When Lucasfilm was sold to Disney and Kathleen Kennedy took over as CEO of all things Star Wars, she took a long look at the sprawling Expanded Universe, and made a gutsy call.
Decades of stories have been told in the E.U., giving Han and Leia twin Jedi children, dealing with every last shred of the Empire still lingering throughout the galaxy, creating a New Republic, introducing a new alien enemy more fearsome than the Empire, and loads more. But with a new mandate at Lucasfilm to produce Episodes VII through IX, trying to adhere to all of that continuity was just too limiting.
So they tossed it out. In its place, Kennedy decided that everything going forward — movies, books, comics, video games, you name it — would be officially sanctioned as Star Wars canon. To ensure this new continuity would never contradict itself, Kennedy made the genius move of assembling a "Lucasfilm Story Group," a small body of individuals whose job it is to make sure that all of the pieces fit.
Now we have new movies, TV shows, novels, young adult novels, comic books and video games, sharing one continuity. It's a lot to keep track of, so here's a timeline that shows how everything comes together.
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
Young slave Anakin Skywalker is found on Tatooine and identified as the Jedi of prophecy known as the Chosen One. Following his master's death at Sith hands, Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi is controversially granted permission to train Anakin as a Jedi.
Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin
Three years after The Phantom Menace, Obi-Wan and Anakin answer a distress call from a remote planet. Anakin is now a teenager and Obi-Wan is beginning to wonder if his headstrong apprentice is more than he can handle. [Coming January 2016.]
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
A young adult Anakin Skywalker falls in love with Padme Amidala, despite the Jedi code forbidding emotional attachments. Obi-Wan discovers the existence of a secret army of clones, while galactic conflict with Separatist forces becomes full-scale war.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Animated TV series that tells the story of the Clone Wars, the years-long conflict between the Republic and the Separatists. Anakin gets his own Padawan in the form of impulsive Ahsoka Tano, and the two of them and Obi-Wan Kenobi often find themselves on the front lines.
Star Wars: Dark Disciple
When Disney canceled The Clone Wars to make room for Star Wars Rebels, over a full season's worth of stories were left untold. This novel is based on a planned storyline from the show that saw former Sith apprentice Asajj Ventress team up with rogue Jedi Quinlan Vos (with sparks flying between them) on a mission to assassinate Count Dooku and end the war.
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir
Another lost story arc from The Clone Wars, this comic picks up the story of the resurrected Darth Maul, who plots revenge on his former master. But he unwittingly plays into Palpatine's hands by drawing rival Mother Talzin out into the open.
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
The Clone Wars end as an increasingly emotional Anakin Skywalker falls to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. Palpatine makes his move, transforming the Republic into his Empire, and he and Vader hunt down and murder the Jedi Order. Padme secretly gives birth to Jedi twins Luke and Leia.
Kanan: The Last Padawan
A young Padawan named Caleb Dume survives the Jedi Purge thanks to his master's sacrifice. The story traces his journey into adulthood, as he becomes Star Wars Rebels' "cowboy Jedi," Kanan Jarrus.
Lords of the Sith
Newly-appointed Sith Lord Darth Vader and his master Darth Sidious crash land on the inhospitable planet Ryloth and must rely on each other to survive, testing their bond like never before.
The story of how Grand Moff Tarkin rises in the ranks and is assigned management of the Death Star project, by mercilessly hunting down Rebels and building a mutual respect with Darth Vader along the way.
Online anime-style comic following young Luke Skywalker as he grows up on Tatooine with an insatiable hunger for adventure, while Obi-Wan Kenobi protects him from afar.
A New Dawn
Six years before Star Wars Rebels, loner survivor Kanan Jarrus must decide whether to remain anonymous or stand and fight against the Empire. He gets help from unlikely allies — some of whom will go on to become his Rebel teammates on the TV show.
Star Wars Rebels
Five years prior to A New Hope, the crew of the Ghost is David to the Empire's Goliath, guerrilla fighters challenging Imperial oppression on the outer rim world Lothal.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
A ragtag group of Rebel fighters undertake a daring raid to steal the all-important blueprints for the Empire's ultimate weapon: the Death Star. [Coming December 2016.]
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
The movie that started it all finds Luke Skywalker whisked away on a wild adventure, rescuing captured Rebel leader Princess Leia and teaming up with smuggler Han Solo on a dangerous mission to destroy the Death Star.
