For fans worried that the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens novel adaptation might spoil all the film's secrets before you get a chance to see it, you can breathe easy. Director J.J. Abrams' mystery box will continue to be shrouded in secrecy leading up to the film's release on December 18. The book has officially been delayed to stop the spread of plot spoilers.
J.J. Abrams has worked hard to keep his sci-fi sequel encased in the pitch black, only dolling out plot points when necessary. No official synopsis has been released for the movie, and thus far, we only have rumors and character descriptions to go on with just two months left until the adventure hits theaters worldwide. Even though there have been three theatrical trailers released over the course of the past year, none of them have included too many story elements. At this late date, we only know the gist of what takes place.
Disney has officially decided to keep the film on lockdown leading all the way up to and beyond its initial release. The WSJ has confirmed that Penguin Random House's Del Rey imprint has agreed to Disney and Lucasfilm's request that the hardcover print edition of the tie-in book adaptation not be released until three weeks after the movie's debut in theaters on December 18th. That sees the novel arriving in stores on January 5th.
This can only be seen as anything but a smart move on the part of Disney and Lucasfilm. The book would have revealed all of the major plot points, and just leisurely flipping through the book while you are standing in Walmart or Target would have given away some of the film's biggest secrets. Traditionally, a book of this nature would hit your local bookstore two months before the release of any given movie. The novelization for Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith was available for purchase six weeks before that sequel opened in May 2005.
The e-book version of The Force Awakens is still getting released on December 18. In this instance, the digital files will be much easier to control, ensuring that the e-book doesn't leak early. Disney and Lucasfilm are worried that the print edition will find its way into unwanted, since the books need to be published well in advance of their release date. And the chances of a leak are incredibly strong.
Star Wars books are big business, and it was a forgone conclusion that an adaptation of the newest movie would be arriving along with the theatrical release. It is refreshing to see Disney taking steps to stop any possible leaks and spoilers from getting out too soon, though some fans will surely be disappointed. While retailers would have liked to have the book in time for the holiday gift giving season, one Del Rey spokesman said that the publishers fully understand the importance of protecting the story. And because the books are collector's items, they don't believe sales will be effects by the delay. What do you think?