Marvel to publish series set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens

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From Newsarama:

Earlier this week Disney has announced via a new publishing intitiative that aims to bridge the gap between Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Entitled Journey to The Force Awakens, the initiative will feature books and comics that tie directly into Marvel's ongoing Star Wars comic, and will be considered in continuity and canon.

The first title, entitled Star Wars: Journey to the Force Awakens - Shattered Empire #1 was also previewed on the site Friday, with the cover by Phil Noto.

Michael Siglain, director, Creative Franchise, Lucasfilm had this to say about the upcoming titles, “The filmmakers have a lot of surprises in store, and the hints and puzzle pieces in the publishing program will keep fans guessing until the film opens. Until then, let the anticipation — and the speculation — begin,”

The others titles in the program are as follows:

Star Wars: Aftermath (Del Rey), Lost Stars (Disney-Lucasfilm Press), Smuggler’s Run: A Han Solo Adventure (Disney-Lucasfilm Press), The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure (Disney-Lucasfilm Press), Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure (Disney-Lucasfilm Press), Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know (DK), Star Wars: Journey to the Force Awakens (Marvel Comics), Star Wars: Journey to the Force Awakens-C-3PO (Marvel Comics), and Star Wars: Ships of the Galaxy (Studio Fun International).

Source: Newsarama

Commentary: Star Wars: Journey to the Force Awakens - Shattered Empire is certainly a mouthful. I actually am glad to see Disney tapping into this era of Star Wars with something official. So far, the comics they have released have all taken place BETWEEN A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. And the animated series Rebels take place before A New Hope. So that still leaves a huge chunk of empty space that they need to fill.

I do feel a bit sad though. I used to read a lot of Star Wars books, and many of them were set after Return of the Jedi. I will admit, there were a lot of stinkers, but I loved the Heir to the Empire trilogy, Darksaber, the Rogue Squadron books, and many others. Disney hasn't said much about what "counts" as part of canon anymore, but I do think it's safe to say most of those books will not be making the cut as Disney charts their own version of the future of the Star Wars Universe.

I do really like the cover Phil Noto painted for the first issue of Shattered Empire: