What will happen to the Expanded Universe? Well, it’s too soon to tell, honestly, but a sequel trilogy could certainly mean upheaval in the galaxy far, far away – and the post-Return of the Jedi continuity that’s been in the works for the past several decades. My bare bones advice? It’s time to start hardening yourself to a more fluid concept of continuity and canon. (You might also want to check out IGN’s Joey Esposito’s great post on the 007 approach to continuity.) But it is far, far too soon to speculate about what new Star Wars movies will bring to the party when we don’t know anything about them aside from their basic existence. (Yes, I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on all that later, but one thing at a time!)
One place we can speculate on is who’s going to handling that future in publishing. We’ve seen no indication that Disney is going to shake up the way Lucasfilm works, so we can assume that Lucasbooks will remain the guiding hand. But what of the licensees themselves? They all have contracts, so things will stay as they are for now. But once those contracts are up?
It’s the talk of the publishing world today: Parent companies Pearson and Bertelsmann are discussing combining the publishing houses Penguin and Random House. Together, the two publishers would control more than 20% of the U.S. market,. so antitrust issues are sure to be a concern.
Both companies have Star Wars licenses: Random House’s Del Rey handles the adult Star Wars novels (as is Bantam, which handles the backlist,) while Penguin publishes books for younger readers, mostly based on The Clone Wars. DK is also a part of Penguin.
Upcoming. StarWars.com has a look at some of DK’s 2011 offerings, including Secrets of the Jedi, which sounds like a kid’s version of The Jedi Path. Also up are the December 2010 comics, including Knight Errant #3 and Legacy: War #1.
We’re still waiting on word of Sean William’s The Old Republic novel – as yet, Sue Rostoni is “unable to either confirm nor deny.” (Don’t panic: That’s pretty standard.) Though audio versions have shown up on RandomHouse.com.
Starwars Union has some high-res pics from the movie that I, at least, haven’t seen before. (You’ll have to scroll a bit, past highlight-to-read spoilers, but at least none of them are in English.) Permalinked! Thanks, Christian!
Grosset & Dunlap will be the primary licensee for children’s formats including junior novelizations, 8x8s, readers, movie photo books and activity books, starting with movie tie-ins this summer—the on-sale date for all books and merchandise is July 26—followed by TV-based titles in the fall. Other juvenile licensees include DK for sticker books, Visual Guides and DK Readers and Dalmatian for coloring and activity books. For older readers, Random House’s Del Rey imprint will publish one movie and four TV novelizations, and Dark Horse will release monthly comics and digest-size graphic novels. An “Art Of” title is expected as well.
Meanwhile, classic Star Wars publishing will continue; Scholastic will introduce a new series next year.
Paul over at TFN speculates that the Traviss and Miller mystery books may be the first wave of novelizations.
The official site has a man on the inside! StarWarsShop’s Matt Martin reports on Monday and Tuesday.
There’s even a tidbit of book news in the latter! Check it:
My next meeting was with DK Publishing, a company who didn’t actually have a booth at the show but since I knew they would be attending I managed to set up an appointment to go over some of their upcoming books. Slated for this summer is Star Wars Blueprints: The Ultimate Collection, which is, obviously, a book full of blueprints of vehicles and other items from the entire Star Wars saga. I was given a sample of the foldout Death Star schematics and it looks great. They’ll also be continuing their great “Visual Guide” line with The Clone Wars in the fall and in the summer they’ll be releasing a guide to Indiana Jones as well!
We knew about the blueprints, and Visual Guides for The Clone Wars and Indy IV aren’t a huge surprise, but they haven’t been announced yet, either.