Fans looking forward to the universe of The Mandalorian expanding in print are going to be disappointed, as two future books centered on the Disney+ Star Wars franchise have been cancelled. But it’s not for the reason you think.
The news first broke when DK Books tweeted that “Due to the ever-expanding world of The Mandalorian, we will no longer be publishing The Mandalorian Ultimate Visual Guide at this time, as the story continues to unfold on screen.” That book was set to be written by Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo.
A minute later, Del Rey tweeted that “Due to the ever-expanding world of The Mandalorian, we will no longer be publishing THE MANDALORIAN ORIGINAL NOVEL at this time, as the story continues to unfold on screen.”
Del Rey followed up its tweet by saying “We love working with author Adam Christopher and are already working with him on a different book. We’re excited to share details with you in the future.”
These books were originally announced in June 2020 along with a few others, including Phil Szostak’s season one Art of The Mandalorian, which was released in December. Since then, Christopher’s original novel was moved from a December 2020 release to a fall 2021 release before this latest development. In response, Christopher himself merely retweeted those tweets and offered no further commentary. Hidalgo’s tweets are protected.
The question, of course, is why? These books were obviously something that had been in the works for a while, so an immediate thought could be that Lucasfilm’s recent disassociation with Gina Carano was the reason. Carano’s character, Cara Dune, has been a big part of The Mandalorian’s story up to now and it seems likely she would have been a big part of these two books. That speculation is backed up by the fact Dune has begun to be phased out in other aspects of Star Wars, including toys and even the Topps digital trading card app, where her photo was swapped out for that of Fennic Stand.
It seems, though, that’s not the case. A source close to Disney Publishing told us the reason for the cancellation was due to scheduling and unrelated to anything regarding Cara Dune.
In addition, if you take the DK and Del Rey statements at face value, a less scandalous plot might emerge. As the statements say, the world of The Mandalorian has expanded significantly since last June. Now, not only is there the main show, there’s the upcoming Book of Boba Fett, Rangers of the New Republic, and Ashoka shows, all of which are going to tie together in some form. Maybe once all of those characters and stories were officially confirmed to be happening, the books were contradictory or outdated.
Gizmodo reached out to Lucasfilm for further comment or clarification but had not heard back as of publication.
Whatever the specific reason or reasons are, it’s certainly disappointing that these books have been shelved — but it’s the kind of thing that’s bound to happen when every story needs to tie in to one another.