Star Wars has long been a multi-media franchise, as books, comics, and video games based on the popular films have been released over the last few decades. But now, with Lucasfilm under the Disney umbrella, all of this content is part of one large, overarching series canon. This means that, in Marvel Cinematic Universe tradition, #ItsAllConnected, giving fans extra incentive to pick up anything they can find. The Lucasfilm story group has done an excellent job of making sure the novels and comics aren't just supplementary sideshows. They frequently include revelations that add value to the bigger picture.
This was most apparent late last year, when the book Catalyst came out and served as a direct prequel to the anthology movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Author James Luceno broke down the tumultuous history between Galen Erso and Director Orson Krennic, setting the stage for their conflict in the film. Catalyst also revealed Saw Gerrera's relationship with the Erso family, enhancing one's Rogue One viewing experience. With the events directly before the film covered, now it's time to unveil the aftermath of the stealing of the Death Star plans.
No, Lucasfilm is not releasing a new novelization of A New Hope (which is the obvious follow-up to Rogue One). This is an all-new tale titled Star Wars: Inferno Squad, which was just announced on StarWars.com. Per an official summary, the novel covers the formation of an "elite team of soldiers" called the Inferno Squad, whose primary mission is to take out the remaining band of Saw's followers (who are fighting the Empire in honor of Gerrera's legacy). The synopsis teases that not everyone in Inferno Squad will be committed to the objective, as rising threats pose uncertainty.
Inferno Squad is written by Christie Golden, who penned the earlier canon novel Dark Disciple (which was set during the Clone Wars). It will be released on July 25, 2017. Though details about the book are slim, it certainly sounds like a compelling and interesting narrative that fans should enjoy. It will be interesting to see what effect being in the Inferno Squad has on its members, since the Disney canon has excelled at humanizing the Empire. The movies may depict the antagonists as space fascists, but in the other materials, it's evident that the Imperials are all individuals with their own set of aspirations. Some were just workers looking to make an honest living, while others opposed their viscous tactics and changed sides. Hopefully, Golden introduces some great new characters to the lore and explores these themes further.
Not all of the Star Wars canon novels have been well-received by fans, but of late, the books have been quite good, fleshing out the mythology in interesting ways. Ideally, Inferno Squad will be able to keep the hot streak going, showing how ruthless the Empire was as they looked to regroup following their first shocking defeat. Dark Disciple is considered one of the better titles of the Disney era, so it's clear Golden knows how to write for the galaxy far, far away. This should be a welcome addition to many collectors' book shelves.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018