On Station At Celebration: Day 2

August 24, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Posted in Celebration, Conventions, Events | Leave a comment
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on-station-at-celebrationThe fun continues with Day 2 at Star Wars Celebration VI, and today was quite eventful. First a quick rundown: Del Rey panel, Detours panel, signing with Randy Stradley and Doug Wheatley, Allston panel, Chris Reiff and Chris Trevas signing, Jan Duursema signing, Denning panel, and the Dark Horse panel with Brian Wood and Randy Stradley. With so much going on, it was hard to pick in choose, but I’m certainly glad I went to the panels that I did.

The Del Rey panel was loaded with announcements as most of you are probably already aware of. Here’s some of the highlights.

  • The Reader’s Companion will be “extensively illustrated”
  • Sue described Scoundrel’s as “Tim’s best book yet.”
  • Del Rey will begin a serious initiative to roll out digital short stories in order to increase the number and variety of stories they can release each year. They said that nothing would be off the table with the short fiction.
  • Zahn’s prequel short story for Scoundrels will be a Lando story called ‘Winner Lose All’ and will feature four of the main characters, a sabacc tournament, and a murder. It will be eBook only (time to buy an eReader folks).
  • Last Jedi will have Jax in big trouble, up against Vader, and trying to save the leader of the Whiplash resistance who is being held by Vader. It will be “the final Coruscant Nights book” and I-FIVE will need a new body (as he’s just a head at the start). There will also be some “cool Force stuff” toward the end of the novel.
  • Crucible will be a “major threshold” for the Big 3 and “they will change.” Note: They will NOT be dying.
  • There will be a new series of stories set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back called Rebels. The first book will focus on Leia and will be her point of view. It will be written by Martha Wells.
  • 2nd book will focus on Luke and will be written by Kevin Hearn (I believe it was Jennifer Heddle who recommended checking out his Iron Droid Chronicles series).
  • After Crucible (no firm date but “not too far afterwards”) will be the Sword of the Jedi trilogy by Christie Golden. I for one am really excited about that. Christie has some good stuff and deserved another chance at Star Wars. I’m glad she got it. The artwork that was revealed looked like Jaina, Sith, and Coruscant, so you can speculate from there :)
  • A Young Jedi series would be in Scholastic’s lap.
  • No contracts with Allston right now for future books.
  • Luceno joked that “I want to write a dark drama of the youngest daughter of Aunt Beru’s half-sister.”
  • Sue: “George is not ready to see the Big 3 go.”
  • There have been internal discussions about diversity (for example same sex relationships). They (Del Rey) don’t want to shoe horn it in, but they do want it in there when ever it feels write for the story. Allston mentioned that his Mercy Kill character Sharr Latt may or may not be gay, but he hasn’t decided what is right for the character yet.
  • As is, they’re stumped on what to do with Even Piell, for now “pretend it’s not there” because we’re kind of stuck with it.
  • On the Republic Commando series, Sue said “can’t say anything yet, but I think you’ll be happy.”
  • As for Zahn, Sue assured us “something will happen, it’s just a scheduling issue.” Right now the schedule is pretty full.

Alright, with all of that out of the way, I can cover Detours. This was an awesome panel. The clips looked great and Seth and the guys sounded really positive and sincere about the show. I seriously think this will be better than the Robot Chicken Star Wars skits as far as humor goes, and for those that care, it will also be cleaner. The animation is a little cartoony but it works perfectly for a comedy, and the voice acting is just superb. Bradley Dee Baker and Catherine Taber from The Clone Wars will be doing a lot of voices (they said some of the scripts read almost exclusively with them). Some of the characters Catherine will be handling include a young, bratty teenage Leia and her decoys.

For continuity, Bill Dee Williams will be doing Lando, Ahmed Best will be doing Jar Jar, and Anthony Daniels will be doing C-3PO. They teased that you’ll either like this Jar Jar or hate him more, plus Dengar is going to be the most awesome character in Star Wars. As for other notable voice actors, Weird Al will be doing some voice work, though I’m not sure which characters.

I really like the angle they’re going with the Death Star being disguised as a Galactic Mall. The other locales include Tatooine and Dexter’s Diner. All in all in sounds like a great setup and is going to probably be one of the best Star Wars television projects yet.

That’s a ton of stuff and surprisingly the day was barely beginning at this point. It can’t be over emphasized just how much there is to do at Star Wars Celebration.

Anyways, my next stop was the Dark Horse booth where I showed up wearing my pith helmet and got a certificate for the Pith Army from Dark Horse Comics Editor Randy Stradley (the uber inside joke for those in the know). I got autographs from both Randy and Doug Wheatley, unfortunately I did not have enough time for James Luceno’s signing (and it was a huge line).

Next up was the workshop with Aaron Allston. Aaron described an interesting writing process where you “Lay Down Tracks” like in the music recording industry. You pick your strongest point, say action scenes, and you write all of the action scenes in the entire novel. Then you go back and write the other stuff, each time making a new pass at the novel. It was a very different approach and kind of cool.

Afterwards I went to the DK Books booth and got the Essential Atlas signed by Chris Trevas and Chris Reiff. Then comic artist Jan Duursema had a signing at the Dark Horse booth which I managed to get in on. Jan was really nice and signed a bunch of stuff for me.

From there I headed all the way back to the Star Wars University room (which is pretty cool, it’s setup like a college class room with long stadium tables and seating) for Troy Denning’s writing workshop. Troy talked about climaxes and the structure of his writing style. It was very insightful and it has given me something to look for in his writing now. I’ll go into his panel in greater detail in another post, but it was good panel and I’m glad I went.

The last event of the day for me was Brian Wood’s One Writer’s Approach to Star Wars. Now this was a late panel, and it was at the same time as the Mark Hamill panel so the turnout was pretty small. But this one was in the Star Wars University room, and just like a smaller classroom can be a good thing in school, a small audience at a panel can be good thing too. This one felt really personal. I had a front row seat and Randy Stradley and Brian Wood were both seated facing me and were less than four feet away. It was a great experience. Brian talked a lot about the upcoming Star Wars comic (without giving too much away). Jennifer Heddle was also their in the audience and helped fill us in on some of the details.

For all of those fear mongerers worrying about continuity being trampled upon, you can stop. Rest assured that continuity will NOT be trampled upon or broken. We Star Wars fans are in safe hands. My overall opinion of the panel was that Brian is going to turn out some awesome stories. He’s a huge fan of the X-Wing novels and said we’ll be seeing some X-Wing stuff in the comic series. Leia will be in an X-Wing, well be seeing a group of pilots who’ll form a secondary set of characters aside from all the major movie characters, and there will be lots of Wedge.

As you can see, it was a very eventful day. Now I do have pics and more stuff to say, but it’ll have to wait for another day.

Posted By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot. On Station at Celebration.
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