Category Archives: books and comics

SWCE: Star Wars Rebels S3 to introduce Grand Admiral Thrawn; Timothy Zahn writing canon novel!


thrawn-novel700Grand Admiral Thrawn was revealed as a villain in Star Wars Rebels S3, and that’s not even the whole of it. Timothy Zahn – who gave his blessing to the Rebels version via video – is writing a canon Thrawn novel that’ll be out in April 2017.

The Rebels Thrawn is being voiced by Lars Mikkelsen, Mads Mikkelsen’s brother.

Thrawn, who originated in Zahn’s Heir to the Empire in 1991, is the first Legends character to make the jump to the new canon.

When asked if Mara Jade could be next, Filoni was fairly straightforward: “No, not likely.” (I am, for the record, more than okay with that.) Filoni also said that the ysalamiri aren’t making the leap to canon, although there are some visual nods to them in the production design of Thrawn’s introduction.

On his Facebook, Zahn said he’s just turned in the first draft of the novel.

The trailer also featured Wedge Antilles and a Force sensitive character named Bendu, who’s being voiced by Fourth Doctor Tom Baker. For more on everything else about Rebels S3, head to StarWars.com.

Two episodes were show (but not livestreamed) and you can read one review, with some spoilers, over at io9.

Filoni and Lucasfilm’s Kiri Hart talk about how the show makes Thrawn work on Sunday, comparing him to Vader as a villain: “We want to treat him like a big time villain, as much as Darth Vader,” Filoni said. “But on the strategic, military side of things.”

Watch the panel video under the cut. Continue reading

SWCE: James Luceno is writing Rogue One novel Catalyst

catalyst700Among the reveals at today’s publishing panel: Expanded Universe vet James Luceno is writing Catalyst, the Rogue One companion novel. We also got the cover, which is pretty neat, but no more details than that. (Still a mystery: The adaptation.)

Most of the things at the panel were kids books, but we also learned about a few new Star Wars Insider short stories. There’ll be two new Blade Squadron stories, including one in September that ties into Aftermath: Life Debt. (The Insider also had their own panel.)

There’s a new Galactic Atlas that’s written from an in-universe perspective, featuring “600-700 individual illustrations.” A new Complete Locations will cover Starkiller Base, Maz’s castle and Rey’s AT-AT home. And Jason Fry’s Weapon of a Jedi is being adapted for younger readers as Luke and Lost Jedi Temple.

SWCE: Ahsoka’s Untold Tales panel reveals characters past, future, book cover

Dave Filoni, Ashley Eckstein and Pablo Hidalgo discussed the past and future of Ahsoka Tano at Celebration Europe today. Fans got a first look at her upcoming Funko POP figure and the cover for E.K. Johnson’s Ahsoka novel, both coming in the fall. The novel’s cover art is by Wojtek Rus, Jennifer Heddle has revealed on Twitter.

They also revealed a few things (new love interest?) about her unproduced arcs from The Clone Wars and go behind her Rebels appearance. Check out the official liveblog of the panel for all the details!

Or just watch the video!

Review: Chuck Wendig’s Life Debt could help sell the Aftermath trilogy to doubters (maybe)

Aftermath: Life DEbtGood news for folks who had trouble with Chuck Wendig’s first Aftermath novel – the sequel, Life Debt is far more accessible. No, Wendig doesn’t change things up too much, but plotwise, the book is slightly more traditional. (Those who can’t move beyond his writing style, well… Good luck.)

It also helps that we’re well past The Force Awakens. The first Aftermath found itself targeted for a lot of things, but I think the most notable (and least discussed) was the burden of expectation. As the first important canon novel to tread into the newly-cleared territory after Return of the Jedi, it was bound to disappoint readers who thought they’d be getting Heir to the Empire 2.0 – or at least Truce at Bakura 2.0. The reality turned out to be something more off the beaten track and with Life Debt, we have a far better idea of what we’re getting.

With the ground laid in the first book, Life Debt gets off the ground quickly. Wendig is free to use (sparingly) characters like Han and Leia in the A-plot, which gives readers an anchor. But the majority of the action is still with the newer characters.

