3 Star Wars Books You'll Need To Read Before Episode VII

Canon. It’s such an important word when fans are discussing the legacy of a series, especially one as rich and rewarding as Star Wars. It’s so important that Disney reportedly hired a team to filter through all of the spinoff and satellite Star Wars material to see what is canon when it comes to Star Wars: Episode VII and the various solo stories that Walt Disney and LucasFilm want to make in this universe. Well, add three more potential titles of research opportunities to the pile of official Star Wars canon, and get ready to read.

Lucasfilm Ltd. and Marvel Entertainment revealed plans for three comic book titles due to hit shelves in 2015 that will "[take] place immediately after the events of Star Wars: A New Hope," and "will exist as part of the canon for the Star Wars universe." Oh my. That’s important. This means that the comics easily could inform J.J. AbramsStar Wars: Episode VII -- possibly laying groundwork for decisions that Abrams could make in that storyline – and also could inspire narratives that filmmakers like Josh Trank and Gareth Edwards could use in the solo, standalone movies.

Star Wars

The titles, which start dropping in January 2015, will be: Star Wars, by writer Jason Aaron, artist John Cassaday and colorist Laura Martin; Darth Vader, by writer Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca; and Princess Leia, by writer Mark Waid and artist Terry Dodson. Aaron tells Marvel.com, "Every story is about the characters, and we'll focus on all the old favorites. There will be big moments for everyone, from Han to R2-D2. But a major part of the narrative will be driven by Luke Skywalker and his journey of discovery, a journey that will decide the fate of the entire galaxy."

Part of what J.J. Abrams and the other directors invited into George Lucas’ sandbox are learning exactly what is spelled out in these books: that this is a fertile landscape to explore, with thousands of viable stories that need to be told in some way, shape or form. Writer Kieron Gillen, who will work on the Darth Vader book, says, "The great thing about this period [between Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back] is what we don't see on the screen. Vader learns who Luke Skywalker is at some point between the two movies, to choose but one example."

Princess Leia

How might this affect the ongoing Star Wars cinematic universe? It’s hard to tell, because we’re just now scratching the surface of the different ways we can send and receive Star Wars stories. Marvel Comics benefitting from the larger partnership with LucasFilm (and parent company Disney) leads to these new books. But having everything under one roof means that these new comics certainly can (and likely will) inform the movies that reach our theaters in years to come. So, will you read starting next year?

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.