The tie-in novelization for this December's Star Wars: The Last Jedi will not be released until March 2018, three months after the movie reaches theaters. Fans of the galaxy far, far away are impatiently counting down the days until Episode VIII premieres, continuing the Skywalker saga with (hopefully) another thrilling chapter. As was the case with The Force Awakens, Lucasfilm is employing a limited marketing campaign, unveiling only a lone teaser trailer and strategically selected nuggets of information in magazine spreads so far. With Last Jedi right around the corner, advertising should ramp up shortly, but even when a bevy of TV spots are playing over the air, viewers shouldn't expect anything too revealing to be shared.
A key objective of Star Wars promotion is to keep major spoilers and plot twists out of promotion. Lucasfilm even withheld some Force Awakens and Rogue One aspects from Hasbro to keep the biggest surprises under lock and key. That's proven to be the case again with Last Jedi, and the studio is going to even greater lengths to preserve what writer/director Rian Johnson has in store. If someone wants to know how the story continues over the holiday season, they're going to have to go to the multiplex.
Del Rey, the publishing company that handles many of the Star Wars books, said on Twitter (hat tip Star Wars News Net) the Last Jedi novelization will be available on March 6, 2018. This differs from the Force Awakens novelization, which hit stores the same day the movie came out.
— Star Wars Books (@DelReyStarWars) September 11, 2017
While no exact reason was given for this decision, it isn't the biggest deal in the grand scheme of things. Those interested in seeing what happens in Last Jedi are going to see the movie on the big screen opening weekend, and spoilers will surely hit the Internet in the days immediately after. There seems to be little value in releasing the novelization in conjunction with the film; whatever differences between the two exist will be insignificant compared to what's in Rian Johnson's final cut of Episode VIII. For Star Wars canon junkies, December 15 of this year sees the release of a plethora of other Last Jedi tie-in publications, including the anticipated "Art Of" book and visual dictionary, which should make for fun reads in their own right. Some will be disappointed by this development, but everything else Lucasfilm has planned makes for a compelling consolation prize.
It arguably makes more sense to push the Last Jedi novelization next spring, theoretically when the film hits home media. In that timeframe, the risk of it getting lost in the shuffle isn't as great. Following what will be a lucrative run in theaters, demand to experience the Last Jedi story again will be high, hopefully leading to sizable sales figures for the book. Also, the extra breathing room between film and novel gives author Jason Fry additional time to make any last-minute revisions to ensure his work lines up with Johnson's as closely as possible. Star Wars book fans undoubtedly want to read Episode VIII as soon as they can, but at least The Last Jedi is still arriving on time.
Source: Star Wars News Net
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019