Del Rey’s 2016 Star Wars sampler to be available April 11

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First given out as a paperback at C2E2, Del Rey’s Star Wars 2016 Sampler will be available for the rest of us as an eBook on April 11. It can be preordered now from a variety of vendors.

The only new Star Wars excerpt contained within is Claudia Gray’s Bloodline (out May 3,) but it also features the complete short stories “Bait” by Alan Dean Foster, “Inbrief” by Janine K. Spendlove, and “Blade Squadron” and “Blade Squadron: Zero Hour” by David J. Williams and Mark S. Williams.

Birth of the Resistance: Official Bloodline blurb up and running

bloodlineThe actual blurb for Claudia Gray’s Bloodline is now up the Random House catalog. (via) It’s a bit less detailed then the one from the Aftermath paperback that we saw the other day, but does lean heavier on the Vader bit.

WITNESS THE BIRTH OF THE RESISTANCE

When the Rebellion defeated the Empire in the skies above Endor, Leia Organa believed it was the beginning to a lasting peace. But after decades of vicious infighting and partisan gridlock in the New Republic Senate, that hope seems like a distant memory.

Now a respected senator, Leia must grapple with the dangers that threaten to cripple the fledgling democracy—from both within and without. Underworld kingpins, treacherous politicians, and Imperial loyalists are sowing chaos in the galaxy. Desperate to take action, senators are calling for the election of a First Senator. It is their hope that this influential post will bring strong leadership to a divided galaxy.

As the daughter of Darth Vader, Leia faces with distrust the prospect of any one person holding such a powerful position—even when supporters suggest Leia herself for the job. But a new enemy may make this path Leia’s only option. For at the edges of the galaxy, a mysterious threat is growing. . . .

Bloodline will be out in hardcover and eBook on May 3.

Rogue One prequel novel, Catalyst, coming in the fall

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In addition to the comic tie-ins we heard about earlier, a prequel novel for Rogue One will be coming in the fall, Del Rey announced at C2E2. No author was given, but Catalyst: A Rogue One Story will be out on October 4.

The author will remain a mystery for now, and some of us suspect that means it’ll be a name we recognize… Either a Legends standby well-known in the mainstream (a pretty short list) or a brand new ‘name’ author. Note that the movie’s first screenwriter Gary Whitta has shown some interest in doing Star Wars novels…

Authors Adam Bray, Jeffrey Brown, Claudia Gray, John Jackson Miller and Del Rey’s Elizabeth Schaefer were on the panel. Gray revealed that one character from her first Star Wars novel, Lost Stars, will appear in Bloodline. There’s still no sequel planned, but let Lucasfilm and Disney Lucasfilm Press know.

John Jackson Miller had a great explanation of how the Story Group at Lucasfilm has changed things. From Newsarama’s live blog:

Miller explained that the authors working on the current novels work closely with the producers and writers of the films and TV shows that they’ll tie into – including story points that won’t appear on the show for some time. He explained that the reveals and continuity are planned out years in advance, with the various media all tying together and “counting” equally.

There was also a fair amount of talk about naming Star Wars characters, which you can also find the the liveblog. Live tweets under the cut.

Continue reading “Rogue One prequel novel, Catalyst, coming in the fall”

New Bloodline blurb sheds more light on the New Republic

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Jedi Bibliothek spotted a new summary for Claudia Gray’s Bloodline in the Amazon preview of the Aftermath paperback. It reveals the situation within the New Republic Senate, as well as where the “First Senator” position falls in.

An entire generation has flourished during an era of peace. The New Republic, governed by the Galactic Senate on Hosnian Prime, has held power for more than two decades. The wars that divided the galaxy are fading into legend.

Yet conflict has begun to take shape within the Senate. Two unofficial but powerful factions have formed – the Populists, who believe individual planets should retain almost all authority, and the Centrists, who favor a stronger galactic government and a more powerful military.

As this political gridlock threatens to cripple the fledgling democracy, Centrist leaders have called for the election of a “First Senator.” It is their hope that this powerful position will bring order to the divided Senate. But populists like Senator Leia Organa Solo know all too well the price of such order. Even as the election nears, the divisions between the worlds of the galaxy are growing wider…

It really does say ‘Leia Organa Solo,’ a form of her name we haven’t seen since the old Expanded Universe was decanonized. Typo or revival? (I vote typo.) The blurb is followed by the same excerpt we say with the book’s cover reveal last month.

UPDATE: Del Rey has also put out a new poster today, which may or may not support the Vader hypothesis from the other day.

Bloodline will be out in hardcover and eBook on May 3.

Bloodline posters, Propaganda pages give us hints of The Force Awakens background

IGN has debuted four new posters for the upcoming Leia Organa-centric novel Bloodline that will be given out at C2E2 and “other upcoming conventions.”

Bloodline poster #4The posters also give us some hints at the book’s plot. Leia is a candidate for First Senator, a position I’ll allow the more politically motivated to debate. What I find far more intriguing is the graffiti: Are we finally getting a book that actually explores the political ramifications of Leia’s parentage? It’s a ball the old Expanded Universe material dropped – Luke and Leia being twins and Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker’s kids became public knowledge somewhere along the line, but it was rarely treated as big deal, at least for Leia. (And she was Chief of State – aka Chancellor – for several books. Maybe we’ll even find out what she’s Senator of this time! Ahh, ’90s EU. I love you, but you had issues.)

