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Disney making new 'Star Wars' books based on original trilogy

Books by leading children's authors will begin with retelling of Luke Skywalker origin story. Disney hopes to fan interest in 'Wars' before December 2015 release of "Episode VII."

Disney's launching a set of four new children's books based on the original "Star Wars" trilogy.

In a release Friday, the media giant said the series will hit bookstores beginning in October, with the publication of "The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight," by "The Spiderwick Chronicles" author Tony DiTerlizzi. More importantly to "Star Wars" fans of all ages, the artwork will be by Ralph McQuarrie, from concept art he created for the original films.

Other authors include Tom Angleberger, Adam Gidwitz, and RJ Palacio. The series is obviously meant to ramp up interest -- as if it wasn't ramped up enough already -- in anticipation of the release of "Star Wars: Episode VII" in December 2015.

Disney announced a new series of children's books today based on the original "Star Wars" trilogy. Lucasfilm

Disney said Angelberger, who previously wrote the "Origami Yoda" series, will write a retelling of "Return of the Jedi," while "Wonder" author Palacio will offer a new version of the original "Star Wars," and "A Tale Dark and Grimm" author Gidwitz will write the kids version of "The Empire Strikes Back."

The books will be published by Disney-Lucasfilm Press. Disney didn't say how much the books would cost. The company hopes the books will continue the longstanding success of previous "Star Wars" books, which have sold 125 million copies and generated 125 best sellers.

On the other hand, there have also been numerous flops in the "Star Wars" literary archives.

Disney purchased Lucasfilm in October 2012 for $4.05 billion.