Friday, October 4, 2019

'Thrawn: The Ascendancy Trilogy', 'Star Wars #1', And More New Books And Comics Revealed At NYCC

By: Dominic Jones

The future of Star Wars publishing was on full display this afternoon at New York Comic Con, as nine Star Wars authors took the stage to look back on their already published books and to preview what was coming next.  The panel was moderated by Lucasfilm publishing's Michael Siglain, who closed out the hour long session with a series of rapid fire announcements of new books and comics that would be coming out in the next year.  Here's what was announced,

Thrawn: The Ascendancy Trilogy
Perhaps the biggest announcement of the afternoon was the final announcement.  Siglain brought Star Wars audiobook narrator Marc Thompson on stage to read the introduction to the first book in the trilogy as Grand Admiral Thrawn.  The trilogy will be written by Tim Zahn, who created the character back in 1991 for his novel Heir to the Empire.  Though that story is now part of the "Legends" universe, Thrawn was brought into canon via the animated series Star Wars Rebels and new series of novels by Zahn (the most recent of which came out earlier this year).  The new trilogy will kick off with the first book in May 2020, and will explore the origins of the mysterious Grand Admiral.
Marvel Relaunches Their "Star Wars" and "Darth Vader" Titles
We learned this summer that the flagship Star Wars series from Marvel comics would be winding down, with issue #75 being the final issue, as the series approached the events of The Empire Strikes Back.  We have since learned that there will be a special one-shot issue released in December, called Star Wars: Empire Ascendant, which will serve as finale for the pre-Empire era of Marvel comics.

During the panel today, it was announced that in the new year, the Star Wars flagship series would be relaunching with Star Wars #1, written by Charles Soule (Poe Dameron, Kylo and the Knights Of Ren).  The story will pick up immediately after the events of The Empire Strikes Back and will fill in the gaps leading up to Return of the Jedi.  It was also revealed that a new Darth Vader series would be launching in Feburary, with Darth Vader #1, which run concurrently with the Star Wars series, telling stories set between Episodes V and VI.  The new Vader series will be written by Greg Pak (Age of Rebellion, Star Wars).

The cover for Star Wars #1, as well as the first few pages, were shown during the panel. Check them out below,

Clone Wars Anthology Announced
With a new season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars debuting in February, Disney-Lucasfilm press will be following it up with a new middle-grade novel titled Clone Wars Anthology.  The book will be made up of short stories set during the Clone Wars era, one of which will be about Asajj Ventress.  The Ventress story will be written by Zoraida Cordova (A Crash Of Fate).  The book will be released on August 25th, 2020.
The Rise Of Skywalker Novelizations
It was also announced that the adult novelization for Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, published by Del Rey, will be written by Rae Carson (Most Wanted), while the junior novelization with be written by Michael Kogge (The Force Awakens Jr Novel).  Both will be expanded editions (like The Last Jedi and Solo novelizations) and will be released in March 2020, with Carson's novel hitting shelves on the 3rd, and Kogge's on the 21st.
Star Wars: Dark Legends
This year saw the release of Star Wars: Myths and Legends by George Mann, which was described as the Grimm's Fairy Tales of the Star Wars universe.  Next year will see a follow-up book, titled Star Wars: Dark Legends, once again written by Mann.  The new book will focus on the dark side characters and situations, with the first story being about the Grand Inquisitor from Star Wars Rebels.
Alphabet Squadron Sequel
We learned earlier this year that Alexander Freed's novel Star Wars: Alphabet Squadron (released back in June 2019) would be the first in a new trilogy.  Today it was announced that the sequel will be titled 
Shadow Fall and will be released in June 2020.  
"Project Luminous" Tease
Unfortunately, the details surrounding the mysterious "Project Luminous" were not announced, though Siglain did offer up a few more teases.  He revealed that the project will feature releases from Del Rey, Disney-Lucasfilm Press, Marvel Comics, and IDW Comics.  He also revealed that the project will finally be unveiled in January 2020.
The Rise Of Kylo Ren Covers
Another upcoming project about which little could be said is the upcoming Marvel mini-series, Star Wars: The Rise Of Kylo Ren.  Even though writer Charles Soule was on the panel, details about this series are being kept under lock and key until the first issue hits shelves on December 18th (two days before The Rise Of Skywalker).  However, two variant covers for issue #1 were shown during the panel, which you can see below,
R2 Is Lost
A new young readers book was also revealed, titled R2 Is Lost.  The book is the second in the Droid Tales series, and is set on the planet Endor.  Check out a preview page below,

Even though there won't be another Star Wars movie, after this December's The Rise Of Skywalker, for a couple of years, today's panel showed that there are still plenty of stories to be told in the galaxy far, far away.  

Be sure to keep it here at the SWU for more coverage of NYCC, and follow us @TheSWU on Twitter and @DominicJ25 on Instagram!

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