Entertainment Weekly just shared some big news: Disney will be publishing at least 20 new books that will fill the 32-year gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. The books will come in many formats: novels, storybooks, and sticker books have been mentioned (we can only hope for graphic novels). The series will be called Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The books will detail the adventures of Han, Luke, Leia, and Chewie leading up to the forthcoming film, and will contain a number of elements that foreshadow events to come. A number of different publishers will be involved, including Disney itself, DK, Marvel, and Del Rey.
We don’t know what will be contained in these books, or who the authors are, but they’re sure to bring some surprises, especially with how closely the plot of The Force Awakens has been guarded. There’s no listing of the books planned or potential release dates yet, but we’re very much looking forward to finding out more.
One of the most interesting things about these books is that they could contain things that throw Expanded Universe fans for a loop. Because the EU has been declared non-canon, all of the things that we’ve become used to—Luke and Mara Jade, Han and Leia’s family, the Jedi Academy—no longer exist. So there’s really no telling what will be revealed in these books.
In fact, they might be the first time we actually get some idea of what to expect in Episode VII. All of the plot rumors that we’ve heard so far are quite unsubstantiated, and JJ Abrams has publicly said that some of the are true, and some are false. When these books hit the shelves, we’ll probably see some things we expected, as well as a few that are true surprises.