Category Archives: books and comics

Star Wars out this week: The Force Awakens novelization (again) and Vader Down concludes

It came out as an eBook way back on December 18th, but Tuesday sees the release of The Force Awakens novelization in hardcover.

On Wednesday, the Vader Down storyline wraps up in Star Wars #14 and Darth Vader #15. There’s also the second Darth Vader collection, Shadows and Secrets, in trade… And although it shipped last week, Obi-wan & Anakin #1 was actually supposed to go out this week, so if your comic shop got the memo you may not have been able to find it on sale.

In other book release news, Del Rey officially announced today that Claudia Gray’s New Republic: Bloodlines and Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath: Life Debt have both been pushed back two months each. (Something that’s been reflected on our book release schedule for a while now.) Bloodlines is now due out May 3, and Life Debt on July 19. They’re our next two new novels, though there are a handful of paperback rereleases in the meantime, including the first Aftermath on March 29.

The Force Awakens concept art gives us a look at the disparate evolution of Episode VII

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With the actual Making of book not due out until October, The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a must-read if you want a look at the development of the film. /Film runs down some of the possible plot points – warning, a lot of them are pretty deeply weird, or at least that’s the impression the book gave me. (The article barely scratches the surface.)

If you just want to look at pretty pictures, check out io9, Wired and Buzzfeed.

Out this week: Chewbacca #5, Obi-Wan and Anakin #1

This Wednesday brings two new comics, the end of one miniseries and the beginning of a second: Chewbacca #5 and Obi-Wan and Anakin #1. It’s also time to start looking for Star Wars Insider #162, which makes up for lost time with end-to-end The Force Awakens interviews.

Out last week was Darth Vader #14, the fourth part of the ‘Vader Down’ crossover event.

Our next novel release will be Alan Dean Foster’s The Force Awakens novelization in hardcover, on January 5. You can pick it up in eBook formats right now.

Bullet dodged: Episode VII could have been named ‘Shadow of the Empire’

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Episode VII could have had a title that echoed one of the dregs of the early Expanded Universe. “It was Shadow (singular) of the Empire for a while,” Pablo Hidalgo tweeted Friday. “With so many books, it’s inevitable,” he said earlier. And that’s true enough: The Force Awakens itself is a title reminiscent of the 2008 video game The Force Unleashed.

sote-legends-But unlike TFU, Shadows of the Empire hails from the mid-90s, when all the franchise’s new content was in the form of books, comics and games. In fact, the 1996 Shadows storyline was used as a marketing test-run for The Phantom Menace – it had a novel, video game, comic, toys and even a soundtrack. As such, it has lingered on in fan memories to the point where it’s not unusual for some to think it’s still canon.

Having Episode VII reuse a form of that title would have muddied the well considerably, even if the two had nothing in common other than a handful of characters. The key fact: Shadows was set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. It’s not an Expanded Universe entry anyone could ever actually mistake for an Episode VII contender.

(Shadows certainly has a following, but it has never been a personal or CJ favorite – I recommend listening to this relevant episode of Full of Sith if you need a primer on why. It’s oh so very ’90s.)

Will we see Shadow of the Empire as a title again? We might! It could certainly fit the new era, but I’m very glad Episode VII became The Force Awakens instead.

Star Wars Books shuts down Facebook page to spare fans movie spoilers from disgruntled Legends backers

The Force Awakens novelizationYesterday, we first heard of threats from some members of the so-called ‘Bring Back Legends’ movement to spoil The Force Awakens on public Facebook pages. Apparently some of them made good on their threats, because the folks at Del Rey have deactivated their Star Wars Books page. They explain their decision – no, it’s not gone for good – on their Tumblr:

We don’t want to give people who wish to spoil the movie for others a platform to do that and we are under no obligation to do so.

The ‘Bring Back Legends’ (or ‘Give Us Legends’) movement is a rather scattered gathering of fans of older Star Wars novels and comics – almost everything published before September 2014, including several decades of storylines that continue past Return of the Jedi. Last year, Lucasfilm announced that the older fiction would stay in print as ‘Legends’ – but as an alternate universe that doesn’t count towards the new films. Most Bring Back Legends fans want the older storylines to be continued, but there is a rather wide spectrum of opinions and attitudes on how and why.

