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Star Wars Holocron

The Five Deaths of Shaak Ti Explained

by @holocronGeorge for @sw_holocron

From Maul to Boba to Palpatine, Star Wars has a long standing tradition of death not being taken too seriously. But Shaak Ti really takes the cake with dying not once, not twice, not 3 times, not even 4 times, but a whopping 5 times in Star Wars lore. In this article, we’re going to take a look at each and every one of Shaak Ti’s deaths – how she died, in what project did it occur, the history surrounding it, behind the scenes info, and more. 

Death #1

After an extremely brief appearance in Attack of the Clones, Shaak Ti was due to play a much more significant role in Revenge of the Sith. The beginning of Episode III originally featured a much longer Battle of Coruscant that spanned nearly a full hour. In addition to more obstacles faced by Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Palpatine, this opening act of Revenge of the Sith also portrayed one of 5 deaths of Shaak Ti. 

Anakin and Obi-Wan are traveling along the halls of the Invisible Hand when they come across a despondent Shaak Ti on her knees in front of General Grievous. It is implied that Shaak Ti was captured at the same time Palpatine was on Coruscant and, as such, is being kept prisoner by Grievous like the Chancellor himself. After apologizing to Anakin and Obi-Wan for failing to protect Palpatine, Grievous brutally stabs Shaak Ti from behind – killing her immediately. 

This marks the earliest version of Shaak’s death as it appeared in George Lucas’ first drafts of the Revenge of the Sith script. Lucas originally planned for Shaak to die at the hands of General Grievous and then have Tsui Choi, a Jedi from the Expanded Universe, take her seat on the Jedi Council. The inclusion of Shaak’s death in this manner actually leaked before the May 2005 release of the film across different fan sites and The Revenge of the Sith action figure of Shaak Ti even included a hole in her chest to reflect this version of her death. 

But, as we all know, Shaak Ti’s death was absent from Revenge of the Sith, which leads into…

Death #2

In the editing process of Revenge of the Sith, the Battle of Coruscant was radically cut down, which included the removal of Shaak Ti’s death at the hands of Grievous. At this time, Tartakovsky and colleagues were developing the final season of their Cartoon Network series. 

As a means to explain Shaak Ti’s absence in Revenge of the Sith, the microseries shows the Jedi die again, also at the hands of Grievous. 

Death #3

Star Wars Insider 87 stated that Shaak Ti’s deaths at this point, including one in Revenge of the Sith we haven’t got to yet, weren’t canon – meaning she lives past Episode III. This led to her appearance in the acclaimed video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, sporting a really cool new look. 

At this point, Shaak Ti had survived Order 66 and was in exile on the planet Felucia, where she trained a new Padawan and Force-sensitive natives.Her peace didn’t last long, however, as Darth Vader sent his apprentice – Galen Starkiller – to kill Shaak. Shaak and Starkiller engaged in an epic duel, but, eventually, Shaak was defeated by Starkiller.

Death #4

Weirdly enough, Death #4 is an alternate take on Shaak Ti’s death in The Force Unleashed. In the mobile version of the game, Shaak is killed when Felucian carnivorous plants are made to eat her by Starkiller. 

But, so far, all of these deaths are Legends or EU content. So, how does Shaak Ti die in canon?

Death #5

The fifth and final death of Shaak Ti is perhaps the most poignant and heartbreaking. George Lucas filmed not one, but two death scenes for the Jedi in Revenge of the Sith. 

The first death, the one aboard the Invisible Hand that I already mentioned, was written, filmed, and eventually scrapped in favor of a second death sequence occurring in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. 

As Palpatine instigates Order 66 and Anakin (as the newly anointed Darth Vader) raids the Temple, Shaak Ti is mediating in peace. Vader approaches Shaak Ti, who is unaware that Anakin has turned to the dark side. Before she becomes wary that something is wrong, Vader stabs and kills her with his lightsaber. 

This scene is included as a deleted scene on the Revenge of the Sith Blu-ray and on Disney+. It’s also shown in the LEGO Star Wars: The Video game adaptation of the film and in Yoda’s vision sequence in The Clone Wars.

With so many potential deaths, the 2016 reference book Star Wars: Galactic Atlas eventually confirmed that Death #5, her death in the Jedi Temple, was canon, rendering the others to be Legends or EU content. This is a good decision ultimately as The Force Unleashed and Clone Wars microseries are Legends content and her death aboard the Invisible Hand feels a little out of place amidst the important plot points occurring during Revenge of the Sith’s first act.

All in all though, there you have it – 5 deaths of Shaak Ti. This truly feels like something unique to Star Wars that other franchises simply don’t have – a franchise with some obscure character with barely any screentime being featured and explored so extensively in other projects, culminating in 5 unique takes on her death. 

Images courtsey of Disney+ and Lucasfilm

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Star Wars Holocron

EXCLUSIVE SPREAD: The Mandalorian: Guide to Season One

by @holocronGeorge for @sw_holocron

Mando and IG-88 silently walk into the building previously heavily guarded by a myriad of armed figures. After disposing of the enemies at the encampment, our titular character and his foe-turned-ally droid partner are closer to ‘the asset’ than ever. The tracking fob beeps louder and louder, more frequently and more frequently. They approach a silver pram only to uncover an infant of the same species as Yoda – a Baby Yoda, later known as Grogu. Disposing of IG-88, there’s an immediate connection between Mando and the Child…

And at the point, if it hadn’t happened already, we were already gripped by the stunning first series of The Mandalorian on Disney+. We can never get enough of The Mandalorian, which is why we’re particularly excited about Titan Comics’ upcoming release Star Wars: The Mandalorian: Guide to Season One. The book, which releases on May 18th, features character files, plot points, never-before-seen images, a complete episode guide, and a detailed behind the scenes look at how the iconic series came to life.

