Best Star Wars Books
The Star Wars franchise is undoubtedly the most influential movie series ever to grace the big screen. It’s the unique mix of characters and story arcs that make the franchise so appealing to science fiction fans.
If you love Star Wars, you’ll know that the movies form only one part of the whole experience. One cool thing about Star Wars is that you can continue the adventure long after the credits have rolled. There are tons of Star Wars books that you can indulge yourself in.
Expanded Universe, for instance, contains storylines that are beyond the time periods of Star Wars movies. In fact, it has played a crucial role in continuing the Star Wars legacy. By reading these books, you can learn more about the history of the Star Wars universe or discover the background of a particular character.
The truth is if you’re just beginning to get into Star Wars, or any of the Star Wars books for that matter, you’ll soon realize that there is a huge library of titles to choose from.
The question is – where should you begin? Well lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of suggestions on some of the best Star Wars books that you can consider. We’ll show you where to get these Star Wars books as well too. But first, let’s answer the top 4 questions regarding these books.
Who Has Written the Most Star Wars Books?
Timothy Zahn—the famous science fiction writer—wrote many of the Star Wars titles including the Thrawn Trilogy which consists of Heir to the Empire (Book 1), Dark Force Rising (Book 2) and The Last Command (Book 3). Also, Zahn wrote two novels, Specter of the Past and Vision of the Future, which form The Hand of Thrawn Duology.
Zahn has contributed to many comics and short story scripts over the years. One such example is Mara Jade: By the Emperor’s Hand. His most recent contribution to the Star Wars novels is Survivor’s Quest, Outbound Flight, Allegiance, and Choices of One (all standalone titles).
Which Book Came First?
You might be surprised to find out that there are more than a hundred Star Wars book titles written to date. So which Star Wars book was written first? George Lucas wrote Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker in November 1976. It was actually intended to be used as the title of the 1977 movie Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Although the book was credited to George Lucas, it’s widely known that Alan Dean Foster ghostwrote it.
Which Book Should I Start With?
Considering the enormous amount of titles available, most people want to know where they should begin. Are there official Star Wars books? To start with, there is an official Star Wars canon which covers the canonical works of the entire franchise. This includes comics, novels, video games, films, and TV series.
To make things even more complicated, a large number of works have been produced between and after the original and prequel trilogy movies and are known as Star Wars Expanded Universe. When Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012 and rebranded the Expanded Universe to Star Wars Legends, it was subsequently declared as non-canon.
Even a die-hard Star Wars fan finds it hard to keep track of what’s canon and what’s not. However, the Director of Fan Relations of StarWars.com—the official franchise website—had this to say:
“When it comes to absolute canon, the real story of Star Wars, you must turn to the films themselves—and only the films. Even novelizations are interpretations of the movie, and while they are largely true to George Lucas’ vision (he works quite closely with the novel authors), the method in which they are written does allow for some minor differences… The further one branches away from the movies, the more interpretation and speculation come into play. LucasBooks works diligently to keep the continuing Star Wars expanded universe cohesive and uniform, but stylistically, there is always room for variation.”
Are the Star Wars Books Based on the Movie?
The short answer: Yes. The original trilogy and prequel were written by George Lucas who created Star Wars. These are:
The latest installment̛—The Force Awakens: Episode VII—is based on George Lucas’ characters and written by Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt.
The Best Star Wars Books To Read
If by now you’re still having trouble deciding where to begin, then perhaps we can offer you some direction. Ask yourself this: Do you enjoy any particular character or storyline in the Star Wars franchise? If so, you should seek out books related to these themes. It will make your search much easier.
Here are some themes to get you started.
For Fans of the Empire
In Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry, you will learn more about a criminal organization known as the Black Sun. This rogue group actually works alongside the Empire and offers an insight into Darth Vader’s mind.
For Fans of the Sith
Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories by John Jackson Miller tracks the journey of the Sith mining ship Omen and its crew. After being ambushed by the Jedis, the Omen escapes and lands on a remote planet. The Sith crew and their commander soon learn that the planet is host to various evils and predators. Using the dark side of the Force, they struggle to survive and fight their way back.
For Fans of Darth Vader
If you find yourself drawn to the dark side of the Force, then The Dark Lord Trilogy by James Luceno and Matthew Stover will undoubtedly reveal more about the Dark Lord. It tracks the last days of the Republic and the creation of the Empire. You will learn about how Anakin Skywalker transforms into Darth Vader, the most fearsome Sith Lord ever to grace the pages of Star Wars. This trilogy is definitely recommended as one of the best Star Wars books to read as well.
For Fans of Han Solo
Any book in the Han Solo Trilogy by A.C. Crispin will do. You will learn more about Han Solo, the charismatic and legendary smuggler and why he likes Wookiees so much. The backstory behind this legend will reveal more about Han Solo’s destiny.
Get the Trilogy:
For Fans of Luke Skywalker
Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson talks about rebuilding the Jedi Order and how Luke rose to the challenge. Part of the Jedi Academy Trilogy, this book deals with the trials and tribulations of Jedi pupils during their training.
For Fans of Anakin Skywalker
Jedi Trial by David Sherman and Dan Cragg is an excellent book about the events between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Anakin Skywalker is sent to the planet Praesitlyn—the Republic’s intergalactic communications centre—to defend it against combat droids and separatist troops.
For Fans of Obi-Wan Kenobi
Kenobi by John Jackson Miller tracks the journey of Master Kenobi after the fall of the Republic. Having lost everything, Obi-Wan escapes to Tatooine where he leads a quiet life and keeps to himself, biding his time. Tensions rise when the local farmers and the Sand People clash, and Obi-Wan finds himself inevitably drawn into the fight.
When Will the New Star Wars Books Be Released?
If the above titles are not enough to satisfy you, or you just want to know when the latest titles are coming soon, then check out the list below. They include reference books as well as novels. Do note that these are pre-release dates and subject to change.
• Revenge of the Sith - Nov 29, 2016
• Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Dec 20, 2016
• The Phantom Menace - Jan 3, 2017
• Fight in the Forest - Jan 17, 2017
• Poe and the Missing Ship - Jan 17, 2017
• Attack of the Clones - Feb 7, 2017
• Aftermath: Empire’s End - Feb 21, 2017
• Thrawn - Apr 11, 2017
• Han and the Rebel Rescue - May 2, 2017
• Rogue One: Baze & Chirrut - May 2, 2017
• Trouble on Tatooine - May 2, 2017
If you’re still wondering which Star Wars books to read in order, then our suggestion is to begin with episodes I through VII. This will give you a strong understanding of the Star Wars franchise, and help you decide where to go from there.