Dear Star Wars Books: Thank You For the Women

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a blog post for EUCantina in which I analyzed the roles of women in the Expanded Universe, specifically in the post-Return of the Jedi era. The article was inspired by the cancellation of “Mandorla”, the Alex Irvine novel about Nomi Sunrider, from the Tales of the Jedi comics. I’d been wanting a book about Nomi for awhile, and was really disappointed to see it cancelled. And the disappointment stung on more than just a level of “I was really looking forward to that book.”

And then my brain began to turn. As far as I can recall, “Mandorla” was the only novel in recent memory to be focused on a female protagonist. We’ve had “Han” novels, “Bane” novels, “Revan” novels; where are the “Jaina” and “Padme” and “Leia” novels? Why cancel a novel that had a chance to expand on a strong female lead?

The article was generally well received, with a few exceptions, mostly from people claiming that the EU was already filled with lots of female characters. While that may have been true, the point of the article remained:

“But Star Wars has many female leads,” you might say. To which I reply: “but none are allowed to lead.”

The original article has since been lost to the internet ether, but I had my own draft copy elsewhere. With San Diego Comic Con happening and in anticipation of the Star Wars Books panel, I recently skimmed the article with the intention of reposting it here on Tosche Station for posterity’s sake. But as I kept reading, I realized something: in less than 18 months, Del Rey and LucasBooks has addressed nearly all of my major complaints in the article. And I knew I’d be remiss if I didn’t revisit the article and say THANK YOU.

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Her Universe gets a site redesign, Jaina and Mara shirts available online

Jaina Mara shirts

If you haven’t been over to Her Universe today, you may have missed that the site got an overhaul!

You may also have missed that today, the limited time Jaina and Mara shirts debuting at San Diego Comic Con are also available on the site. The Jaina shirt is currently online and available for purchase, and according to Her Universe, the Mara shirt should also be available shortly. Plus, brand new Doctor Who and The Walking Dead items are now online too including a super awesome looking zombie hoodie. So head over and take a look!

New Ahsoka, Expanded Universe merch debuting at SDCC

Ashoka and Expanded Universe fans are in for a treat courtesy of Her Universe. In an e-mail that went out earlier this morning, fans were notified that new shirts are incoming!

It’s July… so that means only one thing…San Diego Comic Con! Get ready for exclusives, new merchandise, and exciting conversations! Her Universe will be at Comic-Con in full force and we hope to see you there! We’ll have a booth in the Star Wars Pavilion (#2913-F) at SDCC, providing fans with a unique experience. We’ll have all new merchandise for Star Wars, Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, Star Trek, and Battlestar Galactica. We’ll also be debuting new Star Wars designs every day. 500 Return of the Jedi necklaces will debut on Wednesday, 100 Dave Filoni designed “Ahsoka’s Choice” shirts on Thursday, 100 Jaina Solo shirts on Friday and 100 Mara Jade shirts on Saturday. Each Jaina Solo and Mara Jade shirt will come with a free book courtesy of Del Rey publishing! Lots going on, plus a Her Universe panel! Read about it here. For those NOT going to San Diego Comic Con, do not fear! You can celebrate SDCC from home…all of the merchandise (except the ROTJ necklace), plus more, will go on sale on our website on July 18th. There is Comic-Con love for all!

Best Wishes,


And just what do these new shirts look like? Here you go.

New HU releases


That’s right. A Jaina shirt based on the Sword of the Jedi promotional art and a Mara Jade shirt using the Choices of One paperback art. Finally, a Mara shirt that doesn’t feature the catsuit!

These new items (except the RotJ necklace) are available on the Her Universe website starting July 18th.

The Sequel Trilogy and the Expanded Universe

Note: I will not be surprised if Episode VII bulldozes the entire post-Return of the Jedi era Expanded Universe. But that’s not the point of this post.

Lately I’ve been seeing people argue that Episode VII can’t and shouldn’t use elements from the Expanded Universe, else the story idea will be limited. I certainly understand that argument. Also, we already know that Episode VII will follow an original storyline, meaning Episodes VII, VIII, and IX won’t be The Thrawn Trilogy or some other EU book. People point to that statement as evidence that the Sequel Trilogy won’t use anything from the EU, because it would be too difficult to explain who these new characters are.

To that, I say bullshit.

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Her Universe Secures Expanded Universe Merchandising Rights from Lucasfilm

Under way right now is a chat on the Star Wars Books Facebook page with Her Universe founder and  The Clone Wars voice actress Ashley Eckstein. You should go there and read answers to things and such! Early on there was an announcement that’s sure to catch the eyes of Her Universe and Expanded Universe fans. When asked about potential EU gear in the future, Ashely responded:

YES! We are designing Several NEW Star Wars designs this year. Everything will be debuting in May. We are making shirts, dresses, jewelry…We have Rogue Squadron designs AND I am SO excited to announce that Lucasfilm has given us the rights to design shirts for the women in the EU, so expect more Mara Jade and Jaina Solo designs!

Rogue Squadron material launching in May, licencing rights to the Expanded Universe. If you’re a Her Universe fan, you’re appear to be in for some real treats.

Star Wars Ladies Go Disney!

Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm was approved today which means one thing: there will only be more Disney-Star Wars mash ups in the future.  We may outwardly roll our eyes but inside, I think we can all agree that if we don’t see Jedi Princess Jasmine or Disney Princess Leia or some combination of Aurora and Amidala in one costume around conventions next year that we shall all be disappointed.  Endless possibilities, folks, endless possibilities.

I’m going to go ahead and publicly blame Brian for this post.  I’m a bit obsessed with messing around with doll makers and he decided that I should share these designs with you.  So the short version is that while I did make these, it’s not my fault.

And with that, I shall simply present my answer to the question “What would the ladies of the Star Wars universe look like if they were part of an animated Disney film?”

Princess Leia Organa Solo

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Cosplay Monday: Jaina Solo

It’s time for another Cosplay Monday and this week we’re featuring an awesome Jaina Solo costume by Cavalyn!  Not only does her costume look great but she also makes a wonderful Jaina.  You can more pictures of Cavalyn’s costume on her tumblr including some awesome group shots with not only the other Solo children but also some really cool looking Legacy of the Force inspired shots.