We know, thanks to Before the Awakening, that the twin issue is already public – Leia refers to ‘my brother’ when Poe Dameron meets her for the first time, and he knows she means Luke – but nothing about the Vader connection until now.

Bloodline, by Lost Stars author Claudia Gray, is our first look at the galaxy at a midpoint between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Given where we end up in The Force Awakens, this is a pretty intriguing thread to pull…

Speaking of the New Republic and potential problems, some sample pages for Pablo Hidalgo’s Star Wars Propaganda have been spotted (via Jedi Bibliothek) on Edelweiss. It’s not the easiest thing to read at the size provided, but if you can manage the spread on the First Order is the clearest account thus far of how the underlying situation in The Force Awakens came to be.

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Bloodline is due out in hardcover and eBook on May 3; Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy is currently scheduled for October 25.

Video: Unboxing Star Wars: Lost Stars, Rebels: Legends of the Lasat & The Call

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In today’s episode of Unboxing Star Wars, Baby Jawa, Yowie, and I celebrate both Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day, while reviewing Lost Stars by Claudia Gray, and two recent episodes of Star Wars Rebels: the Zeb-focused ‘Legends of the Lasat’ and spacewhale tale, ‘The Call.’

Check out the Rebels episode guide for ‘Legends of the Lasat’ and ‘The Call’. Also, parts one and two of my series on power couples of the Star Wars fan community, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Get more info on Wear Star Wars Every Day or make a donation at GoFundMe.

Cover, excerpt from Claudia Gray’s Bloodline

bloodlineUSA Today has our first look at Bloodline, the novel by Claudia Gray that we learn will focus on Leia Organa “some years” before The Force Awakens. (We heard 6 years when the book was first announced.)

Read between the lines:

Leia is professionally at a good place, as a senator and leader in a peaceful New Republic decades after the fall of Vader and the Emperor’s stranglehold on the galaxy. However, Gray says that a new generation doesn’t remember the lessons of the Rebellion or recognize the wrongs of the Empire, and Leia begins to see the cracks in the foundation that could lead to a dangerous future for the galaxy.

Family is a major theme overall in the Star Wars films and it plays a key role in one of the book’s most significant events, “one that has pretty far-reaching repercussions for several characters,” Gray says. “However, this novel isn’t fundamentally about Leia as a wife, sister or mom; this is about the role she’s created for herself since the fall of the Empire, and the one she takes up by the time of (The Force Awakens).”

Some The Force Awakens characters will appear in the book – Korr Sella gets a mention in the excerpt – but there will be some new ones as well, including Ransolm Casterfo, a young senator who “collects artifacts from the Empire.”

It’s nice to see a Leia-centric book set in a pivotal point in the new era – and it looks like this may clear up a few questions left about the timeline and political situation leading up to The Force Awakens. Gray’s Lost Stars got a lot of praise – let’s hope she has similar success with movie characters.

Bloodline is due out in hardcover and eBook May 3.

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.

NYCC: New novels coming from Claudia Gray, Chuck Wendig, and a LOT of short stories

Aftermath: Life Debt and Aftermath: Empire's End jacks on display at NYCC. Photo thanks to @LillianSkye_.
Aftermath: Life Debt and Aftermath: Empire’s End jacks on display at NYCC. Photo thanks to @LillianSkye_.

A new novel, the next two Aftermath titles and a handful of short stories were announced at NYCC this afternoon.

NewRepublic: BloodlineAftermath: Life Debt (Summer 2016) and Aftermath: Empire’s End (2017) will be the next two from Chuck Wendig, while Claudia Gray has New Republic: Bloodlines set for a spring 2016 release. It’ll be set six years before The Force Awakens, and it doesn’t seem to be a Lost Stars sequel. (The Life Debt and Bloodline covers were spotted earlier today by Jedi Bibliothek.) UPDATE: Chuck Wendig on the upcoming books.

We also have short stories coming based around the aliens in Maz Kanata’s castle (as seen in Vanity Fair.) The first, ‘Bait,’ from Alan Dean Foster, stars a character called Grumgarr and will appear in the Star Wars Insider. Another, ‘The Perfect Weapon’ from Delilah Dawson, will be released electronically and feature Bazine, the woman in black. It’ll be released electronically in November, and there’s a temporary cover over at StarWars.com.

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There’ll be four more stories from Landry Walker called ‘High Noon on Jakku,’ ‘All Creatures Great and Small,’ ‘The Face of Evil,’ ‘The Crimson Corsair and the Treasure of Count Dooku.’ They will also be released electronically, not as a Tales of book as we reported before. (Whoops.) All the e-novellas will come out on December 1, and the Landry ones will released in print, along with two more stories, in April.

At the panel, Pablo Hidalgo said that the Story Group took into account worldbuilding from George Lucas, the early Micheal Arnt script, and things Rian Johnson wanted to explore in VIII when building Journey to The Force Awakens. They’ve closely mapped out what happens after Return of the Jedirevolving around Jakku – and the lead-in to The Force Awakens, but things between those two points are looser for creative freedom. He said to reread the Journey books in a year, and see what you catch.

As for Shattered Empire, Greg Rucka revealed that he hadn’t actually pitched the book to include movie characters like Luke, Leia and Han when the first cover was revealed. But he also promises that #4 will be a love letter to Luke, comparing him to Qui-gon Jinn.

You can listen to the panel audio over at The Wookiee Gunner, who also has helped me fill in a few gaps here.