Ahead of the release of The Mandalorian: Guide to Season One, we’re happy to present an exclusive spread from the upcoming title:

MANDALORIAN ARMOR AND WEAPONS

To Mandalorians, armor is more than a metal covering to wear in battle: it is, in fact, a part of their identity and culture, something that makes them immediately recognizable by fellow warriors and enemies alike. In this regard, Mando’s gear is no exception.

Following the Mandalorian tradition, he wears a helmet with a T-shaped visor equipped with a macrobinocular viewplate, shoulder pauldrons, gauntlets, vambraces, a cuirass, a cape, and a bandolier. After receiving a camtono of beskar steel from the Client when he recovered and delivered the Child, Mando managed to replace his damaged armor with a full set.

Weapons are equally important, for they are, as stated by Mando himself, part of the Mandalorian religion. Indeed, the bounty hunter has plenty of weaponry at his disposal, such as a blaster pistol, a vibro-knife and an Amban sniper rifle – which can also be used as a taser or a sonic detector if needed. Further to this, Mando has also got several tricks up his sleeve: a whipcord launcher, dual flamethrowers and whistling birds—tiny missiles useful for striking multiple targets simultaneously. Before leaving Nevarro to reunite the Child with his people, the Mandalorian also receives a long-coveted device: a jetpack, often used by Mandalorian warriors as well as by other armed forces.

BEHIND THE SCENES

The concept art of Boba Fett—the first character to wear Mandalorian armor in a Star Wars film—was influenced from the “Man With No Name”—the character played by Clint Eastwood in three western movies by Sergio Leone. The same iconography inspired the design of Mando, making him a character full of mystery. Therefore, it is no coincidence that actor Pedro Pascal watched several samurai and western movies by Akira Kurosawa and Sergio Leone to get into the character, and was heavily inspired by Clint Eastwood in films such as The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966). Pascal truly reached for the stars when it came to enhancing his performance: right before rehearsing for the season finale, the actor injured himself while walking out of the makeup trailer.

As he was about to film the ‘unmasking’ scene with droid IG-11, Pascal went to the hospital with his face covered in fake blood and wounds, unsurprisingly alarming the hospital personnel. Seven stitches later, however, the actor went back on set and shot the scene as originally planned, thus proving to be as tough and heroic as only a true Mandalorian would be. But Pedro Pascal was not the only one who portrayed the Mandalorian in the series. He actually modelled his performance around the physicality of his stunt doubles: Brendan Wayne, the weapons expert, who took care of the gunslinger aspect; and Lateef Crowder, the martial arts expert, who performed the fighting sequences. Therefore, the Mandalorian is the result of the work of three different people who act as one.

Cover art for The Mandalorian: Guide to Season One is presented below:

Star Wars: The Mandalorian: Guide to Season One will be released on May 18, 2021 and is available to preorder from Amazon and Forbidden Planet.

Images courtesy of Titan Comics

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Star Wars Holocron

New Details on Upcoming The High Republic Stories Revealed

by @holocronJulie for @sw_holocron

StarWars.com recently announced official descriptions and additional details for a slew of upcoming projects in Phase I, Wave II of The High Republic. After a thrilling first wave that introduced us to Force-sensitive protectors of the Republic and an ominous, burgeoning enemy in the Nihil, we’re more excited than ever about what’s to come in the era before The Phantom Menace. Check out some of the upcoming titles in The High Republic initiative below:

The High Republic #6

The sixth issue of Cavan Scott’s Marvel Comics series arrives on June 2, 2021. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “HEART OF THE DRENGIR! New story arc! The REPUBLIC FRONTIER in crisis! The JEDI of STARLIGHT BEACON join forces with their most feared enemy to face the terror of the unstoppable DRENGIR horde. AVAR KRISS and her new allies fight nightmarish creatures on a harsh lava world. Can young Jedi KEEVE TRENNIS save her former master from the darkness? Also who or what is the GREAT PROGENITOR?!”

Hidden Danger – Part 1

Titan Magazines and Justina Ireland are delivering a new story set in The High Republic era as part of Star Wars Insider #203 on June 8. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “In preparation for the Republic Fair on Valo, the Agrarian and Agricultural Alliance is having their annual seed bank conference on Starlight Beacon.  This is a chance for the agricultural experts from all over the galaxy to come together to discuss experimental farming techniques and sustainability.  Administrator Velko Jahen and Starlight Beacon’s Head of Security Ghal Tarpfen have been stressed nearly to the breaking point with ensuring the safety of the Starlight while also making certain that the conference goes off without a hitch. And the pair will be pushed to the limit when the Drengir slither onto the scene…”

The Rising Storm

Del Rey and Cavan Scott team up for a follow-up to the acclaimed Light of the Jedi in this new adult novel that releases on June 29. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Following the dramatic events of Light of the Jedi, the heroes of the High Republic era return to face a shattered peace and a fearsome foe. In the wake of the Great Hyperspace Disaster and the heroism of the Jedi, the Republic continues to grow, bringing more worlds together under a single unified banner. Led by Chancellor Lina Soh, the spirit of unity extends throughout the galaxy, with the Jedi and newly established Starlight Beacon station at the vanguard. In celebration, the chancellor plans “The Republic Fair,” a showcase of the possibility and peace of the expanding Republic—a precept the Jedi hope to foster. Stellan Gios, Bell Zettifar, Elzar Mann, and others join the event as ambassadors of harmony. But as the eyes of the galaxy turn toward the Fair, so too does the fury of the Nihil. Their leader, Marchion Ro, is intent on destroying this spirit of unity. His storm descends on the pageantry and celebration, sowing chaos and exacting revenge. As the Jedi struggle to curb the carnage of the rampaging Nihil, they come face to face with the true fear their enemy plans to unleash across the galaxy. The kind of fear that even the Force cannot shield them from.”

