2022's Disney+ slate has received all the attention on the Star Wars front; it's building up to be the biggest year for the galaxy far, far away to date.
But flying under the radar is the work Lucasfilm has done in the publishing field.
The High Republic era of storytelling remains strong, having launched this January with riveting new tales that introduced readers to several unique Jedi and a compelling foe in the Nihil. Come next January, the first phase of The High Republic will be capped off with the third wave of releases, and the beginning of Phase 2 will follow later in the year.
Next week will see the launch of Del Rey's next novel, Ronin, which will continue the events that took place in the Star Wars: Visions episode "The Duel". The book is said to be unlike any other written in the Star Wars universe before, and while its canon status remains unclear, those who have received early copies have issued nothing but praise. Wrapping up 2021 will be the final book of Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy, Lesser Evil, coming in November.
Beyond the aforementioned continuation of The High Republic, little has been revealed about other projects down the pipeline for Lucasfilm Publishing... until now.
New Books Starring Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi Revealed
The official Star Wars website revealed several new books set to release in 2022 from Del Rey and Disney Lucasfilm Press.
Key stories will cover events that lead up to The Force Awakens, a new dynamic for Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker in the early days of the Clone Wars and Kenobi's rebellious phase as a Padawan. Below are descriptions for the forthcoming novels and their placeholder covers:
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.
Shadows of the Sith will be the first proper novel featuring Jedi Master Luke Skywalker in his prime. Fans are well aware of the debacle surrounding the Emperor's survival in Return of the Jedi and subsequent rejuvenation in The Rise of Skywalker. Adam Christopher's book will attempt to clear the air on some of the questions the film and other ancillary material have left hanging.
A Luke and Lando adventure is something new for the canon, and it will be interesting to see how their stories intersect. Lando will be on the hunt for his abducted daughter, who may or may not end up being Jannah, and the Sith Eternal will undoubtedly have a hand in the plot that leads the scoundrel to seek out a troubled Luke's aid. The Galaxy's Dumbest Assassin will also be featured prominently, as Ochi's quest to recover Rey will occupy a significant portion of the story, and his laughable demise may be depicted as well.
It's going to be difficult for Shadows of the Sith to clean up the inconsistencies set by The Rise of Skywalker. Rey's Palpatine heritage makes little sense as is, and Ochi's knife is an even more confusing element of the tale. Given the last chunk of the book's description, it's possible Luke and Lando may end up helping a young Rey and her family... which would have all kinds of disastrous implications on the continuity.
Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith will release on June 28, 2022.
Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker must stem the tide of the raging Clone Wars and forge a new bond as Jedi Knights.
The Clone Wars have begun. Battle lines are being drawn throughout the galaxy. With every world that joins the Separatists, the peace guarded by the Jedi Order is slipping through their fingers.
After an explosion devastates Cato Neimoidia, the jewel of the Trade Federation, the Republic is blamed and the fragile neutrality of the planet is threatened. The Jedi dispatch Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of the Order’s most gifted diplomatic minds, to investigate the crime and maintain the balance that has begun to dangerously shift. As Obi-Wan investigates with the help of a heroic Neimoidian guard, he finds himself working against the Separatists who hope to draw the planet into their conspiracy–and senses the sinister hand of Asajj Ventress in the mists that cloak the planet.
Amid the brewing chaos, Anakin Skywalker rises to the rank of Jedi Knight. Despite the mandate that Obi-Wan travel alone–and his former master’s insistence that he listen this time–Anakin’s headstrong determination means nothing can stop him from crashing the party, and bringing along a promising but conflicted youngling.
Once a Padawan to Obi-Wan, Anakin now finds himself on equal–but uncertain–footing with the man who raised him. The lingering friction between them increases the danger for everyone around them. The two knights must learn a new way to work together—and they must learn quickly, to save Cato Neimoidia and its people from the fires of war. To overcome the threat they face they must grow beyond master and apprentice. They must stand together as brothers.
At long last, Star Wars fans will discover why Anakin only saved Obi-Wan's skin nine times (canonically, at least).
Stories set shortly after the events of Attack of the Clones that prelude Star Wars: The Clone Wars have been high on the wishlists of many for years now, and Brotherhood should satiate the hunger of the fans. Queen's Hope, originally slated for a November release but pushed back to 2022, will also dive into this time period, taking a look at the early days of the secret marriage between Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala.
Brotherhood's description sounds exactly like a classic Clone Wars arc, with the added interiority and character development that a visual project couldn't provide. Obi-Wan is, of course, The Negotiator, and serves as the perfect Jedi to investigate a diplomatic dispute. Add in Anakin, and all sorts of chaos become possible.
The book provides the opportunity to tell several key moments in the canon. With Asajj Ventress' involvement, the context for her rivalry with Skywalker and Kenobi will undoubtedly be given. Also, perhaps, the official explanation of how Anakin received his scar will be provided. Fans should also expect to see how Anakin elevated to the rank of Jedi Knight, his new status making for an interesting new development in his relationship with Obi-Wan.
Star Wars: Brotherhood will release on May 10, 2022.
Obi-Wan Kenobi struggles with his place in the Force as a young Padawan in this coming-of-age adventure!
Obi-Wan Kenobi really wants to be a good Padawan. The best Padawan, even. But that’s feeling more and more impossible with his new master, Qui-Gon Jinn. All of Obi-Wan’s friends are off training to be real Jedi, getting mission experience, while he’s still on Coruscant, practicing his forms and sitting in silent contemplation. Ever since Qui-Gon’s former master, Dooku, left the Order, it feels like Qui-Gon has been too busy trying to connect with the Force or arguing with the Jedi Council to properly train his Padawan.
When Obi-Wan finally convinces Qui-Gon to take him on a mission to a remote planet once explored by an ancient Jedi, his master doesn’t show up the morning they are to leave—so Obi-Wan impulsively takes off by himself. Upon arriving on the mysterious, lush planet, he encounters a group of teenagers with no adult supervision—and who all seem to have some connection to the Force. Free from the constraints of the Order, Obi-Wan joins them in their daring adventures, but the Padawan side of him keeps questioning the teens’ strange relationship to the Force, and to the verdant planet around them, and what all of it might mean to his future. Obi-Wan will test the limits of his relationship to the Jedi and to the Force in this exciting, yet soulful exploration of one of Star Wars’ most enduring heroes.
Padawan will once again feature Obi-Wan Kenobi as the main protagonist, this time going further back to his early days as Qui-Gon Jinn's apprentice. The novel Master & Apprentice has already shown that Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were not always on the same page, and that struggle will seemingly be amplified in Padawan as Kenobi chooses to take off on his own.
Two novels featuring Obi-Wan's growth from Padawan learner to Jedi Master dropping within two months of one another isn't a coincidence. Rumors suggest that Obi-Wan Kenobi will be debuting on Disney+ in May, potentially on Star Wars Day, and the release window for these novels coincides directly with when the show would be streaming. Brotherhood's story, in particular, could be a critical tie-in to the series, as it will show the bond between Anakin and Obi-Wan that later results in another tragic duel in the latter's titular show.
Star Wars: Padawan will release on July 26, 2022.
There's still a lot to learn about all three of these books. Perhaps more light will be shed on the projects during New York Comic-Con. If not, there will certainly be updates along the way until the exciting new novels begin to drop next summer.