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[ Star Wars Books ]
 FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Star Wars Books & Comics is a guide to over 800 official books, comics and short stories from the Star Wars galaxy.


General questions:
These are general questions regarding Star Wars and the meanings of various terminology used by Star Wars fans.

Character questions:
These questions refer to major events and situations that have happened to various characters, especially the main characters from the original film trilogy: Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca; in the course of hundreds of published stories (note that as of 25th April 2014 most of these events are now classed as Legends).

Book questions:
These questions refer to specific book or comic stories.

Site questions:
These questions refer to Star Wars Books & Comics (www.swbooks.net):


Answers to general questions:

Where should I begin reading Star Wars books?
With over 800 novels, comics and short stories published so far it can be a daunting task for a newcomer to the world of Star Wars books to know where to begin reading. That is why Star Wars Books & Comics have published their own guide to where to begin reading Star Wars Legends books.


What is the Lucasfilm Story Group?
The Lucasfilm Story Group (aka Story Team), founded in 2013 soon after Disney purchased Lucasfilm, is a small group tasked of maintaining canon across all newly published Star Wars stories. On 25th April 2014 the group abolished the previous canonical hierarchy system and created a single canon level.


What does Expanded Universe (EU) mean? (Updated: 13th May 2014)
As a consequence of Lucasfilm Story Group's announcement of 25th April 2014 all Expanded Universe material has been rebranded as Star Wars Legends.
Prior to the Story Group announcement, Expanded Universe (usually abbreviated to EU) refered to all officially licensed material including, but not limited to, books, comics, short stories and video games, that continued the Star Wars story beyond the six movies: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi; with a sense of continuity. That is, events that occur in Expanded Universe material do not, on the whole, contradict events that have occurred in the films or in other EU material. Where a deliberate contradiction occurs, those materials are not considered part of the Expanded Universe and as such their events never occurred, for example the Infinities comic story adaptation of A New Hope cannot be classed as a part of the Expanded Universe because the events portrayed in that particular story are derived from the premise that Luke Skywalker failed to destroy the Death Star at the battle of Yavin, a clear contradiction with the events portrayed in A New Hope.
(related topic: What does canon mean?)


What does canon mean? (Updated: 13th May 2014)
Canon is the term used to define one story's importance in relation to another story. As per the Lucasfilm Story Group's announcement of 25th April 2014 there is now only one canonical level within the Star Wars universe: approved Lucasfilm Story Group stories, irrespective of format, are all of the same level of importance. No longer would one format be considered to be more important than another format. All future material, approved by the Lucasfilm Story Group, would be canon and be part of the new official Star Wars continuity.
As of 25th April 2014 approved Lucasfilm Story Group stories were:

  • Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace - 2011 blu-ray edition and its novelisation (in so far as much where the novel story aligns to that seen on-screen);
  • Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones - 2011 blu-ray edition and its novelisation (in so far as much where the novel story aligns to that seen on-screen);
  • Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith - 2011 blu-ray edition and its novelisation (in so far as much where the novel story aligns to that seen on-screen);
  • Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope - 2011 blu-ray edition and its novelisation (in so far as much where the novel story aligns to that seen on-screen);
  • Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back - 2011 blu-ray edition and its novelisation (in so far as much where the novel story aligns to that seen on-screen);
  • Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi - 2011 blu-ray edition and its novelisation (in so far as much where the novel story aligns to that seen on-screen);
  • Star Wars: Episodes VII thru IX (aka the Sequel Trilogy) - upcoming movies;
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie and its novelisation (in so far as much where the novel story aligns to that seen on-screen);
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated TV series: Seasons 1 thru 5 plus "The Lost Missions" (aka Season 6);
  • Star Wars: Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir - 4-issue comic book series from Dark Horse Comics;
  • Star Wars Rebels - animated TV series;
  • Star Wars: A New Dawn, Star Wars: Tarkin, Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi and Star Wars: Lords of the Sith - novels from Del Rey (as announced here).