Race to Crashpoint Tower

Also on June 29, Daniel José Older and Disney-Lucasfilm Press are coming out with this new middle grade novel. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “The Republic Fair is coming! Visitors from all over the galaxy are traveling to the planet Valo for a massive, awe-inspiring festival celebrating the Republic. While his fellow Valons prepare for the fair, Jedi Padawan Ram Jomaram is hiding out in his favorite place: a dingy garage filled with mechanical parts and tools. But when a security alarm goes off on the nearby hilltop nicknamed Crashpoint Peak, he ventures out with his trusty droid V-18 to investigate. There he discovers that someone has knocked out Valo’s communications tower—a frightening sign that Valo, and the Republic Fair, are in danger. Sure enough, as Ram races to warn the Jedi, the dreaded Nihil unleash a surprise attack! It’s up to Ram to face down the enemy at Crashpoint Tower and send a call for help to the Republic. Luckily, he’s about to get some assistance from unexpected new friends…”

The High Republic Adventures 6

Older’s fantastic High Republic Adventures series from IDW Publishing continues with the sixth issue on July 7. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “As the galaxy prepares for the Republic Fair, Qort and Farzala leave their Padawan friends to join Leox Gyasi and the crew of the Vessel on a secret mission for the Jedi. What could possibly go wrong? As it turns out: literally everything.”

Out of the Shadows

Justina Ireland delivers a YA novel following her middle-grade book Into the Dark earlier this year. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “The darkest secrets are the hardest to bring to light….Sylvestri Yarrow is on a streak of bad luck with no end of sight. She’s been doing her best to keep the family cargo business going after her mom’s death, but between mounting debt and increasing attacks by the Nihil on unsuspecting ships, Syl is in danger of losing all she has left of her mother. She heads to the galactic capital of Coruscant for help, but gets sidetracked when  she’s drawn into a squabble between two of the Republic’s most powerful families over a patch of space on the frontier. Tangled up in familial politics is the last place Syl wants to be, but the promise of a big payoff is enough to keep her interested…Meanwhile, Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh has been summoned to Coruscant, but with no idea of why or by whom. She and her Padawan Imri Cantaros arrive at the capital along with Jedi Master Cohmac Vitus and his Padawan, Reath Silas—and are asked to assist with the property dispute on the frontier. But why? What is so important about an empty patch of space? The answer will lead Vernestra to a new understanding of her abilities, and take Syl back to the past…and to truths that will finally come out of the shadows.”

Tempest Runner

Following his acclaimed audio drama Dooku: Jedi Lost, Cavan Scott returns to this medium with a new audio drama from Del Rey on August 31. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “As one of Marchion Ro’s most trusted allies (well, as far as Marchion trusts anyone) Lourna Dee has carved out a place for herself as a leader among the Nihil. But it’s lonely at the top, and a Tempest Runner like Lourna is always watching her back for threats—whether those threats are from the Jedi or her fellow Nihil.”

The Edge of Balance

One of the more unique projects on the horizon is a Manga from Justina Ireland and Shima Shinya on September 7. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “In the aftermath of the Great Hyperspace Disaster, young Jedi Knight Lily Tora-Asi is assigned to help displaced civilians relocate to Banchii, a planet in the Inugg system far in the Outer Rim. While balancing the arrival of incoming settlers and teaching the Padawans on their Temple outpost, Lily must also confront an attack by the insidious Drengir and, after the events of the Republic Fair, deal with the growing threat of the Nihil. But the dangers to Lily and her Padawans are much closer than she thinks….”

Showdown at the Fair

And, finally, George Mann brings us a new storybook from Disney-Lucasfilm Press on October 5. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “The Republic Fair has come to the planet Valo, and everyone is celebrating. Until the dreaded Nihil launch a surprise attack and Burryaga the Wookiee and the other Jedi of the High Republic must save the day!”

Images courtesy of Disney, Disney-Lucasfilm Press, Del Rey, Viz, IDW Publishing, and Marvel Comics

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Star Wars Holocron

How Clone Wars (2003) Could Be Made Canon

by @holocronGeorge for @sw_holocron

“There’s always a bit of truth in legends…”

Ahsoka Tano’s wise words from Star Wars Rebels may be the pathway to make Genndy Tartakovsky’s Star Wars: Clone Wars series canon. 

Initially released in 2003 and spanning three seasons culminating in the release of Revenge of the Sith, the Cartoon Network series featured 25 highly stylized installments showcasing different facets of the infamous Clone Wars. The series was often a stark contrast to the theatrical films, with long stretches absent of any dialogue or music whatsoever. It was also the introduction of several iconic Star Wars characters, including Asajj Ventress, Durge, and General Grievous. However, as we all know, Dave Filoni’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars series eventually superseded its predecessor, essentially deeming Tartakovsky’s show non-canon or Legends. Nonetheless, we think there’s a unique way Star Wars: Clone Wars could become canon again.

