We’ve got an interesting item out Tuesday: Pablo Hidalgo’s Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy. The book is written from an in-universe perspective and features brand-new artwork, including “ten removable art prints.”
On Wednesday we have Star Wars #24, Poe Dameron #7 and volume 1 of the Legends collection of the original Marvel Star Wars run. Also keep an eye out for Star Wars Insider #169.
Our next book, due out on November 15, is the Rogue One novel Catalyst by James Luceno, which will give us some background on Orson Krennic and Galen Erso. (The first excerpt dropped last week.) Check out our book release schedule for more.
just in time for Thrawn on Rebels and the refreshed paperbacks, Tosche Station is launching the Thrawncast, a new podcast dedicated to reading Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy. They recorded their prologue/introduction episode last night, and regular episodes will begin on September 12.
Jedi Bibliothek has our first look at the new covers for Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy. This time, they’re a triptych!
They are, without a doubt, a vast improvement over the very dated originals. And that’s certainly a lot of the eponymous Grand Admiral Thrawn, which makes sense as his forthcoming Rebels appearance is the catalyst for the long-overdue refresh.
The new artwork is by Rick Kelly, we learned from Del Rey’s Tom Hoeler. The official Star Wars Books page has also shared the new covers.
I am sad to see that our namesake Mara Jade didn’t make the cut this time. Sure, Thrawn is becoming canon and she isn’t, but she is a major character in these books – and one of the most popular Legends characters ever. Did they just not want to get our hopes up?
In any case, here’s hoping that the new look gets more people reading. Legends or not, Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command are some of the best Star Wars novels on the shelves.
The new covers are expected to begin appearing in stores late next month, as the existing paperbacks are restocked.
Thrawn makes his Rebels debut on September 24 , with a new canon Timothy Zahn novel coming in April.
We’re getting a second wind for Aftermath: Life Debt, with io9 having a new interview with author Chuck Wendig, and Lucasfilm’s Jennifer Heddle on 7 reasons to pick it up. From earlier, James’ Wendig interview on StarWars.com, Eleven-ThirtyEight’s Jay Shah on Leia and Rae Sloane and io9’s rundown of what we learned from the book.
→ There’s a cover art Q&A with Del Rey art director Scott B. on Star Wars book cover design, including concepts for Aftermath and Dark Disciple.
→ Del Rey is shutting down their Star Wars Action Team community, they announced via email Thursday. Fans could accumulate points for books and items (usually convention exclusives) by publishing reviews and other actions. The site will be up through August 31 for fans to earn and spend their reward points.
→ And finally, just for fun, I got to reintroduce people to the concept of Corran Horn sleeping with a sentient otter. Glorious. But seriously, today on the CJ Tumblr is dedicated to General Hux and his newly-revealed first name, because fandom is amazing and hilarious. (Yes, there will be Millicent. And a guest appearance by Thrawn.)
Jedi Bibliothek noted a listing saying that Timothy Zahn’s original Thrawn trilogy – Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command – will be getting new cover art in the fall. (The listing may only be visible to logged-in users – here’s a screenshot.) The new art hasn’t been revealed, but it certainly makes sense to give them a refresh, particularly given that this information appears in a listing for Zahn’s upcoming Thrawn novel. The new book will be canon and tied to the character’s Rebels appearance, but his Legends origins aren’t exactly a secret.
In short: Whatever the covers are, expect Grand Admiral Thrawn to be much more prominent.
(And will we finally see ‘The Thrawn Trilogy’ as an official designation?) Which has apparently already happened, my bad.
The current cover art has been the same – with occasional design and typography tweaks like the Legends banner – since the books were released in the early 90’s. A 2011 anniversary edition of Heir introduced a more graphical look, but proved to be a one-off.
The editions with the new art are due out on September 27, but will maintain their current ISBNs and may be slow to find as stores restock.
Personally, I’m happy to see the Thrawn books get a cover update – the old ones are extremely dated and among the worst covers of the old Expanded Universe – a real pity considering the novels themselves are among the best of Legends. Bring on the new look! (Perhaps something in the vein of the Brazilian covers?)
Despite early leads by Darth Talon and Starkiller, Jaina Solo won Hasbro’s 2016 fan choice figure poll. (Here’s the percentages just before the poll closed.)
