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Fans of The Mandalorian just got dealt a major disappointment

The first season of The Mandalorian, which launched with Disney's streaming platform Disney+ in 2019, has proven a huge success with both critics and audiences. As its eight episodes rolled out, the Star Wars franchise seemed to achieve something it hasn't had in years: a unified fanbase.

Being near-universally beloved is not something that comes easily for Star Wars anymore The Force Awakens was a crowd-pleaser, but faced criticism for its adherence to the classic Star Wars formula. The Last Jedi proved bitterly divisive among fans who either loved or hated it. And then there's The Rise of Skywalker, which instantly took the dubious distinction of being the worst-reviewed of all the live-action Star Wars movies. On top of all that, there are still the ongoing debates as to the merits of the prequel trilogy and the expanded universe canon.

All of this is to say that The Mandalorian's success is important for the franchise's good name and for the fans — and it means those fans want more Mandalorian and they want it ASAP. Unfortunately, one new adventure for our lone hunter and cub just got delayed.

The Mandalorian books of 2020

In June 2020, Disney and Lucasfilm revealed a full line-up of Mandalorian-related books designed to sate the appetite of fans eagerly awaiting season 2, which is set to arrive in October 2020. Among the promised titles are in-depth tie-ins like The Art of The Mandalorian and The Ultimate Visual Guide, a junior novelization for young adults, a pair of kids' storybooks, and an as-yet untitled Mandalorian original novel.

Many of these might seem insignificant to the average adult reader, but we're talking about Star Wars here. Every Star Wars background player and location inevitably gets its own action figure or playset because fans are obsessed about understanding every square millimetre of the universe. Even a junior novelization might hold some teeny detail for fans to salivate and speculate about.

Obviously, though, the two big titles there are The Art of The Mandalorian and that untitled original novel, both set for a December 2020 release. As of now, the art book is still on schedule, but on August 3, 2020, Del Rey Publishing tweeted that The Mandalorian novel's release date has been moved back to the fall of 2021.

Why is the Mandalorian novel really delayed?

There isn't a lot known about the original Mandalorian novel so far. Its author, Adam Christopher, has written books for several other pop culture licenses, including Stranger Things, Dishonered, and Elementary. Christopher has also written for Star Wars before, as one of the authors of Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, a short story anthology retelling the events of the original Star Wars movie from the perspectives of various supporting characters.

As to exactly why the book is delayed, unfortunately, we don't have an explanation. While many might jump to the conclusion that the release was stymied by the ongoing pandemic, there's been no indication that that's the case. Christopher's comments regarding the alteration were simple, as he tweeted, "Fear not, fellow Covert members! THE MANDALORIAN will hit the shelves next year, and you will *not* be disappointed."

One thing we can at least point to speculatively is the possibility that there may be some element of The Mandalorian's second season that doesn't jive with the book in its current form or would be spoiled by its content, making a delayed release beneficial. Twitter user @OdleAdam asked, "Is it COVID related? Was there plot change in season 2 that is causing a rewrite? Did you just wake up one day and say 'you know what, I'm throwing it all out and starting over?'"

Christopher responded to the tweet, writing, "You're right, I can't comment on any of that. But what I will say is that I am very happy that the book is coming out in fall 2021. It's gonna rock and, importantly, there's gonna be space to rock it!"

What to read while you wait for that Mandalorian novel

Fortunately, there are other Star Wars books still coming out between now and fall 2021. In addition to The Mandalorian art book, there's Alex Segura's Poe Dameron: Free Fall, released on August 4. Segura's book focuses on a teenage Poe, the strained relationship he has with his father, and the early adventures that lead to his relationship with Zorii Bliss.

Popular Star Wars novelist Timothy Zahn is returning to the character who made him such a popular author with Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising, Book 1, slated to arrive on September 1, 2020. The new novel, much like Segura's Poe Dameron adventure, is set in the past, long before Thrawn became a famed general. The story follows his first command.

And, of course, early 2021 will see the release of Star Wars: The High Republic, a major new initiative that will span both across books and comics featuring stories set some 200 years before the Skywalker Saga. Basically, there's plenty to chew on in the land of Star Wars books. 

There's more good news in the land-o of Mando

Of course, the bookish corner of the Star Wars universe makes up just that — a single corner — and just because the launch of a Mandalorian book has been delayed doesn't mean that fans don't have something else (arguably much bigger) to look forward to releasing right on time. The very thing that brought our beloved Mando into existence is the Disney+ streaming series, which is returning to the platform in just a few months. 

Fans can look forward to watching The Mandalorian's second season – episode by episode rather than in one big binge-a-thon session – sometime in October 2020. After the events of season 1, particularly the finale that saw Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) wield the darksaber and slice his way out of a TIE Fighter following an intense battle, audiences are in for a huge treat when The Mandalorian season 2 premieres this fall.