Celebration Anaheim: Alan Dean Foster returns for The Force Awakens novelization

tfa-novelAlan Dean Foster is writing the novelization of The Force Awakens, Del Rey revealed today at their panel at Celebration Anaheim. It’ll be out in eBook on December 18, the day the movie comes out, with a hardcover to follow on an unspecified date in January.

Foster was the ghostwriter for the original Star Wars adaptation (credited to George Lucas) back in the ’70s, as well as the author of the first actual Star Wars novel, Splinter in the Mind’s Eye. This won’t be his first return to the franchise: He also wrote a prequel novel, The Approaching Storm, which came out ahead of Attack of the Clones.

This was already floating around, but it was confirmed that Del Rey is repackaging A New Dawn and Tarkin together as Rise of the Empire. We learned that that book will contain three new short stories, one of which ties into Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath. (Sadly, that’s just about the most we heard on Aftermath.)

That was just about the only real news out of the Del Rey panel that wasn’t already revealed earlier in the con.

As for Marvel, we got a few things: Greg Weisman will be writing the second arc of Kanan; They will be doing an adaption of The Force Awakens, but not anytime soon. Star Wars #6 is not John Cassidy’s last SW comic for Marvel… And Simone Bianchi will be drawing Star Wars #7, which is a one-shot Obi-Wan story on Tatooine.

NYCC 2014: Marvel announces Kanan comic series

Kanan #1The big fiction announcement at NYCC this weekend was… A Kanan ongoing series from Marvel. It’s being written by Greg Weisman (which may or may not explain his absence from the second season of Rebels) and begins with ‘The Last Padawan,’ in yet another prequel to the cartoon, this one going back to show how Kanan survived Order 66. Apparently if this does well, more Rebels focused comics may be on the horizon. But at the very least, it adds a different era to Marvel’s Star Wars lineup.

Amy Ratcliffe has a nice interview with Weisman on CBR.

There wasn’t a novel announcement at Del Rey’s panel, but we did learn that Palpatine’s first name (from George Lucas) is revealed in James Luceno’s Tarkin.

Interview: Star Wars Rebels’ Greg Weisman

Greg Weisman, one of the executive producers of the upcoming Rebels animated series, is also an author for the young adult audience with his series-starting Rain of the Ghosts, featuring a young teenager in the Caribbean who can see dead people. I had the opportunity to chat with Greg this past weekend at the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore’s 21st Birthday Bash, and in this interview we discuss Rain of the Ghosts, the writing process for both print and animation, as well as his work on animated shows such as Young Justice, Gargoyles, and The Spectacular Spider-Man, including some of his own objectives and challenges for hitting a wider audience when creating a show and including diversity. While we couldn’t talk much about Rebels directly, he does provide some perspective for the show.

Thanks to Greg Weisman (Twitter: @Greg_Weisman) for the interview, and Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore for providing the venue. Check out Rain of the Ghosts, available now, and watch for the second book in the Rain series, Spirits of Ash and Foam, coming in July.

Greg Weisman drops some hints for Rebels

Greg WeismanIGN has Eric Goldman’s interview with Greg Weisman today, where he talks about Rebels, visiting Lucasfilm, and working with Simon Kinberg and Dave Filoni.

He praises the yet-unnamed writing staff and “phenomenal cast,” praises Leland Chee and Pablo Hidalgo and even the dreaded c-word:

Describing the approach to Rebels and the widespread potential audience, Weisman said, “We’re all very dedicated, and we know this show is going to be canon, so we take that responsibility very seriously. We know that on the one hand there’s an audience who’s going to be watching this that knows everything there is to know about Lucasfilm canon and knows beyond that tons of stuff from the Expanded Universe, which may or may not turn out to be canon once Lucasfilm decides what is official and what’s not. So we want the show to work for that group, the most extreme fanboys out there.”

On the show itself, the Rebel Alliance “doesn’t exist when we come in,” he says, continuing:

This is about how the Rebel Alliance came to be. So once the Rebel Alliance is, that’s pretty much where the show ends. I don’t know how many seasons that is. It’s not like we’ve nailed that down like, ‘Oh, we’re going to exactly X amount of seasons.’ But if all goes well, that’s the goal: we go from the origins of the Rebel Alliance to the point where the Rebel Alliance is, which would lead in essence directly into A New Hope. That’s the goal, to fill in that gap between those four or five years.”

As for the cast, they’re taking a different approach from how far-flung The Clone Wars came to be. Weisman says they have one “focus” character and five others to make a core cast of six. (Presumably this includes Kanan and Chopper, but let’s hope two of them are the women he talked about in an earlier interview.) Though it will focus on those six, the cast will expand, and “the show gets bigger and bigger in scope.”

We can also expect “some incredible guest stars,” both familaiar and unfamiliar names.

Greg Weisman: Rebels ensemble includes two women

Greg Weisman

I received my Star Wars Insider today, and it features, among other things, an interview with Rebels executive producer Greg Weisman. As you might expect, it’s too early for him to be dropping many details about the show, but there are few things there and there. Though he admits that that the show already had “great characters and a great setup” by Dave Filoni and Simon Kinberg when he came on board, he had a few things to say on Rebels’ yet-to-be-revealed cast:

We have two strong female leads in the show among our set of characters and we think they are going to be fan favorites very quickly. That’s always been a personal priority for me in all the work I’ve done, to have a strong and diverse cast of characters, both in terms of gender and race.

Rebels (logo)He also praised Ahsoka on The Clone Wars, talked about Ralph McQuarrie’s influence on the show’s look and had a few things to say on how the Rebellion we see in the original trilogy is not quite there yet.

The article also features a few pieces of artwork I’m pretty sure we haven’t really seen yet, but I’ll let you guys go see that for yourselves.

StarWars.com, perhaps not so coincidentally, posted a video with Weisman today, where he echos some of his statements from the Insider interview, talks about his background with TV, and answers a few Star Wars questions:

Rebels is set to debut sometime in Fall 2014 on Disney XD. Most of what we already know about it is from presentations at NYCC (including our only cast member so far, ‘the Inquisitor’) and Celebration Europe.

And as a parting shot, here’s something for you to chew on from the video:

Alderaan? Maybe not...

It’s official: Rebels is your new Star Wars cartoon

One of Filoni's TIEsWell, here’s your new animated series: Star Wars: Rebels, set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope just as heavily speculated. It’s helmed by Dave Filoni, Greg Weisman and Simon Kinberg and will be coming in Fall 2014.

The action-filled series is set between the events of Episode III and IV — an era spanning almost two decades never-before explored on-screen. Star Wars Rebels takes place in a time where the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking shape. Details about the show are a closely guarded secret at this point.

The show will debut with an hour-long special on the Disney Channel before moving to Disney XD for the duration.

Fans will get a first look at the show at Celebration Europe.