[CON] SWCO 2017: Lucasfilm Publishing Round Up

It wouldn’t be a Star Wars Celebration if we didn’t get some fantastic publishing panels and Celebration Orlando did not disappoint. The big headliner was the Lucasfilm Publishing Panel on Friday featuring creators from across all aspects of Star Wars publishing followed by spotlight panels for Del Rey and Marvel on Saturday. What did we learn? Well actually quite a lot. Everything just didn’t quite happen when and how you might have expected.

Lucasfilm officially announced the “Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi” campaign; a clear follow up to their “Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens” campaign from last year. (Get your #JtTLJ hashtags ready.) Expect to see a looooot of the same for what we saw with JtTFA in terms of supplemental material when it launches in September. The biggest announcements, oddly enough, had to do with the same character. Delilah Dawson will be writing a Phasma book for Del Rey and Kelly Thompson and Marco Chechetto are doing a Captain Phasma comic for Marvel. Phasma will be back story for everyone’s favorite shiny stormtrooper while Captain Phasma will cover how she gets off of Starkiller Base. It’s an interesting choice to have two major parts of JtTLJ focused on the same character and seems like a good indicator that Phasma will have more of a role in The Last Jedi.

The other very exciting book announcements from the Publishing panel focused on characters from the Original Trilogy. Claudia Gray apparently now lives in the galaxy far, far away and will be writing a Princess Leia Young Adult novel that (we think) will be about her younger years while Ken Liu is penning The Legend of Luke Skywalker which will feature illustrations from J.G. Jones. Liu’s book will be out on Halloween with no word regarding Gray’s book release date yet.

Interestingly enough, the other HUGE publishing announcement over the weekend happened at the Battlefront panel. (Just consider it the spiritual successor to Thrawn during the Rebels panel at Celebration London.) Christie Golden’s previously announced Inferno Squad isn’t actually a post-Rogue One tie-in… it’s a Battlefront II tie-in! But seriously folks… look at this cover art. It’s such a good cover!!! Inferno Squad will be the squad’s origin story and star their leader, Commander Iden Versio, who looks like a total badass. (I’m already in love with her.) The book is due out in July 25th and is looking to be one of those must-reads before the game’s release in November.

While all the big announcements occurred elsewhere, the Del Rey and Marvel panels were still well worth attending. The creators working on these novels and comics are funny and interesting people who are clearly passionate about what they do. Hearing them discuss their work and the grander Star Wars universe for an hour was one hell of a time. You get insight not only into their books and comics and short stories but also into their writing process and how they feel about Star Wars. Conventions are, after all, about more than just announcements that will pop up on line five minutes later.

If you’re interested in reading more about all three panels, I’ve Storified all my tweets from the three panels below.