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Yesterday one of the biggest questions surrounding the future of the Star Wars franchise was officially — and unsurprisingly — answered. We knew that a new trilogy of “Episodes” was in the works, beginning with J.J. Abrams’ Episode VII in 2015. We knew that other spin-off films were in the pipeline as well, although the details have yet to be officially confirmed. But what about the reams of so-called Expanded Universe content, stretching across damn near every medium you can think of? Disney and Lucasfilm finally made it official: while they may use material from the EU, outright or as inspiration, they won’t be beholden to it. The only thing canon at this point is the movies and the Clone Wars animated series. Well, now we’ve got our first look at some of the earliest entries in this reset Star Wars canon: four newly announced novels.
Yesterday’s press release revealed that new Star Wars novels were in the works from Del Ray Books but only name-checked one of them. Today we’ve got the full details, as well as cover art. This first batch will include four novels, set to hit shelves between September 2014 and March 2015. They’re definitely diving into this slate-cleared Star Wars universe head first, with these initial novels covering both new and well-known characters from a variety of points on the Star Wars timeline. (All of them clustered around the time of the existing films, however — no forays into the Old Republic era or post-Jedi years just yet.)
Here are the first four upcoming Star Wars novels that will, along with the Rebels animated series, help launch the new canon, and you can keep track of further developments on the Star Wars Books Facebook page:
September 2, 2014
The first novel to benefit from this deeper collaboration is Star Wars: A New Dawn, by bestselling author John Jackson Miller. Set prior to the events of the forthcoming animated series Star Wars Rebels, this novel tells the story of how two of the lead characters of the series, Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla, came to cross paths. To tell this important backstory, Miller benefited from contact with series executive producers Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg and Greg Weisman, who together ensured this tale will be part of the Star Wars canon of storytelling going forward. It is scheduled for hardcover and eBook release on September 2, 2014.
November 4, 2014
In our second upcoming novel created in collaboration with the Lucasfilm Story Group, bestselling Star Wars veteran James Luceno gives Tarkin the Darth Plagueis treatment, bringing a legendary character from A New Hope to full, fascinating life. Coming November 4, 2014. Jacket art by David Smit.
A thrilling new adventure set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, and — for the first time ever — written entirely from Luke Skywalker’s first-person point of view. Created in collaboration with the Lucasfilm Story Group. Coming January 2015. Jacket art by Larry Rostant.
When the Emperor and his notorious apprentice, Darth Vader, find themselves stranded in the middle of insurgent action on an inhospitable planet, they must rely solely on each other, the Force, and their awesome martial skills to prevail. Created in collaboration with the Lucasfilm Story Group. Coming March 2015. Jacket art by Aaron McBride.
For those wondering, the original Expanded Universe books are going to remain in print under the banner of “Star Wars Legends.” From the sound of things, however, it looks like all currently planned and future content will be part of this new Star Wars canon.