Star Wars: The Force Awakens didn’t just delight audiences and smash box-office records. It raised many, many questions. Some ofthose questions won’t be answered until Episode VIII in 2017, but The Force Awakens’s novelization, published on Dec. 18 by Random House, reveals that there’s much more to the characters and situations in the story than the film alone suggests.
Here are our biggest takeaways from the book, written by Alan Dean Foster, who ghost-wrote the 1977 Star Wars novelization. It’s worth noting up front that movie novelizations are only canon where they don’t contradict the movies themselves, but we believe that all of these takeaways fit that description.