Tuesday is a big Rogue One day for releases, with two brand-new novels for younger readers. Beth Revis’ Rebel Rising is about Jyn Erso, while Greg Rucka’s Guardians of the Whills gives us some backstory on Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus. There’s also the paperback edition of James Luceno’s Catalyst, which gives us some background on Galen Erso and Orson Krennic, and first came out before the movie.
It also happens to be the first week of May, which means May 4 is Thursday. We expect plenty of puns, some sales, and a movie marathon on TBS. Fair warning: Traditionally this has not been a huge day for news, so don’t get your hopes too high.
Baze and Chirrut used to be Guardians of the Whills, who looked after the Kyber Temple on Jedha and all those who worshipped there. Then the Empire came and took over the planet. The temple was destroyed and the people scattered. Now Baze and Chirrut do what they can to resist the Empire and protect the people of Jedha, but it never seems to be enough. When a man named Saw Gerrera arrives with grand plans to take down the Empire, it seems like the perfect way for Baze and Chirrut to make a real difference and help the people of Jedha. But will it come at too great a cost?
Both novels will be avaliable in hardcover and eBook on May 2.
In addition to James Luceno’s Catalyst, the Rogue One fiction lineup will include a young adult novel about Jyn Erso from Star Wars newcomer Beth Revis (Across the Universe.) Greg Rucka (Before the Awakening) will return for a middle grade novel featuring Baze Malbus and Chirrut Îmwe. The preliminaryversions of the covers above were spotted earlier by Jedi Bibliotek. They’ll both be out on May 2.
Catalyst will be the first of the Rogue One books to hit the shelves, on November 15th. The second wave will drop with the film on December 16, and includes The Art of Rogue One, Pablo Hidalgo’s Rogue One Ultimate Visual Guide and ebook versions of the two novelizations: Alexander Freed’s from Del Rey and the junior version by Matt Forbeck from Disney-Lucasfilm Press. Freed’s will be in hardcover on January 3, while it looks like Forbeck’s won’t be in print until March 28.
We’ll learn more about the 40th Anniversary publishing plans in the coming months, although the official site says “legendary Star Wars talent such as Louise Simonson, Walter Simonson, and Tom Palmer would be reuniting” for an anniversary book from Disney-Lucasfilm Press. One component of the program would seem to be a new collection of the newspaper strips, also spotted by – you guessed it – Jedi Bibliotek.
Unboxing Star Wars is back, with a lot of catch up on. Baby Jawa, Yowie, and I briefly cover The Force Awakens and my Wear Star Wars Every Day fundraising campaign for Collateral Repair Project, before diving deeper into the Star Wars Half Marathon weekend, Greg Rucka’s Before the Awakening, and the first two episodes of Star Wars Rebels for 2016: ‘A Princess on Lothal’ and ‘The Protector of Concord Dawn.’
A new novel, the next two Aftermath titles and a handful of short stories were announced at NYCC this afternoon.
Aftermath: 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.
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 Jedi – revolving 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.
StarWars.com has the word on some of The Force Awakens books that’ll be released with the movie on December 18th (in addition to The Art of, which we heard about last week.) It’s mostly kid stuff, but there is DK’s standard Visual Dictionary for the movie, and a book from Greg Rucka called Before the Awakening:
A companion piece to the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens character novels, Star Wars: Before the Awakening is an anthology book that focuses on the lives of Rey, Finn, and Poe before the events of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The novelization(s) of the film are both under “still to come,” so no cover reveals there just yet, but we know the eBook for Alan Dean Foster’s version will be out the 18th, with the hardcover dropping January 5.
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.)
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.