The Lucasfilm Story Group blocks non-movie Star Wars stories made after the Battle of Jakku, the in-universe end of the Galactic Empire. The Story Group was made when Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 to oversee the multimedia expansion of Star Wars; it was they who decreed the long-standing Expanded Universe as non-canon and have since been behind all the major recent content plans.
Aside from the new movies and the material directly tying into them, these stories have centered on a few specific eras: between the prequels and originals (mainly around Rebels); comics set during the original trilogy; and a handful of stories that detail the immediate aftermath of Return of the Jedi from the Emperor's death at the Battle of Endor through to the destruction of the Empire he built at the Battle of Jakku a year later. If you're wanting to find out what happens next, however, you may be left wanting.
At a book launch for new Star Wars novels Phasma and Leia, Princess of Alderaan, author Claudia Gray (who wrote the latter) said she'd like to write a sequel to 2015 YA novel Lost Stars, which went up to the very end of Jakku, but has been blocked by the Story Group; she has to wait for them to open up stories set after the battle.
Claudia hopes to do a sequel to Lost Stars, but it has to be when the story group opens up storytelling after the Battle of Jakku.
— Bryan Young (@swankmotron) September 2, 2017
Of course, long-standing Star Wars fans will be familiar with this sort of blocking; George Lucas was happy having the EU grow in the 1990s, yet stopped anybody telling any stories set in the Clone Wars or general prequel era as he knew he'd eventually tackle that himself on the big screen. Given that Lucasfilm has plans up to 2030, this would likewise seem to be a move made to aid the bigger picture.
Now, this post-Jakku restriction isn't totally airtight. Leia novel Bloodline told of the conflicts within the New Republic around five years before The Force Awakens and it looks like Battlefront II's story mode will somewhat bridge the Empire and First Order. What seems to be the case is that projects directly showing how the galaxy of the originals became that of the sequels is being avoided. Specifically, not opening up storytelling after Jakku seems to be to maintain the mystery of the First Order's creation, something that along with the origins of Supreme Leader Snoke has been the subject of much speculation.
Whether that's because it's essential to The Last Jedi or Episode IX, or simply information they don't want to give up just yet, is unclear - as is when the time period will open up. What this news does attest to, regardless, is that the series' current focus on the era of the classic films is not only intentional, but will likely change over time.
Source: Bryan Young
- 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: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019