Information has been revealed about this fall’s upcoming “Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi” novels and storybooks including hints about the upcoming film and a look at the stories about fan-favorite characters.
Unlike the previous books and comics published around The Force Awakens, which explored the events between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, the new books will be more thematically tied to The Last Jedi exploring the backstories of characters like Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. Fans shouldn’t worry about too many spoilers though – the novels will not explore the backgrounds of characters like Rey or Finn whose backstories are being kept a secret for the films to unveil.
In an exclusive look on EW, Andrew Sugerman, executive vice president of Disney’s publishing and digital media, and Michael Siglain, creative director of Lucasfilm Publishing, reveal and break down each of the novels and how they connect to the established Star Wars universe. Here s what Sugerman said about the novels and exploring all areas of the galaxy far, far away:
“It’s important to explore all areas of the Star Wars universe — the known and the unknown — because all stories matter. That’s the beauty of Star Wars. There’s one shared universe, so the films connect to the games, which connect to the books, which connect to the animation, and so on. A story told through publishing enriches the larger universe.”
We also have a break down of each of the “Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi” that were revealed in the article. Check out the upcoming novels below, plus their cover art:
The Legends of Luke Skywalker
The Legends of Luke Skywalker written by Ken Liu explores the legends about adventures Luke Skywalker went on through between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, before he ended up on the island seen at the very end of The Force Awakens.
In order to avoid spoilers, Liu wrote this novel in the form of rumors circulating around the galaxy about the famed Jedi hero. These would be rumors and legends characters like Rey – and even an alien flea who claimed to be on Luke’s shoulder during some key moments in the film – would be hearing and saying about Luke after the events of the original trilogy. Here is what Siglain said about the novel in relation to reading it after seeing The Force Awakens and a look into the structure of the novel:
“For kids coming out of that movie, for casual fans coming out of that movie, you hear about Luke Skywalker for that whole film, but you only see him for two seconds at the end. He doesn’t even say anything. This book is a book that goes into some of those stories that were told, some of those legends of Luke Skywalker. Are they true? Well, maybe. Maybe not.”
“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? 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.’”
The novel will be structured similarly to Chaucer’s classic The Canterbury Tales and will be available in stores October 31, 2017.
Leia: Princess of Alderaan
Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray is a YA novel that explores Princess Leia’s teenage years (Gray also wrote a book exploring the Princess’ middle aged years in Bloodline, which debuted last year). This novel will explore Leia’s rise to power by showing how she first became an agent of the rebellion set on the eve of her sixteenth birthday. Here is what Siglain said about the novel, which will contain clues to the story in The Last Jedi:
“This is where she started. It’s still a YA novel, so it’s still her going against her parents who are trying to protect her.”
“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?”
Gray’s book will be in stores September 1, 2017.
Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson will explore the backstory to the titular character who made her debut in The Force Awakens as a key player in the First Order’s regime. The novel will break down the mysterious character’s backstory, her secrets, how she became involved in the First Order and how she became the ruthless character she’s portrayed to be in the film. Here is what Siglain said about the novel and Phasma’s character:
“You have a very mysterious character. 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 novel will “show how she got off the planet that she was on initially and came to the First Order and what did she have to do to get there and what will she do to protect her secrets. It cuts between the present and the past and shows her as this fearsome warrior on this brutal world that she was on. The First Order comes to that planet, and she sees a great opportunity when they arrive.”
Dawson’s novel will be in stores September 1, 2017.
Canto Bight by Saladin Ahmed, Rae Carson, Mira Grant, and John Jackson Miller is a collection of short stories about the creatures from the glamorous casino world of Canto Bight. Here is what Siglain said about the short story collection:
“It’s a city filled with opportunity. There are very high stakes in this city. 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.”
The collection will be in stores December 5, 2017.
Star Wars Made Easy
Star Wars Made Easy is a guide written by former EW writer Christian Blauvelt that is meant to make the complex world of Star Wars from original trilogies to prequel trilogies, anthology films to animated series and tons and tons of novels and comics a little easier to the new Star Wars fan and children getting into the fandom. Here is what Siglain said about the guide:
“Star Wars is supposed to be for everyone. It should be for everyone. 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.”
“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. “This book does that. It’s our Star Wars 101. It’s our Star Wars for Dummies.”
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