One Month to Aftermath


The countdown to The Force Awakens is growing ever shorter, and a month from today, September 4, marks the launch of the Journey to The Force Awakens publishing line.

The wait is almost over. One month till #ForceFriday and @StarWars #Aftermath @ChuckWendig We're ready, are you?

— StarWarsBooks (@DelReyStarWars) August 4, 2015

One of the most anticipated books released on Force Friday is Aftermath by Chuck Wendig, which tells a tale set shortly after the Battle of Endor. If you missed it on July 16, shared an exclusive excerpt from the novel. Many a fangirl flail was experienced upon the reappearance of a longtime fan-favorite Wedge Antilles.

Aftermath brings a fresh, talented voice to the Del Rey novel lineup. Wendig’s highly regarded blog offers great writing advice, as well as pointed commentary on issues in genre fiction and beyond, and he does not hesitate to use his voice to advocate for diversity in creators and stories and for positive portrayals of female characters. Wendig also is prolific – and hilarious – on Twitter. (Both sources have occasional, and remarkably inventive NSFW language.) For the lapsed readers of Star Wars novels checking in at FANgirl, we’re happy to report that Aftermath finally is a book we’re genuinely excited for.

For updates on all things FANgirl follow @FANgirlcantina on Twitter or like FANgirl Zone on Facebook. At times she tries the Tumblr.

Tricia Talks Marvel’s Princess Leia on Mos Eisley Comicport

Princess Leia #1 cover

Writing last week about Princess Leia and the context surrounding her character as an empowered female in storytelling resulted in some of the highest hits this site has seen. “Slave Leia Sells? Amy Schumer, Boy Toys and the Star Wars Fandom Double Standard” was tweeted by Bitch Media and acknowledged on Full of Sith. On that podcast, Bryan Young noted that Twitter user @tonks17’s motion to rebrand Slave Leia as Leia the Huttslayer had over 10,000 notes after it was posted on Tumblr. And despite the reported “ire” from Disney|Lucasfilm over the GQ cover, John Boyega noted on Instagram that he was finishing up a photo shoot for the magazine.

Prior to the Huttslayer attire controversy, I joined a fantastic group of women on Mos Eisley Comicport to discuss the conclusion of the Princess Leia miniseries from Marvel.

Today’s episode is a series wrap-up for Princess Leia, with some extremely special guests! Tricia Barr (Co-host of Fangirls Going Rogue, Co-Author of Ultimate Star Wars), Sarah Rodriguez (Author of Agent Carter: Season One Declassified, Co-Host of Woman Up! Podcast) Aarthi D (Co-Host of Back in the Field), and Kelsey Marquart (Editor-in-Chief of Nerdy But Flirty, StreamFriends Co-Host) chime in with their thoughts on Marvel’s first canon Star Wars miniseries!

Back in October 2014, FiveThirtyEight conducted a deep-dive statistical analysis into the gender composition of characters and creators in the comics from Marvel and DC. The number-crunching in “Comic Books Are Still Made By Men, For Men And About Men” reveals that . . . → Read More: Tricia Talks Marvel’s Princess Leia on Mos Eisley Comicport

Dark Disciple Review by Kay

Dark Disciple Cover

There are times when you find yourself unable to put down a book you’re reading. Although some of those times you don’t want to put it down because you know if you do, you won’t pick it back up again. While it started out fine, reading Dark Disciple eventually became one of those latter times.

Christie Golden’s latest is based on an unproduced eight-episode arc of The Clone Wars television series and finds the Jedi Council assigning Jedi Quinlan Vos to team up with former dark-sider Asajj Ventress to end Count Dooku’s reign of terror.

Like other recent Star Wars book releases, setting this story between the movies leaves the author with a challenge. We already know from the movies how Count Dooku dies, and it isn’t by the hand of Quinlan Vos or Asajj Ventress. So how does this story keep its tension and interest when the outcome of the mission can’t hold that?

The short answer is it doesn’t, really. Too soon the pacing of Dark Disciple becomes the world’s most consistently disappointing rollercoaster with long, info-dumping setups and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it payoffs over and over again. The television show episode structure is still readily apparent, which might not be the worst if you want to imagine this as more episodes of The Clone Wars. But if you want to read it as one big story, it’s awkward.

Probably also due to the episode structure, the beginning of the book feels like it’s Vos’ story. After a bit Ventress comes . . . → Read More: Dark Disciple Review by Kay

Kay Reviews Naomi Novik’s Uprooted

Uprooted Cover

“Here. You’ll like this,” he said, practically shoving the book into my hands. It was by Naomi Novik, an author I wasn’t familiar with and it felt a little strange to be holding a book I hadn’t known was coming out. While a majority of the books I review on here these days have to do with Star Wars, I occasionally peruse the coming soon lists of other areas of interest too. I’m used to knowing author names, what else they wrote, and what the story was generally going to be about.

But holding Uprooted, I had no clue. I was tempted to ask why he thought it’d be a good fit for me, but I held my tongue. This was a chance to go into a book fresh and I was going to take it.

