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SYFY WIRE Lucasfilm Publishing

Star Wars books anticipate prolific new era at Lucasfilm Publishing's Comic-Con@Home panel

By Jacob Oller
Star Wars The High Republic

After a minor setback due to the coronavirus delayed one of Star Wars books' biggest-ever initiatives by quite a while (and, oops, the upcoming movies got bumped too), Lucasfilm Publishing and Star Wars: The High Republic still teased out plenty during their Comic-Con@Home panel.

The era, kicked off by a "galaxy-wide disaster" featuring a demolished ship's fragments hurtling through hyperspace, takes place hundreds of years before Anakin Skywalker ever thought Padmé was an angel. The Jedi were at the height of their power and needed to deal with this galactic catastrophe — meaning plenty of stories for authors to explore in various ways.

Authors like Timothy Zahn, Alex Segura, Justina Ireland, George Mann, SYFY WIRE's own Preeti Chhibber, Tom Angleberger, Rebecca Roanhorse, Greg Pak, and Alyssa Wong spoke about their upcoming projects at the panel, which was overseen by Lucasfilm Publishing senior editor Robert Simpson.

You can watch the full panel below:

On the traditional book side of things, there's plenty to love. There's Mann's spooky Dark Legends collection (out July 28); Segura's Poe Dameron origin story Poe Dameron: Free Fall (out Aug. 4); Zahn's Chaos Rising (out Sept. 1), the first entry in a trilogy planned to give fans the origins of Mitth'raw'nuruodo AKA Thrawn; Chhibber's youth-skewing Yoda training book Star Wars A Jedi, You Will Be (out Oct. 6); fundraising anthology From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back, in which Angleberger wrote a story about The Whills (out Nov. 10); and Ireland's young-girl-as-troublemaking-scientist story The High Republic: A Test of Courage (out Jan. 5).

Many also contributed to Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Stories of Light and Dark, the upcoming anthology celebrating the recently-ended animated series. Chhibber, Roanhorse, and Angleberger contributed to the book (out Aug. 25). On the comics side of things, Pak and Wong have more "traumatized" Darth Vader (following the character right after Empire Strikes Back's rejection by his son, Luke) and Doctor Aphra, respectively, heading to fans.

Pak also teased that they'd be bringing back a "surprising character from the prequels" into the storyline: Sabé, one of Queen Padmé Amidala's handmaids and body doubles. "Vader is going to suffer a terrible punishment and undertake a new journey/quest," Pak says of the upcoming comic arc, with "key elements that will tie into Episode IX."

Wong explained that the future of Aphra sees the good doctor and a "new crew" building from the ground up: mercs and academics combine to make a crew full of occult professors, grad students, Wookiees, and dashing rogues. "I love horror writing," Wong said, as she teased a "spooky," "weird" upcoming arc that'll bring in H.R. Giger elements on its way for the comic character.

Finally, the panel revealed a few final pieces of news: Shadows of Vader's Castle is coming to IDW as a 30-page oneshot from Cavan Scott in October, The Art of Galaxy's Edge is coming from Amy Ratcliffe — the latter of which revealed its cover.

Take a look:

The Art of Star Wars Galaxy's Edge

Star Wars: The High Republic - Light of the Jedi starts off a new era in Star Wars history on Jan. 5, 2021.