It appears that there may be a Padme Amidala YA novel in the works – at least per the franchise’s German publisher, Panini. There’s not much info – no author, no details on where it might be set in the prequel era – so there’s still a lot to wait for in an official announcement. Still, this does seem a natural followup to the recent Leia and Ahsoka novels, so I can’t see any real reason to doubt it’s happening.
Also dropping today – officially – is a preview of the Thrawn comic, which adapts Timothy Zahn’s canon novel from earlier this year. The series will kick off with #1 in February, and it brings back long-haired Thrawn to boot.
And one from last week- an excerpt of Canto Bight, The Last Jedi novella tie-in that’s out on December 5. The excerpt is from John Jackson Miller, but the collection also includes works from Saladin Ahmed, Rae Carson and Mira Grant.
Because this week brings Force Friday and the first wave of The Last Jedi tie-ins, we have three release days this week instead of the usual two – as well as a lot of product. There’s a lot going on, basically.
Entertainment Weekly has details for several Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi books. The new addition: A collection of short stories focusing on inhabitants of Canto Bight, the ritzy casino planet. The authors are Star Wars vet John Jackson Miller and franchise newcomers Saladin Ahmed, Rae Carson, and Mira Grant. It will be on shelves December 5.
A second excerpt from Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn appeared today, this time in the U.K.’s Express. It’s from the opening chapter, and features a key recanonization – the character’s full name, Mitth’raw’nuruodo.
The Star Wars book schedule is rounding out with a new post-Rogue One/A New Hope novel from Christie Golden. Inferno Squad features an elite Imperial squad that’s tasked to take on what remains of Saw Gerrera’s Partisans. Here’s the blurb:
The Rebellion may have heroes like Jyn Erso and Luke Skywalker. But the Empire has Inferno Squad. After the humiliating theft of the Death Star plans and the resulting destruction of the battle station, the Empire is on the defensive. In response to this stunning defeat, the Imperial Navy has authorized the formation of an elite team of soldiers, known as Inferno Squad. Their mission: infiltrate and eliminate the remnants of Saw Gerrera’s Partisans. Following the death of their leader, the Partisans have carried on his extremist legacy, determined to thwart the Empire — no matter what the cost. Now, Inferno Squad must prove their status as the best of the best and take down the Partisans from within. But as the danger intensifies and the threat of discovery grows, how far will Inferno Squad go to ensure the safety of the Empire?
The book will be out in hardcover and eBook on July 25. I can’t say this one appeals to me, and Golden seems like an odd choice for it – we last heard from her with 2015’s Dark Disciple – but seems like this is a continuation of the new EU’s tendency to focus on brand-new characters.
Del Rey revealed their complete timeline of Star Wars books this week, featuring their new canon novels (and a short story.) It doesn’t include books from the other publishers (like Marvel’s comics or Disney Lucasfilm Press’ Lost Stars or the upcoming Ahsoka) but it’s a good starting place for anyone who needs it.
→ Speaking of starting places, StarWars.com has a nice primer on Grand Admiral Thrawn from Linda Hansen-Raj for anyone who wants to do some reading before he returns on Rebels. (Or just to learn what all that fuss was about.) On that note, Zahn’s Thrawn is now available for pre-order.
It’s rather refreshing to finally be getting some of the gaps filled in.
Claudia Gray’s Star Wars: Bloodline, out today, isn’t the first to give us a look at the galaxy beyond Return of the Jedi in the new canon. (It isn’t even Gray’s first, technically.) But it the closest to The Force Awakens so far, set less than a decade before the film. It’s also the first to feature a major character in anything beyond a glorified cameo. This is, by far, the canon novel with the most mass appeal to Expanded Universe fans new and old.
And yes, it’s good. I admit, I am worried that those of us who got and talked (vaguely) about the book early may be overselling the novel. After all, that’s what happened to me with Gray’s previous Star Wars book, Lost Stars. There was no early copy for me there, and it was the last of the Journey to The Force Awakens books I read. And it was fine! But I suspect the unrelenting hype damaged it a bit for me. (I may also be extremely a tiny bit burnt out on YA-style romance.)
Bloodline, on the other hand, was a blistering fast read for me. The minute I got it, I couldn’t put it down. As anyone who was following me on Twitter may have noticed, I read it in three hours. I honestly can’t recall the last time I read a Star Wars novel at that speed. It might have been back in the ’90s?
On sale today, Battlefront: Twilight Company is a good, solid novel for the military sci-fi reader. The world of Star Wars is no stranger to video game tie-in fiction, and has done so quite well with the X-Wing series and Republic Commando series, both now Legends. First time novelist Alexander Freed hits the mark by pulling the reader in for a trip with the men and women of Twilight Company, formally the Sixty-First Mobile Infantry, one of the Rebel Alliance’s toughest units, during the original trilogy era.
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.)
Entertainment Weekly has the first excerpts from Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath, Del Rey’s entry in Journey to The Force Awakens.
It features a brief section set on Coruscant, Wedge Antilles (who we now know is one of the book’s main characters,) plus a character who first debuted in another of the new canon novels. (Now with a promotion.)
Much of the excerpt was up on Random House’s online catalog earlier today, but has since been removed.
Aftermath, along with the rest of the Journey books, goes on sale September 4.