With Star Wars: The Last Jedi rapidly approaching its release in theaters, Lucasfilm and Disney are ramping up the hype train with new material to help you on your deep dive into A Galaxy Far, Far Away.
Novels have always been an integral part of the Star Wars Universe, ever since Alan Dean Foster wrote Splinter of the Mind’s Eye and From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker after the first movie released in theaters.
And even though Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm might have wiped a lot of the characters and events depicted in the novels out of continuity, fans still hold many of the Star Wars Extended Universe stories in high regard.
Stories such as The Thrawn Trilogy, Shadows of the Empire, and the Legacy of the Force series are still relevant to many readers, and even if their tales are not truly canon anymore they remain huge influences on the current crop of stories. The parallels between Jacen Solo and Kylo Res are pretty obvious, and Grand Admiral Thrawn has terrorized the Ghost Crew in the third season of Star Wars Rebels.
And with the new canon in place, Lucasfilm has been establishing new storylines to help fill in gaps between the movies. Those releases will increase as as Journey To Star Wars: The Last Jedi begins in full force.
Here are some of the books you can look forward to in the coming months to gear up for the latest installment in the Star Wars saga.
BATTLEFRONT II: INFERNO SQUAD
By Christie Golden
Releases July 25
Set in the aftermath of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, this action-packed prequel to Battlefront II introduces the Empire’s elite force: Inferno Squad.
The Rebellion may have heroes like Jyn Erso and Luke Skywalker. But the Empire has Inferno Squad.
After the humiliating theft of the Death Star plans and the destruction of the battle station, the Empire is on the defensive. But not for long. In retaliation, the elite Imperial soldiers of Inferno Squad have been called in for the crucial mission of infiltrating and eliminating the Partisans—the rebel faction once led by notorious Republic freedom fighter Saw Gerrera.
Following the death of their leader, the Partisans have carried on his extremist legacy, determined to thwart the Empire—no matter the cost. Now Inferno Squad must prove its status as the best of the best and take down the Partisans from within. But the growing threat of being discovered in their enemy’s midst turns an already dangerous operation into a do-or-die acid test they dare not fail. To protect and preserve the Empire, what lengths will Inferno Squad go to… and how far beyond them?
If you want to find out about the Empire’s own squad of elites on par with the protagonists we’ve come to love in the Saga before they’re featured in EA’s upcoming video game, this is your chance to do so.
By Delilah S. Dawson
Releases September 1
Discover Captain Phasma’s mysterious history in this “Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi” novel.
Not much is known about Delilah S. Dawson’s latest Star Wars novel, but given the prominence Captain Phasma will be receiving in the lead up to Star Wars: The Last Jedi we’re going to wager that she’ll play a much more prominent role in the film.
This book, coupled with Kelly Thompson’s and Marco Checchetto’s 5-issue miniseries from Marvel detailing the character’s escape from the doomed Starkiller Base, will give us a primer of just how bad ass she can be when given the opportunity.
Phasma was criminally underutilized in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, putting the character in the same camp as Boba Fett. We’d argue that she’s one step above the bounty hunter given that she was tossed in a trash compactor off screen, whereas Boba Fett was accidentally killed by a blind guy who whacked his jetpack and sent him flying into a gaping hole in the ground.
But if the books can make Fett cool, we’re guessing they can do the same for Phasma.
LEIA, PRINCESS OF ALDERAAN
By Claudia Gray
Releases September 1
A young adult novel, written by New York Times Best-selling author Claudia Gray, about sixteen-year-old Princess Leia, set before A New Hope.
Having previously featured Leia Organa and the rise of the Resistance in her novel Star Wars: Bloodlines, Claudia Gray appears to be going back to the character’s royal roots in her latest novel.
There’s a lot to be mind from that time period of the former Republic politicians during the time of the Empire and we’re always down for more stories involving Senator Bail Organa. It will be interesting to see a new perspective of the Force-sensitive princess in her younger days before her home planet was destroyed.
FROM A CERTAIN POINT OF VIEW
By Various Authors
Releases October 3
In honor of the fortieth anniversary of Star Wars: A New Hope, this collection features Star Wars stories by bestselling authors, trendsetting artists, and treasured voices from Star Wars literary history. More than forty authors have lent their unique vision to forty “scenes,” each retelling a different moment from the original Star Wars film, but with a twist: Every scene is told from the point of view of a background character. Whether it’s the X-wing pilots who helped Luke destroy the Death Star or the stormtroopers who never quite could find the droids they were looking for, Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View places the classic movie in a whole new perspective, and celebrates the influence and legacy of the unparalleled cultural phenomenon, Star Wars.
Ben Acker and Ben Blacker • Renee Ahdieh • Tom Angleberger • Meg Cabot • Rae Carson • Zoraida Cordova • Delilah S. Dawson • Paul Dini • Alexander Freed • Jason Fry • Christie Golden • Claudia Gray • E. K. Johnston and Ashley Eckstein • Paul Kemp • Mur Lafferty • Ken Liu • Griffin McElroy • John Jackson Miller • Nnedi Okorafor • Daniel José Older • Mallory Ortberg • Madeleine Roux • Gary D. Schmidt • Cavan Scott • Sabaa Tahir • Glen Weldon • Chuck Wendig • Gary Whitta • And more!
This book seems to be in a thematic successor to some of our previous, favorite entries in the Star Wars canon. The Tales books were some of the best anthology collections, featuring stories of Bounty Hunters, the Rebellion, and the many denizens of Jabba’s Palace. Hopefully this anthology provides the same quirky takes on the weirdest aliens in the Star Wars Galaxy.
THE LEGENDS OF LUKE SKYWALKER
By Ken Liu
Releases October 31
A collection of myths and tall-tales about the legendary Jedi Luke Skywalker, written by Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy award-winning author Ken Liu.
This one one will probably be the most anticipated novels of the entire slate considering the veil of secrecy Skywalker has been shrouded in ever since he provided the voice over to one of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailers.
It looks like the book won’t be straight-up retelling of events that actually occurred, but more an interpretation of stories from various figures. This will allow Luke to maintain a mysterious presence as an intriguing figure that cannot be fully comprehended until we finally get the insight we need in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
MORE STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI NEWS: Finn's Space Horse Revealed As New Species In The Last Jedi / Star Wars: Luke's Exile Will Be Explained In The Last Jedi / Last Jedi Director Made Major Change To End Of The Force Awakens / John Boyega Talks Finn's Choice Between The First Order & Resistance / Mark Hamill Addresses Yoda/Luke & Luke/Rey Comparisons
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, from writer/director Rian Johnson, is in post-production now for a December 15, 2017, release. The film