Star Wars was in a black hole.
The beloved original franchise had ended with Return of the Jedi in 1983, and as the kids of that generation grew up, leaving their toys to gather dust in the attic or garage, no one was giving much thought to what was next.
Star Wars was over. Nostalgia had yet to kick in. Then, suddenly, three more stories appeared.
That was 1991, when sci-fi author Timothy Zahn popularized the so-called “Expanded Universe” with The Thrawn Trilogy – a series of novels about Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia that was set five years after the end of Jedi. As the books rose on The New York Times best-seller list, Star Wars climbed back to the top of the pop-culture mountain.
As word spread this week that The Walt Disney Co. had purchased Lucasfilm with the intention of making Episodes VII, VIII and IX, many fans began repeating something they’ve been saying for 21 years: Make the Zahn books!
Entertainment Weekly reached the author in his Oregon lair to find out what he knew about Lucas’ plans for the post-Jedi chronology, and what he hopes those films might take from his still-beloved books.