One of the reasons Star Wars: Clone Wars was branded Legends material is due to the aforementioned stylistic and tonal differences from the saga films. While Filoni’s series feels very much in sync with the prequel trilogy and the Skywalker saga more broadly in terms of tone, style, and narrative, Tartakovsky’s series just feels different. The Star Wars sense of humor we’re all used to and love is largely nowhere to be seen. Characters go long stretches without uttering a word. And the action feels like it’s more out of a stylized Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill-esque film than it does a Star Wars project. 

Beyond stylistic differences, there’s various continuity differences between the two Clone Wars series that make it difficult to reconcile Tartakovsky’s series as canon in the traditional sense. The most glaring is the total absence of Ahsoka Tano in the original series, who obviously goes on to play a central role in Filoni’s series and canon beyond that. Although some may argue Star Wars: The Clone Wars doesn’t entirely negate its predecessor, it poses some uncomfortable questions if both are deemed canon.

However, this is where Ahsoka’s nugget of wisdom from Star Wars Rebels comes in. 

Recently, Star Wars has started delving into its own canon in this weird, really interesting, meta way. George Mann wrote Myths and Fables, and later published Dark Legends, two collections of in-universe short stories. Insight Editions have came out with The Secrets of the Jedi and will soon release The Secrets of the Sith. And, more recently, Kristen Baver and DK publishing have published Skywalker: A Family at War, a kind of in-universe biography of the Skywalker family. 

All of these projects, besides just being really cool and interesting, have something in common – they’re all in-universe depictions of events. For instance, Star Wars characters will have read the stories in Myths and Fables or Dark Legends just like we have. It’s this weird, meta take on things where we, as Star Wars fans, get a glimpse into the sort of materials people living in that vast universe get their hands on. Think of Tales of the Black Freighter in Watchmen, if you know what I mean.

So, how does this relate to Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars series then? 

Well, what if the series was an in-universe depiction of the Clone Wars? Similar to George Mann’s stories and other works. Perhaps characters in the Star Wars universe watched Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars as a sort of retelling of the events that actually occurred. Not only would this explain some of the stylistic and narrative discrepancies between the 2003 series and 2008 series, but it would also mirror our real life depictions of battles and wars through media. We watch Band of Brothers as this creative, stylized dramatization of the 101st Airborne Division in World War II. We watch Platoon or Apocalypse Now as cinematic retellings of the Vietnam War. It’s conceivable that people within the Star Wars universe also watch portrayals of famous historical events, like the Clone Wars, albeit with some tweaks here and there for dramatic effect. 

Besides this kind of meta-take on Tartakovsky’s series to make it canon (sort of), there’s another way Star Wars: Clone Wars could be integrated into broader canon. 

If we take a step back, The Clone Wars as an event occurs from 22 BBY to 19 BBY, this tiny 3 year sliver in between the events of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Tartakovsky’s series spans 25 chapters, but let’s focus on Chapters 1 through 21 for a second. The first 21 of 25 chapters of the series happen roughly in 22 BBY – the first of three years of The Clone Wars. Conversely, Dave Filoni’s The Clone Wars takes us all the way up to 19 BBY and Revenge of the Sith. In the 2008 theatrical Clone Wars, Anakin is already a Jedi Knight. He doesn’t have his Padawan braid, his hair has grown. General Grievous is a threat on the Republic’s radar and already has his rough breathing. The Clone Wars is clearly full steam ahead at this point.

Where things get a little messy in canon is where both of these series end. Chapters 23 through 25 of Tarvatoksy’s series focuses on the Battle of Coruscant. We see Shaak-Ti protecting Palpatine from Grievous. Anakin is on a sort of pilgrimage. Anakin and Obi-Wan are recalled to Coruscant after a mission on Nelvaan. Anakin’s robotic hand is destroyed in this process and He has an insidious vision of  becoming Darth Vader. 

This is in contrast to Dave Filoni’s Siege of Mandalore arc. In this arc, Anakin and Obi-Wan are recalled to Coruscant while on Mandalore, not Nelvaan. Not to mention all the things that happen to Anakin in these last few episodes. It’s hard to headcanon your way around any of this.

So what’s the solution? Well, more minor discrepancies in canon aside, Star Wars can maybe take a page out of the X-Men and Terminator franchises in terms of how they selectively retcon certain things. The X-Men universe has been very loose with what constitutes canon, seemingly changing things at will to fit their narrative as it progresses. Similarly, the later few Terminator movies have cherry picked what they want (and don’t want) to be canon. Star Wars could adopt a similar approach and simply retcon Chapters 23-25 of Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars, making Chapters 1 through 21 or 22 canon. 

Or maybe smarter minds than mine could piece together in some creative fashion how both Clone Wars series could be weaved into canon seamlessly. 

Either way, Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars series lives on in the hearts of many Star Wars fans. It’s kind of an amazing position to be a Star Wars fan when we get not one, but two fantastic Clone Wars series. Whether it be making the 2003 series an in-universe depiction of the Clone Wars, or playing around with canon in retconning some, but not all installments of the series, we think there’s still a few ways the acclaimed show could be made canon.

Images courtesy of Disney and Lucasfilm

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Star Wars Holocron

The Vintage Collection, The Bad Batch, and More: Recapping the Star Wars Reveals and News from Hasbro Pulse Fan Fest

by @holocronJosh and @holocronGeorge

On Friday, Hasbro Pulse held a virtual Fan Fest celebration to highlight new and upcoming toys from various franchises, including a galaxy far, far away. There were many reveals from the event, with countless new toys for fans and collectors to get their hands on. Here’s a recap of all of today’s news:

The Vintage Collection:

The Vintage Collection has become one of the most popular lines of Star Wars toys in recent years. The highly posable 3.75 inch figures come in retro packaging, hence the name. Today, there were several new figures from this collection displayed, including Luke Skywalker (Hoth), Han Solo (Endor), Admiral Ackbar, Emperor’s Royal Guard, Shadow Stormtrooper (from The Force Unleashed), Scout Trooper, and Heavy Battle Droid. Check out some images of the upcoming toys below:

Also announced for the Vintage Collection is General Merrick’s Blue Leader X-Wing fighter, which also comes with a figure of the character. This product excellently recreates the X-Wing seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and is sure to be a hit with fans and collectors. It can be found exclusively at Target this fall.

