Twenty new Star Wars book will be released this fall to bridge the decades long gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. The books are all part of the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens series, and are spread across multiple formats, publishers and reading levels.
Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens will fill fans in one the adventures of the original trilogy heroes in the intervening years following the fall of the Emperor and the beginning of J.J. Abrams' next chapter in the film saga. According to Entertainment Weekly, both Disney Worldwide and Lucasfilm Press tease that the books will feature Easter eggs hinting at things to come in The Force Awakens.
Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens will cover a period of time previous explored in Expanded Universe novels and graphic novels like Heir to Empire, Dark Empire, and the New Jedi Order series. Those stories were removed from continuity by Disney, in order to rebuild a more cohesive expanded saga.
Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens will have books released by at least seven different publishers, including Marvel Comics, Del Rey, and Dorling Kindersley, in addition to Disney's own publishing imprints.
"The partnership with the story group and the editorial team always had to be true to the sanctity of the film while making sure that we find these moments to introduce hints, clues, and puzzle pieces," says Andrew Sugerman, executive vice president of Disney Publishing Worldwide. "Without revealing what those pieces are, it will just allow readers to speculate about the new film: What could a location mean, or what could a character mean?"
Many of the books in the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens series are still works in progress, but some were ready to be revealed, and included some notable names from the comic book industry. Comics writer and novelist Greg Rucka (Lazarus, Stumptown) will write Smuggler's Run, a novel starring Han Solo. Cecil Castellucci (The Plain Janes) will write Moving Target, starring Princess Leia.
Other books in the series include Weapon of the Jedi, starring Luke Skywalker and written by Jason Fry (Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy), and Lost Stars by Claudia Gray (the Evernight series). There will also be a series of young adult novels starring original trilogy characters, as well as story and sticker books for younger readers.
The Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens books are expected to be released this fall, giving fans a couple of months to read them before Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18.