(Update: You can now see the official press release sent to us from Lucasfilm about these new books)
Lucasfilm and Disney have just announced the publishing of four new Star Wars books, which they hope will introduce young readers to the original trilogy who are not too familiar with the first three movies. This news and information comes from the Huffington Post, where it was first announced that three of the four books will be adaptions of each movie from the original trilogy, with the fourth being about the story of Luke Skywalker. Here’s the info on each new book, such as the writers and illustrators who will be working on them, as well as the official press release and announcement video with interviews from each writer:
DISNEY PUBLISHING WORLDWIDE ANNOUNCES
EXCITING NEW ARRAY OF STAR WARS™ CHILDREN’S BOOKS
Slate Features Adaptations of the STAR WARS SAGA by bestselling children’s authors
Tom Angleberger, Tony DiTerlizzi, Adam Gidwitz, and RJ Palacio
The Adventures of Luke Skywalker
Written by Tony DiTerlizzi and will be illustrated using Ralph McQuarrie’s original concept art.
A New Hope
Written by R.J. Palacio with illustrations by Ian McCaig
The Empire Strikes Back
Written by Adam Gidwitz with illustrations by Ian McCaig
Return of the Jedi
Written by Tom Angleberger with illustrations by Ian McCaig
Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) announced today the upcoming global release of four new books based on the original Star Wars film trilogy. The classic Saga will come to life like never before through adaptations by bestselling children’s authors Tom Angleberger, Tony DiTerlizzi, Adam Gidwitz, and R.J. Palacio. Each of these celebrated authors will bring their contemporary, unique voice to the galaxy far, far away, bridging the multi-arc storyline in anticipation of the release of Star Wars Episode VII in December 2015.
The Star Wars Saga program will hit stores beginning in October of 2014, with THE ADVENTURES OF LUKE SKYWALKER, JEDI KNIGHT a picture book written by New York Times bestselling author Tony DiTerlizzi (The Spiderwick Chronicles), illustrated with concept art created by Ralph McQuarrie, for the original Star Wars films. This winning collaboration, combining the entire storyline of the original trilogy, is bound to delight dedicated Star Wars fans and enthrall readers new to the series.
Additional titles to follow include new retellings of STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE by R.J. Palacio (Wonder), STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK by Adam Gidwitz (A Tale Dark and Grimm) and STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI by Tom Angleberger (Origami Yoda series), which will be illustrated by award-winning Star Wars concept artist Iain McCaig. The new series will be published in the United States under Disney-Lucasfilm Press, an imprint of the Disney Book Group.
“We continue to explore ways to introduce new fans to Star Wars,” said Carol Roeder, Director of Lucasfilm Franchise Publishing, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “By publishing dynamic interpretations of classic Saga stories written by authors who speak directly to this generation, we will give young readers a great entry point into this universe.”
“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.”
For over a 35-year period, Star Wars is still one of the most powerful and successful film franchises in the world. During that time, the Star Wars publishing program has spawned an incredible 125 New York Times best-sellers with more than 125 million books in print, in over 30 languages.
With Episode VII coming pretty soon, it’s not too surprising that Lucasfilm and Disney would want to try and get kids who grew up with the prequels and “Clone Wars” more familiar with the story and characters from the original trilogy, and this looks like a cool and different way to do it. And even for fans who grew up on the original trilogy, this is definitely something that would be worth checking out just for the illustrations. Ralph McQuarrie’s work is legendary, and Ian McCaig did such an awesome job on the prequels, I’m definitely excited to see his illustrations for the original trilogy.
These new books will be coming out in the fall of 2014.