Kelly Lynn Thomas
On Monday, June 28, Barnes & Noble held a virtual launch event for the newest books in The High Republic serieswith authors Charles Soule, Justina Ireland, Daniel José Older, Cavan Scott, and Claudia Gray.
If you missed the livestream, you can watch the panel recording over on the Barnes & Noble YouTube channel. And I recommend you do! But if you don’t have an hour to dedicate to some of the best writers in the galaxy, I’ve got you covered with this roundup of eight things we learned during the panel!
1. Childhood Fears
It came out pretty early that some of our daring authors aren’t so fearless! Cavan Scott admitted he was afraid of Chewbacca when he was a kid, at least until he got into the Marvel comic series and fell in love with a character I’d argue is even scarier: Jaxxon the giant green rabbit!
Understandably, while watching Return of the Jedi, a young Daniel José Older ran out of the theater when the rancor came on screen. Apparently he was too invested in the story to let his fears deter him, because he said he ran right back in, and cites the entire Jabba’s Palace sequence as “the beginning of [his] creative career.”
2. Titles Are Hard
The title is often the first thing we learn about a new Star Wars novel. But at least in Justina Ireland’s case, her novels remain untitled while she’s writing them. After some gentle teasing from the other panelists, she confessed to being terrible at titles and told the audience that her editors or the marketing staff have named almost every one of her books, Star Wars included!
3. Character Study
An audience member asked Claudia Gray how old Geode, the Vintian navigator from Into the Dark who resembles a large rock, was. Her answer? “Geode is cagey about his age. He’s probably older than most humans get, but not as old as Chewbacca.” This likely puts him at somewhere between 90 to 200 years old!
4. Speaking of Chewbacca…
Based on simple math, we know Chewbacca will be born during the High Republic Era. But will we get to meet baby Chewie? The panelists would neither confirm nor deny a possible appearance of everyone’s favorite walking carpet, so we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed!
5. Spoiler Alert!
Daniel José Older did let slip a pretty big spoiler for his book, The Race to Crashpoint Tower: “That’s the whole book: You race there, you crash, that’s it.” You’ve been warned!
On a more serious note, Justina Ireland’s Out of the Shadows, this wave’s young adult offering, contains spoilers for Cavan Scott’s The Rising Storm (adult, out now) and The Race to Crashpoint Tower (middle grade, out now). So if you’d like to avoid being spoiled, be sure to read these two first.
6. News, News, News!
The panelists did give us a few tidbits of new information. For one, they let us know that sometime during the month of July, but not right on July first, we can expect some High Republic news. Based on the caveat that the news won’t drop right away, you probably don’t have to start refreshing the Star Wars Books Twitter feed until July second. (Just kidding. Put an alert on the account so you’re notified when they tweet, like a normal person!)
7. The Master Plan
In case you’re worried the folks at Lucasfilm launched this incredibly ambitious project without a solid plan in place, the authors told us they are already plotting out the details of Phase Three (for reference, we’re in Wave Two of Phase One). Cavan Scott, meanwhile, is currently writing issue twelve of the comic book series The High Republic (issue six just released on June 30).
8. Bounty Hunting is a Complicated Profession
Will we get any bounty hunter-related stories in the High Republic era? The answer is “maybe.” This was another viewer-submitted question, and while the panelists were tight-lipped about it, Soule said, “It’s something we’ve talked about quite a bit, because it’s not popped up yet. Do we want to say anything about that other than it’s something we’ve spent time talking about?” Ireland responded, “I think that’s enough,” which certainly hints at the possibility! Here’s hoping!
If you need more High Republic goodness, check out this printable bookmark from StarWars.com, along with this quiz that will tell you which Jedi from the HR era you are.
For light and life!