12:06pm PT by Graeme McMillan
'Episode VIII' Director Rian Johnson Contributes to New 'Star Wars' Novel
Those looking for a preview of what to expect from Rian Johnson's Star Wars: Episode VIII might find some clues in an unexpected location: Star Wars: Bloodline, an upcoming prose novel set prior to The Force Awakens.
Of those clues, "some of the story ideas and elements" in Claudia Grey's novel "came straight from Rian Johnson, director of the forthcoming Episode VIII," as announced on the official Star Wars site. There's no hint of what those ideas and elements might actually be.
Bloodline promises to be revelatory for those seeking backstory to what happened between 1983's Return of the Jedi and last year's The Force Awakens. The Star Wars website piece teases that it will reveal what caused Leia to break from the Republic and help create the Resistance, as well as "hints (and more than hints)" about the origins of the First Order, as well.
The website also offers a hint of its own about the book, suggesting that the image of Darth Vader on Bloodlines' cover is because "the galaxy finds out a scandalous secret" in the novel — could it be that Leia's true parentage becomes known, forcing the Princess from the Galactic Senate?
Star Wars: Bloodlines will be released May 3 by Del Rey. Johnson's Star Wars: Episode VIII is set to open Dec. 15, 2017.