My new novel: STAR WARS: A NEW DAWN rises at Random House!

The news is out! I can at last share the project I’ve been working on this fall and winter: STAR WARS: A NEW DAWN is my new hardcover adult novel release, set for release this September from Random House/Del Rey!

The novel (my first Star Wars work since Kenobi) is set several years after Star Wars: Episode III — and several years before the upcoming animated television series Star Wars: Rebels. As you can see from the cover, two of the main characters of that series, Kanan and Hera, have major roles in the book. This is the first novel integrating input from the Lucasfilm Story Group, which manages story concepts across all media, and so in addition to working with Random House’s team I both got inspiration and feedback from the series’ executive producers, Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, and Greg Weisman, as well as Pablo Hidalgo, Jennifer Heddle, and Leland Chee.

A New Dawn is a rollicking adventure set in the darkest days of the galaxy, when even the thought of organized resistance to the Empire seems an impossible fantasy. But as our characters find, one doesn’t always get to decide when the best time is to act. And set as it is during the Imperial period, A New Dawn gave me the opportunity to explore a variety of topics, including how the Empire manages to grow so quickly, injecting itself into all spheres of individual life. I really enjoyed writing it! And I love finally getting to work with Doug Wheatley, who did the cover!

As part of all this, Lucasfilm has an announcement about the future of the Expanded Universe—as well as a video piece about the EU past, present, and future. Lucasfilm and Random House secretly flew me and Timothy Zahn out to film it: more about that trip here.

Star Wars: A New Dawn will be available on September 2. The preorder pages are already live at several sites:
Barnes & Noble:
If you’re new to my writing, please take a look around the site. I have behind-the-scenes pages on all the works I’ve done (spoilers, beware!), for comics, games, and prose.
In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter at @jjmfaraway, on Facebook, and you can also sign up for my newsletter. May the Force be with you!

16 thoughts on “My new novel: STAR WARS: A NEW DAWN rises at Random House!”

  1. John,

    I can tell you're excited about the new book, but it's just a paycheck, right? How can you be emotionally invested in this project when all your previous SW work is now considered "Legends"? Kenobi was excellent, and the Lost Tribe stories were great, but none of them matter anymore. It's a sad day, but hey, you're still working, so I guess it's ok.

  2. Legendary is more like it. John Jackson Miller's SW work is the EU for me, and always will be.

    May the Force be with you!

  3. I do appreciate your passion on the subject, but so you know: nothing I write is just a paycheck — I wouldn't do it otherwise. And what "matters" to me is not the status of individual stories (which will always change over time in any shared universe), but the fact that you enjoyed them. That's all I need, and it's what I'll continue to work toward.

  4. I am glad that you are kicking off this new Era John. I could tell from Kenobi, that you really respected the expanded universe, so if anyone has to do it I'm glad you are. I will buy this book for your sake, but I am extremely disappointed that Disney has decided to go this route. I've been proud to say that Star Wars has never had to have a reboot. That will no longer be the case. It's a sad day for me. I wish we could get one more "Legendary" book that would somehow reboot the universe in-universe if you know what I mean. I think that would ease the pain a little.

  5. Remember what the article says: While the universe that readers knew is changing, it's still being drawn from. I'm keeping all my reference books right by my desk.

  6. Disney is missing the boat by abandoning the EU and this is why. Here's my biggest problem. The statement released says: "In order to give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe." But doesn't it take a truly great storyteller to craft an original tale that exists within an established universe without wrecking what has come before?? That's certainly what Timothy Zahn did in 1991. I would think that a talented screenwriter could come up with an amazing, standalone (in terms of not reading any EU) movie in the open chronological period after "Crucible", and make it satisfying to movie and EU fans. Yes, there would be some unfamiliar references thrown in, names and events mentioned, etc, (as there were in the prequels and the originals) but as far as marketing goes, when a movie fan hears a reference to Luke's late wife Mara Jade, they might think, "Hmmm, I want to know more about her" and the backstory would be readily available in the existing EU. And if a movie fan didn't care to expand on the story, that's fine too. When the prequels came out, people said, "I want more Darth Maul" and they got Darth Maul novels, "Who's this Bane guy?" and they got a trilogy of novels, "Did Plagueis really conquer death?" and they eventually got an awesome backstory by James Luceno. Books were written to fill in the gaps and satisfy those cravings for deeper stories. I remember when "Jedi Academy" came out – people who had read "Heir to the Empire" freaked to find out that Luke had gone dark and they wanted to know what book they had missed. There were many who went back and read Dark Empire, but there were plenty of fans who didn't read the comics at all and just stuck to the novels. Some people read the adult novels but not the Scholastic kids books, which really had some decent stories about Qui-Gon/Obi Wan, Obi-Wan/Anakin, and Jacen/Jaina. The more effort you put in, the more you'll eventually get out of it. So, could Disney and the Lucas team given us an amazing new movie trilogy without stomping on the last 23 years since "Heir to the Empire" came out and still felt creatively fulfilled? Absolutely. But that's not happening, and it feels like a lightsaber to the gut.

  7. Mr. Miller, what is the age level for this novel? The new show is for kids, is this a young-adult novel too?

  8. What is the age level of this book? Rebels is going to be a kids show, is this a young-adult novel like The Young Jedi Knights series or something more grown-up like New Jedi Order?

  9. Sounds like a great book and I'm excited to see more in the Imperial Era. I've really wanted to see more written there, especially from the rebels.

    I'm trying to be open minded about the new turn with the EU cannon. I have loved so many of the books over the years and hoped they wouldn't be ignored even though they weren't considered true cannon. I hope this new Legends line works as a good compromise to let us old fans keep enjoying what we love while looking forward to the future.

    Good luck with the book! Can't wait to get a hold of it.

  10. Darth Will — it's an adult novel, like the rest of the Del Rey line. There are young-adult novels for Rebels elsewhere, but this is not branded as a Rebels book. We're incorporating the characters into our own storyline.

    The STAR WARS films are simultaneously kids' movies for adults and adults' movies for kids, and REBELS seems to follow suit in that regard, splitting the difference. My own approach with NEW DAWN is no different than in my other books: if you liked those, you should find a familiar tone here.

  11. Sooooo excited! Can't wait to read it. I'm a Star Wars fan since day one but a late comer to the expanded universe. For the past couple of years I've been voraciously working my way through the canon. You are consistently by far my favorite author. I'm very excited that it will be you who is beginning to bridge the literary world into the new continuity with Rebels etc. post-Disney pre-E.VII. If it's half as good as Lost Tribe and Kenobi… I'm eagerly awaiting its release.

  12. Silly question: Is the audiobook going to be released on the same day or will that come much much later?

  13. That's a good question — and one I don't know the answer to. I'll see what I can find out.

  14. John,

    I agree with you that the status of the story does not matter if we enjoyed it.

    I think that most of us are not sad because EU is not canon, but because most of it is discountinued.

    I mean Luke, Vader, Leia, Han etc. fans will be happy since these characters will get new stories.

    But for me "Star Wars" characters were Zayne, Kerra, Revan and others. It is very probable that there will be no more stories with them.

    And this is why Star Wars (for me) is currently frozen (if not dead).

  15. I fully understand — a lot of my favorite TV series and comics ended before I would have liked. But that's just it: "no more stories" would have happened for a number of characters in any event, regardless of the Disney purchase.

    Which is why I wrote each Zayne and Kerra story as if it were the last. Conditions change all the time in media, and it's best to appreciate each story on its own.

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