We were lucky to have four talented and versatile authors on our Star Wars Books panel: novelist Troy Denning; novelist and comic book writer John Jackson Miller; writer and illustrator Jeffrey Brown; and nonfiction writer (and Lucasfilm editor) J.W. Rinzler. Frank Parisi from Del Rey and I represented for the editorial side, and the panel was moderated by the Keeper of the Holocron himself, Leland Chee. Leland kicked things off by pointing out that Lucasfilm has been undergoing an exciting period of change, and due to so many things developing right now (always in motion is the future), we couldn’t really address much about where Star Wars fiction is heading. But we can talk about the great releases we have coming up! Troy Denning talked a little about Crucible, which is on sale now, while John Jackson Miller talked about Kenobi, coming in September. Kenobi, John explained, is basically a western set in space, and I commented on the brilliant approach John took of showing us Obi-Wan through the eyes of strangers who have no idea who this mysterious newcomer is. Frank and I took turns talking about the forthcoming Razor’s Edge by Martha Wells, which focuses on Leia and how she reacts when she meets up with a crew of Alderaanian pirates; Maul: Lockdown by Joe Schreiber, which is an intense, violent thriller with ties to Darth Plagueis; and Honor Among Thieves by James S.A. Corey, which I boldly proclaimed as a possible successor to the Brian Daley Han Solo novels.
Archive for ‘Books and Comics’
These are the exploits revealed in the popular Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO animated television series, which aired on ABC starting in September 1985 and ran for a thirteen-episode season as well as a one-hour special titled The Great Heep. The cartoon also spun off into a series of comic books published under Marvel Comics’ “Star Comics” imprint, as well as a Spanish-language strip that ran in the pages of MyComyc magazine. Set approximately fifteen years before A New Hope, these adventures shed new light on an unexplored corner of the Star Wars universe and the enduring friendship of C-3PO and R2-D2.
Throne for a Loop
After their adventures with speeder pilots Thall Joben and Jord Dusat, and surviving a harrowing escape from the planet Aaron, Artoo and Threepio employed the services of the Intergalactic Droid Agency once more in obtaining new masters. Given the less-than-ideal outcomes the last several times they utilized the IDA, they probably should have reconsidered their options. The IDA sent them to the desert mining colony of Tyne’s Horky to perform waitering and drink service at Doodnik’s Café.
Though C-3PO had served as a bona fide cook and maître d’ aboard the Tantive IV, the droid was severely out of practice, and his clumsiness annoyed Doodnik Sharpelz, the four-armed Jillsarian café owner and chef. Doodnik, raised by adoptive natives on the planet Ojom, had come to Tyne’s Horky full of gastronomic dreams with his friend and fellow gourmand Dexter Jettster, before making a deal with Dirconite mercenary Kleb Zellock for part-ownership of his own restaurant. Hardened by fringe life, Doodnik didn’t tolerate fools, and he quickly fired the incompetent robotic servers.
For my next blog post, blog editor Matt Martin suggested I write about why Princess Leia is an inspirational character. Some of you already know that this was not much of a favor to ask — I could talk about Leia every week. I’m not going to, I promise. But I am today!
Princess Leia is rightly regarded as a female role model, yet I still feel like there are certain displays of heroism in the original Star Wars trilogy for which she doesn’t get enough credit. When talking about Leia in general circles, it seems like two things come up over and over again: her sassy comebacks and the metal bikini. I enjoy both of those things as well, but she’s so much more than that, and there are certain excellent, perhaps underappreciated moments in the films that really make Leia stand out as a hero. There’s a reason that she became a symbol of inspiration and accomplishment to young girls of my generation, and it wasn’t for her clothing. (Although, let’s face it, it was partially for her hair.)
So rather than write generally about why Leia is an inspirational character, I thought I would focus in on a few specific incidents, and how they showcase some of her more admirable qualities.
Hello Star Wars fans!
