'Star Wars' novels: still on bestseller lists

The newest 'Star Wars' novel, 'Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse,' holds the No. 8 slot on the New York Times bestseller list. Success has become the norm for the books.

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    Star Wars novels are still securing places on bestseller lists 35 years after the first film was released.
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Will we never tire of "Star Wars"? Apparently not.

Novelized versions of stories inspired by the "Star Wars" universe created by George Lucas continue to be commercial successes, debuting on at prime spots on bestseller lists.

The newest "Star Wars" novel, “Apocalypse” by Troy Denning, is currently at No. 8 on the The New York Times combined e-book and print fiction bestseller list for April 1 and is the second-bestselling book on the hardcover fiction list for the same date. It is currently also at No.2 on the hardcover fiction bestsellers list aggregated by Publishers Weekly. The book was released March 13 and follows various Jedi knights, including Luke Skywalker, his son Ben Skywalker, and Jaina Solo, the daughter of Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa, as they battle the evil Sith forces.

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“Apocalypse” is the last book in the "Fate of the Jedi" series, which has released at least one new installment each year since 2009, often at least two. The last new book in the "Fate" series, “Ascension” by Christie Golden, secured the No. 7 spot on The New York Times combined fiction list its first week of publication, while the book released before “Ascension,” titled “Conviction” and written by Aaron Allston, debuted at No. 12. The previous book in the series, “Vortex” by Denning, attained the 20th spot on the list.

Another novel connected with the "Star Wars" universe, “Darth Plagueis” by James Luceno, debuted at No. 4 on The New York Times combined fiction list this past January.

There have been more than 160 novels for adults released with stories set in the Star Wars universe, not counting books written for younger readers, guides to the movies, or books such as “Lego Star Wars” by Simon Beecroft, which explores the "Star Wars" Lego toy series and made the Children’s Picture Books New York Times bestseller list

Other "Star Wars" novels aimed at adults, including “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed” by Sean Williams and “Heir to the Empire” by Timothy Zahn, which is often credited with revitalizing the Star Wars novel franchise, have reached the number No. 1 spot on The New York Times fiction bestseller list.

Some new book series, such as the "Fate of the Jedi," take place in the future beyond the last "Star Wars" film chronologically, the 1983 movie “Return of the Jedi.” Other books, such as “Plagueis,” serve as prequels to the movies. The last "Star Wars" film, “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith,” was released in 2005, but a George Lucas-approved animated series titled “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” currently airs new episodes on Cartoon Network. Other "Star Wars" novels, including “Mercy Kill” by Aaron Allston and “Lost Tribe of the Sith: Pandemonium” by John Jackson Miller, are planned for release later this year.

Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.

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