Entertainment Weekly released the news today that Disney Publishing, along with Del Rey, Marvel Comics, and other outside publishers, will be releasing twenty new canon Star Wars stories in a series known as Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The stories, guided by the Star Wars story group, will give us some insight into the events that occur between Return of the Jedi and the sequel trilogy.
Andrew Sugerman, the executive vice president of Disney Publishing Worldwide, had this to say:
“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. 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?”
The creation of this series, which according to EW is still ongoing, “required one clandestine society of authors to form a bond with another hush-hush society of screenwriters.” Sugerman adds,
“The Force Awakens is an extraordinarily, heavily guarded storyline. To track it, a lot of top-secret meetings were happening up in San Francisco as we worked through this program.”
Once again, it’s clear that Disney has a great handle on the Star Wars franchise. I can’t think of a better way to reel in new fans and give joy to old ones by creating a loose series detailing some of the events leading up to the new films.
Among the new books is an adult novel entitled Aftermath, to be released by Del Rey (DYING to know who’s writing that one), a Marvel Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens comic series, a story told from C-3PO’s perspective (that ought to be really interesting, considering it’s the droids who are purportedly telling the Star Wars saga), and a kids book called Star Wars: Ships of the Galaxy by Studio Fun International.
Obviously, Disney’s goal is to focus on characters from the original trilogy. “It’s a way to introduce the heroes and villains of that original trilogy to a new audience that might not be as familiar as the audience that went and saw the films when they first came out,” says Sugerman. To further that goal, the following YA books are being written:
Moving Target, a novel about Princess Leia, by Cecil Castellucci
The Weapon of a Jedi, a novel about Luke Skywalker, by Jason Fry (author of the Servants of the Empire series)
Smuggler’s Run, a novel about Han Solo, by Greg Rucka.
Another interesting tidbit from the EW article mentioned a series of books from the original trilogy era that depict the events of Episodes IV-VI from the perspectives of supporting characters. No word on which ones, but hopefully it will be someone other than C-3PO or R2-D2. To me, they would be the obvious choices. I’d love to see the original trilogy told from the point of view of, say, Wedge Antilles or even some new character we haven’t heard of yet.
No word on exactly when all of this new content will be released, but from research done by Florian from Jedi-Bibliothek (see his Twitter page for news on that score, @DarthSpiriah), I think it’s safe to say that by early fall, we’ll have begun taking more steps into the larger world of the sequel trilogy. Stay tuned!