Star Wars

A New Dawn: Relaunch Of ‘Star Wars’ Adult Fiction Line Announced Today!


starwarsanewdawnFrom the moment that Lucasfilm announced plans for a new Star Wars film, readers have been curious about the future of the saga’s Expanded Universe books and what role, if any, they would play in the new films: Would Episode VII and the following films draw their plot from from the timeline already established in fan favorites like Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars: Heir to the Empire? If not, then what will happen to these much-beloved books? Will they disappear entirely? Should we begin hoarding them now?

Today we’ve received our answer to this questions, and I’m confident in saying that most, if not all, fans of the Star Wars novels will be pleased.

Over 35 years ago, George Lucas kindly opened the Star Wars universe to work by other creators inspired by the series. In the decades since, the games, comics, novels and other offerings of the Expanded Universe have thrilled fans hungry for more adventures from beyond what they saw on the screen. While he was happy to let others create these new stories, Lucas always made it clear that he would not be beholden to the Expanded Universe, and only considered the six films and Star Wars: The Clone Wars themselves to be canonical. While Lucasfilm always strived to keep the stories created for the EU both consistent internally and consistent with their film and television content, it was always the films and the Clone Wars television series that were the central axis around which all additional material must revolve.

Now, with new films on the horizon, the time has come to coordinate all aspects of the Star Wars storytelling that fans have grown to love.

Under Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy’s direction, the company has formed a Story Group to oversee and coordinate all Star Wars creative development, including books, games, comics, and other formats. In a mid-afternoon press release from Disney, Kennedy stated that this new interconnected storytelling experience will allow fans to explore the Star Wars universe more deeply than ever before.

What does this mean for the Expanded Universe and its role in Episodes VII-IX?

In order to preserve an element of surprise for the audience and to give filmmakers as much creative freedom as possible,  Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe. That doesn’t mean that the Expanded Universe will be completely discarded. Creators of new Star Wars entertainment will have full access to the content of the Expanded Universe.

As an example, elements of the Expanded Universe are included in the upcoming television series Star Wars Rebels. The Inquisitor, the Imperial Security Bureau, and Sienar Fleet Systems are story elements in Rebels, and all these ideas find their origins in roleplaying game material published in the 1980s.

Del Rey books, publishers of the Star Wars adult fiction line, addressed the future of  Star Wars fiction in a separate press release.

Fans of the prior Star Wars novels and short story collections can rest easy: They’re not going anywhere.  The Expanded Universe Star Wars fiction book line will remain in print under the new Legends banner, so there’s no reason to panic. Further, and perhaps more importantly, there’s more Star Wars fiction on the way.

Del Rey and Disney Publishing Worldwide will be working closely together in the creation of an altogether new canon that is fully integrated with the Lucasfilm movies and television series, both past and future. That means that every book released from Del Rey will be absolutely consistent with every other aspect of the newly integrated Star Wars universe.

Jeanne Mosure, senior vice president and group publisher, Disney Publishing Worldwide, said that the new publishing program will be stronger.

“With the establishment of the Lucasfilm Story Group and our even greater focus on unified storytelling, we expect our entire publishing program to be stronger and more meaningful than ever before,” said Mosure. “We’re extremely excited to kick off this new strategy with Del Rey Books.”

Scott Shannon, senior vice president and publisher for Del Rey and Digital Content was very excited as well about this new era in Star Wars storytelling.

“We’re extremely proud of the hundreds of amazing Star Wars books we’ve published at Del Rey,” said Shannon, “And now we’re excited to finally be able to call our upcoming novels true canon—a single, cohesive Star Wars storyline—all while keeping the amazing backlist of Star Wars Legends content in print.”

On the screen, the first new canon to appear will be Star Wars Rebels. In print, the first new books to come from this creative collaboration include novels from Del Rey Books. First to be announced, John Jackson Miller is writing a novel that precedes the events of Star Wars Rebels and offers insight into a key character’s backstory, with input directly from executive producers Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, and Greg Weisman.

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.

Following Star Wars: A New Dawn, the all-new Star Wars fiction line will continue with the following 2014/2015 titles:

STAR WARS: TARKIN
James Luceno
11/4/14

STAR WARS: HEIR TO THE JEDI
Kevin Hearne
January 2015

STAR WARS: LORDS OF THE SITH
Paul Kemp
March 2015

For more information and for looks at the covers of all four new titles announced above, please visit the Del Rey Star Wars Books Facebook page at Facebook.com/StarWarsBooks.

For more information on the Star Wars Legends rebranding and Expanded Universe, go to StarWars.com.


