ScreenCrush’s WookieeLeaks is a weekly roundup of everything Star Wars! From Star Wars: Episode 7, to the upcoming spinoffs and the TV shows, if it pertains to that long ago, far away galaxy, we’re covering it here, bringing you our expert analysis. This week, the details on four upcoming books are revealed, a few directors are apparently in contention for Star Wars: Episode 9, and Star Wars: Rogue One finds a composer.

The New Expanded Universe is About to Explode

By now, you’re surely familiar with Lucasfilm’s “Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens” initiative, which will see 20 new books published in months before J.J. Abrams’ new film hits theaters. With these books taking place before, during, and after the events of the original trilogy, the new expanded universe is looking to fill in every possible little gap. If you want to know exactly what these characters were doing at a specific moment in the Star Wars chronology, you will soon know.

The big news to come out of the rebooted expanded universe this week was centered around one of the biggest books to be coming out under this banner: Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig. First, we got a first look at the cover. Note the tagline:


One of the most controversial aspects of The Force Awakens among fans is that the conflict between the Empire and the Rebels did not end with the Battle of Endor and rages on 30 years later. This is a huge difference from the original expanded universe, where the Empire was all-but-wiped-out when the second Death Star was destroyed. The new Star Wars films will be dealing in some pretty murky territory, where things aren’t so black and white and celebrations set to Ewok music don’t mean that the fight is over.

The cover was revealed at, where Lucas Books senior editor Jennifer Heddle wrote about her excitement for Wendig’s novel:

The second Death Star has been destroyed. Rumors are flying that the Emperor and his enforcer, Darth Vader, are dead. A new government is forming to replace the Empire. But the galaxy is a big place, and the fallout of this cataclysm will affect different worlds in different ways. Does everyone accept the fall of Imperial rule? Has everyone even heard the life-altering news? What rushes in to fill the vacuum the Empire has left? And who will try to stop them? Those are some of the themes we’ll be exploring in Aftermath, and as a lifelong Star Wars fan, just writing those words gives me chills. I can’t wait for our first canon glimpse into the state of the galaxy after the Battle of Endor.

But here's the real news here. Apparently, Aftermath is the first in a new trilogy of books that will take place between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Yes, we are getting a fourth Star Wars trilogy in book from:

What’s more, Aftermath will be the first book in a trilogy that begins to bridge the Star Wars timeline between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. There is so much unknown between the Battle of Endor and the events of The Force Awakens, and we’re excited to take our first step into that space.

It makes sense! 30 years is a long time and fans will want to know what happened to Luke, Han and Leia in the that time. Heck, writers will want to write about what happened to Luke, Han and Leia in those decades. Just don’t ask Wendig for any details. He’s still being cheeky about the whole endeavor:

And while we got an official synopsis for Star Wars: Aftermath, we also got some not-as-official synopses for other books in the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens line. Until we see these officially published in the right places, take them with a grain of salt, but they align with what we’ve heard ... and the wording is just corporate enough to sound real.

First up, here’s the description for Star Wars: Lost Stars, which is essentially Romeo and Juliet set during the original trilogy:

This thrilling Young Adult novel gives readers a macro view of some of the most important events in the Star Wars universe, from the rise of the Rebellion to the fall of the Empire. Readers will experience these major moments through the eyes of two childhood friends–Ciena Ree and Thane Kyrell–who have grown up to become an Imperial officer and a Rebel pilot. Now on opposite sides of the war, will these two star-crossed lovers reunite, or will duty tear them–and the galaxy–apart.

Star Wars: Lost Stars also includes all-new post-Star Wars: Return of the Jedi content, as well as hints and clues about the upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, making this a must-read for all Star Wars fans.

Note that final part about “hints and clues” about The Force Awakens. You are going to see that a lot and it will be a huge component of the marketing push for all of these books. Anyway, here’s the synopsis for The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker adventure, which will also contain clues and hints about the new film:

Luke Skywalker returns for an all-new adventure in this thrilling upper middle grade novel. Set between Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the story finds Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, and R2-D2 stranded on a mysterious planet, and explores Luke’s first-ever duel with a lightsaber. Hidden in the story are also clues and hints about the upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, making this a must-read for fans old and new!

