Horror stories set in the Star Wars galaxy are nothing new. First we had the young readers Galaxy of Fear novels back in 1997 (think Goosebumps in space) and then there was Joe Schreiber’s three adult horror novels which started with 2009’s Death Troopers.
The galaxy far, far away will soon be subjected to an all new tale of horror with the 5-part series The Screaming Citadel, in which Luke and the gang get more than they bargained for when they investigate a decrepit castle located on the edge of space. Jason Aaron, who is writing alongside Kieron Gillen, described it as being “very much a Star Wars gothic-horror story” in an interview with Star Wars.com. When asked specifically about how the horror elements would factor in, he said the following:
Kieron Gillen: As you say, Star Wars is a genre mash. It takes from a load of sources and you can see what they’re doing, and the whole entire point is having that integrate. The trick is, we’re going to do this quite-hard twist, as in we’re going to lean very much to this particular genre that we haven’t seen in Star Wars before, and that’s a big part of the appeal. “Let’s do a horror story, and let’s do a horror story with this level of gothic fantasy to it.” It pretty much starts in a bar, which is as Star Wars as it gets. So it’s very grounded, we recognize it’s Star Wars. Then we travel with Luke and Aphra, and we go to this place. It’s instantly a Star Wars take on the trope of doing a village, and there’s a really weird castle up on the hill and it’s a bit suspicious, and they arrive there and [the people] seem very friendly but something is definitely off. You know what I mean? You understand the tropes, then you go, “Okay, how can we make them feel like Star Wars?” That’s putting the twist on it. In terms of the horror aspects of the book, which I’m being a bit sheepish around, it’s like, “How can get something that feels like that, but then also, definitely, is not just doing that in Star Wars.” It’s sort of like Aphra with the Indiana Jones influence. It’s like, “Yeah, I can see what this is like, but it’s also not like that.” If the work isn’t transformational, it’s pointless doing.
The Screaming Citadel will form part of the new canon Star Wars continuity, as Disney took it upon themselves to retcon the Legends timeline. It will begin with a self titled one-shot in May before continuing in Star Wars #31, Doctor Aphra #7, and subsequent issues.