One of the thrills of a Star Wars film is the discovery of new worlds, characters, and connections. Since Disney bought the franchise and established a new continuity for it, it is a new day for worldbuilding in the galaxy far, far away. Star Wars: Catalyst is a new novel by James Luceno that acts as a prequel to December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, detailing the history of the film’s villain Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) and Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen), father of the film’s protagonist Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones). It also establishes a cool connection between the Ersos and the Rebel mercenary Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), who was first seen in animated form on Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
In the book, Saw aids the Ersos at a moment of desperation, when Galen discovers his old school friend Orson lied to him about working on a renewable energy source when instead he was working on the Death Star. Through a mutual friend, a smuggler named Has Omitt, Saw is the one to pilot the family off of Coruscant and hide them on the planet Lah’mu. It was here young Jyn’s fondness for Saw was born, and while he cannot stay, he promises to visit.
Screen Rant has the full breakdown of the novel, which dives deep into the manipulations of the ambitious Krennic and the staunch pacifism of Galen, setting up a very compelling dynamic for the two acclaimed actors to play come next month. All the intricate intersections across media are a delight for fans like us everywhere. It makes the new Star Wars universe feel real and meaningful, while also opening the door for new stories with old characters like Darth Maul and Admiral Thrawn.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first in an anthology of films from the Star Wars universe, outside of the traditional Episodic story. Directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla), it hits theaters December 16. The next project, about the early days of Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, will be directed by Phil Lord & Chris Miller (21 Jump Street, The LEGO Movie). It’s scheduled for release May 25, 2018.