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While prose publishing announcements have been thin on the ground so far at this year’s Star Wars Celebration — Friday’s Lucasfilm Publishing panel only teased future plans about titles relating to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, while the “Del Rey Books – Behind the Scenes” panel explicitly announced no news announcements as it started — Marvel made a valiant effort to fill the void with a volley of comic book news during its panel Saturday afternoon.
Details were released about the upcoming Star Wars: Age of Resistance series, which will consist of nine one-off special issues focusing on characters from the new trilogy of movies, launching in July. All but one of those issues will be written by X-Men Red and Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man’s Tom Taylor and spotlight one of the characters from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi; the ninth issue, Star Wars: Age of Resistance Special, will feature three stories written by Taylor, G. Willow Wilson and Chris Eliopoulos, centering on Admiral Holdo, Maz Kanata and BB-8, respectively.
Cover artwork by Phil Noto for five of the eight spotlight issues of the series was unveiled during the panel, revealing titles Star Wars: Age of Resistance: Finn, Star Wars: Age of Resistance: Captain Phasma (both due out in July), Star Wars: Age of Resistance: Rey (September), Star Wars: Age of Resistance: Poe and Star Wars: Age of Resistance: Hux (undated, but likely scheduled for an August release). Joining Taylor on the issues focusing on heroes is artist Ramon Rosanas, with Leonard Kirk illustrating the villain issues.
Phil Noto artwork was also showcased in artwork for upcoming issues of Marvel’s core Star Wars comic book, with the news that writer Greg Pak would be taking over the series with July’s 68th issue. Noto will provide interior artwork, as well as covers for the series, beginning with Pak’s first issue.
Pak, one of the guests on the panel, said that his initial storyline — set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back — is drawn from a line from the opening of the latter movie. “You know the opening crawl of Empire where it mentions thousands of probes across the galaxy, and we see one probe?” he asked the crowd. “There are a lot of other probes — 1,999, if there really were thousands of probes — and this looks at what they’re doing.”
The storyline will split the central heroes of the original trilogy into three pairings, each one allowing Pak to tell a different genre of story; Luke and R2-D2 will feature in a Western-inspired story, while Han and Leia will have a noir-style tale that Pak characterized as “kind of smoky and sexy.”
Pak said that he’s attempting to write what he would want to see in a movie set during the original trilogy, adding that he’s surprised what Lucasfilm has allowed him to get away with in terms of story. “We’re going for the big moments, and they keep saying yes,” he said, with some surprise.
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