How to Begin Reading Star Wars

[singleicon id=”fa-empire” color=”#ab0000″ size=”1.3″] Alejandro Martinez

Your friends read them, your family reads them, everyone reads them but you (from a certain point of view). How should you start your journey in the expanded universe (EU)? Disney has declared most of the them to be non-canon, which means that they ‘really didn’t happen’. But that does not mean you should not give them a try.  From learning more about the Star Wars story you grew up with, to finding out what happened thousands of years ago, the EU serves as an extension to the movies (Episodes 1-6).  So let’s begin.

Literary style

Before I provide a few suggestions on where to begin, I wanted to address how the books are written.  Everyone may have a different style and level of reading.  Therefore, reading a EU book with full of technical language about space travel and ship logistics, may not suit you. Or possibly, reading more simple storylines that are character driven may not jive with you either. Whatever the case maybe, there are many books out that can fit your needs.

What interests you about Star Wars?

When people ask me what book/trilogy to start with, my very first question is, ‘what would you like to know more about Star Wars’?  Are you a villain fan and love the sith?  Are you a ‘Han shot first’ freak?  Does Luke’s story and his path to becoming a Jedi Master find you appealed?  Whatever the case may be, having a good experience with the EU on your first go is very beneficial to for repeat customers.

Where can I get them?

You can purchase most titles at Barnes and Noble.  However, if you want a much more cost effective option, research your local libraries to see if they have a used bookstore attached. A common organization, Friends of the Library, can usually be found near your library. Sometimes they may go by a different name. Or, you can check out thriftbooks.com for more used options.

The Books

The Sith Lover

Title: Darth Bane Trilogy by Drew Karkpyshyn

– Darth Bane: Path of Destruction

– Darth Bane: Rule of Two

– Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil

By far, my favorite books about the Sith are in the Darth Bane Trilogy.  Curious about Sith ideology, the reason for the Rule of Two, or how the Sith used to train? This trilogy dives deep into the mindset of the Sith, all while watching the most powerful (in my opinion) Sith Lord come to power. It is quite lengthy, but it is well written and not too technical in its jargon.

Requirements: Reading endurance, just a little knowledge of the sith from the prequels, and you must be a dark side of the force fan to appreciate its brilliance.  

Title: Dark Lord: Rise of Darth Vader by James Luceno

This book dives deeply into the psyche of Darth Vader and his struggles with his new suit.  It takes place four weeks after the end of Revenge of the Sith, and Vader is on Palpatine’s leash. It is not very technical, and is on the easier side of reading.

Requirements: Some knowledge of the prequels and some interest in the shift in political leadership from republic to empire

I love you / I know

Title: The Courtship of Princess Leia by Dave Woverton

This book is typically the first book I have people read.  It has a great story, it is very easy to read, and the characters are transferred very well from film to text. Han feels he is losing Leia, so he attempts to make her fall in love with him the best way he knows how… which is not a very good way.  This comedic adventure is a love story at heart, but is not overly intimate so as to lose the interests of action/adventure seekers.  It takes place about three years after the Return of the Jedi, and brings in some familiar locations and people groups from The Clone Wars TV show.

Requirements: Enjoyment of Star Wars

The Technical, The in depth, and The Meticulously Detailed

Title: The Grand Admiral Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn

– Heir to the Empire

– Dark Force Rising

– Last Command

These books were the first ones I started with.  They are long, hefty, and incredibly detailed. This can be a turnoff for some readers.  However, with the length and detail, the reader experiences a fully developed and amazing story documenting Luke, Leia, Han, and the events of the galaxy five years after Return of the Jedi.

Requirements: Reading endurance, attention to detail, a medium knowledge of the original movie trilogy, and more endurance.

It’s all about the Force

Title: Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover

Not impressed with Mace Windu in movies? Well this book will set you straight. Meet Mace, the only Jedi to Master the seventh lightsaber fighting form, the ability to perceive anything’s weakest point through the force, and a commanding presence.  This is my second favorite book. It takes place during the time period of the Clone Wars, but is not centered around it. It is an independent adventure that is straight up wizard.

Requirements: Interest in the Force, have a minimal understanding of the Jedi, the ability to read it without thinking of the prequels to spoil its grandness.

 

Please enjoy! And comment with any suggestions or thoughts about the list!

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Alejandro Martinez

As a Millennial, I enjoy all things Star Wars (even the prequels). By day I am but a humble un-teachable teacher, but by night I dawn a cloak of fandoms that are too difficult to keep track of: Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Batman, Halo, and of course The Walking Dead and Harry Potter… to name a few. My perfect wife enables me in my fictional scientific pursuits; in kind, she receives a hand-crafted mixture of Cuban and Hawaiian coffee in the form of a latte each morning.