Who’s writing The Rise of Skywalker novelization, Zahn has a new Thrawn trilogy and more Star Wars book and comic news out of NYCC

A number of notable fiction announcements came out of today’s Lucasfilm Publishing panel at New York Comic-Con: An author you’ll probably recognize has nabbed the next novelization, Timothy Zahn is writing a new trilogy that will feature Thrawn, and Marvel is indeed relaunching their main Star Wars title to pick up after ESB.

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Marvel’s Star Wars to end on Hoth with ‘Empire Ascendant’

The “end” of Marvel’s flagship Star Wars series is getting a bookend – a one-shot finale issue called Star Wars: Empire Ascendant. It’s written by Charles Soule, Greg Pak, Simon Spurrier, and Ethan Sacks, with art by Luke Ross, Roland Boschi, and more. The first of sure-to-be-many covers is by Riccardo Federici.

The issue will have the Rebel Alliance building Hoth, but will also address “the fate” of Doctor Aphras – so it sounds like Marvel’s second ongoing series might also be “ending.” The latest issue we’ve seen solicited, #40, is the end of a storyline and also coming in December.

Meanwhile, see the full cover for Empire Ascendant under the cut.

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Writer Charles Soule on his Rise of Kylo Ren comic

Writer Charles Soule talked about The Rise of Kylo Ren – the four-issue comic that will give us some background on Kylo and the Knights of Ren – at Fan Expo Toronto, as documented by CBR.

“You know, Ben Solo is tragic,” Soule said. “The potential of him from the day he was born, everyone around him saw or thought they saw what he could be. So he was put in all these different paths, and we’ve kind of seen how that’s gone wrong in the films so far. This is a story about Ben Solo, understanding some of the choices he made.”

Soule also talks about getting some points of The Rise of Skywalker and working with the Lucasfilm Story Group. He also spoke more extensively with SWNN about all his Star Wars work so far.

But for those looking for more Kylo specifically, and of something a lot closer at hand, StarWars.com has a preview of Age Of Resistance: Kylo Ren, which involves Kylo… Negotiating? Uh-oh. It’s out next week, though Kylo also plays major parts in the Hux and Snoke issues, which are available now.

The first issue of The Rise of Kylo Ren will be out December 4 – the only issue expected before The Rise of Skywalker drops on December 20.

What in the seven hells is Project Luminous?

There was… Sort of? A reveal at the Lucasfilm Publishing: Writer’s Roundtable panel Monday morning at Celebration: Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, Daniel José Older, Charles Soule and Cavan Scott are all working on something called “Project Luminous” for 2020.

We know it’s inspired by the quote “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things.”

Other than that, they won’t tell us anything. Not even a format. We do know the writers all went to Skywalker Ranch and watched A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. They’re having fun. That’s it! That’s literally it.

The live-tweets are here, knock yourself out with the speculation.

Meanwhile, IDW announced that Tales From Vader’s Castle will be back for this coming October with new stories. With the other book panels short on major news, looks like we’ll have to wait for SDCC or even (sigh) NYCC for The Rise of Skywalker tie-ins.

Marvel’s Darth Vader relaunching as post-ROTS series

Marvel is doing a second Darth Vader ongoing series. Written by Charles Soule with art Giuseppe Camuncoli, it begins just after Revenge of the Sith. It will feature Vader building his red lightsaber and hunting down surviving Jedi. Soule told StarWars.com he considers the series to be “Vader: Year One.”

The previous Vader series was written by Kieron Gillen and ran for 25 issues. It was set in the gap between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Gillen is currently helming the Doctor Aphra ongoing, which spun off the first series.

Marvel has consistently only been running three Star Wars ongoings t time – right now that’s Star Wars, Doctor Aphra and Poe Dameron. It’s possible they might begin winding down Poe – which Soule also writes – for this new Vader.

The new Darth Vader #1 will be out in June.

NYCC: Timothy Zahn says not to fear that Rebels is going to misuse Thrawn

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We’ve already covered the news out of Friday’s Star Wars writers roundtable at NYCC, but there was a decent lineup of current writers: Novelists Timothy Zahn, Chuck Wendig, James Luceno, E.K. Johnston, comic writers Kieron Gillen, Charles Soule, plus Lucasfilm editor Jennifer Heddle. Tor.com has a nice roundup of their comments.

Zahn reassured fans that the Thrawn on Rebels is not too far removed from the Thrawn of Legends. Johnston revealed that Ahsoka begins “about ten minutes—slight exaggeration—after Order 66 comes down.” And Wendig had some wise words about what makes Star Wars so appealing. (He also joked about Jar Jar being in Empire’s End, of course. But is it really that far-fetched? Really?)

Here’s the panel video:

Today in The Force Awakens: Costume concepts, books and more

tfa-concept-poehelmetOver at IGN, an interview with costume designer Michael Kaplan, and how the looks evolved for characters both old and new.

→ Our own James interviews Tales from a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens author Landry Q. Walker at StarWars.com, while comic writer Charles Soule talks to ComicBook.com about Poe Dameron #1. Soule also did a guest post for StarWars.com.

→ We all heard about Force for Daniel, but Lucasfilm and J.J. Abrams showed the movie to dozens of terminally ill fans.

Vulture takes a look at who’ll buy physical copies of The Force Awakens. I’m guessing… A lot of people? They also look back at the box office.

→ A look at how Rey’s isolation is framed in the film.

→ StarWars.com also presents their list of the ten best The Force Awakens moments.

Soule, Noto on their upcoming Poe Dameron comic

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Writer Charles Soule and artist Phil Noto talked about their upcoming Poe Dameron comic with CBR. Soule reveals that Poe’s squadron is “ike a special missions crew,” and the new First Order villain is an intelligence officer who’s almost “an evil Lando.”

The comic’s first arc will deal with “a sort of cult,” and lead into (as we’ve heard previously) the mission that takes him to Lor San Tekka in The Force Awakens.

CBR also debuted a new, BB-8-centric variant cover by Joe Quinones for issue #1. The series is due to begin in late March.