Yes, They Are Canon
Earlier today, Star Wars fans (like myself) jumped in joy upon hearing that 20 new Star Wars books, a series entitled Journey to the Force Awakens, will be released leading up to the December 18th release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. The content within these books will contain events and characters that will play key roles in the upcoming film. Most of the books are still in development stages, but one confirmed novel is entitled Star Wars: Aftermath. This book will take place after the events of Return of the Jedi and will help set up most of the major events to be seen in Episode VII. The official synopsis of Star Wars: Aftermath can be seen below:
“The second Death Star is destroyed. The Emperor and his powerful enforcer, Darth Vader, are rumored to be dead. The Galactic Empire is in chaos.
Across the galaxy, some systems celebrate, while in others Imperial factions tighten their grip. Optimism and fear reign side by side.
And while the Rebel Alliance engages the fractured forces of the Empire, a lone Rebel scout uncovers a secret Imperial meeting…”
From this synopsis, it is apparent that this series of novels will show a new Empire arising from the ashes of Emperor Palpatines fragmented system. We will also most likely be introduced to many new Imperial and Rebel characters that could also be seen in the new film. It is also highly likely that characters from the original trilogy (Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker) will make appearances in these novels considering that they are all confirmed to be in Episode VII.
Along with these new novels, Marvel Comics has announced that they will be releasing two new comics to coincide with this announcement. One comic is entitled Star Wars: Journey to the Force Awakens and will assist in showing the transition of events over the 30-year period from Return of the Jedi to The Force Awakens. The second comic will be entirely from the perspective of witty protocol droid C-3PO, so expect high amounts of cynicism and sarcasm. No release dates have been announced for these new novels, but they are anticipated to be released before December.