Star Wars: Princess Leia
After the destruction of the Death Star, Leia Organa embarks on a personal mission to find other Alderaanian survivors and protect them from the Empire.
In this junior readers novel, Princess Leia tasks Han Solo and Chewbacca with a top-secret rescue operation.
Star Wars: Chewbacca
When Chewie crash lands on a world occupied by Imperial forces, he can think of nothing but escape. But a young local girl needs his help first...
Heir to the Jedi
Luke Skywalker's abilities as a Rebel fighter are put to the test when he's assigned an espionage mission to extract a Rebel sympathizer from behind enemy lines.
The Weapon of a Jedi
Luke is drawn by the Force to a mysterious planet, where a dangerous new foe awaits.
Marvel's ongoing adventures that tell new stories from the time between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
Star Wars: Darth Vader
Following the destruction of the Death Star, Vader suffers the consequences of failure at the hands of the Emperor. Also tells of Vader's discovery of the son he never knew he had.
Star Wars: Lando
An adventure starring Lando Calrissian and his sidekick Lobot in which they embark on a caper to steal a space yacht, unaware that it is the personal property of Emperor Palpatine.
Battlefront: Twilight Company
Based on the video game Star Wars Battlefront, this novel sends the 61st Mobile Infantry, aka Twilight Company, on a mission against orders to strike at the heart of the Empire's military. [Coming November 2015.]
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
After escaping from their latest hidden base, the Rebels are separated. Luke travels to meet Yoda, who will train him as a Jedi, while Han and Leia take shelter in a floating city, where Darth Vader has secretly planted a trap.
A young adult novel in which Leia leads a decoy mission while the Rebel fleet licks its wounds after escaping from Hoth.
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi
Luke, Leia, Chewie and Lando rescue Han from Jabba the Hutt before regrouping with the Rebellion, which sends them on a mission against the Empire's second Death Star. But Luke is haunted by the knowledge that he must face the Emperor alone in a battle for his father's soul.
A new adventure taking place in the days immediately following the deaths of Vader and Palpatine and the destruction of the Death Star. Concerns a new Rebel character who tries to stop an emergency meeting of Imperial power players who want to regroup for a counterstrike.
Tells a story of the days immediately after Return of the Jedi, but from a different perspective than Aftermath.
Star Wars: Uprising
Yet another look at the immediate post-Jedi galaxy, this video game is about a sector of space that's been locked down by the Empire — and inside the blockade, they're maintaining the charade that the Empire is still in control of the galaxy. Gamers play as burgeoning Rebels trying to stop the propaganda and free their sector of space, via episodic content that's official canon.
Star Wars: C-3PO
Have you noticed that in The Force Awakens, C-3PO is sporting a new arm? Unlike his usual gold tones, the new arm is red. This comic from Marvel tells the story of how he got that red arm. [Coming December 2015.]
Aftermath: Life Debt
Part two of Chuck Wendig's trilogy bridging Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Nothing is yet known about the plot, though Wendig says that while all of the characters from the first book will be back, the title refers to the bond between Chewbacca and Han Solo. [Coming May 2016.]
Aftermath: Empire's End
The finale of Chuck Wendig's trilogy. [Coming May 2017.]
Imagine if Romeo and Juliet were Rebel and Imperial soldiers, and wound up on opposite sides of the war. Which wins: love or loyalty? That's the idea behind this novel from Claudia Gray.
New Republic: Bloodline
Claudia Gray's second Star Wars novel is set just six years before The Force Awakens. Whether any of her Lost Stars characters will show up is anybody's guess. [Coming March 2016.]
Star Wars Battlefront: The Battle of Jakku
This free expansion pack for Battlefront allows gamers to play through an epic battle in the skies over the planet Jakku. This is the battle that results in at least one Star Destroyer crashing to the desert planet's surface, as seen in The Force Awakens. [Coming December 2015.]
Before the Awakening
An anthology of three novellas focusing on the lives of Finn, Rey and Poe from before the events of The Force Awakens. [Coming December 2015.]
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens
Thirty years after the Battle of Endor, the Empire may be no more but the galaxy has once again come under threat, this time to a devastating weapon wielded by the First Order. This dangerous new army is fought by the Resistance, freedom fighters that include galactic heroes both old and new. [Coming December 2015.]