Del Rey Books is thrilled to announce the launch of the Del Rey Star Wars Action Team, or SWAT for short. Whether you’re a die-hard reader who’s consumed every one of the novels over the past 35 years, or a newbie jumping into the books for the first time, the SWAT is looking for a few dedicated recruits. It’s entirely free — all you need is a passion for Star Wars stories and a willingness to help spread the good word.
Happy Rancor explores hidden gems in and around the orbit of Star Wars — from old video games to comics to underrated novels — that have maybe been forgotten, but deserve a little more consideration. In this installment, we look at the book adaptation of the last (for now) Star Wars film.
Star Wars novelizations are almost a genre unto themselves. They offer fans a slightly alternate, and often times, deeper look into the Star Wars films with extra dialogue and scenes that expand the scope of what’s in the finished film. At the same time, they have their work cut out for them: they’re competing with the film on which they’re based as well as original Star Wars novels, which can make it difficult for readers to know exactly how to view them. Among all the Star Wars novelizations, Matthew Stover’s adaptation of Revenge of the Sith is a particular favorite. It delves into characters and their motivations more than one would expect, it’s beautifully written, and it enriches the experience of watching the movie in surprising ways.
The Dark Times of the mid to late ’80s had passed and as we entered the 1990s brighter times lay ahead for Star Wars fans — but at the turn of the decade, that was yet to become evident to the wider Star Wars public. While rumors continued to float around about the prequel trilogy there was little movement from Lucasfilm on the Star Wars front. Indeded, Lucasfilm had recently completed their Indiana Jones trilogy and were in a busy period, releasing Willow, Howard the Duck, and Tucker: The Man and His Dream. ILM had worked on a number of special effects smashes in the late ’80s including Star Trek IV, Ghostbusters 2, The Witches of Eastwick, and Back to the Future II and III, and LucasArts was fast building a solid reputation in the computer gaming industry via such smashes as Labyrinth, Maniac Mansion, and Secret of Monkey Island. It would appear that Lucasfilm had outgrown its reliance on the galaxy far, far away and developed an identity free of Jedi, Wookiees, and Wampas.
However, in the late ’80s artist Cam Kennedy and writer Tom Veitch pitched an idea to Lucasfilm, who in turn was offered it to Marvel Comics, the longtime publishers of Star Wars comics who had let the license lapse in 1987. Marvel turned it down, despite going so far as to releasing a print ad for the series and the project – Dark Empire – found its way into the hands of Milwaukee comics publishers Dark Horse, a relatively new face on the comics scene who had proven to be adept at handling movie licenses. The title would go on to be a smash hit for Dark Horse, coming out in late 1991 after another dipping of the toes into the Star Wars pool proved to be equally as successful.
During its five seasons, The Clone Wars jumped around both the regions of the galaxy and the timeline of the galactic conflict it chronicled, taking us from Anakin and Obi-Wan’s adventures on the front lines to Padmé Amidala’s efforts to find a peaceful solution to the war in the Senate. We saw clone troopers and battle droids in combat, but we also learned about the ambitions of Mandalorians and Sith and were brought into the plots and schemes of pirates and bounty hunters.
For DK’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode Guide, released earlier this month, Lucasfilm wanted to present the episodes in chronological order for the first time, starting with “Cat and Mouse,” Anakin’s duel with Admiral Trench, and ending with “The Wrong Jedi,” in which Ahsoka Tano leaves the Jedi Order, seeking her own path. In all, we chronicled 108 episodes and the 2008 theatrical release, which was originally four standalone episodes.
When I started working on Vader’s Little Princess, I wanted to come up with a bit more than a hundred ideas, from which we’d select the favorites to include in the book. Some of these ideas were taking parenting situations and fitting them into a Star Wars scene, and some were characters or bits of dialogue that I wanted to include and just needed to find the right parenting scenario to fit with them. I loved drawing IG-88 in Darth Vader and Son, and wanted to draw him again, as well as seeing if I could figure out a way to include Vader’s “no disintegrations” line. My first idea was Vader using IG-88 to deliver flowers to his daughter. The initial sketch wasn’t quite finished, but I thought I could refine it to make it work better.