Next up is Smuggler’s Run: A Han Solo Adventure, which will follow, uh, Han Solo. On some kind of smuggler’s run:

Han Solo and Chewbacca the Wookiee team-up for an all-new adventure in this thrilling upper middle grade novel. Set between Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the story follows everyone’s favorite pair of smugglers as they fly the Millennium Falcon on a top-secret mission for the Rebellion. Hidden in the story are also hints and clues about the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, making this a must-read for fans old and new!

And finally, here’s Moving Target: A Princess Leia adventure. Note that this one takes place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Considering that the bulk of the new Star Wars stories are set between episodes IV and V, this may prove significant:

Princess Leia returns for an all-new adventure in this thrilling upper middle grade novel. Set between Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi, the story follows the warrior princess as she leads a ragtag group of rebels on a dangerous mission against the evil Galactic Empire. Hidden in the story are also hints and clues about the upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, making this a must-read for fans old and new!

Just Who is Directing Star Wars: Episode 9?

Earlier this week, a crazy rumor hit the internet regarding the possible director of Star Wars: Episode 9. Yes, we are already talking about Episode 9 before Episode 7 has even hit theaters. But this is the world we live in.

According to Latino Review, Disney is considering bringing J.J. Abrams back for the final installment of this new trilogy. Yes, even after all of the rumored creative clashes, it seems that they are pleased enough with the results to make amends. Here are the details:

We can only report it as a rumor this far out, but those at Disney who have seen footage from The Force Awakens are very happy with what Abrams has delivered. J.J. himself has been vocal about how crazy the process has been, but has given equal time to his love of the series.

There are enough conversations about J.J. Abrams returning to direct Episode IX that we’ve been able to independently verify it four times that his name is the front-runner for the last trilogy installment and the movie isn’t due until 2019, but maybe the Disney process doesn’t clash with the Mystery Box Maker as much as we originally thought.

That’s interesting for a few reasons. First, there is whole “Abrams and Disney don’t get along” thing hanging over this production like a dark cloud. Second, there was the news that Episode 8 director Ryan Johnson was going to write Episode 9, which implied that he would also direct it. Finally, there’s this totally unconfirmed rumor that Disney has been looking at The Hunger Games: Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence for the job.

Lawrence is certainly an able director (whose success is dependent on a good script) and it wouldn’t surprise us at all to learn that he was being courted for a future spin-off film. But is he really the guy who would get hired for Episode 9?

Actually, that question is 100% rhetorical. We have no idea either.

John Williams, Alexandre Desplat and the Future of Star Wars Music

First, we heard the sad news that the great John Williams would be unable to score Steven Spielberg’s upcoming Bridge of Spies due to a minor health issue:

This is a big deal. You can count the number of Spielberg films without a Williams score on one hand. Even though he is expected to reunite with The Beard on The BFG, this is a horrible reminder that Williams is not immortal ... and that he’s getting up there in years. This unnerving news was compounded by Oscar-winning composer Alexandre Desplat revealing that he was set to score Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars: Rogue One:

We (Gareth Edwards and I) will make another movie together very very soon, which is a Star Wars spin-off.

Desplat has previously worked with Edwards on Godzilla so this isn’t exactly surprising news, but it is exciting news. Desplat is one of the best composers working today, comfortable in both the indie and blockbuster realms. If anyone can pick up the John Williams torch, it’s him.

Still, the news that Rogue One will be the first real Star Wars movie not to be scored by Williams (we’re not counting the theatrically released pilot for Star Wars: The Clone Wars) is a bitter pill to swallow. The times, they are a’changing.

Everything Else

A cancelled Kingdom Hearts sequel would have blended Star Wars and Disney characters. The synergy has begun. Sort of.

Oscar Isaac was asked about the Star Wars: The Force Awakens set and hopefully you have “practical effects” on you movie rumor bingo card...

It was amazing. It’s an incredible set. J.J. is such a fun, positive guy. It was really amazing to actually see all the stuff he created. It was actually real and tactile. He’s not just depending on CG. As an actor it was really fun to interact with that world.

Someone edited the final space battle from Return of the Jedi into one continuous sequence and it’s pretty cool.

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