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Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens

By Beth on Oct 21, 2015 10:30 AM

"There are stories about what happened."

"It's true.  All of it.  The Dark Side. The Jedi. They're real."


After viewing the new Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens trailer for the umpteenth time last night I am still, in typical J.J. Abrams style, totally in the dark regarding what to expect from the final film.  And I love it.

While I have so many questions, I’ve vowed to try and stay as spoiler-free as possible during these next 58 days (who’s counting). 

Essentially this means I will only allow myself to watch the officially released movie trailers (there are three) and read the new Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens books being released by Disney as part of the lead up to the film.

New books you say?  Aren’t there already hundreds of Star Wars novels?  Haven’t I seen many of them at the library?  Correct.  Due to issues of creative control, Disney declared these previous books as "legends."  These tales exist, but are no longer official Star Wars canon.

Now, I love the Expanded Universe novels.  I grew up with them, I own them, characters I adore are only in them (Callista and Luke, or my forever OTP).  Initially I was quite angry.  I felt betrayed.

But remember young Padawans, anger and fear lead to the dark side.

Setting aside my doubts, I gave two of these new books a chance and I must say overall I have been quite delighted.  There is something for everyone, from the amazing array of authors to the variety of formats to choose from.

And what these books do best is introduce new, diverse characters who are not yet beloved, but soon will be.

So, while the final plot of Episode VII: The Force Awakens will remain a secret until the movie airs in December, whet your appetite with these selections:

Star Wars: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

Set eight years after Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Lost Stars by Claudia Grey introduces two best friends who find themselves on opposite sides of the war between the Empire and the Rebellion.  While this book is being marketed to the YA crowd, I found the story quite compelling, as it forces you to look at the greater themes of the movies from the perspective of minor players.  Familiar characters and events are here, but looked at through the eyes of minor characters.  You’ll never look at a stormtrooper the same way ever again.   Also, if you’ve seen the movie trailers, I’ll just point out the Star Destroyer on the cover.  Just saying.


Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig

Think the death of the Emperor and the destruction of the second Death Star spelled the end for the Empire?  Think again.

Rebel pilot Nora Wexley is tired.  Tired of living the rough life of a Rebel, tired of missing the teenage son she left on her home world of Akiva, and tired of fighting.  When she finally returns home after the Battle of Endor, she finds her son is involved in a dangerous business and her home world on the Outer Rim has become a gathering place for the remnants of the Empire.  A motley cast of characters, including a psychotic battle droid named Mister Bones, a sarcastic Imperial defector, and a savage bounty hunter (and appearances by a few beloved characters from the original trilogy) round out the promising start to this first book in a planned trilogy

Star Wars novels, old and new, can be found at your library using CountyCat, and a complete list and timeline for the Journey to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens novels can be found here.

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