Prior to the Story Group announcement, canon within Star Wars was used to delineate a story's importance in relation to the films, i.e. the higher up the level, the more important the events depicted by the story are. The former levels of canon (for novels, books, comics and stories) were:

  • G-canon: George (Lucas) level canon - events or characters created by George Lucas himself, i.e. the six Star Wars films. This is the highest level of canon and put simply if any event or character in a lower level contradicts events or characters in this level, or vice versa, then events or characters in this level take precedence, i.e. there can be no contradiction of events or characters witnessed in this level and at the same time events or characters in this level can not be relegated to another level.
  • T-canon: Television level canon - events or characters created by companies directly affiliated with George Lucas, e.g. The Clone Wars TV series produced by Lucasfilm Animation and the forthcoming Star Wars Rebels TV series.
  • C-canon: Continuity level canon - events or characters depicted by non-directly affiliated Lucas sources, such as books publishers Bantam and Del Rey and comics publisher Dark Horse Comics. Almost every novel and story published is classified as C-canon, with the exceptions of those pre-designated as N-canon (see below), and material published pre-1991 which is classified S-canon.
  • S-canon: Secondary level canon - in most cases this contains books and comics produced pre-1991 (that is not already G-canon) such as the Marvel comic series. For events or characters in this level to be reclassified, they must be referenced in a C-canon event or by a C-canon character, e.g. the character Luminya, who first appeared in Marvel comics but was later used in the Legacy of the Force series, is now classified as C-canon.
  • N-canon: Non-canon (aka Infinities) - specifically events or characters that contradict events or characters in any other level. This level includes issues #1 to #20 of Dark Horse Comics' Tales series (available as Star Wars Tales: Volumes 1 thru 5) and other non-continuity material.

While Star Wars Books & Comics does distinguish between Story Group approved stories (those stories that belong to canon) and Legends stories (those stories that do not have canon status), we also propose that every story should be enjoyed for its own merits whether it be a recently published novel or a thirty year-old comic story.


What does retcon mean?
Retcon is an acronym for retroactive continuity, that is attempting to establish a correlation between two or more sources that may have inadvertently contradicted each other; this is not the same as non-continuity or n-canon events, a simple writing mistake has occurred and a solution or patch is devised to resolve the contradiction. As an example imagine the contradiction suggested when one character details their plans to take over the galaxy in Book 1, but Comic 1 (set years before Book 1) witnesses this character being killed; how can the contradiction be resolved? Obviously nor Book 1 nor Comic 1 can be rewritten, so using other publishing sources such as StarWars.com's Databank or Star Wars Insider magazine or reference books, retcon stories are created that resolve such dilemmas.


What does ABY and BBY mean?
These are abbreviations for After the Battle of Yavin (ABY) and Before the Battle of Yavin (BBY), the Battle of Yavin being the events witnessed in the first Star Wars film made, i.e. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and the destruction of the Death Star. All events within the Star Wars universe are described as occurring either before or after the Battle of Yavin. Other variants of these abbreviations include ASW4 and BSW4 meaning After Star Wars [Episode] 4 and Before Star Wars [Episode] 4.
For clarity, and where possible, Star Wars Books & Comics does not use abbreviations without at least defining them on the same page.


What is the best way to value/sell my Star Wars books/comics collection?
The single most important piece of advice we can offer is that value or worth is determined by the buyer, ie an item is only as valuable as what someone is willing to pay for it, not what the seller expects it is worth.


I have a great idea for/have written a Star Wars book/comic story, who can I contact?
It is important to understand that no Star Wars publisher will accept unsolicited scripts or story ideas, no matter how good you think your story/concept is. All Star Wars publishers use established authors, writers and artists and it is the publisher who will contract the author/writer/artist.


back to questions


Answers to character questions:

When did Han and Leia get married? (Updated: 13th May 2016)
According to Aftermath: Life Debt, Han and Leia got married on the forest moon of Endor immediately after the Battle of Endor.
In the Legends universe, Han and leia tied the knot 8 years after the Battle of Yavin as portrayed in the novel The Courtship of Princess Leia (1994) by Dave Wolverton.


When were Han and Leia's kid(s) born? (Updated: 13th March 2017)
In Aftermath: Empire's End, Leia gave birth to her son, Ben, shortly after the Battle of Jakku, about 5 years after Episode IV: A New Hope.
In the Legends universe, Han and Leia had three children. The eldest were twins Jacen and Jaina, both born 9 years after the Battle of Yavin, as depicted in The Last Command (1993) by Timothy Zahn. Then 10 years after the Battle of Yavin, Anakin was born, named after his grandfather, as seen in Dark Empire II (1994-1995) by Tom Veitch. Unfortunately he died while only a teenager.


