SDCC 2019: Lucasfilm Publishing: Stories from a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Kicking off the Star Wars publishing panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Creative Director for Lucasfilm Publishing Michael Siglain aptly described the panelists as an “all-star lineup” of Star Wars creatives. The talent ranged from authors of prose for all ages, comics scribes, and artists. With a dozen panelists on stage, their comments during the panel were wide-ranging if brief.

Siglain began with a straightforward yet challenging question: What does Star Wars mean to you. Answer varied from family, friendship, and magical to humor, adventure, and relatable. One advantage of assembling a diverse group of creators is that they each bring their own values and experiences to their Star Wars work – which in turn helps produce Star Wars publishing content that offers something for everyone.

Siglain’s second question provided even more opportunity for insight – and fun – in the answers the panelists gave. He asked, who is your favorite character to write (or draw, for the artists)?

  • Lou Anders (Pirate’s Price): Hondo. “I sat at my desk saying everything out loud and giggling.”
  • Katie Cook (Creatures Big & Small): Chewbacca. “He can look really dour, he can look really sweet. He can look really happy, he can look like he’s about to tear your arms off.”
  • Zoraida Córdova (A Crash of Fate): Jules, from her forthcoming book. “He’s an underdog and a dreamer and a farmboy. We all love those guys, right?”
  • Delilah Dawson (Black Spire): Cardinal and Vi from Phasma and Black Spire. “But the kid in me loves writing Jar Jar” for the IDW comics.
  • K. Johnston (Queen’s Shadow): “I thought for sure Sabé would be the character I would enjoy writing the most, but it turns out the character I like writing the most is Palpatine.”
  • George Mann (Myths & Fables): Luke, “as seen through the lens of folklore.”
  • Rebecca Roanhorse (Resistance Reborn): “As a fan, I love Return of the Jedi … But as a writer, I really enjoyed getting to know Poe. I feel like I know him really well now.”
  • Brian Rood (The Skywalker Saga): “My all-time favorite character is probably Han Solo. … Artistically, I love to illustrate Boba Fett. So you’ve got the yin and the yang there. Boba Fett an oddball color combination but yet it looks wicked cool.”
  • Timothy Zahn (Thrawn: Treason): From the classic characters, Han. “In second place would probably be young Obi-Wan. He was a lot of fun and I’d like to write more of him.”
  • Charles Soule (Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith): “Palpatine always appeals to me. I’m an attorney by training.”
  • Cavan Scott (Dooku: Jedi Lost): “Recently I’ve loved writing Ventress, because she says what you’re thinking.”
  • Kevin Shinick (Force Collector): Having written previously for Robot Chicken Star Wars specials, “you enjoy writing characters that you didn’t spend a lot of time with, like Gary the Stormtrooper [or] Ponda Baba.”

Next, Siglain reviewed the upcoming slate of books and had each pertinent creator shared a tidbit about. These include the tie-ins for Galaxy’s Edge, upcoming children’s books, Marvel’s “Age of Resistance” comic series, and the Journey to The Rise of Skywalker books and comics.

New announcements during the panel were limited, as expected. Siglain revealed a print edition of the Dooku: Jedi Lost audiobook will be published in October, as will a Return to Vader’s Castle comic series from IDW again timed for Halloween. The publishing panel then shared word of two more four-issue comics mini-series in the Journey to The Rise of Skywalker program. One had been officially revealed earlier in the day at a Marvel Comics panel: Allegiance written by Ethan Sacks, coming in October and which will lead into the story of the film. The other, The Rise of Kylo Ren written by Charles Soule, will come out in December and explores the backstory of Kylo Ren, including his schism with Luke Skywalker. Soule joked that the unofficial subtitle of the series is “From Ben to Ren.” Although Siglain, Soule, and Scott made several jokes about the announced-but-secretive Project Luminous, the SDCC panel gave no further updates on the clandestine operation.

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