Star Wars Reads Day at New York Comic Con began with a delightful Star Wars Rebels giveaway at the Disney Publishing Worldwide booth. Fans who stopped by received a collectible double-sided poster and postcard pack with original art by Ralph McQuarrie. Those who stuck around also had the opportunity to pick up an autographed copy of Star Wars Rebels: A New Hero by Pablo Hidalgo and Star Wars Rebels: Rise of the Rebels by Michael Kogge.
The DK Publishing booth also got their geek on this past weekend with prizes given away every hour on the hour throughout the day to celebrate Star Wars books. Fans turned up to find “DK Publishing Loves #StarWarsReads” tote bags, Star Wars Rebels bookmarks with lead character Ezra Bridger, and various other prizes that included a copy of Star Wars in 100 Scenes by Jason Fry.
“I love Star Wars Reads Day,” said one fan as she picked up her free giveaway items and continued her roaming through the busy show floor.
The celebration continued at the Star Wars: A New Dawn panel, where Del Rey discussed the upcoming Star Wars novels. The room was filled with eager fans, each one hoping to hear new details about future books. Though most of the information at the panel was previously presented at San Diego Comic-Con 2014, new details surfaced about two main Star Wars Rebels characters.
The mystery surrounding Hera Syndulla’s relation to Star Wars: The Clone Wars character Cham Syndulla was finally revealed. Editor at Del Rey Shelly Shapiro discussed how the process of creating the stories is not as different as it was before; the difference now is that the opportunity is there to weave them all together.
“For example, [in] the Lords of the Sith, one of our heroes is Cham Syndulla, who was–or called correctly–Hera’s uncle,” Shapiro said and later added that Hera looked up to him and what he had done.
“This is news to me. Wow!” responded Vanessa Marshall, the voice of Hera Syndulla.
The panel also spoke about Hera’s partner-in-crime, Kanan Jarrus. Newsarama revealed earlier that day that a new ongoing comic book series, entitled Star Wars — Kanan: The Last Padawan, will tie into Star Wars Rebels. Starting off the story is Rebels executive producer Greg Weisman (Gargoyles, Spectacular Spider-Man), artist Pepe Larraz (The Mighty Thor, Wolverine and the X-Men), and cover artist Mark Brooks (Marvel Age, Cable & Deadpool, Ultimate X-Men).
“We’re going to be dealing with how [Kanan] survived Order 66 and how another Jedi is alive in that moment,” said Jordan D. White, an editor at Marvel Comics.
Senior Editor at Lucasfilm Jennifer Heddle went on to say, “Even if you don’t watch Rebels, it’s just a really interesting story about a Padawan who survives Order 66 and has never had to live in the real world. He’s always been sheltered in the Jedi Temple…so it’s a really compelling subject matter.”
Fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars will also be excited to know that the comic book series connects The Clone Wars with Star Wars Rebels. “We get to see [Kanan] in that Clone Wars context. I think that’s really neat to connect the two series,” White mentioned before the discussion moved on to the collaboration between Del Rey, Marvel, and Lucasfilm on these new projects.
One of the concerns from fans about continuing the stories from the Expanded Universe (Star Wars Legends) came up during the Q&A portion of the panel. Both Shapiro and Heddle chimed in to say that the possibility is still on the table, but the main focus is on the current projects, specifically Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars: A New Dawn, and the other upcoming material from this new era of storytelling.
Read up on the latest Greg Weisman interview with Marvel as well as the initial report made by Newsarama. The new comic book series will debut in April 2015. The next novel, Star Wars: Tarkin, debuts on November 4, 2014. Finally, keep in mind that the future is always in motion and that moving forward with optimistic outlooks could bring more material down the line. After all, great creative minds are bringing us brand new stories with new and familiar faces that appeal to both adults and children.
As John Jackson Miller stated, “This really is 1976. This is the year before, so a lot of things are going to happen.” And without a doubt, the staff at Making Star Wars will welcome all of it with open arms.
Many thanks to Star Wars Underworld for capturing the entire panel on video.