When did Luke fall to the Dark Side? (Updated: 13th May 2014)
In the Legends universe, Luke Skywalker fell to the Dark Side 10 years after the Battle of Yavin in an attempt to defeat the "reborn" Emperor of Dark Empire (1991-1992) by Tom Veitch. Luke was returned to the Light by the intervention of his sister Leia.


When did Luke get married? (Updated: 13th May 2014)
In the Legends universe, during the events of Vision of the Future (1998) by Timothy Zahn, 19 years after the Battle of Yavin, Luke proposed to Mara Jade and their wedding was captured in Union (1999) by Michael A. Stackpole.


When was Luke's son born? (Updated: 13th May 2014)
In the Legends universe, Luke and Mara Jade-Skywalker were blessed with a son, Ben (named after Luke's mentor Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi) 26 years after the Battle of Yavin during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion of The New Jedi Order in Edge of Victory II: Rebirth (2001) by Greg Keyes.


When did Chewbacca die? (Updated: 13th May 2014)
In the Legends universe, Chewbacca, Han Solo's life-long friend and co-pilot, died 25 years after the Battle of Yavin saving the life of Han's youngest son Anakin in Vector Prime (1999) by R. A. Salvatore.


When was the Emperor "reborn"? (Updated: 13th May 2014)
In the Legends universe, this was during the time when Luke Skywalker fell to the Dark Side. (as portrayed in Dark Empire (1991-1992) by Tom Veitch). It was discovered that Emperor Palpatine was still alive, albeit as a clone. Palpatine had established a secret cloning facility that enabled himself to be "reborn" whenever he liked. Luke Skywalker eventually killed the last clone of Palpatine and destroyed the cloning facility 10 years after the Battle of Yavin.


When did Anakin Solo die? (Updated: 13th May 2014)
In the Legends universe, Anakin Solo, the youngest of Han and Leia's children, died 27 years after the Battle of Yavin in Star by Star (2001) by Troy Denning during a mission to destroy the nest of the Yuuzhan Vong's Jedi hunter-killer creatures, the Voxyn.


When did Mara Jade die? (Updated: 13th May 2014)
In the Legends universe, Mara Jade, wife of Luke Skywalker and mother of Ben Skywalker, was killed approximately 40 years after the Battle of Yavin by her nephew Jacen Solo, who had fallen to the Dark Side, in Sacrifice (2007) by Karen Traviss.


What relation is Cade Skywalker to Luke? (Updated: 13th May 2014)
Cade Skywalker, descendent of Luke Skywalker and the protagonist of John Ostrander's Legacy comic series, was born about 135 years after Luke (and Leia) were born. Cade was born about 116 years after the Battle of Yavin and this places them around five generations apart. However, given that Luke's own son, Ben, was born when Luke was himself in his mid-forties the number of descedents is closer to just four generations. This would mean that Luke is either Cade's great-great-grandfather (four generations) or his great-great-great-grandfather (five generations).
Ostrander does reveal that Cade's father was Kol Skywalker, a Jedi Master who died early in his story, but did not reveal Kol's antecedents. Thus, and taking the four generation gap as the most probable, we are left with just two unknown generations of Luke Skywalker's lineage - namely Ben's child(ren) and Kol's parents, ie Cade's great-grandparents and grandparents respectively, and at present, this is unlikely to be revealed soon.
As of 25th April 2014 this event is classed as Legends.


When and how did Luke, Leia and Han die? (Updated: 13th May 2014)
A major component for the premise for Legacy, Dark Horse Comics' comic series set 137 years after the Battle of Yavin, is that the heroes of the Original Trilogy: Luke, Leia and Han are dead. However the series creater, John Ostrander, never detailed in his story when and indeed how they died - rather there is the assumption given the series' chronological placement it would be highly unlikely that any of our heroes would be alive during this era: after all, Luke and Leia would be around 156 years-old while Han would be over 170! Ever since Legacy's first issue was published in 2006 there has been continous fan speculation has to when and how Luke, Leia and Han died - some even requesting that their favourite author be allowed to pen such a story - but it seems highly unlikely that such a story would ever be written/published - unless the recently announced planned sequel trilogy, Episodes 7 thru 9, were to detail these events.
We suggest that if you accept that Legacy's timeframe explains the "why" they are dead, there really is no need to ask the "when" and "how".
As of 25th April 2014 this event is classed as Legends.


back to questions


Answers to book questions:

Will there be any more Tales from... collections?
It is unlikely that there will be any more Tales from... compilation novels such as Tales from the Empire because these particular books did not sell that well.


