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"The mythology of Star Wars has left a bantha-sized imprint on my life, reminding me of the never-ending powers of friendship, hope and trust. The friend-families formed, and the honor with which the characters act, has inspired me in every conceivable way. Star Wars fans are so truly lovely, and to get to write stories for Padawans has been one of the greatest privileges of my life."
―S.T. Bende[src]

S.T. Bende is an American author of young adult novels and children's books. Since 2017, she has written a multitude of Star Wars young reader titles.

Before becoming an official Star Wars author, Bende was a fan of the franchise. She first discovered the films as an adult and quickly became involved in the Star Wars fan community. Over the years, Bende has attended several Star Wars Celebration conventions and other fan gatherings.

The first two licensed Star Wars stories by Bende were published in the Disney–Lucasfilm Press anthology The Prequel Trilogy Stories in September 2017. Bende would go on to write many more stories for the publisher, including content in the 5-Minute Star Wars Stories series of books and the Galactic Adventures Storybook Collection.

Bende was also a major contributor to the short-lived Star Wars Epic Adventures 2019 book series. She authored the books The Phantom Menace and The Empire Strikes Back for the monthly subscription service, as well as the entirety of the Galactic Profiles flashcards featured in each monthly release of Epic Adventures.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, S.T. Bende launched a YouTube video series for young children. In the series, she reads several of her Star Wars stories aloud.

In 2021, Bende authored the first two Star Wars books in the Tiny & Mini Books reference series from publisher Insight Editions. The miniature-sized books, Star Wars: The Tiny Book of Jedi and Star Wars: The Tiny Book of Sith each feature quotes, imagery, and information about Star Wars characters aligned with the light side and dark side of the Force respectively.

Biography[]

Beginnings as a fan[]

"Full disclosure, I'm a convert—I didn't see my first Star Wars film until I was an adult. I would have loved to have known the Skywalkers and their adventurous found-family earlier, but when I finally met them, I watched Episode IV, V, VI, I, II and III over the course of one very eye-opening weekend. The Saga was definitely a hit."
―S.T. Bende[src]

S.T. Bende at Celebration Orlando waiting in line for The Last Jedi panel

S.T. Bende is an American young adult and children's book author.[1] Before becoming an official author of Star Wars books, Bende was a major fan of the franchise after discovering the prequel and original trilogy films as an adult.[2]

After finding her love for the franchise, Bende began to regularly attend the official Star Wars Celebration conventions. She blogged extensively about her journey from Star Wars fan to Star Wars author, including several experiences sleeping overnight at convention centers while waiting for the panels on each film in the sequel trilogy to begin.[3]

The Prequel Trilogy Stories[]

"There aren't enough words to express my absolute JOY at getting to write about the characters I love so very much. I've happily slept in the overnight lines for Celebrations, so to get to be a part of this project was quite literally a dream come true!"
―S.T. Bende, on the announcement of The Prequel Trilogy Stories[src]

S.T. Bende with a copy of The Prequel Trilogy Stories at a store in Disneyland

Bende's first official Star Wars credit came with the release of The Prequel Trilogy Stories, an anthology of illustrated short stories retelling the events of the prequel trilogy.[4] Michael Siglain, creative director of Lucasfilm publishing,[5] announced Bende's involvement with the title on May 31, 2017.[6] The title was published by Disney–Lucasfilm Press on September 26 of the same year.[7] An unabridged audiobook adaptation of the book was published on March 19, 2019 and includes Bende's stories.[8]

Two short stories by Bende were published in the anthology, each paired with art by illustrator Brian Rood. The first story, "The Path of a Podracer," adapts events from[9] the 1999 film[10] Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, focusing mainly on the Boonta Eve Classic podrace[9] depicted in the film.[10] Of all the Star Wars content she has written, Bende considers "The Path of the Podracer" to be her favorite. When she first saw the Star Wars films, the podracing sequences in The Phantom Menace particularly left an impression on Bende. As such, she considered the opportunity to write about podracing to be "a thrill."[2]

Bende's second story, "Driven to the Dark Side," adapts events from[11] the 2005 film Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith.[12] The story depicts the Jedi Anakin Skywalker's turn to the dark side of the Force.[11]

