Star Wars has some amazing books in its canon – what are the best for each movie trilogy?
Star Wars is well-known for its incredible expanded universe, both back in the day with the Legends material up to now with the new Disney canon. The novel format gives authors the opportunity to share stories in the galaxy far, far away that we would never get to see on screen.
The books are a fantastic way to flesh out the Star Wars universe and provide further detail on situations and characters that fans see on screen in movies and television series. And with authors from a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and styles producing new novels every year, there is sure to be a book or two that will satisfy most fans.
While the majority of people who go to the movies to watch each new Star Wars film will likely never pick up a Star Wars book in their lives, reading the novels can be a rewarding endeavor for some of the more devoted fans. Whether it is a character from a book appearing in the background of a scene or being able to learn more about a vital moment from your favorite film from a different character’s perspective, there are many benefits to diving into the world of Star Wars novels.
With all that being said, let’s take a look at some of the best novels the new Star Wars canon has to offer for each movie trilogy!
Star Wars Prequel Trilogy: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden
First up is Dark Disciple by Christie Golden, a novel that tells the story of Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos and Count Dooku’s former apprentice Asajj Ventress as they venture out on a mission to assassinate the Separatist leader.
Fans of the Clone Wars will love this book, as it features a storyline originally meant to be shown in the animated series. There are plenty of appearances from characters and planets we know and love in the show, and they feel completely in-line with how we see them portrayed in the show and films.
Speaking of the films, this novel also serves as a great lead-up to Revenge of the Sith. As we all know, one of the motivating factors behind Anakin’s fall to the dark side was his disillusionment with the Jedi – they were losing their way as supposed “peacekeepers” in the galaxy. Dark Disciple explores this to great effect, as Quinlan Vos grapples with the task he was assigned. Is assassination really something a Jedi should be doing, or will it lead them down a path to the dark side?
Dark Disciple is full of twists, action, witty banter, romance, and emotional moments galore. You’ll be laughing at a joke from Vos one minute, then crying as Ventress opens up to her new comrade the next minute. And who knows, given the rave reviews the final season of The Clone Wars received, maybe we will get to see this story play out in animated fashion at some point.
Honorable mention: Master and Apprentice by Claudia Gray
Star Wars Original Trilogy: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
The original trilogy is host to a variety of excellent novels, but the best of the bunch is Lost Stars by Claudia Gray.
The book follows the story of Thane Kyrell and Ciena Ree, two childhood friends from the Outer Rim that join the Imperial Academy together with dreams of becoming pilots. The story spans throughout the entirety of the original trilogy, concluding at the Battle of Jakku. It provides readers with a look at how the Galactic Civil War played out for the people on the frontlines who go largely unnoticed in the Star Wars films.
Lost Stars has a bit of everything, from action to drama to romance. Thane and Ciena have a complicated relationship that is well-developed throughout the narrative, surprisingly managing to avoid falling into tropes that some Star Wars stories suffer from. The action sequences also stand out, as Gray expertly puts you in the cockpit of a starfighter in some of the series most iconic battles, but from a different perspective.
Don’t let the “young adult” label fool you – Lost Stars is one of the best novels in the Star Wars canon to date and is absolutely worth reading.
Honorable mentions: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn; From a Certain Point of View by various authors; Battlefront II: Inferno Squad by Christie Golden
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Star Wars Sequel Trilogy: Bloodline by Claudia Gray
For as enjoyable as the sequel trilogy was, it is undeniable that some more world-building – especially involving the politics of the era – would have been helpful. Up steps Bloodline by Claudia Gray to provide just that.
Bloodline follows the story of Princess Leia as she adjusts to life as a senator in the New Republic while also trying to warn her colleagues of the growing threat of what will soon be known as the First Order. After years of fighting for freedom against the oppression of the Empire, Leia is still learning how to navigate the political landscape in a time of supposed peace. With rumors swirling about her identity as Darth Vader’s daughter and fears from other senators that Leia is a warmonger because of her days in the rebellion, the adjustment is more difficult than Leia expected.
The book introduces a new character to the Star Wars canon in the form of Ransolm Casterfo, a young senator who works alongside Leia on her quests, but with his own personal agenda. While his personality may seem off-putting to fans at first, the character quickly grows on you due to his charisma and compelling dynamic with Leia.
This book is perfect for fans of the newest Star Wars movies, as it provides some much-needed context to the New Republic and features some cool easter eggs that sequel trilogy fans will enjoy. And who doesn’t love reading more about Princess Leia in action?
Honorable mention: The Aftermath trilogy by Chuck Wendig; Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson
What’s your favorite Star Wars novel? Let us know by leaving a comment below!