Where are Knights of the Old Republic: Volume 5, Dark Times: Volume 3; Rebellion: Volume 4; and Legacy: Volume 6 graphic novels?
Readers and collectors of these comic book series graphic novel adaptations may discover that their graphic novel collections for any of these series witnesses a numeric jump in Volume numbers with an apparent missing Volume. This is due to the nature of the Star Wars: Vector story arc that crossed over all four of these series to the point that the Vector storyline constitutes each of these 'missing' Volumes. However rather than publish each of the comic books series related Vector story separately as Knights of the Old Republic: Volume 5, Dark Times: Volume 3 etc, publisher Dark Horse Comics have collated the complete Vector story arc into two separate graphic novels: Vector: Volume 1 and Vector: Volume 2. This is because the Dark Times and Rebellion arcs of the Vector storyline were each told in just two issues, not enough by themselves to warrant individual graphic novel releases. Thus Vector: Volume 1 constitutes both Knights of the Old Republic: Volume 5 and Dark Times: Volume 3; while Vector: Volume 2 is also Rebellion: Volume 4 and Legacy: Volume 6.


What is the difference between a graphic novel, trade paperback (TPB) and graphic novella?
The terms graphic novel and trade paperback (also known by its acronym, TPB) refer to the same item. Although the terms are interchangeable where possible Star Wars Books & Comics will use the term graphic novel rather than trade paperback.
To increase readership of comic book stories, comic publishers will often collate several issues of a comic book series (usually around six issues depending on the number of pages each comic book contains) that form a cohesive story arc or two or more self-contained stories from the comic series' overall storyline into a graphic novel. Thus, as the average comic book series can consist of 50 or more comic books, then around 8 graphic novels are published for that series (normally known as Volumes, i.e. Volume 1, Volume 2, etc). This allows comic story readers the option of either purchasing individual comic books or waiting until the graphic novel is released. However, not all comic book issues are reprinted in a graphic novel, hence Dark Horse Comics' ongoing Omnibus Editions which endeavours to reprint those comic stories that have never been printed in a graphic novel as well as out-of-print and hard-to-find graphic novels. A standard graphic novel is the same size as its comic book cousin at around 7" x 10" (170mm x 260mm) and contains just over 100 pages - note that an Omnibus Edition graphic novel is slightly smaller at 6" x 9" (150mm x 230mm) but will contain several hundred pages.
A graphic novella is a graphic novel that contains one standalone story that has not been previously available in comic book form (although some may contain more than one story such as Clone Wars Adventures). A graphic novella is smaller at just 5" x 7" (130mm x 190mm) and normally only has about 80 pages. Graphic novella stories are designed to be "parent friendly" with stories suitable for children (see our Guide to Children's Books for some suggestions and recommendations).
Prices for graphic novels reflect the number of pages: thus the most expensive are Omnibus Editions, while the cheapest are graphic novellas.


back to questions


Answers to site questions:

What is Star Wars Books & Comics' spoiler policy?
Star Wars Books & Comics
' spoiler policy is that all for all major book and comic stories not yet published, and where a story summary, synopsis, review or discussion may divulge significant plot points, a warning similar to the one below will be placed on that story's listing page:

!! SPOILER WARNING !!
This synopsis contains possible plot spoilers

This warning will remain in situ for at least six months after the story's publication.


What is Star Wars Books & Comics' canon policy? (Updated: 13th March 2016)
While Star Wars Books & Comics does distinguish between Story Group approved stories (those stories that have a canonical status) and Legends stories (those stories that do not have canonical status), we also propose that every story should be enjoyed for its own merits whether it be a recently published novel or a forty year-old comic story.


back to questions


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