It’s been a while, but this week brings us two trades from Dark Horse, and one new unauthorized nonfiction book looking at the franchise as a whole.
Chris Taylor’s How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, out Tuesday, is touted as ‘the first comprehensive history of the Star Wars phenomenon.’ I may be a tad biased, but look for my review in the next couple of days.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir and the third volume of Brian Wood’s Star Wars comic, Rebel Girl, are both collected in trade paperback.
As for upcoming releases, we have Star Wars Art: Posters coming on October 14, a Shakespeare Star Wars box set and the Razor’s Edge paperback on October 28, and James Luceno’s Tarkin on November 4 – plus Dark Horse’s remaining trades.
If you head out to the comic shop today, you’ll find two series enders from Dark Horse: Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #4 finishes off Darth Maul’s story from The Clone Wars, while last week’s Star Wars #20 wraps up the Brian Wood series.
Not counting reprints, there’s only one Star Wars comic left from Dark Horse – Legacy #18, which we’ll hopefully see later this month. And speaking of Legacy (and reprints) the third volume of the series, Wanted: Ania Solo, is now in trade.
Well, now that we’ve got had our first look at a new/old upcoming comic, let’s see what you can actually pick up this week…
Today, send your eBook reader of choice to your eBook retailer of choice to download the free sampler containing previews of all four of Del Rey’s announced upcoming books. It gives us our first look at John Jackson Miller’s A New Dawn, James Luceno’s Tarkin, Kevin Hearne’s Heir to the Jedi and Paul Kemp’s Lords of the Sith. I skimmed it last night, and let’s just say that ‘underwhelmed’ seems to be the word of the day…
Meanwhile, comic readers will have Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #3, the second-to-last issue, waiting for them on Wednesday.
Comic review: James says Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #2 is a must read.
JadeCon prep meant I never did a new release post last week, so naturally there were several last Wednesday.
This Wednesday, however, brings us Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #2.While you’re at the comic ship, you can pick up last week’s books, Star Wars #18 and the third Dawn of the Jedi trade collection, Force War. Last week also saw Star Wars Insider #150 make it out to the newsstands.
Also on the shipping list for this week? Kotobukiya’s Mara Jade Bishoujo statue. The list is for comic shops, but it’s also on Amazon if you’re so inclined. (It doesn’t seem folks were too impressed, but keep in mind this may very well be the last Mara Jade merchandise ever…)
Wednesday brings the release of Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #1, which wraps up the character’s arc from The Clone Wars. It’s our first fully canon comic, due to being based on scripts and designs originally conceived for the show. Also coming this week is the second trade collection of the Ania Solo Legacy, Outcasts of the Broken Ring.
Comics aside, our next book releases will be William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return and the Crucible paperback, both on July 1.
On his Facebook today, The Clone Wars’ supervising director Dave Filoni weighs in on how the storyline that’s becoming the Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir comic would have fit into the show:
The story of Darth Maul had become an important one for the series and it was only fitting that we chose him for a comic adaptation. The comics will be based on four finished scripts that were written for Season 6 . These scripts came out of one of our story conferences with George Lucas. As they moved through the production pipeline, they became finalized scripts with a great deal of the actual design work completed. The designs you will see, the plot lines, and character development in these comic books are all coming directly from the TV production. I turned over all of the art to Dark Horse so they could create an accurate representation of what we were planning for the show.
He also hints that the ending of this storyline might not necessarily mean the end of Maul.
While we’ve known that the “bonus content” being worked on for The Clone Wars wasn’t necessarily going to bring closure to the series, Lucasfilm told Newsarama that at least one of the show’s loose ends will be told in comic form this spring, giving a big finale both for Darth Maul and for Dark Horse Comics.
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir will be a four-part comic starting in May, based on unproduced screenplays. Newsarama interviews the writer, Jeremy Barlow, on what’s in store for this tale. With a title of Son of Dathomir, one might expect a return to the planet, and revenge against Darth Sidious, but Barlow also teases some more locales and characters as well, including a new one named Brother Viscus.
Newsarama points out that while this unproduced story arc is being told first in comic form, it doesn’t mean that it will only be told in this form. I wouldn’t take this as anything more than Lucasfilm simply leaving the door open, and not as a sign that it will be actually realized in animated form.
Although Newsarama is calling this storyline the series finale, the show’s “final arc,” there’s been some clarification from Lucasfilm folks:
The Maul comic is very cool, but it *wasn’t* the series finale. It was a 4-part arc that fell beyond what was already in production.
— Pablo Hidalgo (@infinata) January 8, 2014
Long story short: It wraps up the Darth Maul arc, but isn’t the show’s intended finale. Pablo also says it wasn’t intended for S6.
Lots of stuff coming to the comic stores this week – well, three, which is ‘lots’ for our purposes. First off there’s Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #3 and a new Clone Wars digest, The Smuggler’s Code, starring Obi-wan. And for the trade paperback aficionados, there’s the collected Lost Tribe of the Sith: Spiral.
And finally, book fans, next week brings Aaron Allston’s X-Wing: Mercy Kill in paperback to match up with the rest of the series.
In stores on Tuesday is the paperback edition of James Luceno’s Darth Plagueis. (Now in the hands of the Emperor himself!) If you’re curious, you can read my sort of/kind of/not really a review from back when it came out in hardcover, but here it is in short: If you’re interested in the prequel era, the Sith and various bits of continuity that revolve around The Phantom Menace, try it. If you’re like me and more focused on the post-ROTJ stuff… It’s probably not worth the bother. But to each their own.
Anyway, moving on, it’ll also be a bit Sithly if you read to your local comic shop on Wednesday for Darth Maul: Death Sentence #4.
And, looking at our upcoming releases for the rest of the year, Sith fans also have The Old Republic: Annihilation coming up on November 13.