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Solo, but far from alone
Each new Star Wars film comes with a constellation of novels, comics, and storybooks surrounding and enhancing the narrative. In this exclusive preview, Lucasfilm Publishing creative director Michael Siglain takes EW on a journey through the books of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
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Last Shot, by Daniel José Older
The author of Half-Resurrection Blues and Shadowshaper has penned this novel that connects three eras in the lives of Han Solo and Lando Calrissian. “Part of it takes place before the events of Solo and focuses on Lando and L3-37,” Siglain says, referring to Lando’s droid sidekick in the new film. “Part of it takes place between Solo and A New Hope, and that focuses on Han and Chewie, and that’s where we get Sana Starros for the first time.” She would be the character, first introduced in the Marvel Comics, who claimed to be married to Han.
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Last Shot, by Daniel José Older
“Part of it takes place post-Return of the Jedi, and that’s where we see Han, Leia, a very young Ben Solo, and Lando come into the story,” Siglain adds. The cover is reversible — on one side is Han's silhouette, while Lando’s is on the other. There’s also a “convention exclusive” cover featuring L3 and Chewbacca …
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Last Shot (convention exclusive), by Daniel José Older
“We bounce around through time,” Siglain says. “We always wanted to tell a story that had Han and Lando having one adventure after Return of the Jedi. At the same time, we really liked the idea of contrasting that with seeing them much earlier in their lives. A crime lord comes looking for the owner of the Millennium Falcon, but mistakenly thinks it was Han Solo at the time, but it was really Lando — which gets Lando mixed up in something else Han did that was Han’s fault. All these years later, the two of them have to right a wrong from much earlier in their history.”
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Most Wanted, by Rae Carson
This YA book by the author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns focuses on Alden Ehrenreich’s Han Solo and Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra, back in their teenage years. “This is about the younger, young Han solo,” Siglain says. “We’ll see what it was like for these two kids from Corellia to survive the seedy streets of this industrial world. They’re definitely products of their environment, and this story shows that.”
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Lando: Double or Nothing, Rodney Barnes
This Marvel Comics miniseries is written by Rodney Barnes (a veteran scribe from TV’s The Boondocks) and will play out over five issues. “It’s focused on Lando set during an incident right before the film, with backstory about Lando and L3,” Siglain says. The series debuts the Wednesday after the movie opens, since its story is so closely tied in. “Coming out of the film, we think everyone is going to want ot read more about Lando.”
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The Art of Solo, by Phil Szostak
“This is another of those really beautiful art books that shows various pieces of concept art that went into this film,” Siglain says. “You see the evolution of Solo through this book, and the insight that Phil gets from everyone in the production is incredible.”
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Solo: The Official Guide, by Pablo Hidalgo
“This one combines the popular formats of a Visual Dictionary with part of a cross-sections book,” Siglain says. “This gives you insight into the characters, and the props, vehicles, and tech that you see in the film. And it’s written by [Lucasfilm story group member] Pablo Hidalgo, so we have it on good authority that all of this is correct.”
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The Moviemaking Magic of Star Wars: Creatures + Aliens, by Mark Salisbury
This non-fiction title by Mark Salisbury is aimed at young readers and “strives to teach some of the history of filmmaking, makeup, and special effects through all the films, starting with 1977’s A New Hope and going up through Solo,” Siglain says.
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The Mighty Chewbacca: Forest of Fear, by Tom Angleberger
In this middle-grade reader, a Wookiee is sent on a pet-sitting mission to care for a Golden Tooka. “Chewbacca thinks it’s a dull babysitting job, but he not only has to save the day, but save Han Solo,” says Siglain. “He gets mixed up with a droid he thinks is a cargo droid, but the readers will recognize as K-2S0 [from Rogue One], who is on a mission for Cassian Andor.” They will also cross paths with a new character, Mayv Trillick, who may have the coolest job in the galaxy: librarian bounty hunter.
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Star Wars: Adventures (free preview)
This is part of an onging IDW comic book series, and the first of the three-part young Solo storyline by writer Cavan Scott will be released as part of Free Comic Book Day. The heroes are targeted by bounty hunters familiar to fans of The Empire Strikes Back — Zuckuss and 4-LOM.
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Star Wars: Adventures, Issue #10
“They’re being chased by the bounty hunters and go to a planet they don’t know,” Siglain says. “Once they get into the atmosphere, everything shuts down and the Falcon crashes into the water.”
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Star Wars: Adventures, Issue #11
“Everything on this planet is powered down, and no technology works,” Siglain says. “Then they figure out a way to turn it on and realize that was the worst mistake they could make — the planet comes alive and attacks them.”
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I Am a Wookiee, by Geof Smith
This Little Golden Book is part of another ongoing Star Wars series for younger readers. “We’ve done I Am a Rebel, I Am a Jedi, I Am a Sith,” Siglain says. This Chewbacca tale brings some adorableness to the world of Wookiees.
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Solo: Train Heist
Hop aboard the Conveyex for a ride through the mountains as Han Solo and Chewbacca do their best to steal what’s secured within. Basically, it’s a retelling of this action scene from the movie. “It gives kids a piece of the film to take home with them,” Siglain says.
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Choose Your Destiny: A Han & Chewie Adventure, by Cavan Scott
Should Han and Chewie fire against the TIE Fighters or try to outrun them? In original story, young readers will be able to skip around making their own decisions. “They’re on a seemingly easy smuggling gig, but then to save himself and Chewie and the Falcon, Han tells [the people of this world] he’s Jabba the Hutt, and things go from bad to worse before they have to get out of there,” Siglain says.
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Chewie and the Courageous Kid
This is a Star Wars remake. It’s based on a five-issue Chewbacca comic book series from 2015, by Gerry Duggan, with art by Phil Noto, in which the Wookiee teams up with a new young friend. “We’ve taken that story and adjusted it so it’s appropriate for 6-, 7-, 8-year-olds, rather than the 13-plus audience of the Marvel Comic,” Siglain says.
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Meet the Crew
Another storybook aimed at very young readers, this one delves into the characters who populate the film, from the heroes to the sidekicks.
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This preview goes with the British spelling. No word just yet who that droid on the cover may be.
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Solo souvenir guide
Somewhat self-explanatory, this book will explore some of the images and storylines of the movie.
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Solo: Look and Find
You don’t even have to be old enough to read to enjoy this one. It’s all about locating characters and objects hidden within the elaborate drawings.
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Solo: Sound Book
Press the buttons for sound effects that accompany the simple story. There’s a TIE Fighter, an explosion, an Imperial sprocket, the Millennium Falcon, Chewbacca and … that strange 7-like symbol? That’s like the dollar sign for galactic credits.
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Solo: The Official Sticker Collection
Would you rather be “official” …
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Solo: The Ultimate Sticker Collection
… or “ultimate”? Why not both?
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Han on the Run, by Beth Davies
For those very little kids who are also fans of Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles work.
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Solo: Activity Book
Stickers, coloring, puzzles — everything a young Wookiee needs to stay busy on a rainy Corellian afternoon.