Celebration V book and comic news: Wraith Squadron, Fate of the Jedi, Crimson Empire 3 and more

Del Rey brought plenty to the table for Celebration, but the biggest EU news is without a doubt the reveal that Aaron Allston will be writing a brand-new Wraith Squadron novel. It’s too early for details, but expect a spring/summer 2012 release date.

We also learned that Thrawn will appear in Zahn’s Hand of Judgment, Drew Karpyshyn will be writing a third Old Republic novel, Jeff Grubb’s 2012 paperback will feature Hutts, and Han Solo will appear in the Dash Rendar/Holostar novel. And TFN reports that something is in the works for the 20th anniversary of Heir to the Empire, to which I say: Damn straight.

As for Fate of the Jedi, we learned that the final book will be titled Apocalypse. Cheery! Also addressed was the heightening of drama, Vestara’s role, and (sigh) the whole Jacen/Tahiri thing. Except, not really. (I do love the Mando quote, of course.)

Meanwhile, the comic fans got a surprise of their own: Crimson Empire III is a go, for real this time. The 6-issue series will begin in March with Mike Richardson and Randy Stradley scripting and Dave Dorman on covers.

Knight Errant got a big push, complete with a costumed representation, but if the EUC report is anything to go by it’s too soon for much of a reveal.

As for Legacy, there are currently no plans for anything after the War mini – Ostrander and Duursema will “will be working on something entirely different.”

The rest of the news rehashes much we’ve already heard, but a hardcover edition of Dark Empire will commemorate the comic’s twentieth anniversary. And the return of Dark Horse Presents may yield some Tales-like stories.

Also getting some love at the con (but not enough for their own entry) was The Force Unleashed (Yoda? Really? That Muppet needs a better agent.) and The Old Republic.

EUbits: Al Williamson, Heir to the Empire, and September comics

RIP. Artist Al Williamson, who illustrated the Star Wars comic strip and adaptions of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, passed away this weekend. He’s remembered by editor Dave Land at DarkHorse.com

We read it uphill, in the snow, with no boots. Suvudu salutes Heir to the Empire — with a little help from Tim Zahn, editor Tom Dupree and art director Jamie S. Warren — as part of their 25 years of Spectra features.

Solicitations. Look ahead to September comics from Dark Horse, with new issues of Invasion, The Old Republic: Threat of Peace, that Fett thing, and a $1 reprint of Legacy #1.

Blogside. Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff on mistakes.

For the nitpickians. A new Essential Atlas appendix – in PDF form. Prime your hole-punchers!

EUbits: Visions, crafts, blogs and more

Visions. The cat is officially out of the bag on the upcoming art book, and the previews keep on coming. I’m rather taken with the classical styles of the Daniel E. Greene and Will Wilson pieces.

First look. Bonnie Burton’s craft book!

The blogside:Ben Kuchera of Ars Technica draws a parallel between Grand Admiral Thrawn, Exar Kun, and the Sith of The Old Republic; Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff on making up planets.

Interviews: NJOE talks to Invasion’s Tom Taylor.

Lists. Topless Robot’s Adam Pawlus counts down his list of the ten best stories in the Expanded Universe. The vast majority of these are at best unnoteworthy to this EU fan, and I certainly can’t condone anyone who puts a Boba Fett comic above the Thrawn trology. (Zahn may not be perfect… But Boba Fett? How uncivilized.)

Namesake corner. Sideshow says Mara Jade will make “an appearance in one of our lines by 2011.”

EUbits: It’s art week for Star Wars fans

hughes-maraNamesake corner. Topps is saluting the ‘Women of Star Wars‘ in their Galaxy 5 line. And since you can only have so many slave Leias before the theme gets tired, there’s an Adam Hughes Mara Jade card. Granted, it’s Adam Hughes and thus total cheesecake, but we’re used to that.

Visions peek. I can’t believe there’s, like, war and battle and stuff in the Star Wars art book. Ugh. (P.S. If we’re going there, I would love something ROTJish in the style of The Death of General Wolfe. And prints, because I would so totally buy prints of that if it was done with a stylistically straight face.)

Would you like some false hope with that? IGN has ‘thoughtfully’ compiled all the leading candidates for the totally nonexistent, never-going-to-happen (except for probably that bounty hunter thing in the live action series) additional Star Wars movies. Basically, what I am saying is, no matter how good the effects on Avatar are, don’t hold your breath. (Yeah, I am a little sick of this topic and Dark Empire? Are you kidding me? …Sorry.)

Crosscurrent. Check out chapter two of Paul S. Kemp’s upcoming paperback. Meanwhile, the first review has surfaced over at Stomping on Yeti.

The Old Republic. NJOE’s Rogue77 found a brief summary for Sean William’s The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance.

Dark Horse’s November Star Wars comics

You show that Mando what's what, not-Aang!

The official site has the November solicitations, including the much-anticipated Purge: Seconds to Die one-shot. Also, Invasion #5, The Clone Wars #10, Knights of the Old Republic #47, and Legacy #42. There’s also the third installment of the Star Wars Adventures digests, Luke Skywalker and the Treasure of the Dragonsnakes.

And for reprints, a Shadows of the Empire omnibus and Thrawn Trilogy hardcover collecting the comic adaptions of Zahn’s Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command.

SDCC Roundup: Comic-Con starts Thursday!

Sideshow's Grand Admiral Thrawn

Look who’s debuting. Among the new items Sideshow is bringing to Con? A 12″ figure of an old pal of ours, Grand Admiral Thrawn! And some other guys.

From the floor. Mary Franklin and her minions are hard at work already, setting up the Lucasfilm Pavilion! There’s a peek at a few more of The Clone Wars bounty hunters as well, including two brand-new characters.

TFN thread of the indeterminate time period: The key phrase here is ‘historical perspective’

After nearly two decades, three actual movies, a TV show/movie, and (approximately) a thousand other books, of course Heir to the Empire and pals have some continuity issues. Sorry, that’s just how we play it in the GFFA. Suck it up, fanboy.

But we can agree on one thing: The covers have always been pretty bad. Of course, some of the EU’s worst have nice Drew Struzan covers, thus proving the old adage…