Details about Alphabet Squadron released and crossover TIE Fighter comic announced!

Some exciting news about Star Wars publishing was announced yesterday on the Star Wars website, which includes a crossover between Del-Rey and Marvel to tie in upcoming books and comics.

The previously-announced book “Alphabet Squadron,” written by Alexander Freed, will focus on five different Rebel pilots who all fly different starfighter classes yet team up in the post-ROTJ world to hunt down the remnants of the Empire.  That book (published by Del-Rey) will be released on June 11, 2019, but it was announced yesterday that it will actually be a trilogy of books written by Freed!  That means that we’ll be getting just the first of three installments about these characters this summer, and that’s exciting news!

Here’s a look at the cover:

Del Rey also revealed a bit more information about the book yesterday on Twitter, including the name of the female pilot on the cover: Yrica Quell, an Imperial defector who flies an X-Wing.  So it seems that we now know who flies the X-Wing of Alphabet Squadron, and it’s seems she’ll probably be a main focus (at least in the first book).  Additionally, they revealed that Alphabet Squadron will be “tracking down a mysterious lethal force of TIE Fighters.”  And on whose authority?  “New Republic General Hera Syndulla.  She’s kind of a big deal.”

Now that’s a name-drop that’s sure to get fans excited!  Hera Syndulla is the one who sends Alphabet Squadron on this mission, but more than that, we now have confirmation that Hera is a New Republic General!  We knew that she survived the Battle of Endor so this isn’t exactly surprising, but it’s the first time we’ve had any hint of Hera’s role post-Endor – and that’s really exciting.  I’m curious to see whether she has a significant presence in the book or whether she’s just the figure who gets things started, but either way, I’m happy to see that we’re going to be getting more of Hera, because she’s awesome.

But that’s not all that was announced yesterday; in fact, the biggest announcement was something else: a comic mini-series published by Marvel, called “Star Wars: TIE Fighter,” will serve as a crossover with Alphabet Squadron!  This five-issue series will begin in April and will be written by Jody Houser and drawn by Rogê Antônio.  According to Marvel, the mini-series will look at things from an Imperial perspective, saying “The war against the Rebellion has put the entire galaxy at risk, but elite squadrons of TIE fighter pilots still fight to defend the Empire and bring fury down upon the Rebel Alliance.”

So what we have, it seems, is two differing perspectives: Alphabet Squadron will focus on Rebels hunting down Imperials, while Star Wars: TIE Fighter will focus on Imperials hunting down Rebels.  Both of them will be set post-Endor, which is a time period that hasn’t been too widely explored yet.  There’s a lot to be excited about, and I love that Del-Rey and Marvel are teaming up to do this crossover to tell more stories.  Part of the reason I think I like this announcement so much is that it’s truly the creation of more standalone stories (though, granted, nothing is really standalone in the new canon).  What I mean by that is that these aren’t one-off books or standalone mini-series tying in to a film but are focusing on telling their own stories.  With a trilogy of books coming from Freed and a comic series tying into it, it seems we’re really going to be getting a significant story.

I’m really looking forward to reading the books and the comics when they come out, and it’s safe to say that yesterday’s announcements have raised my hopes and anticipation considerably!

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