Author Amy Ratcliffe talks to StarWars.com about the unique new book featuring some of her favorite galactic women.
The women of the Star Wars universe are a diverse galaxy of heroes and villains, renegades and rogues, caretakers and, sometimes, unscrupulous scum.
Now StarWars.com is thrilled to exclusively announce a new book from Chronicle Books that celebrates this eclectic mix of female characters from the films, cartoons, novels, comics, and video games -- Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy by Star Wars fan and journalist Amy Ratcliffe, arriving October 2018 in hardcover.
Featuring Leia Organa, Rey, Ahsoka Tano, Jyn Erso, Rose Tico, Maz Kanata, and many more -- including characters from Solo: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars Resistance -- the book gathers 75 profiles with text by Ratcliffe and all-new, incredible artwork from 18 talented female and non-binary artists. The amazing lineup of illustrators includes Alice X. Zhang, Amy Beth Christenson, Annie Stoll, Annie Wu, Christina Chung, Cryssy Cheung, Eli Baum, Elsa Charretier, Geneva B., Jen Aberin Johnson, Jen Bartel, Jenny Parks, Karen Hallion, Little Corvus, Sara Alfageeh, Sara Kipin, Sarah Wilkinson, and Viviane Tanner. Check out Jen Bartel's cover below, featuring a striking image of Rey.
“Chronicle Books has put together an all-star line-up of amazingly talented and diverse artists to bring some of the most important, iconic, and, at times, lesser-known characters from the entire Star Wars saga to life as we’ve never seen them before," says Michael Siglain, creative director of Lucasfilm Publishing. "Everyone involved, from Chronicle to Lucasfilm, is extremely proud of this title, and of its extremely talented creative team. Amy Ratcliff’s insightful commentary combined with the beautiful, haunting, truly awe-inspiring art makes Women of the Galaxy a must-have for fans of the saga and for art collectors everywhere.”
To celebrate this exciting announcement, StarWars.com sat down with author and frequent StarWars.com contributor Ratcliffe to talk about finding inspiration from the saga and celebrating the jaw-droppingly cool women of the galaxy far, far away.
StarWars.com: First -- congratulations, Amy! How do you feel now that the world knows about this book?
Amy Ratcliffe: Thank you! I'm relieved, thrilled, nervous -- my emotions are all over the place. I've been so unbelievably excited about this book. Between digging into stories and my memories to find the very best character moments to highlight and seeing the stunning pieces artists have contributed, I'm just over the moon to share this book with everyone.
StarWars.com: There’s never really been a book like this before -- one dedicated to the female characters of Star Wars across mediums. What did you want to achieve with Women of the Galaxy?
Amy Ratcliffe: With Women of the Galaxy, I want to celebrate female characters across the galaxy -- from the ones fans know incredibly well, like Leia and Padmé, to lesser known women like Vi Moradi or Aurra Sing. The characters in the book have a range of alignments, professions, and traits, and they all offer so much to the universe. Every one of them is important. I think of the entries as being part celebration and part bio, with background information about the character, behind the scenes facts, and key moments that resonated with me.
My hope is that fans of all ages will find inspiration from the characters in the book and maybe be encouraged to explore more stories set in the Star Wars galaxy.
StarWars.com: With 75 characters featured, it’s a really extensive tome. What was the experience like working on it?
Amy Ratcliffe: When I began research for the book, I truly realized the expansiveness of the universe. I have so many Star Wars books and comics on my bookshelves, and as I pulled them for reference and made notes, I became more appreciative of the variety and depth of stories. Working on Women of the Galaxy gave me an excuse to reread and re-watch my favorite moments and to take the time to consider connections and character arcs, like Rae Sloane's path from an Imperial naval officer to becoming a Grand Admiral or how Bo-Katan changed in the time between The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. It was a little daunting because I wanted to do everyone justice, but also rewarding.
StarWars.com: Is there an obscure character you were especially excited to highlight?
Amy Ratcliffe: Definitely. There's more than one, but Kyrsta Agate from the Aftermath trilogy comes to mind. She's a commander in the New Republic and makes a jaw-droppingly cool decision that helps the New Republic win the Battle of Jakku. It's been a blast to put characters like Kyrsta under a spotlight and kind of say, "Look! Can you even believe the incredible things this woman has done?!"
StarWars.com: Finally, what does the publication of this book mean to you as a Star Wars fan -- and as a writer?
Amy Ratcliffe: This book is a dream come true. I've wanted to contribute to this universe since I fell in love with the galaxy far, far away, and I became obsessed with Star Wars because of Ahsoka Tano. I'm so happy a book celebrating her and the female characters in the galaxy with words and new illustrations exists, and it's truly an honor that I got to be part of it.
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