The next wave of trade paperbacks in the Star Wars Essential Legends Collection, as announced Nov. 3, 2021, hit bookshelves April 5, 2022, comprising four diverse and popular titles:
- Kenobi by John Jackson Miller
- Darth Plagueis by James Luceno
- X-Wing: Wedge’s Gamble by Michael A. Stackpole
- Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil by Drew Karpyshyn.
Each of these titles will have a new cover featuring stylish original designs from a different artist.
Wedge’s Gamble — which depicts the daring Rebel Alliance takeover of Imperial Center itself, Coruscant — will also receive an all-new, unabridged audiobook edition in the process.
This is the third wave of these trade paperbacks; the first round, in June 2021, resurrected Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire, Matthew Stover’s Shatterpoint and Karpyshyn’s Darth Bane Series Book 1: Path of Destruction. The second, in September 2021, expanded to four titles like the third, including Stackpole’s Rogue Squadron (the first book in that popular starfighter series), the rest of Zahn’s original and groundbreaking trilogy Dark Force Rising and The Last Command, and Darth Bane Book 2: The Rule of Two.
It’s all part of celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Lucasfilm, with publishing partner Del Rey curating a collection of essential and beloved Star Wars novels from the past.
“Novels set in a galaxy far, far away have enriched the Star Wars experience for fans seeking to continue the adventure beyond the screen. When he created Star Wars, George Lucas built a universe that sparked the imagination, and inspired others to create,” Del Rey said in a statement when the first wave was announced. “He opened up that universe to be a creative space for other people to tell their own tales.”
To this day, the EU — though no longer strictly canon — remains an inspiration for Star Wars creators and is published under the label Legends. Ideas, characters, story elements, and more from new Star Wars entertainment trace their origins back to material from the Expanded Universe.