Star Wars reading list: where to start after you finish the movies

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The Star Wars universe is quite simply a couple of blockbuster films and animated tv shows. The sheer volume of fabric could be a ambiguous sword: it provides dedicated fans many new material to immerse themselves in, however it may deter newcomers WHO simply need to dip their toes within the water.
With the new series of films from Walter Elias Disney, Lucasfilm determined offer filmmakers a tabula rasa. The fastening novels square measure still being revealed, however they’re not a part of the official canon. That doesn’t mean those books aren’t price reading: recently, Timothy Zahn came to the Star Wars universe to inform the origins of his most celebrated character, Grand Admiral Thrawn, WHO was recently brought back to the canon via Star Wars Rebels.
Since that book hit stores, plenty of individuals have asked concerning a way to begin in on the mountain of fabric that’s Star Wars, canon or not. Since The Force Awakens, that question has gotten slightly harder to answer, as a result of the books square measure split into 2 continuities: the non-canon Star Wars Legends (otherwise called the expanded Universe) and a brand new series of books that fall within the official canon.
That’s plenty of reading. however wherever to induce started? This isn’t a comprehensive set of book recommendations, however it ought to function an honest start line.
EXPANDED UNIVERSE / LEGENDS
In 1991, Del Rey Books launched a brand new novel from author Timothy Zahn: Heir to the Empire, beginning the large expanded Universe business enterprise experiment. Since Walter Elias Disney determined to wipe the slate clean and label these stories Legends, you’ll be able to consider it as a kind of alternate Star Wars universe. Dozens of authors wrote many novels that explored the areas round the films.
IF YOU’RE simply obtaining STARTED:
• The Thrawn triplet by Timothy Zahn. raise any Star Wars reader what book to begin with, and ninefold out of ten, you’ll get a similar answer: Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn triplet. Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and also the Last Command set out the expanded Universe, written because the third triplet decades before The Force Awakens arrived. They’re smart; they introduce some wonderful figures like Grand Admiral Thrawn and Mara Jade, a former Imperial assassin WHO eventually becomes Luke Skywalker’s wife; and that they foot-dragging extraordinarily well years once they were revealed. If you simply ever scan a few of additional novels, build it these.
• The X-Wing series by archangel A. Stackpole and Aaron Allston. supported the previous laptop games, this series takes a stimulating direction: Stackpole solely slenderly uses the franchise’s lead characters, and introduces an entire host of his own. The series follows the efforts of the New Republic because it takes on the Empire within the years once come of the Jedi, and if you prefer subject fiction, there’s lots to like here: there’s uncountable X-Wing fighter dogfights, espionage, and an entire forged of nice new characters. Aaron Allston’s entries follow another unit that’s engaged additional toward undercover work, and they’re killingly funny. There’s a final installment that came years later, Mercy Kill, that takes place once the inheritance of the Force series (see below), therefore some further reading could be required for context. the whole 10-book series is price finding out.
• The Han dynasty Solo triplet, A.C. Crispin. we’d be obtaining a standalone Han dynasty Solo film before long, but A.C. Saint Crispin triplet is a couple of juvenile person named Han dynasty Solo WHO finds work as a transport pilot for a cult. The triplet recounts however he met Chewbacca, got shod out of the Imperial Academy, and the way he terminated up losing some merchandise owned by Jabba the Hutt. It’s an honest example of a prequel novel that sets up its own story, whereas serving a bigger narrative.
• The Jedi Academy triplet, Kevin J. Anderson / I, Jedi, archangel A Stackpole. These books square measure hit or miss with fans, however if you wish to scan on, they’re pretty essential. The triplet is concerning Luke Skywalker’s efforts to do and restart the Jedi Order. He tracks down variety of Force-sensitive recruits, solely to own his most promising student fall to the Dark aspect. whereas the series isn’t the simplest out there, it will introduce plenty of characters WHO can become important soon, like Han dynasty Solo and Leia Organa’s kids, Jacen and Jaina Solo. Stackpole’s novel I, Jedi is about throughout the events triplet, smartly operating during a character from the X-Wing series once the actual fact.
• The Republic Commando series, Karenic Traviss. Of all the Clone Wars novels out there, none square measure additional essential than the Republic Commando series. supported the computer game series, Traviss introduces Delta Squad as they’re deployed to a foreign planet with a bioweapons center. Traviss will a tremendous job giving depth to the anonymous clone troopers well before The Clone Wars animated show did, and he or she creates some extraordinarily attention-grabbing and complex characters on the manner.
• Shatterpoint, Matthew fodder. additionally to Karenic Traviss’s series, one among the simplest Star Wars novels out there’s Shatterpoint. This one is concerning Mace Windu throughout the first days of the Clone Wars, and it punches higher than its weight, thematically. fodder actor on Joseph Conrad’s the guts of Darkness to make a curiously dark and intriguing novel concerning the corrupting nature of power.
