Star Wars Essential Legends Collection with new cover art to celebrate 50th anniversary of Lucasfilm

Cover for Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover. Photo: Del Rey.
Cover for Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover. Photo: Del Rey. /

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Great news for fans of Star Wars Legends: Del Rey is rereleasing iconic books from the collection in a new paperback format with new cover art to celebrate Lucasfilm’s 50th anniversary. The first slate of the Essential Legends Collection hits bookstores in June.

The first trio of books getting revamped includes:

And, each rerelease features new cover art from Tracie Ching, Simon Goinard and Jeff Manning. The book Shatterpoint will also get a brand new unabridged audiobook release narrated by Sullivan Jones.

The new collection is also a chance to revamp the style and size of paperback Star Wars books. While most of the Legends paperback copies are now found in a “mass market paperback” format, Del Rey shared a comparison image to show how much larger the new “trade paperbacks” will be.

Del Rey explained the legacy of the Legends collection in a press release:

"Novels set in a galaxy far, far away have enriched the Star Wars experience for fans seeking to continue the adventure beyond the screen. When he created Star Wars, George Lucas built a universe that sparked the imagination and inspired others to create. He opened up that universe to be a creative space for other people to tell their own tales."

As fans know, Star Wars retconned the Expanded Universe of books, comics, video games and more back in 2014 following Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm and to make way for a new continuity with the sequel films. The EU has been under the Legends label ever since.

But that doesn’t mean Legends content is irrelevant or any less inspiring. Despite much of the stories and timeline now being non-canon, creators still draw from the Legends material to tell new Star Wars stories.

Zahn’s Heir to the Empire is one of the most popular Legends offerings and the first book in the author’s first Thrawn trilogy. Karpyshyn’s Path of Destruction chronicles the dark legacy of Darth Bane, an ancient Sith who established the “Rule of Two.” Stover’s Shatterpoint is part of the Clone Wars Legends series and follows Jedi Master Mace Windu’s attempts to rescue his former apprentice Depa Billaba.

Del Rey said these books aren’t the only Legends content getting a revamp. The publisher will continue to add popular offerings to the Essential Legends Collection ahead of Lucasfilm’s 50th anniversary, with the next slate coming in fall 2021.

The first three Essential Legends Collection books launch on June 15, 2021.

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Which Essential Legends Collection book are you most excited to add to your bookshelf? Let us know in the comments!