It’s Wednesday, which means one thing: new comic books! Check out a preview of new Star Wars comics available today after the jump!
There are two new LEGO Star Wars related releases coming in early May, just in time for the annual May the 4th holiday. Both are updated and revised editions of previous releases but I don’t think either are something you’ll want to pass up…
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When the idea for a Shakespearean rendition of Star Wars was pitched to us at Lucasfilm, I admit I was skeptical. It sounded like just another gimmick. But then I read Ian Doescher’s manuscript, and my attitude changed. Ian had lovingly crafted a tribute not only to Star Wars but to Shakespeare himself, showing respect and reverence for the Bard’s style even while transporting it to a galaxy far, far away. The rave reader reviews for the first book show that I was not alone in thinking Ian had written something special. And now the second book, The Empire Striketh Back, has been released, and it’s just as entertaining as the first.
Welcome to the sixth of 12 articles revealing — for the first time ever — material cut from The Essential Guide to Warfare before its April 2012 publication. Each section will be preceded by brief comments discussing why the material wound up on the cutting-room floor.
THEY’RE AFTER OUR CREDITS!
Jason Fry: In Episode I the Trade Federation are the bad guys, but to amass the power they had in the Senate they had to have been a force for good at some point. This piece was an effort to illustrate that, showing the Trade Federation playing a positive and much-needed role in sectors of the Outer Rim that the Republic was too weak and distracted to effectively control. This piece accomplishes that, but it doesn’t accomplish much else – the character speaking isn’t very interesting, and you need a master’s degree in the Expanded Universe to decipher the blizzard of names. This was an easy cut. (So why include it in this Author’s Cut at all? Keep reading.)
Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves by James S.A. Corey takes readers back to Han Solo as they first knew him — honorable but dangerous, and still figuring out what it means to be part of the Rebellion. StarWars.com is proud to present an exclusive first listen of an audio adaptation of a key scene from Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves.
Did anyone else participate in summer reading programs as a kid? Sitting down with an engaging book was enough of a reward then (and still is), but I remember feeling excited and incentivized by earning points for stickers, bookmarks, and the best prize of all — free pizza. Nothing could keep me from burning through stories when there was pizza on the line. Del Rey’s Star Wars Action Team (SWAT) has brought those feelings back with their Fancorps Community. I might not get pizza, but I can earn neat Star Wars loot and connect with fellow fans while I’m racking up points. I call that a win.
SWAT was announced last summer and has been up and running for about eight months; they’ve recruited over 1,500 fans. Programs like this are one of the reasons Star Wars fandom is terrific. Sure, Del Rey gets word-of-mouth advertising from those participating, but it’s also another way to build and reinforce the community. I talked with some fans enrolled in SWAT to get their feelings about the project.
On the surface Han Solo is an “easy” character — a wise-cracking scoundrel with a penchant for getting in over his head. But for authors who want to really capture the sum of Han’s parts, it’s not quite as easy as it looks, especially post-Episode IV. He’s a mercenary, but he’s currently hooked up with a non-profit operation. He looks out for himself, but it’s his friends that are keeping him around. Author James S.A. Corey does a great job of handling this balancing act in the new book, Honor Among Thieves, out this week.
There’s this story about being a writer that it’s a lonesome, solitary job where one labors in a garret or something. The reality is pretty different, and not just for us. Any writer going through traditional publishing models is at the very least working with an editor, a copyeditor, and the layout and design team. Often there are also first readers who give some distance and perspective on a new book, friends, and spouses who we bounce ideas off, other writers who we sit at bars with and talk about business and craft. So just from the outset, let’s be clear: Writing is only a solitary business when you compare it to something like tech support or consulting.
Writing for something like Star Wars? That’s a whole different level of collaboration. When we stepped into the project, there were already somewhere between 80 and 90 writers just on the novels in the Expanded Universe. Recent estimates have it that with the books, comic books, video games, and television shows, the Star Wars universe has more stories in it than there are atoms in the universe, though that may be a slight overstatement.
As an educator at the Secondary level, it’s imperative that you keep your students engaged and interested in the curriculum, as you navigate the distractions that life may provide at any given moment. While attending college to become certified as a high school English teacher, I was constantly told that students need to be met where they are at in their lives, and heard catch phrases like “edutainment” to describe the pedagogical approach that many are encouraged to pursue.
This is one of many reasons why incorporating Star Wars into the curriculum is all at once gratifying, exciting, and rewarding. It’s wonderful to see how integrating the saga can inspire students to explore other worlds, analyze complex themes, examine characters and characterization, and think critically about that galaxy far, far away. Navigating the saga encourages empathy and creativity that is essential to molding young minds to become something greater than themselves. Just as Luke Skywalker looked into the twin suns of Tatooine for an outlet to other worlds, and to find his place in the universe, each student is encouraged to make similar connections for the betterment of his or her own world. Star Wars is an excellent avenue for this.