Prior to the Star Wars EU Panel, there was a presentation on the new book coming next month: Star Wars: Origmai by Chris Alexander.
Origami $17.95, $11.95 for preorder.
The author led a sometimes frustrated crowd through an origami Boba Fett and lightsaber. He went on to elaborate how he transformed an origami B-wing from an origami Penguin... while driving on the freeway 15 years ago. He started creating Star Wars origami ever since.
The book contains 36 new models, they'll be selling the book at Celebration VI and he'll be doing origami classes at the convention.
Then the panel proper began...
Each publisher was given a moment to explain what they're doing:
Dark Horse: Randy Stradley, Dave Marshall
Randy left all the images from his presentaiton in his hotel, but their material is being in solicited in Previews soon. Darth Maul: Death Sentence. 4 issue miniseries that bridges the gap between Season 4 and 5 of The Clone Wars. This starts later this month. Next month is a series that ties directly into Del Rey: Lost Tribe of the Sith: Spiral. It's about a group of Sith lost on a planet and stranded there and their quest to survive. That's a 5 issue series and it's written by John Jackson Miller, who wrote the ebook and novellas in the series for Del Rey. (It's weird as I type this because he's sitting next to me.)
These Sith don't have a lot of technology and the visuals are very "steampunk." It's visually something we haven't seen before.
Agent of the Empire comes back in October by John Ostrander. Leia makes a couple of appearances, as will Boba Fett. It involves the assassination of Count Dooku...
In November, Dawn of the Jedi returns, continuing where the last series left off.
The Star Wars comic: we're picking up the adventures of the core characters, Luke, Leia, Han, Vader, etc. It takes place shortly after the destruction of the Death Star. It's new reader friendly. All you need to know coming into this series is to have seen A New Hope. The stuff he's doing is obvious, but no one has ever taken the time to do it. For example, Leia has never taken a moment to grieve over the loss of her home planet. What does that do to a person?
With Luke, people are looking to him to be a leader, but he's still just a farmboy.
The intention with this series is to make it the gateway drug for your friends who are intimidated by continuity, so they can come in later. They're describing it as "old-school" Star Wars action, adventure, and camraderie.
Del Rey Frank Parissi
The big announcement this morning was about Star Wars reads day. All the Star Wars publishers are getting together for a day of reading promotion, using Star Wars books. It's taking place in bookstores and libraries across the country.
Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories. Comes out July 24th. There's a new novella length story called "Pandemonium".
Mercy Kill: August 7th. (I'm more than halfway through it and really enjoying it.) They're saying that they will make more Wraith books if this sells well.
Star Wars: The Essential Reader's Companion by Pablo Hidalgo. On sale October 2, 2012. It's much larger than originally intended. It's trying to summarize every Star Wars story that's ever been published and brand new art that comes with it. They showed us a piece of art from Courtship of Princess Leia that didn't look terrible. To prepare for the book, Pablo read every single Star Wars book ever written, in chronological order.
Star Wars: The Old Republic: Annihilation by Drew Karpyshyn: on sale November 13th.
Scoundrels. Tim Zahn, December 26, 2012. They're not saying anything about it that's not in the press releases, really. Though "we do get to see Han as the great mastermind." And it's NOT Han's idea to involve Lando and he's not happy about it.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi by Michael Reaves and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff. This stars the guy from the Coruscant Nights series and takes place between Episode 3 and 4.
Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void by Tim Lebbon. It's based on the Dark Horse series. It depicts Jedi Training and stuff in the temples, etc.
Troy Denning is making an announcement. A Standalone a year after Apocoypse. It stars the big three, starts in a cantina. It's set in a new part of the galaxy. Lando will be involved. There are no grandkids along. At the start of the book, the Jedi are worried about whether Abeloth is really gone or not. They're worried about the Sith. But they quickly discover they have something bigger to worry about. There are new villains that have a connection that goes way back to West End games... The villain's mother knew Han way back when. It's about things spinning out of control and getting worse until the heroes find themselves in a tight situation...
Leading to the title of the book: Crucible.
Then they're opening up for questions...
There is nothing in place as a prequel to Darth Plagueis. Nothing specific is in the hopper, it's something they understand is fertile.
From Leland Chee: "We let the authors figure out what stories they want to tell and we figure out how to make it fit continuity wise. George Lucas is hands off on the Expanded Universe. The Clone Wars is his thing and we react to what he does."
With Mercy Kill, will we see a return to creating more original characters? "It's something we're conscious of, but there's no mandate." Dawn of the Jedi will be introducing a huge range of new characters.
Are Star Wars Invasion comics coming back? Stradley: There are no plans to do further Invasion stories. We've got such a packed 2013, the new "Star Wars" book is just the beginning. Lots more is coming. Something had to give. We may get back to it someday.
Are more Starkiller stories coming? Uninamous no from the crowd.
Audio books? Will Crucible and Dawn of the Jedi be unabridged? Will they start doing more of these? Any more full cast audio dramas? Del Rey has no idea. Del Rey Audio is totally seperate.
Stradley: About 10 years ago, we went to LFL with an idea we had and were told no. Then this past fall, they came to us, 10 years later, and said, "What do you guys think about doing this?" Sometimes when you can't do something, eventually you can.
This idea is going to be coming out in 2013 and no one is talking about it yet.
Can we expect gritty and sexiness with Brian Wood? Stradley: "You can expect the same level of grittiness and sexuality that you can expect in any Star Wars book."
Pablo Hidalgo ended the panel by inviting us all to buy tickets for Star Wars Celebration VI because more will be revealed there.