5-Minute Star Wars Stories[]

"I'm beyond excited to have some bookish news from a galaxy far, far away. I am over the forest moon (and filled with #EwokLove) to get to be a part of another fun release coming soon from Disney–Lucasfilm Press!"
―S.T. Bende, on the announcement of 5-Minute Star Wars Stories Strike Back[src]

On August 17, 2017, Bende announced her involvement in 5-Minute Star Wars Stories Strike Back, the second wide release in the 5-Minute Star Wars Stories series of storybooks. The two short stories Bende wrote for the book were designed to be read to young children in a short span of time, usually before bed.[13] The title was published on December 15, 2017.[14]

Bende's first short story, "Adventure in the Arena," adapts events from[15] the 2002 film[16] Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones.[15] Bende's second contribution to the book, "Mission to Maz," adapts events from[17] the 2015 film[18] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. While "Mission to Maz" saw widespread publication in 5-Minute Star Wars Stories Strike Back,[17] it was first published in 5-Minute Star Wars Villain Stories,[19] a limited-release title published in September 2017 that was exclusively sold in Kohl's department stores.[20] In the book, the short story featured modified art and a different title, "Chaos at the Castle."[19]

Galactic Adventures[]

"This project was a joy to work on, not only because #StarWars, but also because it involved writing stories based on existing Star Wars COMICS. It was an extremely fun process, and I hope your Padawans find as much joy in reading these stories as we did creating them!"
―S.T. Bende, on the release of Galactic Adventures Storybook Collection[src]

Galactic Adventures Storybook Collection and other anthologies featuring stories by Bende

October 2, 2018 saw the release of Galactic Adventures Storybook Collection,[21] an illustrated storybook anthology featuring adaptations of Star Wars comic books from Marvel Comics and junior novels from Disney–Lucasfilm Press.[22] Bende found adapting Star Wars comics for Galactic Adventures to be "a joy."[23]

Bende's first Galactic Adventures story, "Size Matters Not," features[24] Jedi Grand Master[25] Yoda in an adaptation of the twenty-sixth issue of the comic series Star Wars by Jason Aaron.[24] The second story written by Bende, "A Jedi's Control," centers on Padawan Anakin Skywalker and adapts the events of the first issue of the comic miniseries Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Anakin by Charles Soule. Both stories feature art by TomatoFarm.[26]

Epic Adventures[]

"My newest #StarWars project !! So happy to have gotten to write the books for #ThePhantomMenace and #EmpireStrikesBack, and those incredibly gorgeous profile cards!! (The Hoth ones made me cry. I know you're all shocked.)"
―S.T. Bende, on writing for the Star Wars Epic Adventures series[src]

S.T. Bende's The Phantom Menace book and Galactic Profiles flashcards from the Epic Adventures series

S.T. Bende is one of several authors who contributed to Star Wars Epic Adventures, a monthly subscription box set published in a joint venture between Sandvik Publishing and Disney–Lucasfilm Press.[27] Every month, subscribers would be sent a box with media focused on a particular film in the Star Wars saga. Included would be a deluxe hardcover storybook retelling the events of the spotlighted film, a tie-in sticker book, and other miscellaneous Star Wars paraphernalia.[28]

Additionally, each monthly box featured a deck of Galactic Profiles flashcards providing information on characters, events, and locations from the film of the month. Bende wrote all information provided on the flashcards for every monthly drop of Epic Adventures.[2]

Bende also wrote the first book in the Epic Adventures series, adapting the entirety of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace from the perspective of protocol droid C-3PO. The ninety-six-page storybook[29] was released in the first Epic Adventures monthly drop in May 2019.[30]

After just two months, the Epic Adventures series was canceled,[28] despite two additional waves of content being printed and ready for release. As such, only Bende's Galactic Profiles cards for The Phantom Menace[27] and Attack of the Clones were released[31] despite her having completed cards for Revenge of the Sith[32] and A New Hope.[33]

The Empire Strikes Back[]

"One of my favorite projects was a storybook of The Empire Strikes Back (Sandvik Publishing/Early Moments). I got to visit Hoth on a trip to Norway, and standing in the snow where AT-ATs once walked was a dream come true!"
―S.T. Bende[src]

