The Star Wars universe continues to expand in extended universe books.
Fans of Star Wars can rarely get enough of the universe. But with the Skywalker Saga at an end, and no new content till the end of the year, where else can fans get a taste of their favourite galaxy from far, far away? Where else but the extended literary universe!
At SDCC’s ComicCon@Home, authors and editors from around the galaxy gathered to discuss new offerings from Lucasfilm and Disney. A massive slate of books is ready for publishing, featuring fan-favourite characters from the films, TV shows, books, and comics.
The panel is available on YouTube, but you can also read a round-up of all the books mentioned and what we can expect from them below.
A Jedi You Will Be
Preeti Chhibber is writing A Jedi You Will Be, a picture book, which will be drawn by Mike Deas. The book focuses on the training sessions between Yoda and Luke Skywalker on Dagobah. Chhibber wanted to not only show Yoda teaching his apprentice the ways of the Jedi, but also to teach young readers the path to becoming a Jedi.
To research the book, Chhibber found herself watching the Dagobah scenes multiple times to get the cadence of the way Yoda speaks. But she also wanted to examine what the Force means to little children, and how they would engage with the philosophical side of the story. Making sure Yoda didn’t come across too much like an angry professor—as he appears in the film—was a challenge she enjoyed overcoming.
Darth Vader Comics
Greg Pak will continue writing his Darth Vader comics, set after the events of The Empire Strikes Back. Raffaele Ienco will be back to draw the series. The stories explore how Vader felt when Luke rejected him on Cloud City. Pak spoke about how he enjoys digging into Vader’s psyche and that he’s been given the green light to bring back characters from Vader’s past. In preparation to write Vader, Pak studied the prequels—he felt it was essential to flesh out Vader’s emotional journey.
Pak spoke about how interesting it was to examine how Luke’s refusal to join Vader parallels Padme’s rejection of Anakin on Mustafar. These events compounded Anakin’s feelings of loss after his mother, Shmi, was killed at the hands of the Tusken Raiders.
In this second volume, Vader will be going on a new quest, and the story will feature key elements tying into The Rise of Skywalker. The biggest surprise in the series thus far has been the inclusion of Sabé and fans can expect more in upcoming issues.
The Empire Strikes Back: From a Certain Point of View
Tom Angleberger was tight-lipped about his entry in The Empire Strikes Back: From a Certain Point of View—the book is being released in conjunction with the film’s 40th anniversary. 40 authors will be writing about the film from the points of view of characters who weren’t directly involved with the film’s events or who would have been in the background.
Angleberger contributed to the first anthology, a companion to Star Wars: A New Hope.His story will once again feature the Whills battling it out to create the perfect screen crawl at the start of the film.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark
Robert Simpson, Senior Editor at Disney Lucasfilm Press, spoke about his excitement for Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark. The anthology will retell moments from the series for a middle-grade reading experience. Angleberger and Chhibber will also be contributing stories to the anthology and spoke about how fans want more of The Clone Wars, which makes this book timely.
Rebecca Roanhorse will be writing a Darth Maul story for the anthology. Having recently completed work on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Resistance Reborn, she enjoyed switching to the Dark Side to write Maul. She was particularly fascinated with embodying Maul’s voice and exploring how obsessed he was with revenge against Obi-Wan Kenobi. Roanhorse’s story focuses on Maul’s early reappearance in The Clone Wars, where he’s in the Lotho Minor tunnels with his brother, Savage Opress.
Poe Dameron: Free Fall
Alex Segura’s Poe Dameron: Free Fall will be available in 2020. The book follows Poe’s time with Zorii Bliss and the spice runners. This story was up Segura’s alley—he is known for his sci-fi writing, so this story fit his niche very well. Segura’s aim with this story was to answer questions fans might have about Poe’s journey to becoming the Resistance hero we know from the sequel trilogy.
Full disclosure, I got a galley copy of this book and I did not enjoy it at all.
Alyssa Wong is going to be writing the Doctor Aphra ongoing series. Wong’s love of the character was obvious throughout the panel—she clearly enjoys writing about an archaeologist in space. Wong felt very drawn to Aphra because she is selfish and messy—though she’s causing chaos in others’ lives, Aphra is very true to herself and motivated.
For the new run of stories, Wong focused on making the book accessible to people who have never read Aphra before while still balancing it for existing fans. Aphra will have a new crew in this arc and will have grown a great deal since her first run.
In the story, Aphra will be hunting for valuable artifacts, accompanied by a team of mercenaries and academics, including an old flame of her’s. One of the mercenaries will be a classic dashing Star Wars character, who Wong insisted should be Southeast-Asian. As Wong enjoys writing horror, she will be bringing some of those elements into this arc.
Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising
Timothy Zahn has been writing Thrawn for years and he is back at it with Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising, the first book in a new trilogy. Zahn knows Thrawn’s mind and tactics like the back of his hand so he is now looking for new situations to put Thrawn into, that will push the character to solve problems more creatively. Fans can also expect a host of new characters to appear in the trilogy.
Myths & Fables and Dark Legends
George Mann is writing a new Myths & Fables volume with art by Grant Griffin. The series is known as the Grimm Brothers’ fables of the Star Wars universe. Mann said that Griffin’s art is so deep and detailed that he has found himself being more expansive in his writing of the new stories.
The second volume will feature six new stories exploring Endor, Dathomir and Darth Maul’s youth, Mon Cala, among others.
Mann is also writing Dark Legends, a collection of darker stories from the universe that are still aimed at children. He mentioned one story that will focus on the Grand Inquisitor in the aftermath of the Clone Wars as he visits an orphanage where Force-sensitive children are being kidnapped. Another story is set on Exegol, exploring an ancient Sith’s search for immortality long before Palpatine came along.
The High Republic: A Test of Courage
Justine Ireland is writing The High Republic: A Test of Courage. Fans will already be familiar with Sana Starros, who appeared in The Last Shot. High Republic will follow Sana’s ancestor, Avon Starros, a 12-year-old scientist sent on a diplomatic mission to the edge of the galaxy because she’s been asking too many questions. Avon will be accompanied by her droid, J6, who she has been tinkering with and, as a result, the droid has a unique speech pattern and personality.
What Else Can We Expect to See?
Aside from all these books, there will be several relaunches from the universe. Charles Soule will be relaunching monthly Star Wars books, and Ethan Sacks is writing a bounty hunter series. IDW Publishing will be relaunching its Star Wars: Adventures series, with more time periods and new creators.
Simpson is co-editing The Lightsaber Collection, an insider’s guide to all the lightsaber hilts featured in all the films and TV series in the Star Wars universe. The book will have stunning portraits of the lightsaber wielders, essays on how each saber is created, as well as interviews and backstories.
Shadows of Vader’s Castle is set to return with a 30-page one-shot exploring creepy stories from Mustafar.
And finally, fans will be looking forward to The Art of Galaxy’s Edge, the latest book about the concepts and creation of the design of the Star Wars universe. This book will explore the Disneyland Star Wars theme parks.
That is a lot of books that should keep fans occupied for a good long while.
Which Star Wars books are you looking forward to reading? Let us know in the comments.