It’s not a secret that the Star Wars sequel trilogy left much to be desired for many fans. For The Walt Disney Company’s first outing of the beloved franchise, Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens (2015) introduced new heroes and villains while also bringing back fan-favorites from George Lucas’ original trilogy.
Four years later, the Star Wars sequels will have finished and left the fandom more divided than ever. With plot holes and inconsistencies, lack of character development, and questionable villain returns, will the tide ever turn on Disney’s Star Wars trilogy? Well, with the inclusion of new media, explanations are incoming for certain aspects of the sequels, namely director JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker (2019)…
Following his first Star Wars movie, Abrams returned to close out the trilogy after Rian Johnson’s hugely divisive Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi (2017). The conclusion film featured the return of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) after Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) killed Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) before briefly joining forces with Rey (Daisy Ridley) in the previous movie. Seemingly disjointed from its predecessors, The Rise of Skywalker, finally gave Rey an answer to her parentage (sort of), brought Kylo Ren back to the light side following an intense lightsaber battle, and attempted to capture the legacy of the Skywalkers.
There hasn’t been a definite reason why Palpatine survived his fall at the hands of Darth Vader (Dave Prowse/James Earl Jones) aboard the Death Star in Star Wars: Episode VII — Return of the Jedi (1983) nor for the sudden inclusion of the Sith hideaway, Exegol, and the Sith Eternal — a secret cult that worships the Sith Order.
It might have been worthwhile for Lucasfilm and Star Wars to foreshadow and hint at this major turn of events earlier on in the trilogy but, alas, the Star Wars sequels were never fully mapped out before they began — something Abrams has since learned from.
That being said, Star Wars has been clever in the way of adding contextual information into its supporting stories. We learned more about Kylo Ren in the comic book series The Rise of Kylo Ren from Charles Soule, and again, fans were shown some of the inner workings of Exegol in Marvel Comics’ Darth Vader by Greg Pak. Then Star Wars: The Bad Batch teased Palpatine’s secret cloning base, Mount Tantiss, from Star Wars Legends — something that may pave the way for Grand Admiral Thrawn to arrive back in the canon and the debut of Mara Jade.
From comic books to TV shows, Star Wars is now using a new set of novels to further add context to the polarising sequel trilogy. In a new announcement, StarWars.com has revealed a brand-new project featuring the original galactic hero (no, not Han Solo), Luke Skywalker. Last seen taking the Force-sensitive Grogu from the hands of Pedro Pascal’s Din Djarin in The Mandalorian Season 2 finale after Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito) defeat, Skywalker will return alongside Lando Calrissian in a new novel set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
The official synopsis of the new Luke Skywalker project — Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith by Adam Christopher — is as follows:
Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian return in this essential novel set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
The Empire is dead. Nearly two decades on from the Battle of Endor, the tattered remnants of Palpatine’s forces have fled to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. But for the heroes of the New Republic, danger and loss are ever-present companions, even in this newly forged era of peace.
Jedi Master Luke Skywalker is haunted by visions of the dark side, foretelling an ominous secret growing somewhere in the depths of space, on a dead world called Exegol. The disturbance in the Force is undeniable…and Luke’s worst fears are confirmed when his old friend, Lando Calrissian, comes to him with reports of a new Sith menace.
After his daughter was stolen from his arms, Lando searched the stars for any trace of his lost child. But every new rumor only led to dead ends and fading hopes–until he crossed paths with Ochi of Bestoon, a Sith assassin tasked with kidnapping a young girl.
Ochi’s true motives remain shrouded to Luke and Lando. For on a junkyard moon, a mysterious envoy of the Sith Eternal has bequeathed a sacred blade to the assassin, promising that it will give him answers to the questions that have haunted him since the Empire fell. In exchange, he must complete a final mission: return to Exegol with the key to the Sith’s glorious rebirth—the granddaughter of Darth Sidious himself, Rey.
As Ochi hunts Rey and her parents to the edge of the galaxy, Luke and Lando race into the mystery of the Sith’s lingering shadow and aid a young family running for their lives.
The synopsis features a lot of interesting information around Luke Skywalker, Rey, and Exegol seemingly aiming to develop the missing information from The Rise of Skywalker. What it doesn’t allude to is when in the Skywalker Saga timeline events of the book take place.
There are, in fact, 30 years between the two Star Wars movies. Chances are the book will take place somewhere in the middle, leaving room for any additional Star Wars projects to reveal what happened to Grogu AKA “Baby Yoda” and the moments surrounding Skywalker’s (Mark Hamill) Jedi Order, leading to his exile to Ahch-To.
More on the new books coming from Star Wars
StarWars.com is thrilled to reveal four new books featuring never-before-told tales from across the Star Wars saga. Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith, a novel from author Adam Christopher, takes place after Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and finds Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian on a mission to locate Exegol; the novel Star Wars: Brotherhood, by Mike Chen, follows Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker amidst the chaos of the Clone Wars — and Skywalker’s rise to Jedi Knight; Star Wars: Stories of Jedi and Sith, a new middle-grade anthology, features adventures from 10 acclaimed authors; and the Young Adult novel Star Wars: Padawan, by Kiersten White, depicts Obi-Wan in his early days as a student of Qui-Gon Jinn.
It’s an exciting time for the Star Wars galaxy!
Will you be reading these new Star Wars stories? Let us know in the comments down below!