Today is Star Wars Day! And as your resident Star Wars nerd, I come to you once again with a new list of my favorite Star Wars books!
Last year’s list is full of my top books to dive in with–where to start if you haven’t read any of the books before, be they Legends (old canon) or Disney (current canon). This year, I’m just going to be talking about some of my favorites. No particular theme, just some really, really excellent books of all kinds.
My favorite Leia books are both written by Claudia Gray, who has a lock on her character like no other. Bloodline deals with the slow rebuilding of the New Republic after the fall of the empire, Leia’s ongoing struggles in the new Senate, and the nascent formations of both the First Order and the Resistance. Leia also has to confront a political landscape that knows she is Vader’s daughter–and all the trouble that comes with that legacy. Political intrigue and a few good space adventures combine into an intense, soft book with the sharpest of edges that you will not want to put down.
One of the most beautifully drawn comics for the Star Wars universe (I’m biased, Checchetto is freaking amazing), this brief story set sometime in between Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones tracks an early adventure with newly Knighted Obi-Wan and Padawan Anakin. An fantastic look at the relationship between these two brothers–and how they become brothers in the aftermath of Qui-Gon’s death. Their rocky start and their rocky end bookends a gorgeous friendship, and this mini comic arc details how that forms over an adventure that digs into the differing morality of these two iconic characters.
People who don’t like The Phantom Menace are wrong and this book proves why.
It is a celebration of that movie and its characters so joyful and so full of heart that it is impossible to put down. Shifting the focus from Anakin and the Jedi to Padme and her handmaidens, the girls truly get what they deserve and we get a fresh point of view for a story that is much beloved and much beleaguered.
With EK Johnston’s signature quiet, character-driven plots, gorgeously interwoven foreshadowing, and obvious love of her subjects, this book blooms in the hands of the reader. Beautiful and soft and soul-satisfying. This is Star Wars at its best: full of hope and heart, characters we know and love, new perspectives and ideas on old stories–by a fan for fans, as it should be.
The beginning of the newest, epic run of ongoing Marvel Star Wars comic books, this volume kicks off a series of adventures set in between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. Filling in the three-year story gap between the movies, we learn more about how Han and Leia become Han and Leia and more about how Luke continues his journey into becoming a Jedi. Jason Aaron is exceptional at storytelling, and his command of these characters is stunning. Top tier Star Wars stories in this whole run, but this opening gambit is just spectacular.
With the Clone Wars tv show coming to its final end today, some of you may be looking for new clone content. I know I am, but then, I’m biased–the Clone Wars is my favorite Star Wars time period. If you like the clones, are at all interested in their dynamics, how they interact with each other and their commanders, if you ever wanted to know more about their programming and how they were raised, how they were trained, how they react when they lose their brothers, if you ever cared too much about the sweet, sweet battle boys just trying their best in a world that built them to be expendable, then this series is for you.
Izzy and Jules (despite having some of the blandest Star Wars names since Luke and Leia) are vibrant, charming, witty characters with a heart-wrenching history and a fantastic push-and-pull relationship that had me bouncing on the edge of my seat with joy. Perfect foils and well-matched lovers, despite the distance and the years between them, I was rooting for them from page one, and I can’t wait to see what more adventures the galaxy has in store for them. Perhaps a little heavy-handed on the marketing for the theme park (I fully expect every drink that was so specifically named in the book to be on a menu next time I’m in Disneyland), this book was still a fun ride that did a marvelous job of introducing people to this new world, this new corner of the galaxy.
A celebration of all the Star Wars that has come before, everything that has built up to the Rise of Skywalker and the end of the Skywalker trilogies–and it’s a look ahead, a forward trajectory to what this galaxy can and will hold after Rise of Skywalker. Rebecca Roanhorse has absolutely mastered the tone of Star Wars, the themes and important bits, the core tenants of the stories. She illustrates the turn to the Light, the resilience of hope, the need of humans to back together against the dark in such beautiful turns of phrase that I found myself crying on page 13 and then again throughout. She’s amazing, and I hope she gets to write infinitely more Star Wars books.
A wonderful retelling of A New Hope that splits the story into three different points of view. The first third is Leia, and gives insight into her courage, her determination, her grief, and the spark of light in her. The second chunk is from Han’s point of view; his luck, skepticism, and reluctance unfurl into new priorities as his friendships with Luke and Leia deepen. And the last third is all about Luke–how the Force grows in him, how he turns toward the light, how his belief in it helps him defeat the Empire. It’s a gorgeous dive into the three characters, looking at their relationship in the frame of the familiar story.
Okay, I could keep going (I didn’t talk about Alphabet Squadron because I ALWAYS talk about Alphabet Squadron but you should know by now that Alphabet Squadron is my favorite and I decided to highlight some other faves…), but I hope I’ve given you enough new stars to explore in this wonderful galaxy of awesomeness. You can order any of these books online by clicking on the titles above or call the store to reserve any of them.
May the Force be with you!