As we barrel toward the release date of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Lucasfilm is starting to unveil more of their plans to promote the latest installment of the Skywalker saga through tertiary media such as novels and anthologies.
Much like with the Journey To The Force Awakens, the books coming out in conjunction with The Last Jedi will tie in to the new movie — some will have subtle references while others will be more overt.
Lucasfilm Publishing creative director Michael Siglain and Disney’s executive VP of publishing and digital media Andrew Sugarman spoke with EW at length about their upcoming slate of books. Their conversation unearthed some more intriguing details about the upcoming novels.
“It’s just a different journey than last time,” Siglain said. “There are still some Easter eggs in a couple of pieces that will make sense after seeing the film. But this one is more thematically tied to The Last Jedi.”
One book in particular might contain a key to the reason behind Luke Skywalker’s self-imposed exile while another explores the casino planet of Canto Bight through the eyes of four new characters.
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.
"You have a very mysterious character," Siglain said. "You don’t know who this person is. You don’t know what her background is. All you see is that expressionless mask. And so the thought was, well, what if we could shed some light onto who she is. She does have a secret in her past that she guards. And when that secret is threatened to be revealed, what will she do to keep that secret hidden?"
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.
“She is a ruthless and a cunning character. This takes that to the next level,” said Siglain. “You will be afraid of this character. You will know why she is a captain in the First Order.”
Releases September 5
Don't know your Wookiees from your Wampas? If the Star Wars™ saga has you stumped, we've got your back. Star Wars Made Easy gives you everything you need to get you around the galaxy. Star Wars is a global phenomenon and the Force has truly reawakened. So where to start if you have never actually gotten around to watching the movies? Or if you find yourself dating an avid Star Wars fan? Or your kids keep asking you tricky questions about the dark side? Don't worry! We have you covered. Star Wars Made Easy is aimed at Star Wars novices who want to get up to speed and make sense of the Star Wars references that permeate modern culture. This book will answer questions about the movies, the Star Wars universe, and much more!
This book will be the perfect guide to bring any new or lapsed Star Wars fan up to speed.
“Star Wars is supposed to be for everyone. It should be for everyone,” Siglain said. “We want to make sure that we do have books out there that can be given to, kids, tweens, teenagers, adults, older fans, new fans, that show they will find something for them.”
Siglain referred to it as "Star Wars for Dummies.
“If you don’t know the difference between a Jawa and a Jedi, is there a book that can very simply walk you through the franchise and tell you, ‘Okay, this is Star Wars, this is Empire, this is Jedi, here are the prequels, this is what Rogue One is,” Siglain said.
By Saladin Ahmed, Rae Carson, Mira Grant, and John Jackson Miller
Releases December 5
Journey to Canto Bight: a lavish city rich with opportunity—but where the stakes couldn't be higher. Featuring four interconnected novella-length adventures of the exotic aliens and creatures who frequent the captivating casino.
Focusing on the ritzy and glamorous citizens of the new gambling planet for The Last Jedi, the Canto Bight book will consist of four short stories.
“It’s a city filled with opportunity. There are very high stakes in this city,” Siglain said. “You’re going to follow four different aliens who will lead you through some of the gambling parlors and the racetracks and, you know, just this beautiful, lush city that’s as far from the Episode IV cantina as you can get. This is Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous for Star Wars. But looks can certainly be deceiving, and everything isn’t always as beautiful as it seems.”
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.
“This is where she started,” Siglain said. “It’s still a YA novel, so it’s still her going against her parents who are trying to protect her.”
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.
“She decides to become involved in the fight against the Empire, regardless of what her parents think. As a parent, what situation does that put you in? Do you want your daughter to fight for what is right, or are you trying to just protect her so she doesn’t get hurt? And as a 16-year-old, do you really know as much as you think?”
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.
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.
“What are those stories that Rey has been hearing, that the rest of the galaxy has been hearing, and what has Luke been doing since then?” Siglain said. “The framing device for this is there are a bunch of kids on a cargo ship that’s traveling to the casino world of Canto Bight. Someone says something about Luke Skywalker, and they say, ‘Oh, he was just a myth. That’s just a legend.’ And others say, ‘No, no, no. I know a story about him.’"
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.
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Star Wars: The Last Jedi, from writer/director Rian Johnson, is in post-production now for a December 15, 2017, release. The film