As Sunday was winding down at New York Comic Con, I slipped into the Del Rey Star Wars books panel to see what they have in store for us in the coming year. The short answer: a whole lot of fabulous. Need to know how Palpatine became a Sith Lord? Check. Need to know every nook and cranny of Han Solo’s fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy? Check. Need a guide to the countless expanded universe stories told over the past two decades? Check.
How about more Timothy Zahn novels? Or X-Wing books? Yeah, I thought that might catch your attention....
We’ll save the big announcements for the end, and start with the upcoming calendar:
- Coming soon, we have Riptide by Paul S. Kemp, which is a followup to Crosscurrent.
- At the end of the acclaimed video game, The Knights of the Old Republic, Revan went searching for the true Sith. Keen to know how that went for him? Old Republic: Revan by Drew Karpyshyn continues his story, sets up the background for the new MMO Knights of the Old Republic game that they’re developing, and details how he turned to the Dark Side. (Look for another Old Republic novel coming from Drew next fall!)
- Everyone who read or played Shadows of the Empire was charmed by the rogue Dash Rendar, and now he’s got his own thriller, Shadow Games, by Michael Reaves and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff.
- Be honest: that opera house scene in Revenge of the Sith was pretty awesome, but you want all the dirt on Darth Plagueis, Palpatine’s former master. James Luceno has written an incredible backstory to that affect, and it’s set to impress in terms of sheer evil.
- Ryder Windham, Chris Trevas and Chris Reiff come to the rescue of smuggling enthusiasts and scoundrels everywhere with their Millenium Falcon Haynes Owner’s Workshop Manual. Ready to learn the ins and outs of everyone’s favorite Corellian beauty? They’ve got her mapped out to perfection.
- John Jackson Miller has been publishing novellas for your ereader in the Lost Tribe of the Sith anthology. The eighth novella is coming and you can get them for free!
- For action lovers we have Scourge, a brand new story by Jeff Grubb that takes a Jedi Master deep into Hutt space. The cover alone was enough to get everyone excited.
- Troy Denning completes the Fate of the Jedi series with Jedi: Apocalypse. We were treated to some intriguing cover art on this one, and the back cover features Jaina Solo and Jag Fel. In the original version of the back cover, Jag was wearing an X-Wing pilot uniform.... We also read an interesting quote about just who the Sword of the Jedi is, and it looks like the Sith may have made a mistake in underestimating Jaina....
- Being someone who devoured the Essential Guides as a kid, I was thrilled to find out that Jason Fry is writing the Essential Guide to Warfare. This guide will offer a detailed history of the Star Wars universe by examining its conflicts, including the early theocracy that almost tore the galaxy apart, and the Proto Jedi and Sith, giving details of how they split into two factions of Force users. Vignettes will be laced through the chronology, including Lando’s account of his “little manuveur” at the Battle of Tanaab and reflections on what it was like to be a female stormtrooper. There will be a detailed ship classification system and a history of Mandalorian society. (And I may have shrieked when I found out that there would be a story in which Boba Fett explains D’harhan’s history to Balancesheet. I admit nothing.)
- Also in the Essential Guide vein, Pablo Hidalgo is working out the Essential Reader’s Companion, and he deserves a medal for it. After all, there are more than a few Star Wars books, and not enough hours in the day to read them all. Need a quick reference guide for the Han Solo Trilogy? Forgot which books Prince Isolder appeared in? This tome shows all signs of being a lifesaver.
And now for the big news:
Aaron Allston is bringing us a brand new Wraith Squadron adventure — X-Wing: Mercy Kill. Look for it next year! In the meantime, reread all the X-Wing books. I mean, it’s as good of an excuse as any....
And Timothy Zahn is working on a new classic era novel featuring Han Solo! According to a hint we received, it might be taking place in the original trilogy timeframe. Enough said.
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Emily Asher-Perrin cosplayed at Celebration III and nearly died from glee when Timothy Zahn looked up from the table and said “Hi, Mara.” You can bug her on Twitter and read more of her work here and elsewhere.