Marvel Comics' Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski is slated to be here for Star Wars Celebration's Marvel Comics panel, joined by comics writers Alyssa Wong, Cavan Scott, Charles Soule, Ethan Sacks, and Marc Guggenheim - along with Lucasfilm's senior creative executive Matt Martin.
At the 2022 Star Wars Celebration panel Marvel announced a new Yoda comic - so just imagine what could be next!
The Marvel x Star Wars panel at Star Wars Celebration 2023 is scheduled to take place Monday, April 10 beginning at 12:30 PM BST / 7:30 AM EST eminating from the ExCel Centre's Galaxy Stage. We will be liveblogging the entire event so you can follow along live, or come back later for the full play-by-play.
And that's the panel! Cebulski ends things in the right way, by telling the crowd, "May the Force be with you."
"I write in silence, but to change gears, I listen to music to get in the right mindset," Scott says. Ethan Sacks admits that he plays with action figures "as a professional," to do the same thing.
"I'm very lucky to get to write stories at lots of different points in the Star Wars timeline," Soule says, saying that he needs to think about the era and the character that he's writing, before working things out longhand in a "messy" notebook that no-one else gets to see. Alyssa Wong and Marc Guggenheim both work things out longhand as well. "It helps to just physically handwrite it," Wong says, joking that she also lies on the ground and cries a little bit as part of her process.
CB Cebulski is thanking everyone in Marvel and Lucasfilm editorial for the Star Wars comics. "We work very closely together on the Star Wars books," he says, before asking the panelists what their average day is working on Star Wars. Everyone seems daunted by the question.
"I've done one cosplay, and it was Han Solo," admits Alyssa Wong. "Seeing people's cosplay is my favorite thing." Charles Soule has dressed as Star Wars characters twice as a kid for Halloween: once as a Jawa with his family, and the following year, he dressed as Luke Skywalker. "I haven't [cosplayed] yet, but next year I was thinking I might cosplay as Charles Soule," says Cavan Scott. Ethan Sacks dressed for Halloween as Darth Vader, while Marc Guggenheim dressed as C-3PO for his own Halloween way back when. Complete with an inflatable lightsaber! Matt Martin dressed as Admiral Ackbar in his 20s, but his girlfriend wouldn't let him out of the house in the costume. (Good for her.)
CB Cebulski is talking about seeing the original movie thanks to his father, but also being invited to watch George Lucas on television as a kid by his dad, which helped him realize that stories were made up by real people, and that was something people could actually do for a living.
"I have a very, very early baby memory of seeing a tauntaun and thinking, 'I would eat that,'" says Alyssa Wong. She also remembers seeing Episode I and being the same age as Anakin, and also wanting to be a podracer. "And then the next movie came out, and I was like, 'awwww, he's old now!'" she says.
Charles Soule's first Star Wars was seeing A New Hope in re-release. His father was also responsible. "We're hearing a Star Wars Dad is Important theme," he jokes. Between watching the original movie and the release of The Empire Strikes Back, his dad would make up Star Wars bedtime stories, which is surprisingly and lovingly touching.
Cavan Scott says that his first Star Wars experience was his grandmother buying him an Obi-Wan Kenobi action figure. "I was like, thanks grandma, you've gotten me an action figure of an old man," he jokes.
Ethan Sacks says that seeing Star Wars at four years old is probably his earliest complete memory. He too was taken to the movies by his dad; he says that he got to tell that to George Lucas, who "looked a little uncomfortable."
"My Star Wars origin story begins with a very old movie caled the Bad News Bears," Marc Guggenheim says, somewhat unexpectedly. "I went with my dad in a Sunday in May to go and see this movie, and suddenly John Williams' score swells in and that logo appears, and I'm like, 'this has nothing to do with baseball.'" He says that his life was changed. "My six year old mind was blown." "So, wait, you saw Star Wars on accident?" asks Matt Martin. "It was the coolest thing my dad ever did," Guggenheim says.
