The Star Wars films have spawned additional stories in other media over the years, including comic books. For all the wealth of material, though, it's of little use when developing a new movie, according to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.
"Every one of these movies is a particularly hard nut to crack," Kennedy said in an interview with Rolling Stone. "There’s no source material. We don’t have comic books. We don’t have 800-page novels. We don’t have anything other than passionate storytellers who get together and talk about what the next iteration might be."
Kennedy went on to discuss the challenges of finding the right filmmakers capable of developing a new Star Wars film from scratch, and likewise the challenges these filmmakers face in developing the stories.
"I feel really fortunate that I’ve worked with so many great people that have been absolutely committed, J.J. [Abrams] being one of them," Kennedy said. "He’s a huge fan, incredibly passionate about Star Wars, and has been from the moment he and I sat down and started talking about this."
Decades worth of comics would certainly serve as fertile ground for mining, should any Star Wars screenwriter ever choose. The very first Marvel comic in 1977 actually predated the first film. And save for a five year stretch beginning in the mid-'80s, Star Wars comics have been published ever since.