If you’re wondering why every major Hollywood studio is chasing the shared universe model for their franchises, it comes down to one word: licensing. The true bottom line with respect to a movie isn’t found at the box office anymore, but in whatever junk can be sold alongside it: t-shirts, toys, video games, etc. So it’s not a big surprise that Disney is pimping arguably the biggest franchise of ’em all hard in advance of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” They’re already teaming with Lego for the limited animated series “Droid Tales,” which will retell the first six movies in chronological order from the perspective of C-3PO and R2-D2. And there’s even more on the way.
EW reports that a new book series, “Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” will bring at least 20 new titles that will fill in the story gap between “Star Wars: Episode VI — Return Of The Jedi” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” These will range from novels to young adult titles to stickerbooks, each containing Easter Eggs that hint at events in ‘The Force Awakens.’ Evidently Lucasfilm are trying to snare every possible demographic at the bookstore before the movie comes out.
Del Rey, DK and Marvel Comics will be among the book’s publishers, and while storyline details are under wraps, the idea is to raise anticipation for the picture while filling in a lot of blanks. The authors were given access to storylines being developed in the new movies, and the books will be considered official canon. “The partnership with the story group and the editorial team always had to be true to the sanctity of the film, while making sure that we find these moments to introduce hints, clues, and puzzle pieces,” said Andrew Sugerman of Disney Publishing Worldwide. “Without revealing what those pieces are, it will just allow readers to speculate about the new film: What could a location mean, or what could a character mean?”
The list of some of the titles that are coming (not to mention new books detailing the events of the original trilogy from different character perspectives, but which are not part of this series) are intriguing:
-Marvel will publish prequels “Star Wars: Journey to the Force Awakens” plus a different one from C-3PO’s perspective
–Studio Fun International will deliver “Star Wars: Ships of the Galaxy“
–Jason Fry is writing the Luke Skywalker story “The Weapon of a Jedi”
–Claudia Gray is behind “Lost Stars”
–Greg Rucka will write the Han Solo focused “Smuggler’s Run”
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