No, that's not a typo. Lucasfilm and Del Rey have announced that between now and the premiere of Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens, there will be 20 new Star Wars books published, all set in the time between Return of the Jedi and the new, upcoming movie.
On the plus side, these aren't all novels, thank the Maker — it also includes things like YA tales, vehicles guides and sticker books. But of the fiction, remember, it's all going to be canon now — and Del Rey says a lot of clues to the new movies will be seeded in the story.
This entire initiative will be consolidated under the Journey to The Force Awakens banner. Here's all the books we know so far, according to Entertainment Weekly:
• Star Wars: Aftermath, which sound like an epilogue for the original trilogy
• A prequel to Episode VII from C-3PO's point-of-view
• Star Wars: Ships of the Galaxy
• Moving Target, about Princess Leia
• The Weapon of a Jedi, about Luke Skywalker
• Smuggler's Run, about Han Solo (obviously)
• Lost Stars by fantasy author Claudia Gray
And apparently, there will also be some additional novels — not part of Journey — that retell the original trilogy, but from specific characters' perspectives. Again, from EW:
The aim is for YA readers, providing a deep dive to readers who were decades from being born when Han, Luke, and Leia first hit the screen. "It's a way to introduce the heroes and villains of that original trilogy to a new audience that might not be as familiar as the audience that went and saw the films when they first came out," said [executive vice president of Disney Publishing Worldwide Andrew] Sugerman.
I understand that The Force Awakens is a merchandising juggernaut that necessitates a terrifying amount of products, but this... this seems like too much. Not really that consumers can't handle it — although it's certainly a lot — but I worry how well the new Star Wars canon control team is juggling all these stories and making sure this new canon fits together. I'm even more worried that with so many books being pumped out, that not all of them will be good. It seems like way too much, way too quickly.
What do you guys think?
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