The San Diego Comicon 2020 Star Wars Publishing panel was held this past weekend to discuss the future of books and comics in the Star Wars universe. The panel included many of the best authors of today’s Star Wars books and comics including Justina Ireland, Rebecca Roanhorse, Timothy Zahn, Alyssa Wong, Alex Segura, George Mann, Preeti Chhibber, Greg Pak, and Tom Angleberger.
2020 Star Wars Publishing: Round Table Begins
The conversation started with Preeti Chhibber. She created the kids picture book, A Jedi Will You Be. Preeti took all of the training session from The Empire Strikes Back and rewrote them for kids. The book tries to answer what the force means to kids. She tried to direct the training messages towards kids without being preachy or dark.
2020 Star Wars Publishing: Vader Returns
Greg Pak talked next. He currently works on the newest Vader comic series. He said this time the setting takes place just after the events on Bespin in Empire Strikes Back. The movie showed us Luke’s response to events. This time we get to see Vader’s response. As beat up as Luke was, Pak says Vader was emotionally scarred as well. His son rejected him after all.
He also talked about being able to bring back characters from the prequels for this run. One of the recent issues will bring back Sabe, Padme’s hand maiden. These flashes from the past will test Vader’s resolve further. Greg said the opening arc would focus on Vader and a droid.
Greg talked briefly about the next arc, issue #6. Vader claims to be settled and over the events of the past, but the Emperor knows better. Vader will suffer a terrible punishment for recent events before being set on a new quest. Some of these elements will lead into events set in Rise of Skywalker.
2020 Star Wars Publishing: The Collection Returns
Tom Angleberger talked about his next project. Like his previous organized work it would be a collection of authors telling the story of Empire Strikes Back from different character points of view. Once again, 40 authors will team up for a collection of stories with different characters. Some of the characters will be side characters while some may be brand new. Tom was asked about his story and if he could talk about its focus. He said he will once again focus on the Whills.
This book will help fund-raise for kids in need. Tom hopes to raise over $100,000 and books for kids in need of assistance and reading materials.
Tom then went on to talk about a second collection book called Stories of Light and Dark. This will collect more random stories but this time from the Clone Wars era. Tom will tell the story of when Obi-Wan goes undercover as Rako Hardeen. We see Obi-Wan’s point of view for most of the episode. Tom’s story will follow Cad Bane as he learns how many ways he is being played.
Preeti chimed in about her story saying it would follow Anakin during the episode called Hostage Crisis (season 1.22) where Cad attempts to free Ziro the Hutt. This will be from Anakin’s point of view.
Rebecca Roanhorse turned in a story following Darth Maul. This will pick up while he is in the tunnels, lost and broken. He is half machine with no real sense of who he is until Savage comes along. Rebecca focuses on Maul’s hatred for Obi-Wan that drives Maul back to sanity.
2020 Star Wars Publishing: Poe Dameron – Smugglers and Mercs
Alex Segura talked about his book Freefall which covers the early career of Poe Dameron. This book fills in the gaps in Poe’s story as told in Rise of Skywalker and how he comes of age. Freefall is described as a space mystery. We will not only see a young Poe and how his talents develop, but Zori will feature heavily as well.
Alyssa Wong leads the new run of comics that follow Doctor Aphra. Wong stated she loves Doctor Aphra because of the character’s self focused drive and purpose. Wong promises to make this run as independent from the first run as possible. Aphra brings on a whole new crew, so it helps things feel fresh. The new crew will be disgraced academics and mercs. She promises this run will be spookier and darker than the last run.
2020 Star Wars Publishing: Masters Old and New
Long time fan favorite Timothy Zahn came next. He talked about his next project – Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising. He talked about this trilogy building up the Chiss Ascendancy and its function as well as Chiss family and military relationships. There is a great threat the Ascendancy must deal with, but to what end? The relationships will be defined by their actions.
Up next was George Mann – He wrote the old book Myths and Fables, which released a year ago. Drawn from the likes of Grimm’s fairy tales and Aesop’s fables, Mann tells legends from across the Star Wars universe. Not only will this last book receive six new stories, a new book spun off from creating this last one – Dark Legends. These new stories are much darker than their predecessors. They are still for kids, but George promises a darker feel to it. Then again, anyone reading Grimm’s actual tales would question how kid friendly they truly are.
2020 Star Wars Publishing: Final Notes
As things wrapped up they ended with Justina Ireland talking about the forth coming High Republic books. This first book by Ireland centers on Avon Starros. Does the names sound familiar?She is the great descendant of the Starros character in modern era comics like Dr Aphra.
Avon is a 12 yr old girl who gets in lots of trouble with her scientific questioning. She’s the type that asks How the force works? How does a kyber work? Avon will travel to the edge of galaxy with droid her droid, J-6. Things then go terribly wrong. Justina would say no more at that point.
Rob Simpson (editor) finished the day talking about a couple unannounced books. If you have ever seen the Harry Potter book that details every wand in the movie and its composition, Star Wars will now receive the same treatment. A coffee table book called Lightsaber Collections will showcase every lightsaber and its master from the movies.
Near the beginning of October there will be a new one shot comic releasing in October called Shadows of Vader’s Castle. It will be a scary tale involving what else – Vader’s castle. There will be another coffee table book called Art of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge that will showcase the theme park and everything that went into it. This book will be made by Amy Radcliffe.