It's five long months before The Last Jedi comes to theaters, but if you're hoping for a few clues before then, I've got some good news for you: four The Last Jedi books will be released in the fall. The Journey to the Last Jedi will be a series of books providing crucial backstory about some of the characters we last saw in The Force Awakens, who will be returning in The Last Jedi. But by the time they next burst onto our screens in December, we'll know a little more about their histories and their motivations, thanks to this exciting new book series.
The first book will be released on September 1, and will be called Phasma. This novel, written by Delilah S. Dawson, will center around the mysterious and brutal Captain Phasma, and her rise through the ranks of the First Order. Michael Siglain, the Creative Director of Lucasfilm Publishing, told EW that the novel "cuts between the present and the past and shows her as this fearsome warrior on this brutal world that she was on. The First Order comes to that planet, and she sees a great opportunity when they arrive." Hopefully, The Last Jedi will give us more of an insight into Phasma as a character — but we'll have a great headstart to understanding her once we've raced through the pages of Phasma.
Also releasing on September 1 will be Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray, which will delve into the backstory of beloved character Princess Leia.
Claudia Gray has written about our princess before in the political thriller Bloodlines, which took place about six years before The Force Awakens. Now, she's going even further back. Princess of Alderaan will explore Leia's past, starting with her teenage years. Siglain explains the importance of this, saying "the past informs the future. There are still many unanswered questions, and we’re looking to fill in some, but not all, of those blanks.”
Those two will keep us happy for a few months, and then on October 31, we're in for our next treat: The Legends of Luke Skywalker by Ken Liu.
The Legends of Luke Skywalker is the most unusual-sounding title of the series, and plays on the almost-mythical status of Luke Skywalker. Author Ken Liu will play a part in the story, narrating in the persona of a flea-like alien who is journeying to a casino called Canto Bright, and who is discussing the rumors about Luke Skywalker on the way with a group of rowdy kids. Through this unusual frame story, the book will compile all the legends surrounding Luke Skywalker's past — but as Siglain questions, "Are they true? Well, maybe. Maybe not."
Finally, December 5 will bring us the final book Canto Bright, which is named after the casino that will feature in The Last Jedi, and comprises four short stories about the backstories of background characters.
Don't worry, though, the backstories of Rey, Finn, and other major characters will be unveiled over the course of the films, not in the books.
With these new Star Wars novels to guide the way, the journey to The Last Jedi is only just beginning...