Star Wars’ Future: SDCC Highlights

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Padmé illustration by Karen Hallion from "Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy" book (source: starwars.com)

This year’s San Diego Comic Con came with a bunch of news and announcements for Star Wars’ future. The biggest surprise was the revival of The Clone Wars TV series, but we also got a list of books and graphic novels to look forward to next year. Young Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon novel, a story centered on Padmé and her handmaidens, and a fully illustrated book on the women in Star Wars universe: apart from the Clone Wars, these are the highlights I would like to recapitulate and take a closer look at.

Clone Wars Saved

10th anniversary of TCW couldn’t have presented a greater gift for the fans. It is like making a second season of Firefly, like George R. R. Martin finishing his sixth book… The animated series that had been left incomplete in 2013 are finally getting the conclusion fans have been yearning for. And what more, Dave Filoni himself is taking responsibility for it.

We can expect twelve episodes coming to Disney’s own, new streaming channel in 2019. Some of the content will use the unfinished animation from the sixth season, some is going to be brand new. At least part of the story will be devoted to the arc taking place on Mandalore, and the series should lead directly to the events of Episode III.

This announcement has produced overwhelming response, and understandably so. There is an entire generation of fans who have grown up on TCW, but by now, Filoni’s treatment of Star Wars franchise and the creation of Star Wars Rebels has gained him trust of new and veteran fans alike. There is already no doubt Lucasfilm’s decision to greenlight this project was a good decision.

Master And Padawan Are Back

Almost two decades ago, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan had received a series of mostly YA novels devoted to their times as master and apprentice. This period (and their characters in general) haven’t so far been covered under the Disney canon. Coming February 2019, this should be amended in the new novel by Claudia Gray (Lost Stars, Bloodline, Leia, Princess of Alderaan). Further details are so far unknown, except for the name: “Star Wars: Master and Apprentice”. Fans of old Jedi Order and of both Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan should have something to look forward to – Claudia Gray had proved herself to be a remarkable Star Wars author.

From Queen to Senator

The idea to fill in blank spaces and catch up with the prequel era seems to be a theme for the coming year. “Queen’s Shadow”, a novel scheduled for May 2019, shall tell the story of Padmé as she trades her position as Queen for that of a senator (therefore, sometime between the events of Episodes I and II).

Personally, I find this a remarkable choice for a plot – it offers to explore Padmé’s character at a time that we know nothing about, yet that clearly must have been important for forming her personality. Moreover, the author, E. K. Johnston (the author of Ahsoka) has notably mentioned Padmé’s handmaidens as important elements in the story. The presence of these characters (clearly important, but overshadowed in the film by Padmé herself) might give us a chance to learn more about them as people – which I would personally hope for.

Women of the Galaxy

Before the end of this year, there is one more book that might be interesting for wider audience: titled “Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy”. The book’s purpose, as the name implies, is to highlight the female characters in Star Wars.

It will include 75 profiles of various female characters from Star Wars films, books, comics and games, and over a hundred illustrations by a range of female and non-binary artists (as the official advertisement says). The author, Amy Ratcliffe, has confirmed that the book will feature heroines, but also villainesses and frankly, everyone from Leia and Ahsoka to Phasma and Rae Sloane.

The book’s publication date is 30. October 2018.

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Rostislav Kurka
Rostislav is a Protestant theologian and a self-trained Sith, counting Jan Hus, Dorothee Sölle, Darth Revan and Darth Traya among his main influences. He hails from the hundred-towered city of Prague, where he had spent a large part of his life creating worlds and inspiring young generations to roleplay. His involvement in organising children's camps led him to accidentally writing a Lord of the Rings musical, which made him temporarily famous, and a Three Musketeer-Jedi fanfilm, which didn't. He has recently moved to the frozen waste of Finland, because that's it, the Rebels are there.