Jaina, the oldest child and only daughter of Leia Organa and Han Solo in decanonized Legends timeline, has had at least one figure from Hasbro in the past, plus a Bishoujo-style statue from Kotobukiya. The new figure will take some time: The fruits of last year’s poll – Darth Revan and Sabine Wren – aren’t expected to hit the shelves until late this year.
Hasbro announced several new figures at SDCC, including a 6′ Hera Syndulla and an Imperial Royal Guard inspired in part by the (also Legends) comic Crimson Empire.
And getting a 3.75 figure, the newly canonized Grand Admiral Thrawn, who will appear in the upcoming third season of Rebels. (His rank will be correct on the final figure.)
The Star Wars Fan Figure vote finalists are in, and it’s a Legends-heavy field this year: Jaina Solo, The Force Unleashed’s Starkiller, Darth Talon from the Legacy comics and even our own namesake Mara Jade. Rounding out the choices are The Clone Wars’ Captain Rex and bounty hunter Dengar.
(Were certain Legends zealots doing some targeted ballot-stuffing to ensure this outcome? Oh, definitely. Yet in the grand scheme of things, they clearly followed the rules, and there’s no malice to be done here. An action figure hurts no one, so let them have their fun.)
Mara won this a couple years back, and even the resulting figure was something of a disappointment, I don’t really feel tempted to vote for her again. (That Fan’s Choice was her third Hasbro figure, and every single one had to be wearing that silly catsuit, apparently.) Having three women in the finals might be unprecedented, but I don’t find any of the choices all that exciting. Vote as you will: The winner will be announced at Hasbro’s SDCC panel on Friday.
I was never particularly enthralled with anything we heard about the old live-action series that Lucasfilm was working on back after Revenge of the Sith, but the new details that came to light last week make me even more glad it was shelved before Lucasfilm’s sale to Disney.
Cory Barlog, a God of War creative director who worked at LucasArts for a time in 2009 and got to read the scripts, told VentureBeat (via) about one plot point of the show:
“It was the most mind-blowing thing I’d ever experienced. I cared about the Emperor. They made the Emperor a sympathetic figure who was wronged by this fucking heartless woman. She’s this hardcore gangster, and she just totally destroyed him as a person. I almost cried while reading this. This is the Emperor, the lightning out of the fingers Emperor. That’s something magical. The writers who worked on that, guys from The Shield and 24, these were excellent writers.”
The Emperor turning because of a woman? It’s like an MRA wet dream. If they wanted to make me grateful for the (boring, harmless and no longer canon) Darth Plagueis novel, well, success!
Although we certainly know at this point that anything with George Lucas’ involvement was not going to be seamless with the Expanded Universe, I do have to wonder if those scripts are why James Luceno’s first iteration of the Plagueis novel was canceled in 2007. The book eventually did come to fruition for a 2012 release, several years after we learned the project was “on hold.”
Head to your favorite comic shop on Wednesday for The Force Awakens #1 by Chuck Wendig (Aftermath) and artist Luke Ross. Marvel being Marvel, there are also several variant covers.
For the Legends fans, there’s a new Epic Collection, Rebellion Vol. 1, collecting several issues of Dark Horse’s Empire, Star Wars and the Vader’s Quest miniseries.
Timothy Zahn was at Awesome Con 2016 in Washington D.C. this past weekend, and Tosche Station has the audio of the panel moderated by their own Bria LaVorgna.
Naturally, as the man who kick-started the modern Expanded Universe with Heir to the Empire, he was asked about Lucasfilm’s decision to to make the older books non-canon. Here’s that four-and-half-minute bit:
The Star Wars authors have always known how a sequel trilogy would effect the books, and it’s all fairly good sense. On the story group and folks like Pablo Hidalgo, Dave Filoni, and Kathleen Kennedy he says:
These are people who are not going to simply go and demolish stuff. If they have to destroy a part of it, overwrite it, it will be because its necessary to set up something else down the line. They’re not going to go with wanton destruction.
He points out that the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens is still barely filled in, and:
In a way, it’s kind of sad that it’s all ‘Legends,’ and not ‘real,’ but it was never really ‘real’ in the first place. We always knew Lucas could override anything that we’d done. But I think the Expanded Universe – and Star Wars – are in good hands.
In the full audio, he also talks about the possibility of his characters ending up in Rebels or the other new canon (he’s for it,) his thoughts on Kylo Ren, and (of course) Rey’s parentage.
Zahn also did an interview with The Daily Dot’s Eric Geller.