IF you wish to require following STEP:
• Thrawn Duology, Timothy Zahn. once beginning the expanded Universe, Zahn took a few of years off, however once it came time to bring the central conflict (the fight between the New Republic and Empire) to a definitive shut, he wrote the Thrawn duology. The novels bring back Thrawn (in a fashion), and facilitate tie off some loose ends, however conjointly leaves the door open for following chapter of the Star Wars universe.
• The Corellian triplet, Roger McBride Allen. This series delves into Han dynasty Solo’s past as his home system involves the brink of war, with the emergence of a brand new superweapon. This triplet is associate degree diverting one, with some fun action and undercover work.
• Black Fleet Crisis, Michael P. Kube-McDowell. This triplet is about during a remote star cluster as tensions between the New Republic and an area government explode into war. The triplet is dark and well written, however feels to a small degree like associate degree unnoticed story within the larger continuity arc that creates it an honest standalone set of adventures.
• The remainder of the Clone Wars novels. once Attack of the Clones hit theaters, Del Rey launched associate degree bold, transmission project: novels, video games, comic books and also the 1st animated series all tied in to 1 another closely. The result’s a large range of novels that cowl the Clone Wars: books like Jedi Trial, Cestus Deception, Battle Surgeons, Jedi therapist, et al. helped fill within the Clone Wars that were 1st mentioned during a New Hope. Dave Filoni’s Clone Wars animated series conflicts with this to a small degree, however there’s some smart gems in here that get on my feet aboard the simplest episodes.
• Honor Among Thieves, James S.A. Corey and Razor’s Edge, Martha Wells, Scoundrels, Timothy Zahn. These 3 novels were a number of the last revealed within the expanded Universe, associate degreed were designed to be to a small degree additional of an entry-level scan to the franchise. They’re straight-up adventures that channel the texture of the films.
• Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, archangel Reaves. whereas The Phantom Menace earned mixed reviews, it did introduce fan-favorite character Darth Maul. This novel leads up to the film, and helps justify the origins of Maul as he completes a series of trials on glistering.
• Shadows of the Empire, Steve Perry. associate degree experimental, transmission series, Shadows of the Empire novel ties in with the sport and comics, and follows the most heroes as they work to trace down Han dynasty Solo. The book goes into the Star Wars criminal underworld and fills the area Empire Strikes Back and come of the Jedi.
• The Young Jedi Knights Series, Kevin J. Anderson and married woman Moesta. This 14-book series square measure geared toward slightly younger readers, however they’re pretty foundational for the later New Jedi Order and inheritance of the Force novels that return later. They follow the adventures of Jacen, Jaina, and Anakin Solo as they start to coach to become Jedi, moving into an entire bunch of adventures on the manner. Some, like Heir to the Force, square measure quite smart, whereas others square measure simply okay.
• Darth Plagueis, James Luceno. This novel goes into the backstory of Darth Plagueis, WHO was mentioned in brief in Revenge of the Sith, a Sith Lord WHO figures out the trick to immortality, before he’s killed by his apprentice. This book explains the reference, and helps justify the increase of the Sith simply before the prequel triplet.
• Kenobi, John Jackson Miller. folks are outcry for a movie concerning Obi-Wan Kenobi, however within the in the meantime, this book goes into Kenobi’s life on Tatooine once the events of Revenge of the Sith. a number of that’s been modified with obeah Wan Kenobi’s appearances in Rebels, however it’s a solid book.
IF YOU completely have to be compelled to BE A COMPLETIST:
• The district Trilogy: these 3 books haven’t aged very well, however they introduce some attention-grabbing concepts: kids of the Jedi and Planet of Twilight by Barbara Hambly, and Darksaber by Kevin J. Anderson. They’re ponderous reads, introduce some new superweapons, and introduce a love interest for Luke Skywalker, Callista. She could be a long-dead Jedi Knight WHO was treed within the computers of associate degree abandoned Imperial cruiser with a deadly mission.
• The cease-fire at Bakura, Kathy Tyers. This book is notable as a result of it takes place right once come of the Jedi, and follows a brand new Republic task force sent to assist a planet under fire by strange aliens known as the Ssi-ruuk WHO square measure stealing the life energy from folks to power their ships.
• Death Troopers, Joe Schreiber. Like horror? Like zombies? Stormtrooper zombies. That’s {pretty much|just concerning} all you would like to grasp about this book. There’s another horror novel known as Red Harvest that is a prequel additionally.
• Courtship of blue blood Leia, Dave Wolverton. Han dynasty Solo medicine and kidnaps Leia Organa once she considers marrying somebody else. Yeah. It’s a book that hasn’t aged well, however it’s some acquainted, canon locations and characters. Dathomir and also the Nightsisters, that were seen within the Clone Wars, originated here
• Bounty Hunter Wars, K.W. Jeter. If you prefer bounty hunters, this could be a fun series for you: following Boba Fett and a few of alternative bounty hunters once the events of come of the Jedi. It’s variety of associate degree underworld attack the Star Wars universes, however it ne’er quite lives up to its potential.
