In April of 2014 Disney Lucasfilm announced that the Star Wars Extended Universe (EU) would no longer be considered canon, instead they were going to create a ‘story group’ who would oversee and manage the various aspect of the Star Wars universe. The EU would be mined for potential ideas and characters, and in some cases refitted to fit the new vision.
That upset a lot of fans because it meant that nearly three hundred books, a thousand-plus comics, dozens of video and board games and multiple reference books were no longer legitimate Star Wars material – or at least not legitimate in this universe.
So Han and Leia’s marriage and Leia’s giving birth to twins never happened. Luke never encountered and turned Mara Jade, later marrying her. It meant that the New Jedi Order never took place and that the Yuuzhan Vong never invaded our galaxy. It also meant that Chewbacca never died.
Since that time many, myself included, have wondered what would fill the void. What happened to Luke and Han and Leia and 3PO after the end of Return of the Jedi? Did they go off to live a comfy life or continue battling remnants of the fallen Empire?
It was announced yesterday via Entertainment Weekly that we would soon have the first glimpse of the after effects of the Rebellion. Twenty new books – ranging from adult to kids sticker books – will be released this fall. The books will cover the time gap between Return of the Jedi and the upcoming The Force Awakens.
The program, called Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is a collaboration between Disney Lucasfilm and its publishing partners, including Del Rey, DK, Egmont UK, Marvel, Phoenix International Publications, Inc., Studio Fun International, and Topp. All products in the program are expected to be canon and in-continuity. While the books aren’t necessary to see the new movie, there will be hints and easter eggs reportedly dropped throughout them, foreshadowing events in the future.
Details of the storylines in the upcoming books are being kept a closely-guarded secret, just as the plot to Episode VII is – a true miracle in the age of instant information and leaks from ‘inside’ sources. The authors and screenwriters have been working together over the past few months to make sure everyone has the same goal and information while trying to find moments to introduce hints, clues, and puzzle pieces. Many of the books are still in the editing process so very little has leaked out to the public, including who the authors are.
What is known is that Del Rey will release Star Wars: Aftermath, though whether that is a direct follow up to Episode VI or a prologue to Episode VII isn’t clear. It has also been said that Marvel comics will be releasing a prequel called Star Wars: Journey to the Force Awakens as well as a story told from C-3PO’s perspective.
Some other books that have been announced are Moving Target, a story about Princess Leia, The Weapon of a Jedi, focusing on Luke and Smuggler’s Run with Han Solo as the central figure. It’s not clear if these are part of the time gap or part of the group of stories that are going back and retelling the original trilogy from different perspective.
No indication of whether or not veteran Star Wars author Michael Stackpole will be among the list of authors penning this new EU universe. Regardless of which authors are on the list it won’t be the same with Aaron Allston, famous for the X-Wing series and Wraith Squadron, who died last year.Source: Entertainment Weekly