The Bad Batch

We’re less than a month away from the latest Star Wars animated project, The Bad Batch. As such, there are a wave of toys coming from the series. Black Series figures for Hunter, Crosshair, and Elite Squad Trooper have already been announced and will hit shelves soon. Hasbro added to the line of Bad Batch Black Series figures today, revealing a new ‘Tech’ toy. See the amazing design for the figure below:

Other Black Series Reveals

There were more Black Series reveals to get fans excited at the event today. Koska Reeves, played by WWE’s Sasha Banks, is getting her own action figure that displays her bright blue Mandalorian armor and helmet. Also from The Mandalorian, a Q-90 figure was announced. Q-90 was the droid that the Mandalorian kills in Chapter 6 – The Prisoner, and whose head the Frog Lady uses to communicate through in season 2.

Also displayed are Black Series figures of General Lando Calrissian from Return of the Jedi and Aurra Sing from The Clone Wars. The Lando figure goes well with the recent line of Return of the Jedi Black Series that hit shelves, which included Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Leia Organa all in their classic Endor outfits. Also shown today is a Wedge Antilles Black Series helmet. Check out images for these products below:

The reveals from today’s Fan Fest celebration have already excited fans and we can’t wait to get our hands on them. Stay tuned to Star Wars Holocron for news and reviews of upcoming Hasbro products!

Images courtesy of Hasbro

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Star Wars Holocron

New ‘War of the Bounty Hunters’ Details Revealed

by @holocronGeorge for @sw_holocron

Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters is closer than ever with the reveal of new headshot images highlighting some of our favorite characters.

The new headshot images are drawn by artist Giuseppe Camuncoli and all be variant covers for upcoming tie-in series.

The upcoming cross-over event takes place in between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. It will see Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Doctor Aphra, Boba Fett, deadly bounty hunters, and more all after the greatest prize of all: Han Solo.

A special one-shot of the series will feature Jabba the Hutt himself. Written by Justina Ireland with art from Luca Pizzari, this will be one of of four thrilling tie-ins in War of the Bounty Hunters.

War of the Bounty Hunters Alpha #1 hits comic stands on May 5th!

Images courtesy of Star Wars and Marvel Comics

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Del Rey Announces Star Wars Essential Legends Collection with New Releases of Classic Novels

by @holocronGeorge for @sw_holocron

Image

Del Rey announced today that, in celebration of Lucasfilm’s 50th anniversary, a collection of essential and beloved Legends novels will launch in unique, new formats later this year. The collection, which launches on June 15, 2021, will feature new trade paperback editions of Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn, Darth Bane: Path of Destruction by Drew Karpyshyn, and Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover. Each release will sport fantastic original cover art, with Tracie Ching, Simon Goinard, and Jeff Manning behind the new book covers. The old/new content won’t stop there, though, as Del Rey will continue to add classic titles to their Essential Legends Collection throughout the rest of 2021.

Legends holds a special place in the hearts of Star Wars fans. The first Legends, or Expanded Universe, novel was Alan Dean Foster’s Splinter of the Mind’s Eye. Ever since then, Legends was an avenue to expand the Star Wars universe in new, creative ways through novels, comics, video games, and more. While Legends’ place in canon always remained ambiguous, Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm saw a rebranding of canon content outside of the theatrical films. Nonetheless, Legends continues to leave a footprint on modern canon. Projects like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and The Mandalorian, for instance, have leaned into core elements and plot threads from Legends projects. 

The three Legends novels to kick off Del Rey’s Essential Legends Collection are some of the most beloved works in the Expanded Universe. Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire was the groundbreaking debut of Grand Admiral Thrawn in a story set 9 years after the Battle of Endor and the ‘fall’ of the Empire. The Clone Wars, Rebels, and The Mandalorian executive producer Dave Filoni once said of Zahn’s novel, “”You couldn’t have grown up a Star Wars fan without encountering Thrawn in Heir to the Empire. It was a dark time when there weren’t any more movies, and it blew our minds that there could be more.” Indeed, Heir to the Empire was a brilliant reintroduction to the Star Wars universe after so many years without a film. With Thrawn appearing in Star Wars Rebel and being name-dropped in The Mandalorian, fans are speculating the upcoming Disney+ crossover event teased by Kathleen Kennedy will delve into territory explored in Heir to the Empire.

Also on the horizon is Drew Karpyshyn’s Darth Bane: Path of Destruction. Darth Bane is easily one of Legends’ most infamous characters, yet he has only appeared briefly in an episode of The Clone Wars. Karpyshyn’s novel is a fantastic entry point to the villainous Sith Lord as we see the power of the dark side of the Force 1000 years before the Battle of Yavin.

And, finally, Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover hits bookshelves in a new format later this year. Shatterpoint was originally released in 2003 and marked the first novel in the Clone Wars multimedia project at the time. The story follows Mace Windu, following the Battle of Geonosis, on a journey to rescue his former padawan Depa Billaba. Star Wars fans will also be treated to a new audiobook edition of Shatterpoint, narrated by Sullivan Jones.

Stay tuned to Star Wars Holocron for more news on Del Rey’s Essential Legends Collection.

