In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Lucasfilm, Del Rey is curating a collection of essential and beloved Star Wars novels from the past, starting with three of the biggest titles from the Expanded Universe library.
Prior to April 2014 and long before Disney was in the picture, Lucasfilm publishing had already established a huge collection of rich storytelling set in the Star Wars universe. In 1977, George Lucas inspired many others to create adventures that went beyond the screen, and by opening up that space to other imaginative storytellers, allowing them to tell their own Star Wars tales, an expansive legacy that would stretch years was born.
Known to most of us as the Expanded Universe, it spawned hundreds of memorable titles that would inspire countless future would-be authors, many of whom are household names nowadays if you’re a Star Wars fan. Just recently in his authors notes, Alexander Freed (Alphabet Squadron) thanked Michael A. Stackpole and Aaron Allston, architects of the original X-Wing novels, which many will point to as some of the best Star Wars stories ever put to print.
So, with Lucasfilm turning 50 this December, this new Essential Legends Collection from Del Rey Books curates some of the most treasured stories from that expansive legacy, and it’s starting off with three big titles.
The Essential Legends Collection will launch on June 15, 2021, with new trade paperback editions of Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn, Darth Bane: Path of Destruction by Drew Karpyshyn, and Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover. Each edition will have a new book cover with original artwork from Tracie Ching (Heir to the Empire), Simon Goinard (Path of Destruction), and Jeff Manning (Shatterpoint).
Now, I know what you’re wondering, when will your favorite EU novel get the Essential Legends Collection treatment? With hundreds of books to choose from, it’s doubtful Del Rey will get to all of them, saying this on Twitter, “Unlikely that we’ll do all of them. We don’t have a specific end number in mind, but as one of our goals is to help readers find a good starting point, that goal becomes undermined if suddenly every Legends novel is in the “essential” collection. But again, no specific end number.”
Del Rey will be continuing to add titles to the Essential Legends Collection, with the next additions publishing in Fall 2021, here’s hoping this trend continues for years to come.