My policy has been – and remains – to not cover them, for the most part. Most of them seem rather harmless – bitter, sometimes annoying, but harmless. But this is not the first incident where they’ve crossed a very distinct line, and that I will not ignore.

This is not going to change anyone’s minds about Legends, and spoiling people for a hotly-anticipated movie may be skeevy, but this is not a matter of life and death. Still, no one should have to invoke the nuclear option because of what is and isn’t canon in tie-in fiction.

Meanwhile, look for Del Rey to publish Alan Dean Foster’s The Force Awakens novelization as an eBook on Friday – Facebook or no Facebook.

Star Wars out this week: Some movie, I hear?

First and foremost, yes, we’re getting the first Star Wars movie in a decade this week – a lucky few (hundred? thousand?) tonight in Hollywood, and the rest of the world a few days later, depending on your location.

But for our purposes, let’s look at Wednesday first, which brings the Darth Vader Annual, Kanan #9, and the Legends Epic Collection: Infinities, because Marvel heard you’d like some alternate universe in your alternate universe.

Now Friday is when things get really interesting, as not only is there a movie, but a whole bunch of books as well. For fiction, there’s The Force Awakens novelization by Alan Dean Foster (eBook only – the hardcover isn’t out until January 5) and Before the Awakening by Greg Rucka. For reference, Pablo Hidalgo’s The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary, The Force Awakens Incredible Cross-Sections from Kemp Remillard and Jason Fry, and of course, The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Video: Unboxing Star Wars: Season of the Force, Epic Yarns, Rebels ‘Legacy’

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With less than a week to go before The Force Awakens, Yowie, Baby Jawa, and Jawajames host a jumbo-sized episode of Unboxing Star Wars. This time, we talk about our visit to Season of the Force at Disneyland California, and even get an interview with two guests, Bryan Young and Dartanian Richards, outside Path of the Jedi. We also check out the Star Wars Epic Yarns books from Jack and Holman Wang, review the most recent Rebels episode, ‘Legacy’, and try some of Captain Phasma’s Crazy Hot popchips. Watch out, Baby Jawa – they’re hot!

Check out the Star Wars Rebels episode guide for ‘Legacy’, get more info on Star Wars Epic Yarns, and read my full report on Season of the Force. You can also enter the popchips Pop with the Force contest.

Today in The Force Awakens: Why Leia isn’t a Jedi, lightsabers coming to ESPN

Head to our Tumblr to see more new Stills.

Head to our Tumblr to see more new stills.

J.J. Abrams on why Leia hasn’t become a Jedi. “It’s never too late,” he said, but “it was simply a choice that she made” to lead the Resistance. We will see her Force sensitivity in play again; it’s “an intrinsic piece of her character.”

→ ESPN will air ‘The Evolution of the Lightsaber Duel’ on December 15th at 7 p.m.

→ “It’s like we’re collaborating over this vast public field,” Oscar Isaac says of his imagined backstory for Poe becoming canon.

Vulture runs through the Journey to The Force Awakens books and stories. Some minor errors (Poe is namedropped in Shattered Empire #2) but overall a decent roundup.

→ Spoiler corner, book edition: Jedi Bibliothek has screenshots of picture book leaks and the beginning of Finn’s tale in Before the Awakening.

→ Spoiler corner, Hasbro edition: A Rey action figure featuring her second outfit (which we first saw yesterday) has a pretty hefty spoiler on the packaging. (It’s not her last name.)

→ Also: A new BB-8 poster, a few of John Boyega’s impressions and Anthony Breznican on the Millennium Falcon.

Video: Unboxing Rebels ‘The Future of the Force,’ Chewbacca comics, Wear Star Wars 2015

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With less than two weeks to go before The Force Awakens hits theaters, Yowie, Baby Jawa, and I recount the latest in Star Wars for this week’s Unboxing Star Wars show. First we give a shout out for Wear Star Wars Share Star Wars 2015, then we salute our favorite Wookiee with a look at the Chewbacca comic mini-series. Finally, we review this week’s episode of Star Wars Rebels, ‘The Future of the Force.’ Plus lots of love for tookas and counting down to a new Star Wars movie!

Get more details on the Rebels episode ‘The Future of the Force’, and Marvel’s Chewbacca series by Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto.