By Christian Blauvelt
Updated March 22, 2012 at 09:19 PM EDT
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Scoundrels Cover

In the Expanded Universe of Star Wars publishing, one name stands out above the rest: Timothy Zahn. The author revolutionized that galaxy far, far away with his 1991 best-seller Heir to the Empire. In addition to creating now-indispensable characters like Mara Jade, Talon Karrde, and Grand Admiral Thrawn, he’s the one responsible for conjuring (and naming) that glittering galactic capital, Coruscant, which George Lucas decided to adopt for his Prequel Trilogy.

But while Zahn paved the way for Star Wars authors to explore the time line after Return of the Jedi, he’s been in an Original Trilogy mood of late. 2007’s Allegiance and 2011’s Choices of One both took place in the three-year period between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, and focused on the early adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Chewbacca in the Rebel Alliance. Unlike most of the EU these days, Zahn’s tales haven’t been sprawling, multi-book arcs about yet another battle to save the galaxy. He’s remained committed to telling intimate, personal stories that tap into what made Star Wars resonate the world over: its characters.

Now Zahn’s ready to debut a book that fans have been dying to read: a heist novel starring Han, Chewie, and Lando Calrissian. EW can exclusively announce that Zahn’s latest yarn will be called Star Wars: Scoundrels and will hit bookstores on December 26, 2012, just in time for Boxing Day. Check out the cover and official description from Del Rey Books below:

Scoundrels Cover

Here’s the official description from Del Rey:

I don’t know about you, but I’d pull the ears off a gundark to get a copy of this.

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