Saturday, May 4, 2019

BREAKING: "Journey To: The Rise Of Skywalker" Books and Comics Unveiled

By Clarice Taylor

May the 4th be with you indeed! Today StarWars.Com released a rundown of all of the upcoming “Journey To: The Rise Of Skywalker” stories. With 21 upcoming stories of various forms being revealed, I will not cover all of them, but I will give a rundown of some of the big ones. For the full list check here

What becomes obvious immediately is that Lucasfilm is willing to pull the curtain back quite a bit here. With the time between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, there was such a small amount of in-universe time that passed, and an unwillingness to unveil much prior to The Force Awakens.  This time around all bets seem to be off, with stories about our leads set continuing significantly past when we last saw them, and a direct emphasis of the war going on. It reminds me a lot of the massive Clone Wars Multimedia Project after Attack of the Clones was released.

“In this Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker novel, Poe Dameron, General Leia Organa, Rey, and Finn must struggle to rebuild the Resistance after their defeat at the hands of the First Order in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

“On the run since the destruction of the Starkiller Base, General Leia and the remaining handful of Resistance have barely managed to survive, much less strike back against the superior forces of the First Order. Running low on options, Leia decides to reach out to her former allies, the Mon Calamari, whose shipyards once powered the Rebel Alliance.”

“Join Finn, Poe, and BB-8 on a dangerous-but-necessary mission for the struggling Resistance. With over twenty possible outcomes, readers will have to choose to carefully in order to keep Finn, Poe, and BB-8 safe from the evil First Order.”

“When a distress plea goes up from the isolated planet Minfar, Resistance heroes Rey, Poe, and Rose hear the call! Together they will face down a First Order battalion, terrifying flying creatures, and a weapon that could change the course of the war!”

“In a series of original stories, the mighty Wookiees of Kashyyyk must defend their home against the armies of the evil First Order. Plus, R2-D2, C-3PO, and BB-8 team-up on a top-secret spy adventure for the Resistance.”

Among these stories set after Episode 8, there is an exciting amount of direct conflict between the First Order and The Resistance. This war between them does not even have a name yet, and past the Cold War, has not had much in the way of real concerted moves by the Resistance. It will be nice to see what our heroes can do when actively campaigning against the First Order. 

On top of that the Adventures issues and Marvel’s “Allegiance” show aliens getting directly involved. It is sad that both the OT and ST did not have many aliens in the ranks of their heroes till their third films, but better late than never to show that far far more than humans are fighting back. 

As for “Spark of The Resistance” it would not be a “Journey To” series without Phil Noto’s amazing artwork, would it?  There is also another adult novel that will be set right before Force Awakens. 

“In this Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker young adult novel set just before The Force Awakens, a restless teenager sets out to discover what connection his mysterious Force powers have to the fabled Jedi and what the Force has in store for him.”

It is anyone’s guess as to if the protagonist is Kylo or not. The character on the cover seems to be him, with his armor in particular being visible. However Kylo seemed more or less involved in his orders given what we learned from Resistance and other sources, so why he would be restless and trekking about without his mask right before TFA is suspect. That and of course Kylo is not a teenager just before TFA, he was 29 at that point. 

Now for non-narrative books. 

“This fully updated, comprehensive, and detailed encyclopedia explores the characters, creatures, locations, vehicles, and technology found throughout the entire Star Wars galaxy. Ultimate Star Wars New Edition is an in-depth visual guide packed full of exhaustive information about Star Wars, including The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Star Wars: Resistance and a sneak peek at Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”

With the previous Ultimate Star Wars, being written for Legends and then released during canon with added canon material leading to it being the most divisive and confusing source in the Disney-Era. This new version that knows what it is from day one, will be a godsend for those of us who have argued day and night over the original. 

“Go behind the scenes of the biggest movie franchise of all time in this immersive and interactive book to see how the most iconic vehicles in the galaxy—from the Millennium Falcon to X-wings and TIE fighters to AT-ATs and the Death Star—were created and used in the films of the Star Wars saga. This collectible book includes special interactive elements, including six-page booklets, accordion folds, and flaps that reveal the magic behind the movies with concept sketches, molds, digital imagery and more! Plus, get a sneak peek at some of the vehicles from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker!”

As a fleet junkie this is set to be my new bible, though I do lament the lack of Prequel content on the cover. I get that the PT did not have the same focus on (say it with me) “real sets, practical effects”, but it did some great design stories and the work put into digital models is just as time consuming and skillful as physical models. Yes there is one image of the Tribubble Bongo there, and  I am sure that content will be in there, but with all the images for ST and OT content; only one being dedicated to the three films worth of painstaking work on digital and some physical models is genuinely frustrating.  ROTJ gets the big picture, and a small one of the speeder, couldn’t the speeder be replaced with the speeder from AOTC which was practical, or the ETA-2s from ROTS? 

“The official behind-the-scenes concept, production, and post-production art for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Go inside the creative process behind the most anticipated film of the century. The latest trilogy in the Star Wars film series brings the Skywalker Saga to a close and The Art of The Rise of Skywalker will take readers into the creative process behind visualizing the epic worlds, creatures, characters, costumes, weapons and vehicles of the landmark conclusion more than 40 years in the making.”

The final line of the synopsis could easily just be about this being the end of the Skywalker saga, but I really hope it means that this book will be giving us an in depth look at all the original ideas tossed around during the filming of the Original Trilogy that never got used. A lot of stuff about Palpatine changed back and forth even during the shooting of ESB and ROTJ, so some clarification and possibly unseen transcripts would be amazing. 

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary is a 200-page definitive guide to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, revealing the characters, creatures, droids, locations, and technology from the new film. Packed with 500+ images and information, plus cross-sections of new vehicles, as penned by Star Wars scribe Pablo Hidalgo, it’s a must-have for all fans who want to go beyond the movie experience.”

It appears this will be a combination of the “Incredible Cross-Sections” and the Visual Dictionaries. I liked how expansive the TLJ ICS was able to be, but yeah in terms of cost it is good that we will be able to get both in one book like Rogue One did. 


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