If you like Star Wars, you’ve probably already seen the last movie of the Skywalker saga, The Rise of Skywalker, out in theaters now. If you’re a big fan, you may know not only the movies but the novels as well—perhaps having read some over the decades as you waited for the movies to come out. If you’re a really big fan, well, maybe you've even read the very first book, Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, otherwise known as Star Wars: A New Hope. Written by George Lucas, it was published in 1976, just months before the 1977 premiere of the first movie. And if you’re the BIGGEST fan of all, you’ve already read the hundreds of Star Wars novels, novellas, short stories, and graphic novels that exist--but that doesn’t mean you don’t need a refresher.
For those of us who are not extreme fans but are interested in the stories, knowing where to start with the books can be intimidating due to the sheer number of them. Below are a few that are good starting places—these books cover a lot of ground, some highlighting elements like the Expanded Universe, others giving us great character studies. Wherever you fall on the Star Wars fandom spectrum, we have a wide range of books you are sure to be interested in. Come check out our display in the Center for the Reader, and find even more on this list!
Star Wars: Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn
The Rebel Alliance has destroyed the Death Star, defeated Darth Vader and the Emperor, and driven the remnants of the old Imperial Starfleet back into barely a quarter of the territory that they once controlled. Leia and Han are married, are expecting Jedi twins, and have shouldered heavy burdens in the government of the new Republic; Luke Skywalker is the first of a hoped-for new line of Jedi Knights. But thousands of light-years away, where a few skirmishes are still taking place, the last of the Emperor's warlords has taken command of the remains of the Imperial fleet. He has made two vital discoveries that could destroy the fragile new Republic—built with such cost to the Rebel Alliance. The tale that emerges is a towering epic of action, invention, mystery, and spectacle on a galactic scale—in short, a story that is worthy of the name Star Wars.
Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig
As the Empire reels from its critical defeats, the Rebel Alliance—now a fledgling New Republic—presses its advantage by hunting down the enemy’s scattered forces before they can regroup and retaliate. But above the remote planet Akiva, an ominous show of the enemy’s strength is unfolding. Out on a lone reconnaissance mission, pilot Wedge Antilles watches Imperial Star Destroyers gather like birds of prey circling for a kill, and is taken captive before he can report back to the New Republic leaders. Meanwhile, on the planet’s surface, former rebel fighter Norra Wexley has returned to her native world—war weary, ready to reunite with her estranged son, and eager to build a new life in some distant place. Determined to preserve the Empire’s power, the surviving Imperial elite are converging on Akiva for a top-secret emergency summit to consolidate their forces and rally for a counterstrike. But they haven’t reckoned on Norra and her newfound allies who are prepared to do whatever they must to end the Empire’s oppressive reign once and for all.
Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol.1: Vader by Kieron Gillen
The original Dark Lord of the Sith stars in his first ongoing series! Ever since Darth Vader's first on-screen appearance, he has become one of pop-culture's most popular villains. Now, follow Vader straight from the ending of A New Hope into his own solo adventures—showing the Empire's war with the Rebel Alliance from the other side. When a Dark Lord needs help, who can he turn to? As Vader pursues a very personal vengeance against the Rebels and investigates the Emperor's secret machinations, he clashes with weapons scavenger Aphra and deadly Battle Droids and returns to Geonosis to build an army. But some very powerful people don't want him to learn the truths he seeks.
All annotations courtesy of goodreads.com.