Lucasfilm announced today, via Publishers Weekly, four brand new books aimed at introducing new readers to the classic Star Wars saga by bridging the "multi-arc storyline in anticipation of the release of Star Wars Episode VII in December 2015."
The first of these four books, The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, is being written by the author of the Spiderwick Chronicles, Tony DiTerlizzi and is being illustrated using Ralph McQuarrie's original paintings from the pre-production of the first three Star Wars films. Incidentally, those paintings are also the basis for the visual look of the upcoming animated series Star Wars: Rebels.
The rest of the books are adaptations of Episodes IV-VI, each written by a different author and all of them illustrated by Ian McCaig, prequel concept artist and designer behind the look of Darth Maul. A New Hope will be written by R.J. Palacio (Wonder), The Empire Strikes Back will be written by Adam Gidwitz (A Tale Dark and Grimm, and Return of the Jedi will be penned by Tom Angleberger (Origami Yoda series).
This marks a new era in Star Wars publishing as well, seeing Disney's own Disney Publishing Worldwide dipping its toes into the swamps of Dagobah and sunning itself on the sands of Tatooine.
"Disney Publishing couldn't be more thrilled to have the opportunity to publish these books globally and to work with such an array of celebrated talent," noted Jeanne Mosure, Senior Vice President and Group Publisher of Disney Publishing Worldwide. "There's a genuine sense of enthusiasm and affinity that these authors have for this classic material, which makes this collaboration feel fresh, instantly synergistic and effortless."
Bryan Young is the author of "A Children's Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination," the editor-in-chief of the nerd news and review site Big Shiny Robot!, and is the co-host of the Star Wars podcast, "Full of Sith."