Book cover art by Tracie Ching, Simon Goinard, and Jeff Manning

Images courtesy of Del Rey

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Star Wars Holocron

‘Lesser Evil’, the Final Chapter in the Thrawn: Ascendancy Trilogy, To Release November 16, 2021

By @HolocronJosh for @sw_holocron

In recent years, Grand Admiral Thrawn has become a fan favorite character in the Star Wars galaxy (if he wasn’t already). His role in Star Wars Rebels and subsequent name drop in The Mandalorian season 2 excited fans, as has the Thrawn: Ascendancy trilogy of novels, which highlight his rise up the ranks to become the feared Admiral we see later on. Today, the final chapter in the Ascendancy trilogy was announced, and will release on November 16.

Titled Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil, this novel, once again written by the legendary Timothy Zahn, is described as the end of the villain’s origin story, set at a time when “the Chiss Ascendancy — rulers of Csilla — [are] fractured, with Thrawn caught in the middle”.

Also released was a cover for the novel and an official synopsis:

The fate of the Chiss Ascendancy hangs in the balance in the epic finale of the Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy from bestselling author Timothy Zahn.

For thousands of years The Chiss Ascendancy has been an island of calm, a center of power, and a beacon of integrity. Led by the Nine Ruling Families, their leadership stands as a bulwark of stability against the Chaos of the Unknown Regions.

But that stability has been eroded by a cunning foe that winnows away trust and loyalty in equal measure. Bonds of fidelity have given way to lines of division among the families. Despite the efforts of the Expansionary Defense Fleet, the Ascendancy slips closer and closer toward civil war.

The Chiss are no strangers to war. Their mythic status in the Chaos was earned through conflict and terrible deeds, some long buried. Until now. To ensure the Ascendancy’s future, Thrawn will delve deep into its past, uncovering the dark secrets surrounding the ascension of the First Ruling Family. But the truth of a family’s legacy is only as strong as the legend that supports it. Even if that legend turns out to be a lie.

To secure the salvation of the Ascendancy, is Thrawn willing to sacrifice everything? Including the only home he has ever known?

Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil will release on November 16, 2021.

Images courtesy of StarWars.com and Del Rey Books

Categories
Star Wars Holocron

What’s New in Star Wars – April 2021

by @holocronGeorge for @sw_holocron

On the eve of the highly anticipated Bad Batch series, Star Wars fans are spoiled with new (and old) looks at iconic characters and eras. Along with new adventures of Doctor Aphra, Darth Vader, and the Jedi of the High Republic, a slew of classic Star Wars content is dropping on Disney+ this month, not to mention the excellent second installment of the Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy. It is important to note all of these release dates are subject to change. Below includes a list and description of upcoming Star Wars projects in the month of April:

April 2 – Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure

A massive segment of Star Wars fans will, for the first time, be exposed to Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, a wacky made-for-TV movie from 1984. Directed by John Korty from a script by Bob Carrau and story by George Lucas, the film follows a family of humans who become shipwrecked on the forest moon of Endor. After the parents are kidnapped by the Gorax, their kids team up with the local Ewoks on a journey to save them. 

April 2 – Ewoks: The Battle for Endor

The sequel to Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure also drops on Disney+ this month. 

April 2 – Ewoks

Ewok overload! Yes, we’re getting even more Ewok content this month with Ewoks, an animated television series that ran in the mid-1980s. Ewoks was broadcast on ABC and ran for two seasons, following the adventures of the Ewoks of Bright Tree Village prior to the Battle of Endor.

April 2 – Star Wars: Clone Wars

Perhaps the most anticipated of the upcoming Disney+ content in the month of April is Genndy Tartakovsky’s woefully underrated Star Wars: Clone Wars series. The series aired on Cartoon Network from 2003 to 2005 and featured 25 brief, largely action-oriented and heavily stylized episodes showcasing different aspects of the war between the Republic and Separatists. 

April 2 – The Story of the Faithful Wookiee

And, finally, the original Star Wars Holiday Special gets some much needed attention with the Disney+ release of The Story of the Faithful Wookiee, an animated short story that aired during the infamous special. The short is notable in being the first appearance of Boba Fett and also features Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, and James Earl Jones all reprise their roles from the saga films. 

April 6 – Doctor Aphra

Also dropping this month is the script adaptation of Sarah Kuhn’s terrific Doctor Aphra audiobook. We recently had a chance to review the script and found it to be a terrific examination into the mind of Doctor Aphra in a unique format that will appeal to fans of Dooku: Jedi Lost.

April 6 – Star Wars Vol 2: Operation Starlight

Issues 7-11 of Charles Soule’s Star Wars comic series are published in this paperback compilation. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Commander Ellian Zahra has been tasked by the terrifying Darth Vader with the job of tracking down the remnants of the Rebel Fleet, scattered across the galaxy since the Battle of Hoth. From the bridge of her fl agship [sic], the Tarkin’s Will, her goal is to eradicate all resistance. But her secret goal is to destroy Leia Organa!”

April 6 – Skywalker: A Family at War

One of our most anticipated releases in April is Kristin Baver’s Skywalker: A Family at War. Published by DK, the book is an in-universe biography of the Skywalker family. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “No group of characters has had more impact on the Star Wars saga than the Skywalker family. In fact, it could be said that without the Skywalker clan and its mystical connection to the Force–both for good and ill–there would be no Star Wars at all. The Skywalkers: A Family at War explores every twist and turn of the turbulent story of the Skywalker dynasty, from Shmi Skywalker’s immaculate conception and the slow seduction to the dark side of her son, Anakin, to the heroics of his son, Luke, and the twisted motives of Han Solo and Princess Leia’s offspring, Kylo Ren. The Skywalker story has everything: passion, intrigue, heroism, and dark deeds. Leaving no stone unturned in tracing the dynasty’s trials and tribulations, this definitive biography of Star Wars’ first family is a must-buy for all Star Wars fans.”

