Star Wars: Squadrons, the primary Star Wars flight sim in additional than 20 years, is right here, and it lives as much as its legacy. With Squadrons on my PC and Child Yoda nonetheless ruling merchandising with an iron fist, I’ve had Star Wars on the mind like so many others. As a devotee of Star Wars lore starting from the obscure (no person can beat my Arden Lyn) to the embarrassing (having learn all of the Younger Jedi Knight novels), my curiosity within the upcoming area sim is off the star charts. However if you happen to’re seeking to make the bounce to lightspeed, it’s essential to decide on the precise ship, since a shady man as soon as informed me that studying Star Wars novels ain’t like dusting crops.
In the event you’re seeking to dig deeper into Star Wars books at this time, here is what it’s best to learn.
In the event you solely learn three issues
The Han Solo Adventures, by Brian Daley
The Han Solo Adventures on Amazon
These books have principally nothing to do with trendy Star Wars—and even Star Wars because it existed post-Empire Strikes Again. They don’t seem to be canon. There aren’t any Jedi. And but they’re nonetheless essentially the most enjoyable novels written in George Lucas’s playground. Revealed in 1979 and 1980, these pulp adventures from Brian Daley seize the spirit of journey Lucas beloved within the outdated pulp serials he was impressed by in creating Star Wars and Indiana Jones. They’re all about Han Solo and Chewbacca galavanting round area, stepping into smuggling shenanigans. They’re broke. They hunt treasure. Han will get into fast-draw contests. They combat area cops. They’re brisk, action-packed, and completely seize Han Solo’s character circa the unique movie. If solely the Solo movie had been half pretty much as good as these novels.
Bloodline, by Claudia Grey
Bloodline on Amazon
In Bloodline, Claudia Grey does an admirable job conveying simply how horrible multi-system area governments may be (and one way or the other makes that partaking). We get to see Leia, as the primary character, wrestle with the trimmings of statehood whereas nonetheless stepping into some thrilling motion setpieces as she unravels plots threatening the divided New Republic. Finally, this novel is a superb piece of background to guide into The Drive Awakens, which omitted explaining how the New Republic was one way or the other below the rebooted Empire’s heel once more. Leia discovers the formation of the First Order and finally kinds the Resistance herself to oppose it.
The X-Wing sequence, by Michael A. Stackpole and Aaron Allston
The X-Wing sequence on Amazon
Now thought-about Legends materials and thus not-canon within the new Star Wars, the X-Wing novels are nonetheless some implausible studying—and the go-to books if you happen to’re in a starfighter temper due to Star Wars: Squadrons. The primary 4 novels by Stackpole set the stage with glorious area dogfighting (although they could be a bit too mechanical at instances) and a few worldbuilding for his imaginative and prescient of the remnants of the Empire.
The sequence shifts when Allston takes over, and as an alternative we have now a ragtag band of misfits within the newly fashioned Wraith squadron becoming a member of hero Wedge Antilles to maintain issues bizarre. Star Wars bizarre. What I am saying is, there’s an Ewok who flies an X-Wing. You’ll be able to skip to the Wraith squadron books if you happen to’re keen on a extra darkish comedy tackle the universe—they’re principally the Star Wars model of Suicide Squad, and as enjoyable as outdated Legends novels get.
The most effective of the brand new novels
Catalyst, by James Luceno
Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel on Amazon
Analyzing the interval earlier than the criminally underrated Rogue One, Catalyst provides a longform historical past of the Loss of life Star. It covers the Loss of life Star’s conception, preliminary designs, and the way Galen Erso’s destiny was intertwined with it and with villainous director Krennic. Catalyst succeeds in framing simply how monumental the design of the huge battle station was, and makes Galen’s character in Rogue One much more sympathetic and heroic for the illumination he receives.
Alphabet Squadron, by Alexander Freed
Alphabet Squadron: E-book 1 on Amazon
The trendy successor to the outdated X-Wing sequence, Alphabet Squadron completely nails the texture of one of the best elements of the novel sequence it is a non secular substitute for. The group of battered veteran pilots from various backgrounds (together with an Imperial defector within the lead) every use a special starfighter as they attempt to observe down and destroy an elite TIE Fighter squadron within the aftermath of the Battle of Endor. If you need nice characterization, dogfighting area fight, and a extra gritty and sensible really feel a la Rogue One, Alphabet Squadron goes to be your fundamental Star Wars squeeze.
