I briefly mentioned Del Rey’s new Essential Legends Collection – trade paperback reprints of the greatest hits – back in May, when Heir to the Empire turned 30. Of course Heir was part of the first wave, but today, Del Rey has announced that the remainder of Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy is coming to the format this fall.
Now this isn’t huge news – it was heavily hinted at the time that Heir would not be going solo in TPB for long – but now we have the covers and hey, this time Mara Jade actually got to be on the cover of The Last Command again. This shouldn’t be that much of a shock, but give that last time we got 275% more Grand Admiral Thrawn, seeing the trilogy’s real breakout character finally get some cover time again is kind of unexpected. But I don’t think this is a sign of anything. (Please don’t let it be a sign or anything, I am still very tired.)
I was not initially a a huge fan of the art itself, but I did soften on it once I blew it up for the purposes of the post header you see above. In any case, she does have an actual face, sleeves and no visible cleavage so that makes up for a number of past sins.
Also in this batch is a really gorgeous new cover for the first of Mike Stackpole’s X-wing novels, Rogue Squadron. I am mildly curious as to why the term “X-wing” is entirely missing – could it have something to do with Patty Jenkins’ upcoming Rogue Squadron film? But they announced that as Rogue Squadron as well, so… I don’t know. It just all feels a little odd.
The title treatment does imply they’ll be doing more of the fan-favorite books from Stackpole and Aaron Allston – are they going to group the (ten!) X-wing books by their smaller arcs, perhaps? (Update: A tweet from Tom at Del Rey does imply this may indeed be the case.)
For those who enjoy hearing your books, Rogue Squadon is also getting a new unabridged audiobook edition, read by Marc Thompson.
In any case, the new editions of Dark Force Rising, The Last Command, Rogue Squadron and Drew Karpyshyn’s second Darth Bane book, Rule of Two, are coming out September 7. The art on Dark Force Rising and The Last Command is by Tracie Ching, Simon Goinard did The Rule of Two, and Doaly is the cover artist of Rogue Squadron.