I quickly learned the story is told from the perspective of a 17-year-old girl named Agnieszka, who lives in a valley near a dangerous wood. Once every ten years the local wizard arrives to choose a girl who will serve in his tower for the next ten years and in turn he protects the villagers from the wood. Everyone is sure the next to be chosen will be Agnieszka’s best friend Kasia, who is practically perfect in every way. But events don’t proceed as everyone expects.

The rest of the plot, I will leave for you to discover when you read this book–because I highly encourage you to read this book. Naomi Novik . . . → Read More: Kay Reviews Naomi Novik’s Uprooted

Lords of the Sith – Reviewed by Kay

In Lords of the Sith Darth Vader and Emperor Sheev Palpatine head to the Twi’lek homeworld of Ryloth to quell rebellion. Cham Syndulla, father of Hera from Rebels, awaits them with a company of dedicated fighters and a trap he hopes will spark a larger rebellion across the galaxy.

But the best way to describe Lords of the Sith is that if I wasn’t reviewing it, I wouldn’t have finished reading it. My Star Wars is about hope and heart. This Star Wars was about anger, and efforts doomed before they even get started, all with a side dish of gore.

The relationship of Free Ryloth leader Cham Syndulla and his contact within the Imperial ranks, Belkor Dray, strikes an interesting parallel with that of the Emperor and Vader. The mask concept had potential, too, before quickly becoming too blatant. Beyond that, though, there’s little to discover as you’re repeatedly hit over the head with way more tell than show and explanations that unfortunately make it seem like the audience can’t be expected to figure out anything themselves.

Again we’re in that period in between movies where we know that certain characters will make it out of this story, but Lords of the Sith is more successful than Heir to the Jedi in ratcheting up the tension. Here it’s more about bracing yourself for the inevitable and probably graphic deaths of certain characters. There’s a challenge in writing an all-seeing, all-knowing, invincible character like Palpatine. So it’s not that . . . → Read More: Lords of the Sith – Reviewed by Kay

Journey to The Force Awakens: The Books You’re Looking For


In the weeks since Lucasfilm announced its ambitious publishing program “Journey to The Force Awakens” for this fall, a lot of individuals have asked about my opinion. Additionally, many friends and acquaintances who quit reading Star Wars books have stopped by FANgirl over the years to see if things have changed. Now that some writing commitments are out of the way, I’ve had time to pull together my thoughts.

It appears that one good outcome from the Expanded Universe purge is I’m now seeing a bit more recognition for the fact that some Star Wars fans found their niche in published material. Last week, Priya Chhaya offered a bittersweet farewell as she welcomed the new Star Wars stories. As she noted, we will all get to experience the rollercoaster ride of discovering characters, places, and events together, and that’s exciting!

Here are some details on the 20+ book plan revealed on

Novels for young adults, focusing on Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia, will be published by Disney-Lucasfilm Press in North America and distributed internationally. The young adult novels have notable talent attached, including Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof, Tin Star), Greg Rucka, New York Times bestselling author (Detective Comics and 52), Jason Fry (The Clone Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy, Star Wars Insider contributor) and New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray (The Firebird trilogy and Evernight series).

Some book and comic titles have been revealed, and they offer fans a fun glimpse into the possible stories within: . . . → Read More: Journey to The Force Awakens: The Books You’re Looking For

Kay Joins Star Wars Bookworms

Princess Leia #1 cover

On Journey to Star Wars Celebration, episode #38 of Star Wars Bookworms, I join Aaron Goins to fill in for Teresa as co-host. It was my first time on the show and we had a lot of fun! Aaron and I have recently been on Fangirl Chat talking Doctor Who as well as the Rebels Season 1 Finale episode of Disney Vault Talk’s Rebel Yell together and it was good to get to talk with him about Star Wars books and comics new and old.

We cover a lot of ground from Legends to recent releases to upcoming stories as well as my first Marvel Star Wars comic – Princess Leia #1. We get a little goofy speculating on the 20-book Journey to the Force Awakens series. And the cherry on top is that ever so briefly we mention Jaina and Jag – twice.

From the show notes:

Star Wars Celebration is almost here and we have so much to talk about. Sadly Teresa wasn’t able to join in for this episode, but we got a great guest host in Kay from Fangirl Blog and the Hyperspace Theories podcast.

We talk about the details of the Bookworms panel that will be on the podcast stage at Star Wars Celebration. We also reveal the artist who did the design for our exclusive panel pins. You are going to want one of these! Aaron gives his brief thoughts on Splinter of the Mind’s Eye and Aaron and Kay talk about the . . . → Read More: Kay Joins Star Wars Bookworms

Kay Reviews Heir to the Jedi

Kay reviews the newest Star Wars novel from Del Rey, Kevin Hearne’s Heir to the Jedi. . . . → Read More: Kay Reviews Heir to the Jedi

Four Years and Counting: Kay


FANgirl contributor Kay looks at the past, present and future of Star Wars in our retrospective series. . . . → Read More: Four Years and Counting: Kay

What Star Wars Needs To Hear From Its Female Fans (Updated)

Star Wars Books

Female fans of Star Wars are still waiting… . . . → Read More: What Star Wars Needs To Hear From Its Female Fans (Updated)