This afternoon New York Comic Con hosted its Del Rey panel for Star Wars Expanded Universe books. Reports are still trickling in around the internet, with the initial accounts bringing word of the return of some fan favorites. Particular thanks to Bill Silvia of Man in Black Reviews for his tweets today.
On the author side, Drew Karpyshyn, who wrote the Darth Bane trilogy and the upcoming The Old Republic: Revan, will write a second tie-novel to The Old Republic for a fall 2012 release. With TOR scheduled for a December 2011 launch, there looks to be a lot of potential for more connections between the game and the books. Also announced was a new novel by Timothy Zahn, featuring Han Solo in the Original Trilogy era. Zahn has been a reliable writer of strong female characters, and if Leia or Mara aren’t in this book, maybe we’ll meet a new one?
For characters, the role of Darth Maul continues to grow. In addition to his reappearance in The Clone Wars later this season, he’ll be featured in two new short stories early next year in the reprinted editions of The Phantom Menace and Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter. At NYCC, we learned that these two stories will connect to Darth Plagueis and TCW. We’ve advocated more synergy between Star Wars properties, so this looks to be a good step in that direction.
Finally, Erich Schoeneweiss revealed two updates for Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse. First, Jaina Solo and Jagged Fel will be featured on the back cover. Over at TFN Lit, ToddtheJedi reports that “Originally Jag was in an Imperial flight suit, but in the final version he’s in an officer’s uniform and Jaina is holding her lightsaber, which she didn’t have in the original image.” Second, Jaina will have a significant part in the book worthy of her fearsome, villain-trouncing role as Sword of the Jedi. Hopefully both of these developments are cause for optimism. Jaina’s long overdue for an artistically beautiful rendition in cover art, and the versions of Mara on Abyss and Tenel Ka on Conviction are a good sign. Well crafted, effective roles for strong female heroines have been lacking in Fate of the Jedi, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that Troy Denning and Star Wars Books deliver the kind of portrayal female fans can connect with and deserve.