April 7 – The High Republic 4

Cavan Scott’s impressive run in Star Wars continues with the fourth issue of his High Republic series for Marvel Comics. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “THE JEDI TURNED AGAINST EACH OTHER?! AVAR KRISS and her band of brave JEDI helpless in the clutches of a traitor in their midst. STARLIGHT BEACON under attack from an insidious foe. Danger from an age-old enemy. Who is really pulling the strings on the distant planet of SEDRI? Plus: The secret history of the terrifying DRENGIR revealed.”

April 7 – The High Republic Adventures 3

More High Republic content drops this month with the third issue of Daniel Jose Older and IDW Publishing’s The High Republic Adventures. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “In the glory days of the Republic, the Jedi stand as guardians of galactic peace—until a powerful new adversary called the Nihil arrives. Zeen accompanies the Jedi to the Starlight Beacon, a glowing symbol of the Jedi and Republic. where she learns what it means to be a Padawan. Meanwhile, Krix and the Nihil fight their way through a Republic blockade to safety, and Krix begins to wonder who this strange man who helped him really is.”

April 13 – The Star Wars Book of Monsters, Ooze and Slime

A fun new children’s reference book featuring illustrations from Katie Cook is due to release this month from DK. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “The strangest and yuckiest secrets of the galaxy. What does the Zillo Beast feast on for breakfast? Does slimy Jabba the Hutt ever have a bath? What are the three yuckiest things he eats? Take a trip on the wild side and discover the weirdest facts in the Star Wars galaxy! From gross creatures and strange bugs to dangerous deserts and sinister Sith, this icky picture book is the perfect gift for young readers.”

April 13 – LEGO Star Wars Yoda’s Galaxy Atlas

The publisher’s summary of this LEGO reference book is as follows: “With Jedi Master Yoda as your guide, visit the incredible planets of a brick-built galaxy far, far away. Take a tour of 25 fascinating worlds, from desert planet Tatooine to remote ice world Hoth. Head off the familiar tourist track to Crait, or explore Yoda’s own swamp hideout on Dagobah. Discover the must sees. Check out reviews and what to pack. Find out who you might bump into along the way! The exclusive Yoda minifigure comes with four accessories – a staff, a backpack, a camera, and a map of the galaxy – everything Yoda needs for his adventures.”

April 14 – Bounty Hunters 11

Ethan Sacks’ Bounty Hunters series continues with terrific cover art by Mattia de lulus. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “THE GREAT HUNT OF MALASTARE! BOSSK awakens to find himself as the hunted instead of the hunter on the forest planet of MALASTARE. But who is the mysterious figure behind the hunting party stalking the infamous TRANDOSHAN? A special solo adventure starring the most savage bounty hunter of all!”

April 21 – Doctor Aphra 9

More Doctor Aphra in the month of April! Yes, Alyssa Wong’s fantastic Marvel Comics series continues with this ninth issue. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “LOST TECH! CRIME SYNDICATES! ASSASSINS! DOCTOR APHRA and SANA STARROS’ search for the NIHIL HYPERDRIVE gets deadlier as GENERAL VUKORAH and THE UNBROKEN CLAN enter the race for possession! What powerful secrets of the HIGH REPUBLIC era could the lost technology hide? Meanwhile, JUST LUCKY and an old flame are forced to work together — and walk straight into an ambush!”

April 21 – Star Wars Adventures 5

The fifth issue of the Star Wars Adventures comic series from IDW Publishing and authors Kati Cook and Casey Gilly drops this month. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Padme and Anakin have grand plans to have a romantic night celebrating a recent victory. But before they get a chance to get together, Anakin is Jedi-napped by a group of outlaws with their sights on a holocron in the Jedi temple! Now it’s up to Padme [sic] to use all of her cunning to infiltrate the outlaw base and rescue him.”

April 27 – The Art of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Author Amy Ratcliffe guides readers through a collection of concept art from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in this upcoming book.

April 27 – Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Character Encyclopedia – Join the Battle!

Jason Fry is delivering a new canon reference book highlighting all of the great characters from The Clone Wars series. The publisher’s summary from the DK project is as follows: “Meet more than 350 incredible clones and droids from Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  What is Clone Force 99? Who inducted Ahsoka Tano into the Jedi Order? Where does General Grievous keep a secret lair? Why does Captain Rex mutiny against his Jedi General on Umbara? Have to know the answers to these questions? Look no further than Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Character Encyclopedia – Join the Battle! Written by Star Wars expert Jason Fry, this illustrated encyclopedia features more than 350 incredible characters and teams, including Anakin Skywalker, Maul, Bo-Katan Kryze, and Clone Force 99. Perfect for fans of all ages, Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Character Encyclopedia – Join the Battle! will enthrall readers for hours on end.”

