British site SciFiNow interviews Dave Filoni on all things Clone Wars.
Fangirl blog has an interview with Darth Plagueis author James Luceno.
In case you missed it on Facebook, here’s a bit about Ian McDiarmid being presented with a copy of “Darth Plagueis” at Fandays in Dallas last weekend. He’d asked for it at Celebration. Hope he enjoys it as much as I did!
The Star Wars books panel at New York Comic Con announced several new projects, including an upcoming novel by John Jackson Miller with the working title of “Kenobi.” There’s no release date yet but the book takes place after the events of ROTS. You can see the sweet new concept artwork here.
Here’s the non-Clone Wars spoiler re “The Wrath Of Darth Maul.”
Right off the top, if you don’t want to know how Maul survives to appear in Clone Wars, DON’T read this book until those episodes end. It’s all at the very beginning and at the very end of the story. My reaction to reading all of it was along the lines of, “They’re going to have to sell sand in the desert to get folks to buy this improbable story,” but we’ll see.
What a year it’s been for Darth Maul. He’s been partying down like it’s 1999 all over again, with his mug plastered on Star Wars goodies, TPM back in theaters, and his triumphant return to the GFFA on Clone Wars this spring. There’s a new short story about him in the re-issued TPM novelization and there’s this book aimed at pre-teens. Windham has written similar books about other characters like Luke, Obi-Wan, and Vader/Anakin. (Please tell me why they never write about female characters?)
Most of the book looks back at Darth Maul’s life, combining elements introduced recently with Jude Watson’s Darth Maul book from 2000. In a way, it’s a companion to “Darth Plagueis,” filling in details on what exactly Sidious was doing with Maul, what was Maul told, and whether he was a Sith. As with Watson’s earlier book, one can’t help but feel a little sorry for young Maulsy. The kid was abused physically and psychologically from the get-go. He was like a pit bull mistreated and beaten as he was trained at the same time to be a killer.
But just when you think you’re going soft on the fellow, there’s a breaking point in the book where there’s no turning back. When Maul reaches 7 or 8 years old, he is taken from his hideaway on Mustafar and brought to a military academy to hone his skills. There he befriends—sort of—a female cadet. After several years, Maul has an encounter with Mother Talzin and the Nightsisters. They attempt to bring him “home.” Sidious figures out that a Mandalorian instructor at the academy snitched and to ensure nobody else ever discovers Maul’s true identity (and thereby protecting Sidious as well), Sidious orders Maul to kill everyone at the school. It’s very similar to what happens to Anakin in ROTS, only Maul shows zero remorse even when he is faced with killing his friends.
The last part of the book is basically “TPM According To Darth Maul,” and it throws in a long side adventure with him battling some pirates. It seems kind of pointless until the incident causes an injury that explains why Maul couldn’t defeat Qui-Gon the first time.
“The Wrath of Darth Maul” is quite violent and very entertaining to read. If you enjoyed “Darth Plagueis,” you’ll enjoy reading this too even though it’s not quite as epic in scale.
TheForcecast.net is doing a special roundtable with Kyle Newman and Random House/Del Rey’s Erich Schoenweiss on “Darth Plagueis.” Listen live right now (and if you miss it, you can listen later).
Missed James Luceno’s Q&A on Facebook today? TFN has a recap that’s easier to read than the actual chat.
Ryder Windham’s “Star Wars: The Wrath Of Darth Maul” is out (it was released earlier this month). It’s an all-new biography of Maulsy with all-new secrets! I’ll try to pick this one up soon and have a review for you!
I’ve posted a review of “Darth Plagueis” on my LiveJournal. Watch out though, it’s 100% spoiled!
If you want the brief unspoiled version, it’s this: The best Star Wars novel since “Heir To The Empire.” If you’re a prequel fan, you MUST read it!
#25–The TPM Novelization Was A #1 New York Times Bestseller
Author Terry Brooks was already one of the most successful fantasy authors of the day, with several bestsellers under his belt. His Shannara series always had a little of a Star Wars vibe to it, though I attribute that to drinking from the same well rather than outright copying. His first novel “The Sword of Shannara” came out around the time ANH was released in 1977; Brooks was far more often accused of copping LOTR than anything else.
So after several years of Expanded Universe novels by mostly science fiction authors, it was interesting they’d chosen a popular fantasy novelist to produce the first novelization of a Star Wars film since James Kahn’s “Return of the Jedi” in 1983. (Science fiction authors Alan Dean Foster and Donald F. Glut wrote the ANH and TESB novels, respectively). After all, Brooks didn’t need the exposure. Fans would have been happy to have a Timothy Zahn or a Michael Stackpole write the novel. But Brooks was Lucas’s choice and fans who didn’t care if they were spoiled quickly snapped up the book upon its release on May 3, 1999. (I bought the book but stuffed it beneath my bed until after I saw the movie.) The book went to #1 on the New York Times and Publishers Weekly lists for fiction hardcovers. The funny gimmick that went with the book’s original release was the multiple covers featuring different characters, but the paperback went with Darth Maul.
The novel turned out to be one of the biggest hits of Brooks’s career and he’d devoted an entire chapter of his kinda autobiography “Sometimes The Magic Works” on the process of writing the novel, which he recounted as a positive experience. Lucas gave Brooks a rundown of the Jedi and the Sith and what they believed. Brooks introduced fans to Darth Bane as founder of the modern Sith, and the contrasting beliefs of the Living Force vs. the Unifying Force (“Living Force” is mentioned in the film, “Unifying Force” is not). Of the six film novelizations, TPM remains my favorite.
Del Rey releases “Darth Plagueis” tomorrow, 1/10/12. I won a review copy and I’m almost 200 pages into it. All I can say is, believe the hype! Even if you’ve never read another Star Wars novel, it’s a great read for any prequel fan and if you love Palpatine, you’re in for a treat. He’s in his full calculating, sociopathic glory. He is EE-ville and he’s still a young Sith apprentice!
I’ll have a full review of the book once I finish it.