Friday update: 14th April 2023 - Star Wars Celebration memories

A Star Wars-centric edition of my newsletter, including exclusive art of a High Republic character from Phase 3.

Friday update: 14th April 2023 - Star Wars Celebration memories

Hello there! Every other Friday, I post an update that gives you a round-up of my work, things you might have missed only and a few recommendations too! Let’s dive in - and make sure you keep reading for an EXCLUSIVE High Republic character reveal.

For light and life!

I’m writing this not from a galaxy far, far away but from Paris, where I’ve been spending a few days recovering from Star Wars Celebration. I say recovering, but who in their right mind recovers from the busiest convention of their life by going to Disneyland Paris with their family? I tell you who - me! Oh, and Charles Soule and George Mann, who joined us with their kids…

I’m still processing Celebration, to be honest. It was one of the greatest experiences of my career. The love for the High Republic was everywhere. You could power a mobile battle station from the energy in the room at the official THR panel on Saturday, especially when we invited The Acoylte showrunner Leslye Headland to the stage, followed swiftly by her wife, Rebecca Henderson. I will never forget watching the Acoylte trailer with a crowd of 3,500 people or the roar that erupted when we announced that Rebecca would be playing Vernestra Rwoh, the character created by Justina Ireland for A Test of Courage. You won’t believe how long we’ve been keeping THAT secret.

And as for the gems Leslye shared with us behind the stage… well, our lips are sealed.

We were still buzzing after the afternoon’s signing sessions (oh, the lines! The costumes! The gifts freely given!) when our wonderful talent wrangler Melissa gathered us up and guided us to the West Entrance, where we had put out a call for High Republic cosplayer. We were all a bit giddy as we wondered who would be out there and found half a dozen or so cosplayers. Oh. That was… well, it was a little disappointing. The costumes were stunning, but we’d hoped for more. Expected more, even. The hubris of creators, I suppose. We put on brave faces and turned to congratulate the cosplayers who noticed our obvious disappointment.

“Oh, this isn’t the meet-up,” said one Stellan Gios. “That’s the meet-up.”

They pointed down the stairs, revealing what could only be described as a throng. Cosplayer after cosplayer after cosplayer. Multiple Avars, Stellans, Path members, at least two Porter Engles, a Keeve, a Maru, a Chancellor Soh (complete with Targons), Mardas and Yanas, Teys and Lournas. And that’s just for starters. The list went on and on and on.

I don’t think we’ll ever forget it. Krystina Arielle tried to interview me on camera and I have no idea what I said. My brain was melting, totally overwhelmed. We took selfies, signed books, laughed and even cried a little. So much talent on display. So many hours spent creating the perfect costumes. Spent with our characters. No, that’s not right. The point is that they aren’t our characters anymore. They belong to all of us; the writers, the artists, the actors, and the fans. We are all the Republic.

Of course, there was much more to Celebration, although those two memories will take some beating. Other highlights included:

  • Being able to wax lyrical about my love of the classic Dark Horse Expanded Universe comics on the DH panel.

  • My first signing with my Marvel High Republic brother-in-arms, Ario Anindito (who had built Padawan Matty Cathley’s lightsaber, especially for the show!)

  • Having loads of fun with Charles on the Publishing panel (and developing an evil maniacal laugh! Who knew I had that in me?)

  • Star Wars Live host Anthony Carboni being super cool and making a huge fuss of my family backstage.

  • The moment Charles and I signed a rock!

  • Rocking out at Cantina 2 listening to the awesome Blues Harvest, with Jaxxon and Dead Sea’s artist Nick Brokenshire on guitar!

  • Meeting so many fans both on signing sessions at the Forbidden Planet booth and throughout the con as folk stopped me for a selfie or to say how much the High Republic meant to them! Thank you to everyone who said hi!

That’s just scratching the surface. What a weekend! And the reveals haven’t stopped yet! Keep reading!

Celebration news

Here’s a handy list of the news from Celebration if you missed it:

But I promised you another reveal, didn’t I?

How about this…

Introducing Jedi Master Keeve Trennis

Want a sneak peek of the Phase 3 Keeve Trennis? Then here you are! I can’t provide the context, but here she is courtesy of artist Ibraim Roberson.

I’m not going to give context…yet, so watch this space! But in the meantime, here’s another glimpse into Phase 3…and beyond!

Fan Art Friday

What’s better than Star Wars: The High Republic fan art? Star Wars: The High Republic fan art YOU CAN EAT!

Check out these amazing THR biscuits Jessica Trimble of The Cookie Palette made for Instagram user WDW_Bee’s birthday.

Happy belated birthday, Bee!

(I also love the Cookie Palette’s Zeb biscuit! See below!)

That’s all, folks

But before I go, by the end of my last update, I’d published pictures of all three of my guinea pigs and said that I’d have to start posting snaps of your pets. Subscriber Bryan F. obliged by sending me this picture of his piggy in the chat. Meet Falafel, everyone!

So, is this a thing? Am I signing off each fortnightly update with a picture of subscribers’ pets? Over to you! Please send me pictures of your little fur babies (or feather or scale babies, for that matter!) It doesn’t have to be guinea pigs, either! Either reply to this mail or add them to the comment section below!

Until next time, please share this newsletter with anyone you think would enjoy it! I’m really enjoying the community we're building here and would love to see it grow!

Stay safe!