Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New Original Trilogy Star Wars Novel Series: "Rebels" Book #1 and #2 Announced at Celebration VI


Are you tired of reading stories about Han, Luke and Leia escaping the old folks home?  Do you yearn for the classic Star Wars tales that existed in the films, Marvel Comics and early EU novels?  Well Del Rey and Lucas Books have something coming up that you might like.

Jennifer Heddle, Senior Editor at Lucas Books summarized the announcement of the series from Del Rey Celebration VI panel.

"Speaking of the original Big Three…we’re happy to announce that we’ll be doing new, “classic” novels, taking place during the time of the Original Trilogy. We have two books in the works so far: a Leia-focused novel, to be written by Martha Wells; and a Luke-focused novel, to be written by Kevin Hearne. Our tentative title for the series is Rebels. This is still in the early stages, so there will be more to come as things unfold. Martha and Kevin are both talented authors who are also huge Star Wars fans, and I know they’re going to be fantastic additions to the EU."
Tosche Station has the detail for the time setting of the Leia novel,

"A Leia book set between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back is FINALLY coming. This was just approved and will be part of a trilogy of classic-era novels. Another book in this series will center around Luke. The tentative working title for this series is “Rebels.” "
Martha Wells will be writing the Leia focused novel and Kevin Hearne will be writing the Luke focused novel.  A subsequent Han focused novel should be expected.  

Martha Wells at Glasgow WorldCon via her Facebook
Martha Wells described how the deal went down and her emotions regarding writing a Star Wars novel on her blog:
Good News!
August 24th, 18:54

I was waiting to make sure it was okay to announce this, but Jennifer Heddle from Lucasfilm/LucasBooks mentioned it on Twitter: @jenheddle Super excited that @marthawells1 will be writing a Leia-focused novel for us, and @KevinHearne a Luke-focused one. Great authors. Can't wait  
I'm writing a Star Wars novel! This happened very fast. I got the first call from my agent about it on July 26, the Thursday right before ArmadilloCon, when I was sitting in a hotel room in Austin waiting to go meet friends to go to dinner. I couldn't tell anybody, which was easier than you'd think, because part of me still doesn't believe it's actually happening.
Star Wars was my first fandom love....
 You can learn more about Ms. Wells by visiting her website, http://www.marthawells.com/

Kevin Hearne the author of the Iron Druid Chronicles also has a website at http://www.kevinhearne.com/ and he recently sat down for a brief interview with SUVUDU following the announcement of his Luke Skywalker focused novel.
Photo via KevinHearne.com

"Shawn Speakman: Tell fantasy and “Star Wars” fans the big news. 
Kevin Hearne: Del Rey noticed that I’m kind of a “Star Wars” nut and asked me if I’d like to write a book for them focusing on Luke Skywalker, set betwixt Episode IV and V. Well, I was seven when the first movie came out and I grew up with this stuff. I couldn’t say no—I mean, I was playing with the original action figures and making up new adventures all the time. I’m talkin’ “PEW! PEW! PEW!” and “I can’t shake him!” and “Copy Gold Leader!” and attempting to sound like James Earl Jones when I hadn’t even reached puberty yet. So yeah, I’m thrilled to be on board and my nerd cred has skyrocketed amongst my friends."
I am intrigued that they are doing novels set between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back.  We already have Splinter of the Mind's Eyes during that period and Shadows of the Empire between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. 

It sounds like this series has just come together so plans may be subject to change and the working sub-series title "Rebels" may be subject to change.  Undoubtedly this series will make continuity following fans nervous, but I like to think this provides Leland Chee with some extra job security as he helps the author's and editors navigate the continuity hurdles. 

The series could also provide a unique opportunity to pick up on some familiar faces from The Clone Wars animated series who may have survived the Dark Times and made it to the Rebellion Era. 

I will be very happy if we get a return of Winter in the Leia novel as well as an exploration of Leia's emotions regarding the destruction of Alderaan and lose of her family.  Perhaps even dealing with the political splintering and factions within the Rebellion. 

The Luke novel would feature a Luke we haven't seen in a while, one with limited Force abilities. It is often said that one of the difficulties with writing Luke in the modern EU is that he is so powerful you have to invent new and clever ways to injure him to make him beatable.  

This series of novels seems targeted to fit in with Dark Horse Comic's new comic series simply entitled, Star Wars.  

"Set during the original trilogy of films, this exciting new ongoing series is directly informed by the classic characters’ reactions to the events in A New Hope. The Rebel Alliance has destroyed the Death Star, crippling the Empire, and is now trying to recover from its own losses and move into the next phase of their stand against Emperor Palpatine’s wicked regime. The series will span the time period of the three films, with appearances by all of the beloved characters.

Brian Wood helms this exciting new story line, with interiors by Carlos d’Anda (Batman: Arkham City, Justice League) and covers by Alex Ross. The first issue arrives at your local comic shop on January 9, 2013."

I am ecstatic to see Alex Ross doing the covers, his DC Comics' Kingdom Come is my favorite comic art ever. 

Does this venture back into the OT time period mean we are in for a soft re-boot of the franchise where new material will gently push into lower levels of canon earlier works?  I am not sure, but as always I am excited for new and exciting Star Wars stories.  

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