Well, this could have drastically changed the conversation about how The Force Awakens fits into the rest of the Star Wars saga: it almost shared the same name with one of the novels from the Expanded Universe.
Whether intentional, by coincidence, or because the plot points are obvious continuations of the established characters, there are a number of things in The Force Awakens that tread over ground the old Expanded Universe also walked. Major spoilers ahead.
For nearly 25 years, the Star Wars Expanded Universe seemed like an unstoppable juggernaut of books, comics, and video games. But in 1988, nobody was even thinking of doing new Star Wars books. Until one publisher decided to write a pitch letter, out of the blue.
The original Star Wars Expanded Universe novels are a mixed bunch, to say the least. There’s some good, some bad, and some mediocre. And while Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn saga usually gets the most attention, I am here to say that the best books are actually the X-Wing novels. Come at me.