Writer Jason Aaron, who has been the shepherd of the Star Wars mainline series since day one, will be stepping down and replaced by none other than Kieron Gillen (Darth Vader, Doctor Aphra) himself, starting issue #38 later this year (first uncovered by the greatest sleuth of the internet, Florian of Jedi-Bibliothek). And over the weekend at SDCC 2017, not only was the fan-voted Doctor Aphra action-figure shown off, an adaptation of Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn novel was announced. Details are below on Gillen’s start of Star Wars, pictures of the Aphra figure, and some thoughts on what I believe to be a shrug-worthy idea in adapting Thrawn.
I’ll have a retrospective of Jason Aaron’s work coming later this year (once the current and his final arc wraps up), but his anthology-like take on stories about Luke, Leia, and Han between Ep. IV and V offered plenty of surprises and excitement, and while that waned in the later arcs, he looks to be finishing strong with “Out Among the Stars.” His replacement is quite the catch, as Kieron Gillen wrote the instant-classic Darth Vader run (and Soule’s own Vader series looks to be heading the same way) and introduced fandom to Doctor Aphra, my now favorite comic character (and top 5 all-time favorites). In his newsletter, Gillen put fans of Aphra at ease, “…our plans for year 2 continue as before. I was aware I was doing Star Wars before I said yes to the plans for year 2,” and in the official site’s announcement he teased the turn of SW from the anthology-lite approach to an overarching tale ala his Vader run and Aphra. This more grandiose tale starts with, “…the post-apocalyptic hell that remains of Jedha after the Death Star punched a hole through its mantle,” and already I’m eagerly anticipating this turn of events. Expect this to start shortly after issue #37 ends Aaron’s run in October. UPDATE: Gillen’s first arc for the Star Wars series is “The Ashes of Jedha” so click the link to see how he’s faring.
Speaking of Aphra, after her upset over other fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano in the Hasbro Fan Figure poll (which didn’t necessarily surprise us Aphra fans), at SDCC Hasbro showed off the first look at her coming action figure. There’s not been any paint applied, but it certainly looks like she jumped off the panels of Salvador Larroca and Edgar Delgado’s work, something I’m extremely happy about. I wouldn’t read too much into the Legends banner on the Vintage card back for her character, as it has more to do with her being a legendary character as she is most certainly canon. That banner could change, but either way, it just seems to be Hasbro’s banner for everything not in the films instead of their old banner, Expanded Universe. No details on when to expect the figure, from what I could find, but I’ll probably be fighting you for one in stores soon enough.
Lastly, don’t get me wrong, Zahn’s return to Star Wars writing, Thrawn, was an excellent book that excitingly made Rebels’ Governor Pryce a co-lead, did Thrawn justice just like the show has, and ended with a rather surprising and sequel-worthy cliffhanger. And as interested as I am in literally seeing some of the characters in the novel for the first time, I don’t quite believe its story will translate into an exciting visual tale. Announced at the Publishing Panel at SDCC (around the 43:41 mark), it does have Jody Hauser as the writer, who has proven she can really bring an adaptation to life with her take on Rogue One, and Luke Ross/Nolan Woodard artist pair showed their chops with the recently finished Darth Maul series, but nothing has quite made me excited for this. In fact, it seems more like a safe move on Marvel’s part, as Thrawn is pretty guaranteed to sell comics, but even then at the very least they could’ve tried for an original story. But what really would’ve been exciting would’ve been a series starring a female character (like Ahsoka, Padme, Sabine, Hera, etc), any other established character (Qui-Gon Jinn, anyone?), or creating an original character, but alas we got a novel adaptation. In the end, at least it’s of a great novel, so if you’re excited for this don’t let my own lack of thrill get you down!
Cassian & K-2SO Meet In Marvel One-Shot Rogue One Prequel (UPDATED)
Mace Windu Stars in Marvel’s Latest Comic Announcement
Captain Phasma Novel and Comic Miniseries, Leia YA Novel, and Ken Liu Penned Luke Book Start Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi (SWCO 2017)
Marvel Star Wars Panel Impressions (SWCO 2017)
STAR WARS CANON COMIC REVIEWS:
Jason Aaron — Skywalker Strikes (#1-6) | Old Ben’s Journals | Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon (#8-12) | Rebel Jail (#16-19) | The Last Flight of the Harbinger (#21-25) | Yoda’s Secret War (#26-30) | Out Among the Stars (#33-37)
Kieron Gillen — Ashes of Jedha (#38-43)
Annual: #1 | #2 | #3
Aphra (#1-6) | And the Enormous Profit (#9-13) | Remastered (#14-19) | Annual: #1
Darth Vader – Dark Lord of the Sith
The Chosen One (#1-6) | The Dying Light (#7-12)
Black Squadron (#1-3) | Lockdown (#4-6) | The Gathering Storm (#7-13) | Legend Lost (#14 – 16) | War Stories (#17-19) | Legend Found (#20-25) | Annual: #1
Captain Phasma (miniseries)
The Screaming Citadel (crossover of Doctor Aphra and Star Wars on-goings)
Darth Vader (Series 1)
Vader (#1-6) | Shadows and Secrets (#7-12) | The Shu-Torun War (#16-19) | End of Games (#20-25) | Annual: #1
Vader Down (crossover of Star Wars and Darth Vader Series 1 on-goings)
The Last Padawan (#1-6) | First Blood (#7-12)
Jedi of the Republic – Mace Windu (miniseries)
Darth Maul (miniseries)
Han Solo (miniseries)
Rogue One (adaptation)
Obi-Wan & Anakin (miniseries)
Shattered Empire (miniseries)
Princess Leia (miniseries)
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir (miniseries)