The Last Jedi novelization won’t be out until March, but the Kindle version of Alan Dean Foster’s The Force Awakens novelization is currently on sale for $1.99. While I can’t in any good faith recommend the novel – read the best part over at our Tumblr – it’s a good price if you’re curious, and it does include the short stories ‘The Perfect Weapon’ by Phasma author Delilah S. Dawson and ‘Bait’ by Foster.
It’s a big week for releases, with two large-scale hardcovers, a novelization paperback, one comic and a trade.
Tuesday brings a big ticket item for the collectors and concept art aficionados, the slipcased set Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie. James talked to the set’s three authors for StarWars.com. For those looking for things that are a little less strain on the wallet, there’s also a new Complete Locations from DK, and the paperback version of Alan Dean Foster’s The Force Awakens novelization from Del Rey, with reprints of two short stories.
This is also the week that the new covers for the Thrawn trilogy paperbacks are officially launching. Note that the new editions use the same ISBN as the old, so some stores may have older stock to sell out before these become available. If you want them for the new art, I recommend buying them in-person.
Kieron Gillen’s Darth Vader ongoing may be ending with #25, but he’s on board for the replacement – which has been solicited as simply Star Wars: Classified. He’ll be joined by artist Kev Walker, who’s not quite new to Star Wars – he did a cover for Dark Horse’s Republic #55 back in 2003. The new comic, which will also be an ongoing title, will be launched with a number of variant covers in December.
Meanwhile, the flagship Star Wars comic will feature a Yoda story (via Obi-Wan’s journal) in issue #26. Writer Jason Aaron discusses it with StarWars.com’s Dan Brooks.
→ The Force Awakens novelization in paperback will contain two short stories: Alan Dean Foster’s ‘Bait’ (from Star Wars Insider #162) and Delilah Dawson’s ‘The Perfect Weapon,’ which was released as an eBook.
→ Tosche Station’s Thrawncast has officially begun with the discussion of Heir to the Empire’s first four chapters.
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.
The novelization will include two short stories: Foster’s ‘Bait’ from the Star Wars Insider, and Delilah S. Dawson’s ‘The Perfect Weapon,’ which has thus far only been available as an eBook. These dates are fairly far off, so there may be some slight adjustments over time. Our book release schedule has been updated.
→ 12 revelations from Before the Awakening, in case anyone hasn’t read that one yet.
The Force Awakens novelization by Alan Dean Foster has made it to #1 on the the New York Times bestseller list, Lucasfilm’s Jennifer Heddle announced today.
The novelization was released in two phases – as an ebook on December 18th, with the hardcover not debuting until January 5.
(Pablo Hidalgo’s The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary has also been doing well, and is probably the most helpful resource out there right now.)
Despite over 20 years of the current publishing program, only 3 previous Star Wars novels have topped the NYT list: Timothy Zahn’s Heir the the Empire in 1991, Terry Brooks’ The Phantom Menace novelization in 1999 and Sean Williams’ The Force Unleashed novelization in 2008. Quite a few have made the top ten, with Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath recently peaking at #4.
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.
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.
The Wall Street Journal writes about how Alan Dean Foster’s The Force Awakens novelization won’t be available in hardcover until January – something we’ve known since April. (The ebook will be out on December 18, along with the movie.) It was, not surprisingly, due to a request from Lucasfilm:
David Moench, the Del Rey spokesman, said the publisher would have preferred to put out the hardcover edition out on the day the movie opens in order to capture more sales.
“We would love to release both formats of the novelization simultaneously and not miss the holidays,” he said, “but we recognize the importance of protecting the story for the fans.”
Apparently, fans still prefer the physical books:
“It’s a collector’s mentality,” said Scott Shannon, Del Rey’s publisher. The “Star Wars” titles the publisher has issued have “way over-indexed” in terms of physical book sales to digital copies, said Mr. Shannon.
Perhaps the most interesting bit of information: Del Rey has sold more than 1.2 million Star Wars books in the past twelve months. (Only Aftermath and Lords of the Sith get namechecked.) That number extends to 70 million over the life of the license (including Bantam). It’s not clear if that number goes back to 1977 or 1991, but I suspect ’77. It would be interesting to see the numbers for at least the previous novelizations, but alas.
Fun fact: Although many Star Wars books have made it onto the New York Times’ Best Seller list, only four have made it to #1: The Return of the Jedi Storybook by Joan D. Vinge, Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire, The Phantom Menace novelization by Terry Brooks and (go figure) The Force Unleashed novelization by Sean Williams.
Florian was first to spot these small summaries for the four Journey to The Force Awakens stories by Landry Walker. Each has a price of $2.99 and release date of November 24 – a week earlier than the December 1 date given at NYCC. Delilah Dawson’s The Perfect Weapon, which doesn’t have a summary yet (it’s the only digital short from Del Rey instead of Disney Lucasfilm Press) also has an Amazon release date of the 24th at the moment, though it’s only priced at $1.99.
→ The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku: “Every pirate in the sector is after the lost treasure of Count Dooku! Will Captain Ithano and his crew beat his rivals to the prize?”
→ All Creatures Great and Small : “A storyteller uses his captivating skills to calm frightened villagers on Jakku.”
→ High Noon on Jakku: “A renegade droid causes problems for Constable Zuvio on Jakku.”
→ The Face of Evil: “A notorious thief learns to be careful what she wishes for on Takodana.”
The four Landry stories are expected to be released in print, along with two new entries, in the spring. A sixth story, ‘Bait’ by Alan Dean Foster, will appear in a December issue of the Star Wars Insider.