BEST STAR WARS BOOKS
There's no way we're going to just mention Thrawn just one time on this list. This book kicked off what is now known as the original Thrawn trilogy--not to be confused with the first selection on this list.
Heir to the Empire takes place five years after the Battle of Endor. The Empire is all but defeated, Vader's butt's been kicked, and a new republic and Jedi order are being ushered in led by Luke Skywalker.
But that doesn't mean the Empire's finished. Light-years away where skirmishes are still ongoing between with the Empire, the last great military mind of the Empire, Grand Admiral Thrawn, makes a few discoveries that can bring the Empire back to its former might.
Okay. You knew this was going to be on this list. Written by Timothy Zahn--one of the main reasons Star Wars continues to thrive today IMO--this book expands upon the legacy of Thrawn. A once exiled Chiss warrior, Thrawn manages to join the Imperial Navy. Against all odds, Thrawn claws his way up into the highest ranks of the Empire at blazing speeds through his cunning and brilliant tactics.
Now, Thrawn isn't exactly new to the Star Wars universe. As a matter of fact, he's been a key character in the Heir to the Empire trilogy written years before. And Thrawn has even been made canon through the CGI-animated TV show Star Wars Rebels.
Long before the time of Palpatine, the Skywalkers, and Han Solo, there was The Old Republic. The Old Republic was constantly at odds with the Sith Empire. And those troubles only increased during the onset of the Mandalorian Wars. In later Star Wars series, Mandalorians are known as the top bounty hunters in all the galaxy. But before that, they were a fearsome collective of warring clans hellbent on honor and glory.
It was during the Wars against the Mandalorians that a young Jedi Knight known as Revan rebelled against the Jedi Council's decision of pacifism and apathy. He led a special-trained faction of Jedi rebels and Republic forces ultimately leading to the stopping of the Mandalorians. Shorty after though, Revan's ambitions had taken hold of him and he fell to the dark side and obtained the highest title within the Sith ranks: The Dark Lord of the Sith.
But Revan didn't stay Sith for long. Through a strange intervention by the Jedi Council, Revan left the dark path and helped to demolish the very fleet he had created but was under command of his apprentice, Darth Malak.
This book takes place two years after Malak's defeat where a nightmare-riddled Revan struggles to remember his Sith past and to reclaim the Mandalorian heritage he previously destroyed.
When you hear the words Star Wars, what's the first image that pops into your mind. I can bet nine times out of ten, it's the brooding image of Lord Vader. But that's not too surprising. Darth Vader is a household name worldwide--even by those who haven't seen a single movie. But those of us who are in the know...Darth Vader isn't just some cybernetically-enhanced power tripping dark lord. He's one of the most powerful force users to ever exist within the Star Wars universe--canon or not.
And what about his master? Emperor Palatine aka Darth Sidious? To control a being such as Vader, you gotta be one bad mamma-jamma. But were they always this way?
We only really see the Vader and Emperor in their later days. The ones where they're literally holding the galaxy by their throats. Were they always that way? In Lords of the Sith, Kemp explores the early days of the dark lords. In this best Star Wars book, it talks about the difficulties they experienced in their rise where it was just the two of them against a revolutionary planet and each other.
This is the third addition to our list written by Timothy Zahn. In all reality, he'll probably get his own list in the future...
Star Wars: Scoundrels is a stand-alone adventure that takes place between Episode IV: A New Hope and Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back which follows Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian in an exciting heist-caper. Zahn openly stated that the book drew lots of inspiration from the movie Ocean's 11--almost leading the book to be named Solo's 11. Honestly, thank goodness it wasn't.
Now looking back to A New Hope... Just because Han bbq'ed Greedo doesn't mean Jabba's just going to let Solo off the hook for his debts. Hutts are notorious gangsters and won't rest until they receive what they're owed. So when some mysterious stranger offers Han one last job to pay off everything he owes plus some...he jumps at the opportunity.
Written by Kevin J Anderson--who we're pretty sure is the Grand Master of the Jedi Academy at this point--this trilogy chronicles Luke Skywalker's attempt to rebuild the Jedi Academy on Yavin IV.
It goes through several different stories including one that sounds eerily similar to the one told by Luke concerning Kylo Ren in Episode 8. I'm almost positive they drew direct inspiration from Anderson.
Since the first book of this trilogy was posted back in 1994 with no relation to the movies, the entire trilogy is considered to be part of the EU Legends. However, don't let that discourage you. These are some of the best Star Wars books you'll ever read.
Honestly, the prequels were a huge roller coaster of emotions. A yin and yang sort of situation. And I can only be so happy to say that for every Jar Jar Binks *shutters*, there's a Darth Maul.
Darth Maul is pretty much one of the most badass characters from the Star Wars movies. The horns, tattoos, lightsaber moves... I'm mean he's freaking red and menacing. Unfortunately, he dies at the end of the movie after being cut in two by Obi Wan. Right?
Well, in this canon story... Darth Maul miraculously survives. Now, it's up to you go read and figure out how and what happened next.
As you probably know, Star Wars isn't just a bunch f movies or books. There's all sorts of departments that fall under the Star Wars brand. One of those happening to be CGI-animated series. In the series The Clone Wars, Ahsoka is the former apprentice of Anakin Skywalker--you know, back before the Vader days.
In this book, we get to see what befalls Ahsoka after Anakin succumbs to the dark side. It involves Jedi hunters, Black Sun gangsters, and the mess that is the Organas.
Following the April 2014 Rule of Canon, this novel can be officially considered Star Wars Canon due to its publication in 2016.