Lucasfilm/Del Rey Confirm 35 New Books (

By:Jarrod Sarafin
Date: Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Source: Various

Over the past few days, there's been some new interesting announcements for readers and fans of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. With the 9-book Legacy of the Force series over, we've had slow leaks that there would be another 9-book Fate of the Jedi series beginning next March with the first book written by SW EU veteran Aaron Allston. We've also known of a standalone Millennium Falcon novel by James Luceno hitting shelves in October.

While these leaks have persisted, Sue from Lucasfilm Licensing couldn't really confirm or deny rumors until the actual contract renewal was signed between LFL and the publisher Del Rey.

And that signing has been confirmed the past few days. Here's what the official site had to say.

Maintaining a relationship that began more than 30 years ago, LucasBooks and Del Rey are slated to publish another 45 Star Wars titles from 2009 through the end of 2013. The titles will include 35 novels and 10 nonfiction books.

Since 1976, when Judy-Lynn del Rey took a chance on an unknown movie called Star Wars and published the tie-in novel to unprecedented bestsellerdom, Del Rey Books has published a wide range of Star Wars titles, including movie and video game tie-in novels; original series and stand-alone novels; as well as character guides and non-fiction film books. Every hardcover Star Wars novel from Del Rey/LucasBooks has been an instant New York Times bestseller, and 2008 saw Star Wars in the #1 spot twice on the New York Times list with Revelation, the eighth book in the recent Star Wars: Legacy of the Force series, and with Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, the tie-in to the upcoming video game from LucasArts. In 2007 alone, the total number of Star Wars books printed under the Del Rey/LucasBooks imprint was over 1.5 million copies.

"Our relationship with Lucasfilm is treasured," said Gina Centrello, President and Publisher of the Random House Publishing Group. "We are extremely proud of our Star Wars publishing program, which is the cornerstone of the Del Rey list."

Howard Roffman, President of Lucas Licensing, said "The legacy of Star Wars publishing began with Del Rey. "For more than 30 years they have been a superb partner with an unflinching commitment to keep Star Wars fans informed, entertained and enthralled."

Among the titles launching in 2009 are the first three in a new Star Wars multi-book, multi-author story arc following directly in the footsteps of the Legacy of the Force series. The nine-book, three-author series, Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi, will break new ground by being the first multi-book Star Wars series to be published all in hardcover. The series, which will be published over the space of three years, will launch in April 2009 with Outcast, by Aaron Allston; the other two authors planning and penning the nine novels will be Christie Golden and Troy Denning. Also to come is The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, to be released in 2010 in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of that film, along with a continuation of the hugely successful series of Star Wars Essential Guides.

What do we know of the 35 novels? Well, some new light has been shed via various writers blogs.

1. Forgotten Realms writer Paul S. Kemp is entering the world of SW EU. The author confirmed that he is writing a stand alone set around the same time frame as FotJ. Here's what he had to say on it.

I want to let you all know that I'll be writing a novel in the Star Wars line from Del Rey. I'm both honored and excited to be a part of Star Wars. The novel, currently untitled, will be a standalone, occurs after the events of the Legacy of the Force series, and will feature a Jedi who has been mentioned by name only a handful of times in previous Star Wars novels, and who has (as far as I know) never been developed at all (I tried very hard to convince the Del Rey editors to allow me to use a previously unused character, and they were gracious in that regard; the story is also entirely of my own creation, so that's pretty cool, too). I'm not yet authorized to give any more detail on the character or story, but will when I can.

Long story short, I get to play in this incredible sandbox with characters and a story that is basically my own (which is pretty much the way it is in the Realms, too, come to think of it). I think that's damned cool.

The novel is scheduled for release in very early 2010. I'm in the process of writing it now. This will have no effect on my next Forgotten Realms trilogy, the first book of which will also release in 2010.

2. Karen Traviss is coming back into the post-LotF era with a stand alone novel about her favorite character, Boba Fett. It's likely going to deal with the aftermath of what happened in Troy Denning's Invincible novel.

3. Elaine Cunningham, who wrote the NJO novel Dark Journey, is also coming back into the mythology with orders to write a stand alone called Blood Oath. This paperback is due in stores April 2009, just one month after the first installment of Fate of the Jedi. The official Amazon page listing has it coming in at 352 pages but page counts are very untrustworthy this early into the game.

4. Author Drew Karpyshyn has confirmed on his official Star Wars blog that a third Darth Bane novel has been approved.

"In case you haven't heard, Del Rey is signed on to continue publishing Star Wars books right through to 2013. The current plans include roughly 35 novels (SW fans are voracious readers!). And among those novels will be the third book in the Darth Bane series!

I like the sound of that, so let me type it one more time:

There will be a third Darth Bane novel!

If you think I'm excited, you should see the mega font I used on the NEWS page of my website to announce this. (Okay, maybe it's not that impressive. My website is functional, not aesthetically pleasing.)

I'd love people to click the link and check out my site, but just to make it easy on you, I'll summarize the info from my website:

"The story that began in Path of Destruction and continued in Rule of Two will (possibly) come to a thrilling (and likely bloody) conclusion in the third Bane novel called… well, I don’t actually have a title yet. Or an outline. Or any other relevant details.

Come on, give me a break. Rule of Two isn’t even out in paperback yet. I mean, I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Playing with ideas. But I never bothered to lock anything down. (I’m a terrible procrastinator. Without a deadline looming, I tend to let things slide.)

Do I know what’s going to happen to Bane and Zannah? Yes… on a very general, very high level. But it’s going to be a while before I have the details worked out.

So I know what you’re all wondering: will Zannah kill Bane? Will Bane kill Zannah? Will we meet any other apprentices? Sorry, but I can’t answer any of those questions. I don’t even know exactly when the novel is scheduled for release (although I think winter/spring of 2010 is a good bet). I will tell you that I need to have the manuscript done by March, so that gives me plenty of time to put together a worthy successor to the first two novels."

To summarize for SW EU readers, we have three new stand alones confirmed around the same time as the Fate of the Jedi time period releasing into book stores from 2009 to 2010. We have the 9-book hardcover FotJ as well. And Karen Traviss has more RC and IC novels on the horizon. With 35 being the number of books contracted, we still have a lot of unknowns between now and 2013.