From 1996: Remember SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE? It was the STAR WARS movie that didn't bother with the movie and just pushed (true to Lucasfilm form) a ton of merchandise.
The folks in the marketing and licensing departments were still a little rusty when it came to promoting and selling the saga after a decade or so in the doldrums and concocted this multi-media event, set in the gap between ESB and ROTJ, to limber up for the possibility of re-releasing the original trilogy or even making some new films.
Plus, of course, they needed a way of measuring demand without risking a multi-million dollar bomb going off under Skywalker Ranch.
The licensing department roped in all their willing pals at Kenner, Dark Horse, Lucas Arts, Bantam Books and all their other partners to create a storyline and new characters (Solo alike Dash Rendar and criminal mastermind Prince Xizor) that would be moulded (literally in Kenner's case) for the requisite merchandise.
Steve Perry's novel was the main vehicle for the storyline, allowing everything else to hang off it. The comic book wasn't a direct adaptation of the book but did co-ordinate to ensure consistency across the two interrelated storylines.
They even released a soundtrack album, by Joel McNeely for the film that never was.
The various officially licensed STAR WARS mags all loyally devoted their efforts to plugging the event.
Lucasfilm did produce a trailer to hawk the multi-media extravaganza but had to pull it when folks began to think that it was teasing an upcoming movie. Sometimes you can be too smart.
West End, once again, produced this sourcebook which doubles as a supplement to the Role Playing Game as well as a handy reference work in its own right.
The cover, the key art that adornedtheme novel and played a key part in the marketing, was by movie poster extraordinaire Drew Struzan.
SHADOWS, long forgotten anyway, was consigned to being little more than a footnote when Disney deemed it irrelevant (like most of the Expanded Universe) when the franchise rebooted for its big screen return.