the funeral pyre of Darth Vader, despite the joy on Endor, the Empire is far from broken.
Luke, Leia Han and company are present in the series, though:
They’re all key figures in the Alliance, and will be represented. Just not in starring roles. “This is important,” Rucka says. “This could never be, as much as I wish I could’ve written, and would’ve loved to have written, the story of, ‘We’re gonna follow Luke for four issues after Return of the Jedi.’ That was never what my mandate here was. But, with that in mind, we see Luke, we see Leia, we see Lando, we see Han, we see Chewie. We see what they are doing, and while the stories are not about them — they’re about Shara Bey — the stories link. Issue 1 sort of stands alone. Issues 2 and 3 follow the same story path; they’re like a two-parter, and they lead into the fourth. As it stands, we meet Shara in [issue] 1 during the Battle of Endor, and we come out of the Battle of Endor, and then we cover about three to six months total in the series following the Battle of Endor. In that time, Shara and her husband find themselves in some situations only incidentally in the path of the principles, and in other situations, working quite closely with them.”
The four-issue series will start in September.