The most effective of the brand new comics
Physician Aphra by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca
Physician Aphra Vol. 1 on Amazon
The morally bankrupt anti-hero Aphra is a mix of some nice new concepts in Star Wars. Her job as a questionably authorized archaeologist serves as an superior automobile for telling tales that don’t should be centered across the Empire or the Revolt throughout the period of the unique trilogy. She has numerous the identical traits that we love in Han Solo, however she’s offered off ¾ of his coronary heart of gold to fund her subsequent expedition.
Star Wars (Marvel 2015), by Jason Aaron, John Cassaday, and others
Star Wars Vol. 1 on Amazon
Serving as Marvel’s fundamental Star Wars sequence from 2015-2019 in 75 points (with collected volumes obtainable), the primary Star Wars sequence is your favourite sweet bar in comedian type, giving us extra time with the characters of the unique trilogy. Happening between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Again, the various tales on this sequence give us a have a look at every little thing from Han’s early days to flashbacks protecting Obi-Wan. Easy, efficient, and straightforward to learn, it’s a pleasure to slice via.
The most effective tabletop RPG
Fringe of the Empire, Age of Revolt, and Drive and Future by Fantasy Flight Video games
Star Wars RPGs at Fantasy Flight
There have been a number of huge makes an attempt to nail Star Wars in conventional RPG type, and for a very long time the king was nonetheless the venerable West Finish Video games take that initially launched in 1987. With a threefold strategy, Fantasy Flight Video games gave us one sport system with three totally different suitable sport types. Fringe of the Empire is for scum and villainy dwelling on the fringes, Age of Revolt about becoming a member of the wrestle in opposition to the Empire, and Drive and Future has the start of rebuilding and exploring the galaxy’s connection to the Drive.
The sport system does a exceptional and revolutionary job of making cinematic storytelling, permitting gamers to introduce narrative parts into the story together with the GM. In the event you like Star Wars and luxuriate in conventional RPGs and don’t thoughts having to select up some particular cube to play, it is a area fantasy slam dunk.
Legends books nonetheless price studying
Inheritor to the Empire trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
The Thrawn Trilogy on Amazon
Broadly beloved, Timothy Zahn’s Inheritor to the Empire trilogy is the unique introduction of Thrawn and Mara Jade, who followers nonetheless hope to see make it again into the fashionable canon sometime. Zahn managed to nail the texture of the characters and Star Wars universe again within the early ’90s when it was nearly fully dormant and deserves numerous credit score for its resurgence. These books actually influenced the ’90s Star Wars video games, and set the course for the place the galaxy would go post-Return of the Jedi. Its story concerning the New Republic vs. the remnants of the Empire was much more authentic than what we ended up with within the new motion pictures.
If you need a brand new, canon tackle Timothy Zahn’s Admiral Thrawn, who is likely one of the few Legends characters to hold over into the brand new continuity, take a look at his 2017 origin story novel Thrawn—simply be prepared for a narrative that is extra plodding, and options numerous Sherlock-style inner monologuing from Thrawn and his new protégé who each handle to come back off fairly boring.
Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, by Matthew Stover
Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor on Amazon
This novel, impressed by Brian Daley’s Han Solo trilogy, does two seemingly reverse issues hardly ever seen in Star Wars novels, and one way or the other manages to make them work collectively. On the entire it appears like an actual pulp journey centered on the motion, with Luke doing lightsaber methods and characters from Rogue Squadron alongside for enjoyable. Nevertheless it additionally will get philosophical concerning the power and brings a point of precise physics to bear within the area battles. That is in all probability the one Star Wars e-book through which Lando Calrissian thinks about radiation whereas he is commanding a fleet. Exhausting sci-fi—in my Star Wars? It is extra possible than you assume.
Critically, although, it one way or the other works, discovering a steadiness between the foolish and the “realistic” that is an absorbing learn.
Darkish Empire, by Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy
The Darkish Empire trilogy on Amazon
A few of the greatest comedian artwork of Star Wars comes from Darkish Empire, protecting the interval after Zahn’s Inheritor to the Empire trilogy the place Palpatine has returned from the lifeless. That is proper—Rise of Skywalker’s huge thought was lifted straight out of a goofy comedian from 1991.