Del Rey Publishing will publish the old Star Wars Legends books again in a new collection called “Star Wars Essential Legends Collection.”

  • The new set will debut on June 15, 2021.

Del Rey will be releasing the new books with new variant covers, too, providing a fresh take on classic “Star Wars” novels. The first set of books includes:

  • “Heir to the Empire,” by Timothy Zahn.
  • “Darth Bane: Path of Destruction,” by Drew Karpyshyn.
  • “Shatterpoint,” by Matthew Stover.

Del Rey told the Deseret News that the collection will add new books throughout the year, with a new batch dropping in fall 2021.

Why Star Wars Legends books matter

The Star Wars Legends novels used to be called the “Star Wars Expanded Universe.” These novels represented the only post-“Return of the Jedi” stories for “Star Wars” until the prequel trilogy, and then later the sequel trilogy came out. When Disney bought Lucasfilm, the expanded universe novels were converted into Star Wars Legends.

  • Del Rey told the Deseret News: “To this day, the EU 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. This ‘Essential Legends Collection’ curates some of the most treasured stories from that expansive legacy.”

Indeed, we’ve seen pieces of the Expanded Universe/Legends trickle into the sequel trilogy and other “Star Wars” projects. For example, Grand Admiral Thrawn — who debuted in “Star Wars Rebels” and was later mentioned in “The Mandalorian” — came from the Legends novels. Similarly, the dark troopers seen in “The Mandalorian” came from video games in the expanded universe.