S.T. Bende visiting Norway as part of research for The Empire Strikes Back book in the Epic Adventures series

Bende's second book in the Epic Adventures series, The Empire Strikes Back,[1] was also canceled alongside the series overall.[28] The book would have featured a full retelling of[1] the 1980[34] film of the same name from the perspective of C-3PO, much like the other books in the series. As with every other monthly release in the Epic Adventures series, Galactic Profiles flashcards by Bende would have coincided with the book's release.[28]

Despite it never being released, Bende considers The Empire Strikes Back to be one of her favorite Star Wars projects. When researching for the project, Bende traveled to Norway to visit the shooting location for the Battle of Hoth. She described standing where AT-ATs "once walked" as a "dream come true."[1]

COVID-19 pandemic and video series[]

"If you're home with little ones and looking for a new author read aloud, I've shared two of the stories I got to write for Star Wars: 5-Minute Stories Strike Back. I hope they bring your family smiles! Stay safe, stay healthy, and THANK YOU for staying at home to help #FlattenTheCurve!"
―S.T. Bende[src]

S.T. Bende in one of her Star Wars Storytime videos

In March 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, S.T. Bende started a YouTube video series titled Star Wars Storytime with S.T. Bende in which she reads some of her Star Wars stories aloud. The purpose of the series was to provide children with a read-along outlet during the pandemic.[35]

The first videos in the series featured Bende reading "Mission to Maz" and "Adventure in the Arena" from 5-Minute Star Wars Stories Strike Back.[35] Bende went on to publish four more videos throughout 2020, eventually reading all her stories from The Prequel Trilogy Stories[36] and Galactic Adventures Storybook Collection as well.[37]

Tiny Books[]

"I was over the forest moon when the team at Insight Editions invited me to write what may be the CUTEST books I've ever worked on. Not only did I get to research Star Wars' galaxy-famous Jedi and Sith, but I got to highlight my favorite quotes and facts about each of them . . . and pack all of that joy-filled info into one adorably tiny book!"
―S.T. Bende[src]

S.T. Bende at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge with a copy of Star Wars: The Tiny Book of Jedi

In 2021, S.T. Bende authored two books in the Tiny & Mini Books reference book series from publisher Insight Editions. The two titles, Star Wars: The Tiny Book of Jedi and Star Wars: The Tiny Book of Sith, were published on April 27 of the same year.[38][39]

Each of the books features imagery, quotations, and facts about iconic Star Wars characters from the films and television series. The Tiny Book of Jedi features characters that are members of the Jedi Order or otherwise affiliated with the light side of the Force.[40] The Tiny Book of Sith features the inverse, highlighting members of the Sith Order and other dark side adepts.[41]

When writing The Tiny Book of Jedi, Bende particularly enjoyed including information about[42] Jedi Master[40] Qui-Gon Jinn.[42] For The Tiny Book of Sith, Bende included so much information about Maul—one of her favorite characters—that her editor had to ask Bende to "reign in" the pages written about[42] the renegade Sith Lord.[41]

Published works[]

Year Title Published in Format
2017 "The Path of a Podracer" Illustrated short story[9]
"Driven to the Dark Side"[11]
"Mission to Maz"
"Adventure in the Arena" 5-Minute Star Wars Stories Strike Back[15]
2018 "Size Matters Not" Galactic Adventures Storybook Collection[24]
"A Jedi's Control"[26]
2019 The Phantom Menace Star Wars Epic Adventures Deluxe illustrated storybook[29]
Star Wars Epic Adventures: Galactic Profiles Reference flashcards[2]
Canceled The Empire Strikes Back Deluxe illustrated storybook[1]
2021 Star Wars: The Tiny Book of Jedi Tiny & Mini reference book[38]
Star Wars: The Tiny Book of Sith[41]

Sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Bende, S.T.: FAQs. Author S.T. Bende. Archived from the original on October 14, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Richau, Amy: Day 591 – S.T. Bende (2021-07-14). 365 Star Wars. Archived from the original on October 14, 2021.
  3. Bende, S.T.: Confessions of a Star Wars Fangirl (2015-04-27). Author S.T. Bende. Archived from the original on October 14, 2021.
  4. The Prequel Trilogy Stories
  5. StarWars.com Discussing the Star Wars Publishing Landscape with Lucasfilm's Michael Siglain on StarWars.com (backup link)
  6. Bende, S.T.: Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy Stories (2017-05-31). Author S.T. Bende. Archived from the original on October 14, 2021.
  7. Amazon favicon.png Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy Stories (Storybook Library) on Amazon.com (backup link)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Amazon favicon.png Star Wars Storybook Collection: Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy Stories and Star Wars: The Original Trilogy Stories on Amazon.com (backup link)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "The Path of a Podracer"—The Prequel Trilogy Stories
  10. 10.0 10.1 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "Driven to the Dark Side"—The Prequel Trilogy Stories
  12. Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  13. Bende, S.T.: Introducing 5-Minute Star Wars Stories Strike Back (2017-08-17). Author S.T. Bende. Archived from the original on October 14, 2021.
  14. Disney.com 5-Minute Star Wars Stories Strike Back on Disney.com (backup link)
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 "Adventure in the Arena"—5-Minute Star Wars Stories Strike Back
  16. Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 "Mission to Maz"—5-Minute Star Wars Stories Strike Back
  18. Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 "Chaos at the Castle"—5-Minute Star Wars Villain Stories
  20. 5-Minute Star Wars Villain Stories
  21. Amazon favicon.png Star Wars Galactic Adventures on Amazon.com (backup link)
  22. Galactic Adventures Storybook Collection
  23. Bende, S.T.: Introducing Star Wars Galactic Adventures Storybook (2018-10-10). Author S.T. Bende. Archived from the original on October 14, 2021.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 "Size Matters Not"—Galactic Adventures Storybook Collection
  25. The High Republic 1
  26. 26.0 26.1 "A Jedi's Control"—Galactic Adventures Storybook Collection
  27. 27.0 27.1 Bende, S.T.: Star Wars Epic Adventures: The Phantom Menace. Author S.T. Bende. Archived from the original on August 14, 2021.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 Amazon favicon.png Star Wars Epic Adventures Subscription on Amazon.com (backup link)
  29. 29.0 29.1 The Phantom Menace (Epic Adventures)
  30. Weiss, Josh: Ring in Star Wars Day on May the 4th with exclusive swag, contests, playlists, and more! (2019-05-01). Syfy. Archived from the original.
  31. Bende, S.T.: Star Wars Epic Adventures: Attack of the Clones. Author S.T. Bende. Archived from the original on August 14, 2021.
  32. Bende, S.T.: Star Wars Epic Adventures: Revenge of the Sith. Author S.T. Bende. Archived from the original on August 14, 2021.
  33. Bende, S.T.: Star Wars Epic Adventures: A New Hope. Author S.T. Bende. Archived from the original on August 14, 2021.
  34. Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
  35. 35.0 35.1 Bende, S.T.: Star Wars Storytime (2020-03-29). Author S.T. Bende. Archived from the original on October 14, 2021.
  36. YouTube.png Star Wars Storytime with S.T. Bende: The Path of a Podracer (#5) on the S.T. Bende YouTube channel (backup link)
  37. YouTube.png Star Wars Storytime with S.T. Bende: A Jedi's Control (#6) on the S.T. Bende YouTube channel (backup link)
  38. 38.0 38.1 Amazon favicon.png Star Wars: The Tiny Book of Jedi: Wisdom from the Light Side of the Force: (Gift for Star Wars Fan, Star Wars Books, Stocking Stuffer) on Amazon.com (backup link)
  39. Amazon favicon.png Star Wars: The Tiny Book of Sith: Wisdom from the Dark Side of the Force: (Gift for Star Wars Fan, Star Wars Books, Stocking Stuffer) on Amazon.com (backup link)
  40. 40.0 40.1 Star Wars: The Tiny Book of Jedi
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 Star Wars: The Tiny Book of Sith
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 Bende, S.T.: Introducing the Star Wars Tiny Books (2021-04-27). Author S.T. Bende. Archived from the original on October 16, 2021.

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