The answer that Star Wars EU fans have been waiting for has finally arrived in the form of a press release from Disney and Del Rey. In it, they have explained their intentions with the future of Star Wars tie-in media and the future of the franchise.
From Del Rey's press release:
Going forward, Lucasfilm has begun mapping out the narrative future of Star Wars storytelling that will appear on film and television and in other media so that all projects will benefit from real-time collaboration and alignment. The future Star Wars novels from Disney Publishing Worldwide and Del Rey Books will now be part of the official Star Wars canon as reflected on upcoming TV and movie screens.
"With the establishment of the Lucasfilm Story Group and our even greater focus on unified storytelling, we expect our entire publishing program to be stronger and more meaningful than ever before,” said Jeanne Mosure, senior vice president and group publisher, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “We’re extremely excited to kick off this new strategy with Del Rey Books.”
There are four new Expanded Universe Novels, set for release in late 2014/early 2015:
STAR WARS: A NEW DAWN
John Jackson Miller
STAR WARS: TARKIN
STAR WARS: HEIR TO THE JEDI
STAR WARS: LORDS OF THE SITH
These titles will be a part of the new publishing program that will keep in line with an Expanded Universe that plays alongside upcoming Star Wars films.
Former Expanded Universe content will remain in print and accessible under a brand new banner—Star Wars Legends.
In addition, it has been confirmed that content from the Star Wars Legends line will always be available to the writers of current Star Wars media for inspiration and usage.
According to Lucasfilm's press release on this change, the following content falls under the new unified canon:
Star Wars Episodes I-VI
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Star Wars Rebels (forthcoming)
It is unknown whether any of the Star Wars Legends tales (such as stories that occur before or during the films) will be retroactively considered canon under the unified banner.