We're at the end of the slideshow, and CB Cebulski is now asking the panelists where their love of Star Wars came from. Matt Martin says that he was a kid in the space between Return of the Jedi and the Special Editions. "When I was eight years old, I had a sleepover and a kid just randomly decided to watch Return of the Jedi and my mind was just blown," he says.
And here's the cover for Bounty Hunters #37, featuring... Jango Fett? Boba Fett has a secret that is going to impact the storyline, Ethan Sacks teases, and it's one connected to a "classic villain from Marvel lore" that traumatized Sacks as a kid. Make your guesses now, fans.
Doctor Aphra's Dark Droids storyline is going to include a previously unseen prototype Clone Wars-era Battle Droid gone wrong, but that's not all. "Aphra's going through some serious emotional issues, she's kind of on a spiral," Wong says.
Darth Vader might not be a droid, but with so many machine parts, Dark Droids is going to affect him in unexpected ways, everyone teases. Charles Soule calls the Darth Vader issues "quite creepy" and "a horror story." "And it's SO GOOD," says Alyssa Wong.
This is going to reach all the way back to Soule's Lando miniseries from some years back, as Lando's attempts to try and help Lobot "do not go well," he teases. Soule will be writing both the ongoing Star Wars series and the Dark Droids miniseries during this storyline.
Star Wars: Dark Droids is the official name of the crossover running between Star Wars, Doctor Aphra, Bounty Hunters, and Darth Vader. It begins in Star Wars: Dark Droids #1 in August 2023, by Soule and Luke Ross. "When there's something wrong with the droids, there's something wrong with everything," Soule says.
Charles Soule is talking about the crossover. "Does anyone in this room have a phone? Like, a smartphone. Think about your phone, all the things you ask it to do. Now think about your phone thinking about you. And your phone hates you for it. And your phone is, right now, talking about all the other phones in the room, and they're thinking about how to eat you. The phones are the droids, and the story is called, Dark Droids."
CB Cebulski is teasing the big summer crossover between the regular Star Wars books.
Ethan Sacks just teased that Boba Fett isn't going to be the only Fett coming to Bounty Hunters...
Durge is also coming back to the series, as well; Sacks is joking about running someone who asked him when the character was returning. "I told him, come to the Marvel panel."
We're looking at the covers for Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #34-36, with Sacks saying that there's a "seismic shift" coming to the series, with "something bad happening to Valance" and other characters leaving the book while new characters are joining. One of those characters? Boba Fett, who's returning to the book, to the displeasure of... a lot of other cast members of the series.
Coming up in Bounty Hunters: Valance versus Inferno Squad, who are making the jump from Star Wars: Battlefront into Star Wars comics with this storyline. "It's so great bringing those characters back," Matt Martin says. "I just love those characters."
Ethan Sacks is talking about Star Wars: Bounty Hunters and thanking members of Valance Nation in the audience. They're very very happy to be called out, judging by the screams.
And now we're seeing a Ventress variant for Aphra #35, in recognition of the 15th anniversary of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. There's going to be a lot of other Clone Wars variants across the line, CB Cebulski says.
The Starweird is coming back to Star Wars canon in Doctor Aphra #34. Remember the Starweird? If not, check out your old 1970s and '80s Marvel Star Wars comics and feel amazed and horrified in equal measure.
Shaak Ti is showing up on a variant cover for Doctor Aphra #32. "I can't wait for you to see how she connects in, because she does," Wong teases.
The cover for Aphra #33 is being shown: it's Aphra, Luke Skywalker, R2-D2, and Darth Vader. Really, no-one else stands a chance with Aphra around. "I don't really write a lot of good dudes, or good people," Alyssa jokes.
Wong is now teasing upcoming issues of the Star Wars: Doctor Aphra series, with Rachel Stott's cover to #30. "Do you want to see two people sword fight? You're gonna get that," she teases. Those people? That would be Aphra and Vader. "I'm stoked," she says in a mild understatement.