April 27 – Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good

Our most anticipated project of the month, Timothy Zahn returns with his sequel to Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising. The second installment in The Ascendancy Trilogy will be published by Del Rey. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Thrawn and his allies race to save the Chiss Ascendancy from an unseen enemy in the second book in the epic Star Wars: The Ascendancy Trilogy from bestselling author Timothy Zahn. Thrawn’s latest triumph still rests newly on his shoulders. Despite leading the Chiss to victory and bringing glory to the House of Mitth, the true threat to the Ascendancy has not yet been extinguished. Their foes do not send threats or ultimatums, or mass ships on the edge of the Chaos. Their weapons come cloaked in smiles and generosity—gifts offered freely, services granted unconditionally. Across the Ascendancy, seemingly inconsequential events could herald the doom of the Chiss. As Thrawn and the Expansionary Defense Fleet rally to uncover the enemy plot, they discover a chilling truth. Rather than invade Chiss capitals or pillage resources, this mysterious enemy strikes at the very foundation of the Ascendancy by widening the rifts between the Nine Ruling Families and Forty Great Houses below. As rivalry and suspicion sow discord among allies, each warrior must decide what matters most: the security of their family, or the survival of the Ascendancy itself.”

April 27 – Star Wars: The Tiny Book of Jedi and The Tiny Book of Sith

Insight Editions are coming out with two, small-sized reference books highlighting the light and dark sides of the Force.

April 28 – Darth Vader 11

And last, but not least, the adventures of Darth Vader continue with the 11th issue of Greg Pak’s Marvel Comics series. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “EXEGOL UNLEASHED! As punishment for his rebellion, DARTH VADER was broken by THE EMPEROR, his limbs shattered, forbidden to use THE FORCE. But after surviving OCHI OF BESTOON, THE EYE OF WEBBISH BOGG and the horrors of THE RED NEBULA, Vader stands on the verge of uncovering the Emperor’s greatest secrets. But will the revelations on EXEGOL empower Vader — or his master? And what new doom awaits LUKE SKYWALKER as a result?”

For reference, a condensed list of upcoming projects in April without descriptions is included below:

April 2 – Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure 

April 2 – Ewoks 

April 2 – Ewoks: The Battle for Endor 

April 2 – Star Wars: Clone Wars 

April 2 – The Story of the Faithful Wookiee 

April 6 – Doctor Aphra 

April 6 – Star Wars Vol 2: Operation Starlight 

April 6 – Skywalker: A Family at War

April 7 – The High Republic 4 

April 7 – The High Republic Adventures 3 

April 13 – The Star Wars Book of Monsters, Ooze and Slime 

April 13 – LEGO Star Wars Yoda’s Galaxy Atlas 

April 14 – Bounty Hunters 11 

April 21 – Doctor Aphra 9 

April 21 – Star Wars Adventures 5 

April 27 – The Art of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge 

April 27 – Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Character Encyclopedia – Join the Battle! 

April 27 – Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good 

April 27 – Star Wars: The Tiny Book of Jedi 

April 27 – Star Wars: The Tiny Book of Sith 

April 28 – Darth Vader 11 

Images courtesy of Disney+, Marvel Comics, IDW Publishing, Del Rey Publishing, LEGO, DK

Categories
Star Wars Holocron

Who Could Moses Ingram Be Playing in ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’?

By @HolocronGeorge for @sw_holocron

On Monday, Lucasfilm officially revealed the cast for the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+. The Ewan McGregor led show, which includes Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader, will also feature Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, Benny Safdie, and Moses Ingram. Ingram, perhaps best known for her role in The Queen’s Gambit, fueled speculation that she could be playing a character with lightsabers, posting on Instagram:

“I play with lightsabers. 😏”

If true, this seems to confirm that Ingram will be playing a Force user of some kind, or at the very least someone who uses lightsabers. Which Force user, or a new character entirely, remains to be seen. Just a few months ago, Star Wars fans were treated to the first live action appearance of Ahsoka Tano in the second season of The Mandalorian, played by Rosario Dawson. Now, some are theorizing that Tano will appear in Kenobi.

The story of Obi-Wan Kenobi is now longer after the project was changed from a film to a series, meaning that there’s more room to explore the characters in depth. Fans expect to really get inside Obi-Wan’s head in this show, and rumors and theories have circulated that the series will do this by showing flashbacks to the Clone Wars. This would be amazing for fans who for years have longed to see the prequel actors don their characters’ animated battle armor seen throughout The Clone Wars animated show, and would also give Hayden Christensen more screen time as Anakin Skywalker. In doing so, fans could also see the trio of Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka together in live action for the first time.

All of this leads to speculation that Moses Ingram could be playing a young Ahsoka Tano in the upcoming series. If she did, it would set a precedent of Rosario Dawson as the Original Trilogy and post Return of the Jedi era Ahsoka, with Moses Ingram playing the prequel era version of the character.

However, the de-aging technology that exists today and the fact that whoever plays Ahsoka will need extensive makeup and prosthetics mean that it would be relatively easy to bring Rosario Dawson in as a younger version of the character, which could dispel this theory.

Still, Ingram could be playing a Force user in general. At this point in canon, there are many Inquisitors wreaking havoc upon the remaining Jedi and Rebels, and it’s possible that Ingram’s lightsaber collection could be a hint at that. This would certainly make sense, particularly as Darth Vader appears to be the main villain of the series, yet he most likely won’t pose a physical threat to Obi-Wan until towards the end of the season (as Kathleen Kennedy teased “the rematch of the century). In the meantime, an Inquisitor would seem to serve the story well, giving Obi-Wan a more immediate threat while his battle with Vader is saved for later on. This would also provide a lot more lightsaber combat in the show, something that will really excite fans, especially since it’s Ewan McGregor that will be holding the laser sword.

It’s unclear at this time who Moses Ingram will be playing, but evidence suggests that she could be playing a Force user. Although some hold the theory that she is a young Ahsoka Tano, her being an Inquisitor would seem to make more sense.

Obi-Wan Kenobi begins production next month.

Images courtesy of Lucasfilm and Disney