Matthew Ruddle, marketing manager for Penguin Random House UK, dropped a few news bits on the livestream Sunday morning. Most notable is that Alexander Freed (Battlefront: Twilight Company) is writing the Rogue One novelization.
He also revealed that Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn novel will be a prequel to his appearance on Rebels. “You’re going to get to see how Thrawn got to his position of power, how he became so respected in the Empire, and just what makes him such a brilliant villain and tactician,” Ruddle said.
Alas, he couldn’t share even that much detail on James Luceno’s Catalyst, which was also announced yesterday. “If you’re going to be watching Rogue One, you need to read Catalyst,” Ruddle said. “It ties in, it connects dots.”
Among the reveals at today’s publishing panel: Expanded Universe vet James Luceno is writing Catalyst, the Rogue One companion novel. We also got the cover, which is pretty neat, but no more details than that. (Still a mystery: The adaptation.)
Most of the things at the panel were kids books, but we also learned about a few new Star Wars Insider short stories. There’ll be two new Blade Squadron stories, including one in September that ties into Aftermath: Life Debt. (The Insider also had their own panel.)
There’s a new Galactic Atlas that’s written from an in-universe perspective, featuring “600-700 individual illustrations.” A new Complete Locations will cover Starkiller Base, Maz’s castle and Rey’s AT-AT home. And Jason Fry’s Weapon of a Jedi is being adapted for younger readers as Luke and Lost Jedi Temple.
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.