There was a lot of love at this year’s New York Comic Con for the Star Wars written word. With no films to push until next year, many authors from the world of novels and comic books received a very warm embrace by Star Wars fans at the Javits Convention Center.
Book reveals, panels and signings were a regular sight this year and even Disney/Lucasfilm Creative Director Michael Siglain was on hand to let us in on what we can expect from them in the next year or so.
We spoke with Michael after the Star Wars "Celebration of Female Writers" panel, which was fantastic, where he was very excited about what the publishing side of Lucasfilm had going on, including the previous day’s big announcement, a new novel by Alexander Freed, “Alphabet Squadron”
Michael had this to say about the exciting premise…
It started with us thinking, what if the hunters became the hunted? We had that idea around the same time were discussing stories that we all love like Rogue Squadron stories and fighter pilot stories. We thought it would be cool if we had this squadron that was this rag-tag team that included an A-Wing, a B-Wing, a Y-Wing, an X-Wing and a U-Wing. If you had this Imperial strike force that was taking out all of these teams, and then you had to bring the survivors of these teams together to stop this strike force that was stopping all of them.
It’s looking a little bit at the horrors of war and the aftermath of war. We’re looking at what happens to these rebel pilots during the time of the Galactic Civil War and then once the final battle happens, where do they go from there. We wanted to explore the time after The Return of the Jedi, we wanted to explore these Rebel pilots and what they’re dealing with both pre and post the destruction of the second Death Star.
Michael was very excited at the prospect of where this book is going to take fans, character and story wise. It’s clear after talking to him that they have big plans for this book, using to launch other titles down the road as early as next year...
There’s a bigger story there that we are not ready to reveal at this moment, but this book in particular is one to watch out for. It will lead into and branch out into several other stories and areas.
But, when you’re the director of Lucasfilm Publishing, you wear many hats and Michael is very excited about all the titles that are coming our way that span across not only books and novels, but comic books as well.
We spoke about Charles Soule’s great Marvel Comics Vader run coming to an end when Issue #25 hits shelves in December and “Aftermath” author Chuck Wendig taking the baton with a new series called, “Shadow of Vader”, also a Marvel release. For Michael, the current Vader series has come to a natural conclusion, specifically the one that Soule was telling, and it seemed fitting to end it where it does.
He’s very keen on making sure they continue to tell good stories no matter what the medium or timeline is, and he spoke of the upcoming Marvel “Age of…” series which was announced back at San Diego Comic-Con in the summer as an example of that. With that series they were able to write one-offs on characters that wouldn’t normally get that type of treatment and write across the three major era’s in the current Star Wars universe. The series kicks off in December with Jody Houser’s “Age of Republic” and features Darth Maul and Qui-Gon Jinn on the covers.
He was equally excited about what’s coming from IDW and their “Flight of the Falcon” series by writers such as Michael Moreci and Justina Ireland. The series of young adult novels and comic books will span across all eras of canon with the common element being the Millennium Falcon. It’s these types of projects that really reflect what kind of big picture thinking Michael and his team are concentrating on and he told me they have a plan in place all the way to 2025.
Our focus is on everything in a way. We want to focus on and celebrate the whole saga, particularly starting next year. We want to cover all of Episodes 1-8 then leading into Episode 9. That particular period time, in between Episodes 6 and 7, still has a lot of potential and has a lot of stories to tell, so we plan on continuing going down that road. We’ll see more of everything, books and comics, going forward and not all are exclusive to that time period.
For you Old Republic fans, I asked him if we would ever see canon novels released focusing on that time in Star Wars history, something the fans have wanted for some time. He told me that while their focus is mostly on telling stories that surround Episodes 7, 8 and 9 at this time, they do plan on getting to all types of stories including the Old Republic period.
The future is indeed bright.
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