You’ll never believe what’s on the comic shipping list for Wednesday… It’s the much-delayed C-3PO special, which tells the story behind his red arm in The Force Awakens. Less surprisingly, Darth Vader #19.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
The 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.
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.
USA 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.
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.
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.