23 Responses to “A New Dawn: Relaunch Of ‘Star Wars’ Adult Fiction Line Announced Today!”

  1. Courtney M. says:

    Do you think they’ll include any part of the current EU as canon? Maybe take bits and pieces to start a new line? While I look forward to new SW stories, this announcement breaks mt heart a little. The EU is such a huge part of SW to me, and I imagine to many other readers. This article’s point of view makes me slightly more hopeful about the SW book canon, but honestly, deep down, I have anxiety about changes made to the EU that I love so much.

  2. Ryan E says:

    With these new books, will we be getting Audiobook and eAudiobook versions of them as well?

  3. Ryan E says:

    I wonder if this mean all Pre-ROJ EU Material will either be made canon, or will that too be turned into Star Wars Legends on a Case-by-Case Basis?

  4. Richard says:

    I very much hope that this decision doesn’t mean the end of the current storyline, up through Crucible. Fair enough, they’re not considered \official\ Star Wars canon and won’t make it into the movies. This really doesn’t bother me whatsoever. However the current book timeline shouldn’t be abandoned. That would be a slap in the face to everyone who’s invested their time and have come to care for the characters and the setting.

  5. Michael says:

    If you trash the current storyline in favor of your relaunch it will be an insult to the fans who have been reading these books for the last twenty years. Those books kept Star Wars alive and relevant while George Lucas constantly attempted to destroy it. Do the fans a favor and keep the other storyline going alongside your proposed new one.

  6. billy says:

    seems like a complete slap in the face to all the people who have spent a considerable amount of time and money on a storyline that they will not now finish. so until they pick this storyline back up I will not purchase another star wars book and I hope every other fan will do the same as it is the only way we will get to see the end of luke skywalkers story and see what happens with ben and vestara and every other loose end they’ve left open. I’m just so disappointed with this awful decision.

  7. vera says:

    I don’t look forward to the new movies. The prequels killed my postcard mania (New Hope 41, Empire 35, Jedi 42/ phantom menace 10, none from the other movies) I want to keep the EU alive as long as possible. I’m introducing my 5 year old son to Star Wars through the original trilogy DVDs, but I’ll let my husband take him to see episode VII.

  8. Joe says:

    This is nothing but a disgraceful, money hungry, slap in the face to EU fans. I am extremely disappointed in this turn of events and WILL NOT be supporting this new line at all. The EU is canon, not this Disney garbage.

  9. Mark says:

    Wow!!! I can’t believe they think all the fans will be pleased! Every fan I know is personally insulted and outraged that this is the route that is being taken. It’s a sad day where the mighty Star Wars franchise, once better than any other… is now just the same as anything else.

  10. vera says:

    There’s a reboot fashion nowadays. So although the language used to talk about how the EU becomes Star Wars Legend is not very clear, I think it means we can kiss Mara’s journey to the light side, Thrawn trying to rebuild the Empire, and all those great stories goodbye. They are becoming legends= things that most probably never happened but with just a little bit of truth in the stories. They seem to be reviving Chewbacca after all, so I think they are rewriting the 30 years after Return of the Jedi. To what extent, we can only guess for now. But I smell a wrelt.

  11. JGM Doc Tore says:

    This artistic freedom requested by Jar Jar Abrams could still be had even with retention of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Imagine the reality that Jar Jar Binks is Canon-G & Canon-T (basically canon) while Admiral Thrawn, Mara Jade, Jaina, Jacen, Anakin Solo & Ben Skywalker are only Canon-C or Canon-S (which is now more relegated to non-Canon).

    I’ve been collecting Star Wars items (including all the EU books, toys, games, etc.) but with this, I’ve decided to stop collecting already and BOYCOTT everything Star Wars coming from Disney. I’ll just keep what I have and consider EU as genuine Canon by not mixing any new items and clouding my vast collection.

    As far as I’m concerned, S.W. Canon is already dead – murdered by Jar Jar Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy & Bob Iger. May S.W. Canon rest in peace.

  12. Yel Tres says:

    When George Lucas made Episode I, II, & III, he still had the artistic freedom even if ALL OF US already knew what the ending would be. We knew the characters who were going to survive since we know who were living in Episode IV, V & VI.

    It’s really really very sad that they had to do this. They could still have maintained the Expanded Universe of Star Wars without making it Legends like they never happened & its just imaginations gone wild. The audience could still be surprised by other things if they just tried hard enough to make their story jive with the existing Star Wars stories in the Expanded Universe.

    It’s obvious that they just didn’t want to try anymore. They took the easy path of just making a new story line with the guise of creating Canon once and for all. How inartistic can they be?!?

