Diversity in Hollywood, both on-screen and off, is a hot topic these days. Director J.J. Abrams has said the #OscarsSoWhite controversy was a wake-up call for him and his company Bad Robot. And while Star Wars: The Force Awakens pleased many with its main cast, the Star Wars novels are also making positive strides.

Say hello to Ciena Ree, a member of the Imperial Navy and one of the Galactic Empire's youngest captains. French illustrator Aurore Folny brought the character to life from Claudia Gray's Star Wars novel Lost Stars. Here's the plot description:

This thrilling Young Adult novel gives readers a macro view of some of the most important events in the Star Wars universe, from the rise of the Rebellion to the fall of the Empire. Readers will experience these major moments through the eyes of two childhood friends--Ciena Ree and Thane Kyrell--who have grown up to become an Imperial officer and a Rebel pilot. Now on opposite sides of the war, will these two star-crossed lovers reunite, or will duty tear them--and the galaxy--apart? Star Wars: Lost Stars also includes all-new post-Star Wars: Return of the Jedi content, as well as hints and clues about the upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, making this a must-read for all Star Wars fans.

The image debuted on Lucasfilm's new The Star Wars Show. They mention Ciena is the captain of the Imperial Star Destroyer "The Inflictor," a.k.a. that downed ship you saw Rey ride past on Jakku in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. "The image was created as part of Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game," explained host Andi Gutierrez.

Fantasy Flight Games noted on Twitter the art they commissioned by Folny is Lucasfilm's definitive look for the character. They also wrote that Ciena will be in an upcoming expansion for Star Wars Armada. I've yet to read this book so I don't know how Ciena is described in the novel but it's great to see more diversity in Star Wars lore. As we've noted before, representation is very important.

(via io9)

Jill Pantozzi is a pop culture writer and host who reports on all things nerdy and beyond! Her blog TheNerdyBird.com was recently relaunched with Patreon support and she’s formerly Editor in Chief of The Mary Sue. She’s written for MTV, Tor, Playboy, Publishers Weekly, IGN & more. You can keep up with Jill, and her cats, on Twitter at @JillPantozzi.