In preparation for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, at least 20 books taking place in the Star Wars universe will be released this fall. Some of the books will even take place right after Return of the Jedi ends. The series will be called Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens and has been confirmed that the titles of the books will foreshadow events in The Force Awakens.
The books—which range in target age from children to adults—will be loaded with foreshadowing about the upcoming movie, including new starships, planets, characters, and clues about what happened with Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo in the months following the Return of the Jedi.
The series will have multiple publishers and will be written by a series of authors. The authors must work closely with the screenwriters on the project.
“The Force Awakens is an extraordinarily, heavily guarded storyline. To track it, a lot of top-secret meetings were happening up in San Francisco as we worked through this program,” says Andrew Sugerman, executive vice president of Disney Publishing Worldwide. The company is managing the release through its own imprints as well as at least seven outside companies, among them sci-fi publisher Del Rey, DK, and Marvel Comics.
Apart from these books leading up to The Force Awakens, a series of novels will be released retelling events from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi from supporting character’s points of view. Also in the works are novels focused on characters from the original trilogy geared toward YA readers.
“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,” Sugerman said.