Before Disney bought Star Wars and declared that (almost) everything except the movies was no longer canon, an endless line of artists, writers, action figure makers, video game developers, and board game miniature designers filled in gaps between Star Wars movies with their own officially licensed adventures, toys, and board games. Characters like Mara Jade, Grand Admiral Thrawn, Darth Revan, and Galen Marek became important figures in the mythology, even though they never appeared in the actual movies. But now, all of that has been left behind like so many corpses of aunts and uncles, and the Star Wars universe is once again a vast and mysterious twin-sunned desert planet of possible stories.
With J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens coming out on December 18, though, Disney and Lucasfilm are ready to start filling in some of those new gaps that they’ve created in between movies. To do that, according to Entertainment Weekly, they’re going to release 20 new Star Wars tie-in books this fall. Actually, no, it’s not 20…it’s “at least 20.” They’re not all going to be novels, though, so it’s not quite as absurd as it sounds. The EW story says it includes novels, of course, but among the 20 are also storybooks and sticker books for kids, as well as comics and—every Star Wars fan’s favorite—books of nothing but spaceship designs.
The books will be released under a banner dubbed Journey To Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and they’ll all, in some way, fill in details about Disney’s new post-Return Of The Jedi universe. No information about specific books is available yet, but EW says Marvel is putting out a prequel comic confusingly titled Star Wars: Journey To The Force Awakens, as well as something told from C-3PO’s perspective that, presumably, reveals whatever he’s been complaining about since the Battle Of Endor concluded—other than R2-D2, obviously.
The story behind setting this whole thing up sounds like it might be pretty interesting, since EW suggests that Disney had to hold a bunch of secret meetings to let the people involved in on some things that are going to happen in the new movies. After all, these writers can’t tease future plot points if they don’t know what the future plot points even are. That means, somewhere, there’s somebody editing a book of Star Wars stickers that knows more about The Force Awakens than you do.