We're looking at covers for Darth Vader #35 and #36, which... feature Vader and Doctor Aphra together...? "Greg and I, and even Charles, are sort of doing our own sort of mini-crossover," Alyssa Wong teases. "I sort of really wanted to see Greg write Aphra!"
Cebulski is talking about Greg Pak's current Star Wars: Darth Vader series, in which Darth Vader learns more about Padme and her handmaidens. "Greg has taken [the handmaidens] a couple of decades later [than the prequels]," Matt Martin says. "Watching Vader deal with that has been really fascinating." We're looking at preview art for #33 in the series by Adam Gorham, who's new on the series.
#36 is "a Leia-focused story, but it's also about showing you just what the Millennium Falcon is capable of," Soule says, joking that he'd just seen Top Gun: Maverick before writing it.
Charles Soule is talking about the central Star Wars title, set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. "That story is about how Lando goes from being a real scoundrel to somehow being a Rebel General," he says, but there's also a pretty big character arc for Luke during the run... including how he became the calm, collected Jedi everyone sees in Return of the Jedi. May's #34 and June's #35 are stories leading to the construction of his green lightsaber from that latter movie. "I'm really, really proud of it," Soule says.
We're looking at preview artwork from Darth Vader: Black, White and Red, including Peach Momoko's contribution, which everyone is in awe of. Her story will include the introduction of a new character, Cebulski teases.
"At Marvel, we've been doing a series called Black, White and Red, or Black, White and Blood. We spoke to our friends at Lucasfilm and they gave us permission to do Darth Vader: Black, White and Red," Cebulski says. Jason Aaron is returning to Star Wars to tell a serialized story that will run throughout the four-issue run, unlike the traditional Black, White and Red anthologies.
"I can assure you, even though it's only a miniseries, this is not the last you'll see of Sana Starros," Cebulski teases.
Now we're looking at the cover for Star Wars: Sana Starros #3, which is out this week. "A lot of the Star Wars stories are about family," Cebulski says. "This is a wonderful story about the Starros family." Matt Martin from Lucasfilm Story Group says that the series features connections to The High Republic.
We're seeing Phil Noto's cover to Yoda #8-10, featuring some big guests: Anakin Skywalker is on the cover for #8, and #10 features Obi-Wan Kenobi and Count Dooku. That issue will be written by Cavan Scott, focusing on the lesson that the greatest teacher of a Jedi is failure... Scott is teasing that we might see cameos from the High Republic era.
The three-issue arc is going to connect with the Star Wars: Revelation one-shot, and the final issue will end with what Guggenheim is calling "a big reveal" about just who Yoda has been talking to in the framing sequence throughout the series.
"Any Yoda fans out there?" asks Cebulski. Marc Guggengeim and Alessandro Miracolo will be creating #s 7-9 of the Star Wars: Yoda series, which illustrates the lesson "size matters not" in a story set during the Clone Wars.
To cheers from the audience, there's actually going to be a Star Wars: Max Rebo comic, by Daniel José Older and Paul Fry coming in August. The enthusiasm in this room for this comic is amazing. "Not going to give away too too much," says Cebulski, "but we're thrilled with how this is coming out."
More Return of the Jedi anniversary projects are Lando, The Empire, and a previously unannounced Rebels one-shot, featuring Admiral Ackbar. "I don't want to spoil too much," says CB Cebulski.
CB Cebulski is talking about Star Wars: Ewoks, a one-shot celebrating the 40th anniversary of Return of the Jedi. Alyssa Wong, who writes the anthology, says that she's "very excited" about the book, which features stories told across the Star Wars timeline, each told by the Ewoks' point of view.
Ario Arindito, the artist of High Republic, is here at Celebration in secret, Cavan Scott reveals.
Excuse the slight delay due to technical difficulties, and welcome to the in-progess Marvel panel here at Star Wars Celebration Europe! Cavan Scott is talking about Star Wars: The High Republic, as he teases upcoming events.