Minor spoilers, if that, behind the cut. Continue reading

Out this week: Wendig’s Aftermath: Life Debt

aftermath-life-debt-cropOut Tuesday is Aftermath: Life Debt, Chuck Wendig’s followup to last year’s pre-The Force Awakens novelAftermath. Post-movie, we can expect more major movie characters as well the team from the first book – excerpts have featured Han and Leia, plus part of an interlude featuring Maz Kanata.

There are already few reviews live on Barnes & Noble and SciFiNow. And don’t forget that B&N also has a special edition of the book that comes with posters. On the fence? Tosche Station has a Go/No-Go.

UPDATE: A fourth excerpt from the book, featuring… Malakili, the rancor keeper from Return of the Jedi. Oh, Chuck.

A new (old) friend makes a novel debut in latest Aftermath: Life Debt excerpt

STILL-tfa-maz

The third excerpt from Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath: Life Debt features Maz Kanata, the orange alien played by Lupita Nyong’o who made her Star Wars debut in The Force Awakens. It seems that Maz features in an interlude, not the main ongoing story like our previous excerptees. As excepts go, it’s the shortest so far: You can read it at USA Today.

Aftermath: Life Debt will be out in hardcover and eBook on Tuesday.

Star Wars Story Talk: LEGO Star Wars book, The Force Awakens junior novel

Star Wars Story Talk title card 2016-07-07

Star Wars Story Talk (AKA the show formerly known as Unboxing Star Wars) gets in one more episode before Star Wars Celebration Europe! This time, Baby Jawa, Yowie the Skunk, and I try some snacks and review two books: LEGO Star Wars: The Chronicles of the Force, by Adam Bray, David Fentiman, and Cole Horton; and the junior novelization of The Force Awakens by Michael Kogge. Plus a little update on where I’ll be in the coming weeks —Star Wars Celebration Europe and San Diego Comic-Con. Hamburger Helper, Cheez-It crackers, and of course some Baby Jawa fun time!


Quick reviews
LEGO Star Wars: Chronicles of the Force – A fun and fact-filled guide to both Star Wars and LEGO Star Wars in particular. Lots of focus on LEGO minifigures and sets with plenty of call outs about the story of Star Wars. Plus the exclusive Unkar Plutt’s thug minifigure.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens junior novel – Thumbs up! Michael Kogge pens the adaptation of the film for the younger audiences. Quite a few scenes in it that weren’t in the film, and we see a few scenes a bit differently as well. Plus an insert of color photos from the movie.
Cheez-It Star Wars crackers – The cheesy square crackers have Star Wars shapes stamped into them! A Star Wars food tie-in done right.
→ Ultimate Hamburger Helper – Star Wars – Barely a tie-in. The food’s the same. Just an offer for $5 of movie concessions if you submit a photo of a receipt showing the purchase of 3 or more boxes. A Star Wars food tie-in done pretty sad.

Where to see jawajames at Star Wars Celebration Europe:
Find James at SWCE
→ Friday: STEM Heroes and Heroines of Star Wars, 12:00p to 1:00p, Star Wars Fan & Collector’s Stage, with Tricia Barr, Cole Horton, Kevin Beentjes, and Hannah Gillis.
→ Saturday: International Star Wars Fandom, 10:30a to 11:30a, Star Wars Fan & Collector’s Stage, with Mark Newbold (UK), Tim Veekhoven (Belgium), Johanna Nybelius (Sweden), and Kevin Beentjes (Netherlands).

Get more info on Wear Star Wars Every Day or make a donation at GoFundMe or sign up to make a per-day pledge.

Note: DK Publishing provided a copy of LEGO Star Wars: Chronicles of the Force for review.

Get a load of the Aftermath: Empire’s End cover (and some Life Debt extras)

As first revealed on today’s Star Wars Show, we have the cover for the last book in Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy. Due in January, Empire’s End has been long-expected to deal with the Battle of Jakku – thus the flaming Star Destroyer, no doubt.

A bit closer (next Tuesday) is the second book, Life Debt. And if one buys the special edition from Barnes & Noble, it comes with a pair of posters featuring the Millennium Falcon and breakout character Mr. Bones.

Celebration Europe will be livestreamed!

swco-keyart-crop

We learned today that next weekend’s Celebration Europe will indeed be streamed live. Great news for those of us playing along at home! (Yes, I will be blogging. From home. Go figure.) The news was revealed on today’s Star Wars Show:


Also, on the show, the cover for Aftermath: Empire’s End.