Scholastic, a decade-long licensee of Lucasfilm’s Star Wars franchise, will debut a new 10-book series, Rebel Force, based on the characters and world portrayed in the original 1977 film, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The action in the book series—which will launch in January with RebelForce #1: Target and Rebel Force #2: Hostage—will take place just after the events of Episode IV. A new Rebel Force book will be released every four months thereafter, through September 2011.

“Rebel Force continues the great tradition of Scholastic’s Last of the Jedi, Boba Fett, and Jedi Quest series, telling the stories of the original Star Wars characters—Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia—while introducing new heroes and villains,” says Lucasfilm’s director of publishing, Carol Roeder.

In the 30 years since its debut, the Star Wars films have grossed $4.2 billion at the box office globally, and the property remains the top toy license worldwide, according to Lucasfilm. The animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars was introduced this fall and is a hit on Cartoon Network.

Among Scholastic’s many other Star Wars titles are a pop-up by Matthew Reinhardt, movie tie-ins, and many other series and one-off titles.