• The New Jedi Order, numerous authors. whereas Timothy Zahn capped off the conflict between the New Republic and also the Empire, Del Rey had to work out what to try to to next. With a gaggle of authors, it proposed associate degree bold, 19-book, multi-author series that sees the whole galaxy invaded by associate degree alien race called the Yuuzhan Vong. There square measure some bright points within the series, however it’s a protracted series, and also the multiple authors makes it pretty uneven, quality-wise.
• The inheritance of the Force, numerous authors. created of 3 trilogies from 3 authors (Aaron Allston, Karenic Traviss, and Troy Denning), the inheritance of the Force triplet takes place once the New Jedi Order. The face is that it’s a tighter series than the NJO, however it comes with a fairly hefty stack of books to scan 1st.
• The Han dynasty Solo and Lando Calrissian Adventures. Written by Brian Daley and L. Neil Smith, these books were written within the Nineteen Eighties, and canopy the adolescence of the 2 titular characters. They’re fun books: cheerful journey mixed with a dose of Nineteen Seventies / Nineteen Eighties phantasy.
• The Crystal Star, Vonda N. McIntyre. This book is brusquely mocked, and it’s most likely price skipping. however if you’ve got to scan them all? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
NEW CONTINUITY
With The Force Awakens proclaimed, Lucasfilm baby-faced a few of options: keep the large EU, and build a story set within the same world, ignore it fully, or keep bits of it. It opted to render the whole plot line non-canon (much to the dismay of some fans), however unbroken the building blocks that created up the EU. As we’ve seen, there’s some elements of the EU that’s created its manner into the regular continuity, and we’ll seemingly see additional to come back within the close to future.
IF YOU’RE simply obtaining STARTED:
Aftermath triplet, Chuck Wendig. whereas not the primary novels within the new continuity, Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath novels were the primary to start covering the time between come of the Jedi and also the Force Awakens. The novels introduce some new characters, and justify however the Empire fell, and brag a number of the massive battles hinted at within the Force Awakens, so as to queue the new triplet.
Thrawn, Timothy Zahn. We’ve already lined Thrawn in some detail, however we’ll reiterate: it’s a fine book, one that works rather well as associate degree entry purpose for the franchise, however conjointly is an honest setup for the initial Thrawn triplet. better of each worlds!
Bloodline, Claudia grey. This novel takes place right before the beginning of The Force Awakens, and follows Leia Organa as she works to manage the increase of the primary Order and also the Resistance that involves combat it.
Ahsoka, E.K. Johnston. Ahsoka has become one among the foremost fashionable characters to emerge out of the Clone Wars, and once she nonexistent from the series and later reappeared in Rebels, fans were inquisitive what happened to her. This book covers that lost time. The audiobook is really voiced by Ashley Eckstein, WHO voices the character within the series.
IF you wish to require following STEP:
Catalyst, James Luceno. This novel is begins at the top of the Clone Wars and helps to line up villain One. It follows anatomist Erso throughout the adolescence of the Death Star project, and explains why he left within the 1st place.
Lords of the Sith, Paul Kemp. Lords of the Sith is concerning Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine, and sets up their relationship throughout the first days of the Empire, once each square measure treed on a hostile planet.
Battlefront: Twilight Company, Alexander Freed. once front line came back to consoles, Alexander Freed came in to put in writing a completely unique supported the sport, very like the X-Wing and Republic Commando books. The result’s associate degree action-packed book that covers the Rebellion between a brand new Hope and also the Empire Strikes Back. There’s another front line novel beginning later this year that appears promising additionally.
Lost Stars, Claudia grey. geared toward younger audiences, this novel begins eight years once Revenge of the Sith. Spanning the events of the initial triplet, it follows 2 friends Thane Kyrell and Ciena Ree on their branching methods as war overtakes the galaxy.
Tarkin, James Luceno. Grand Moff Tarkin has become a important figure between a brand new Hope, Rebels, and currently villain One. This book follows his origins to elucidate however he became a feared member of the Imperial government.
IF YOU completely have to be compelled to BE A COMPLETIST:
Dark follower, Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie Golden. The Clone Wars was splendidly off before its time and instead of scrap one among the story arcs, Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie Golden went and tailored its events for a completely unique, one that follows former Sith apprentice Asajj Ventress and a Jedi knight named Quinlan Vos (who 1st appeared within the expanded Universe).
A New Dawn, John Jackson Miller. This novel is a prequel to the Rebels animated show, and explores the origins of Caleb Dume, WHO would later become called Kanan Jarrus. There’s a bunch of characters from Rebels that seems in here, additionally as in alternative novels that happen round the same time.
Heir to the Jedi, Kevin Hearne. This novel was meant because the final expanded Universe novel, however it had been slipped into the most canon. wherever James S.A. Corey’s Honor Among Thieves and Martha Wells’ Razor’s Edge follow Han dynasty Solo and blue blood Leia, severally, this is able to have fashioned the third a part of a loose triplet, following the ultimate member of the franchise’s “Big Three” characters, Luke Skywalker.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Alexander Freed / The Force Awakens, Alan Dean Foster. If you actually need to scan all of the books, the various novelizations square measure price finding out. They’re breezy, and add slightly additional to the films.