Today was the second day of one of the largest comic conventions on the East Coast, New York Comic Con. The panel I was most looking forward to was the Star Wars Books panel. The panel featured authors Timothy Zahn, Pablo Hidalgo, and Jason Fry, and Del Rey editors Jen Heddle, Erich Schoeneweiss, and Frank Parisi. Frank Parisi acted as the panel moderator.
The panel began with a discussion about the books coming in the near future. The first book discussed was Annihilation by Drew Karpyshyn, which will be released in November. It will be set just after the events of The Old Republic MMO. Frank Parisi suggested that you read the Lost Suns comics from Dark Horse before reading this book because they serve as a prequel to the novel. The novel will star the character Theron Shan, who is featured in the comics.
Next they talked about the upcoming Timothy Zahn novel, Scoundrels. Zahn said the novel will be like Ocean’s Eleven, “a classic heist movie in the Star Wars universe.” There will be a short story in an upcoming issue of Star Wars Insider called Heist and a short ebook called Winner Lose All. Both will be prequels to Scoundrels.
On February 26, a new book by Michael Reaves and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff will be released, titled The Last Jedi, which continues the story of Jedi Knight Jax Pavan. Jen Heddle says reading the previous Jax Pavan books isn’t necessary to understand this story. “Vader is coming for Jax, and Jax isn’t afraid of him,” Heddle said. “There is going to be a big showdown coming.”
One of the books I am most excited about is Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void by Tim Lebbon. This book is coming out in May 2013 and will be set in a time period that predates any previous Star Wars novel. It will tie in with the Dawn of the Jedi comics from Dark Horse.
The book that will pick up the story where the Fate of the Jedi series left off is Crucible by Troy Denning, which will heavily feature Han, Luke, and Leia. Frank Parisi said, “I won’t say it’s a final adventure but it’s a very big adventure for Han, Luke, and Leia. They are passing the baton to the next generation.” According to Jen Heddle, “Some very profound things happen to them in this story that really change them forever.” The book comes out July 6, 2013.
August will see the release of a new Essential Guide to Characters by Dan Wallace. At this point in the panel Frank asked Dan Wallace, who was in the crowd, to come up and talk about his book. Before Dan began, he let us all know that it was Pablo Hidalgo’s birthday and led the entire crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to him. After this nice moment, Dan did let us know that he was about 80 percent done with the guide. He also said that the book will not retread the characters that have been covered in previous character guides and will focus on the important characters who have had changes happen to them since the last edition.
Now we get to the new books announced for the first time at New York Comic Con. It had been previously announced at Star Wars Celebration VI that there will be Rebellion Era novels featuring Luke and Leia. Now there will be a third novel in this Rebels series, a Han Solo novel written by James S. A. Correy. Another new novel announced is by John Jackson Miller, set in between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. The book features Jedi-in-hiding Obi-Wan Kenobi and is tentatively titled Kenobi. Frank Parisi says the novel will have the feel of an old western. Miller was not at the panel but he sent this note to be read to the crowd: “The greatest hero of the galaxy faces his toughest challenge yet. He must stop being Obi-Wan and become crazy old Ben.” Kenobi is slated a fall 2013 release.
During the Q&A portion of the panel, it was asked if the panelists could give us more info on the previously announced Sword of the Jedi trilogy. Jen Heddle said we will get to see Jaina and Jag working together as a team. Frank Parisi assured the crowd that this is not just a Jaina book series and that characters like Jag Fel, Tahiri, Ben Skywalker, and Allana Solo will all be featured.
Asked if they could give us any more info about the Paul Kemp duology that was announced back in 2010, Jen Heddle said that they can’t give us more info, but that the duology is still happening. Frank Parisi assured us that Kemp’s books, when they do come out, will blow our minds.
It was a great panel and we have a lot of great things to look forward to coming from Star Wars books!