The extended gap between movies sees Star Wars publishing reaching back to the prequel era for their most high profile SDCC announcements. Coming from Del Rey we have Master and Apprentice, a Qui-gon and Obi-wan novel from Claudia Gray (Bloodline, Princess of Alderaan). And from Disney-Lucasfilm press there’s the long-rumored Padme novel, Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston (Ahsoka).
The Padme cover is by Tara Phillips, who editor Jen Heddle says she “found on Deviant Art.” Both books will be out in early 2019 and up for pre-order soon: Master and Apprentice in February, and Queen’s Shadow in March.
TheForce.Net has enlisted Ryan and Daniel of Podcast 66 to revive the classic ForceCast, which was shut down back in March 2016 after they jettisoned their established crew for a new one that didn’t exactly take to their new role with good grace. Ryan and Daniel have a lot more experience behind them – Podcast 66 has been around for a few years now – so things seem off to a good start.
Their first episode features author Claudia Gray to talk about her new book Leia: Princess Of Alderaan, as well as Johnamarie Macias from The Wookiee Gunner and the Lego Star Wars podcast Star Scavengers.
Because this week brings Force Friday and the first wave of The Last Jedi tie-ins, we have three release days this week instead of the usual two – as well as a lot of product. There’s a lot going on, basically.
Entertainment Weekly has details for several Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi books. The new addition: A collection of short stories focusing on inhabitants of Canto Bight, the ritzy casino planet. The authors are Star Wars vet John Jackson Miller and franchise newcomers Saladin Ahmed, Rae Carson, and Mira Grant. It will be on shelves December 5.
Tuesday brings Claudia Gray’s Bloodline in paperback. The book gives us some insight into the state of the galaxy not so long before The Force Awakens and was one of the best-reviewed Star Wars novels in years. (I gave it an A-.) Wel worth reading, if you haven’t already.
Bloodline has been out for nearly a week now, and we’ve had interviews with author Claudia Gray from Entertainment Weekly and StarWars.com (by our own James!) Questions answered include how she incorporated that one Leia meme, what part of ANH got retconed, and how you pronounce ‘Casterfo.’
Happy Star Wars Day! We’ve got a special episode of Unboxing Star Wars for May the 4th! First, Baby Jawa, Yowie and I check out the fun at “The Dome Awakens”, the Star Wars Day celebration at the downtown San Diego Public Library held on May 1, 2016. Then it’s time to review the recent C-3PO one shot comic by James Robinson and Tony Harris, and get excited for the new Star Wars novel, Bloodline, by Claudia Gray. We finish up with the results of our first try at making Star Wars Jell-o Jigglers, and then some Baby Jawa fun time!
→ C-3PO #1 – A fun (and long-awaited) tale that does indeed explain the origins of Threepio’s red arm. Read this comic then watch the LEGO Star Wars short “The Resistance Rises: Poe to the Rescue” for an interesting crossover of canon and LEGO Star Wars.
→ Bloodline – Strongly recommend! I had high expectations for this novel because of Gray’s first Star Wars novel, Lost Stars, and she surpassed them. I really enjoyed this tale – it’s a top-notch story with some great characters, and Gray nails Leia’s character.
→ Star Wars JELL-O Jigglers Mold Set – Comes with two 6-character mold trays and 4 boxes of Jello! All the characters look great, except Yoda, who is in some sort of action pose which doesn’t quite work right. Be sure to use the special mold instructions on the big box instead of the regular Jiggler instructions on the inside boxes of gelatin.
It’s rather refreshing to finally be getting some of the gaps filled in.
Claudia Gray’s Star Wars: Bloodline, out today, isn’t the first to give us a look at the galaxy beyond Return of the Jedi in the new canon. (It isn’t even Gray’s first, technically.) But it the closest to The Force Awakens so far, set less than a decade before the film. It’s also the first to feature a major character in anything beyond a glorified cameo. This is, by far, the canon novel with the most mass appeal to Expanded Universe fans new and old.
And yes, it’s good. I admit, I am worried that those of us who got and talked (vaguely) about the book early may be overselling the novel. After all, that’s what happened to me with Gray’s previous Star Wars book, Lost Stars. There was no early copy for me there, and it was the last of the Journey to The Force Awakens books I read. And it was fine! But I suspect the unrelenting hype damaged it a bit for me. (I may also be extremely a tiny bit burnt out on YA-style romance.)
Bloodline, on the other hand, was a blistering fast read for me. The minute I got it, I couldn’t put it down. As anyone who was following me on Twitter may have noticed, I read it in three hours. I honestly can’t recall the last time I read a Star Wars novel at that speed. It might have been back in the ’90s?