  13. Dr Torres, Philippines says:

    All the other franchises had reboots with different story lines. The Star Wars Continuity that was followed by the Expanded Universe is THE ONLY THING THAT DIFFERENTIATES STAR WARS FROM THE REST OF THE FRANCHISES. That is why writers/authors had to be licensed by LucasFilm & even visit the library in Skywalker Ranch to do research. By doing this, they have put Star Wars at the same level as all the rest. STAR WARS USED TO BE VALUED WAY UP THERE. Now, it’s become cheap only to please Disney Executives out for a buck. April 25, 2014 will be remembered as a very sad day for Star Wars. AND NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND as they would like to spin it.

  14. Zonker84 says:

    I’m not going to see the movie in the theater. Its obviously going to be more a Disney movie than
    a Star Wars movie. I’ll still see it at some point but if there are major contradictions with
    the characters in the couple dozen novels I’ve read over the years than Its going to seem like
    a parody.

    Maybe these movies are for fans of the visually atrocious cartoon series of which I am sure there are many more viewers than there are people who still read books.

    Who knows maybe its just misdirection and there will be no glaring conflict between the characters we watched develop over the years and the live action cartoon ones that Disney
    seems likely to mock the EU Star Wars with.

  15. Sam H. says:

    This is absolutely atrocious. Curse you Disney and your corporate greed! There is absolutely no reason why Disney had to completely throw out the existing Expanded Universe. And I don’t understand how the EU novels, comics, and games can’t be “official” Star Wars canon. If Lucas was never “bound” to them, why did he permit them to be written at all? Every project had to have his approval. Well, this decided two things for me. 1-I will NOT see Episode VII at all. Never. 2-I will NOT buy any of the new Star Wars books, whether they are written by the old authors or not. In fact, I just spent $160 at Barnes and Noble yesterday to buy the 13 New Jedi Order books I still needed so that I wouldn’t buy them later with Disney’s “Legends” banner on the cover. I wanted the originals. I still have 11 books to buy and I’ll have all 160 individual Star Wars novels. Thanks Disney. April 25, 2014 is officially the worst day of my life to this point.

  16. Archon says:

    Sam… breathe…

    “April 25, 2014 is officially the worst day of my life to this point.”

    You live a blessed life then…

    That’s what we call: “first-world problems”.

  17. vera says:

    They really didn’t need to throw the EU into the trash compactor, since they decided to set episode VII 30 years after ROTJ. As far as I know there’s a 5 year gap between the end of New Jedi Order and the Swarm War trilogy. I don’t think there have been novels nor short stories telling the travels of Jacen searching for other Force cults, or whatever happens in the rest of the galaxy while he’s on his quest. 5 years is about how much time there is between New Hope and Jedi, so, more than enough time for a movie trilogy, I would say.
    Weaving their story between the few gaps of the EU would have been difficult, but so much more respectful of the work the authors have been doing for so long.

  18. Shelia says:

    What’s up, after reading this awesome piece of writing i am as
    well delighted to share my knowledge here with
    colleagues.

  19. vera says:

    A thought I had recently: If the EU is not canon anymore, does it mean that all the novels we’ve read so far are just fan fics ? Hey, I’m on a level with Tim Zahn, how cool is that ! And I’ve never even finished writing a synopsis, that’s how they at Disney value the tremendous work of all the authors we love.

  20. Steven L says:

    I’m there with you Sam H; Star Wars is dead to me now. After DECADES of taking my money and time on stories that are now fan fiction (excuse me “legends”), they pull this on me? Forget it, I’m done. Why set yourself up for them to pull the same trick later on? All the EU material was licensed and coordinated by Lucas companies, so it’s a crock to act like they were lone wolf stories no one was coordinating with the rest of the universe. You lost some very dedicated fans Disney.

  21. Loren says:

    I don’t care if the EU is considered canon or not, but they need to consider letting it continue on under the “Legends” banner. I know that I have 30+ years invested in those characters and canon or not they would be doing a HUGE dis-service to the fans that have been faithful that long and invested their hard earned money and time to support the EU effort.

    I would have no issue with having independent reality lines. It is all fiction after all.

    Disney…. don’t screw over the loyal readers who have literally grown up with these EU characters!

  22. TurdBucket says:

    There were only a handful of decent books in the EU anyway, so who cares? If they do pull anything from EU hopefully it is not the Vong or anything related to Vestara or the whole lost tribe crap storyline. I seriously cannot remember how many years it has been since I read a decent Star Wars novel. The characters are all the same, stories are all the same. Ben Skywalker sucks dong.

  23. Robert Pezanowski says:

    Matt, Will any more books under the “Dawn of the Jedi” series be coming out?

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