Do you like Star Wars? If you don’t, this post might be a bit boring- though perhaps I can change your mind to give it a chance. 😉
After coming off of a 300+ hour of a Charles Dickens binge, I decided to read Star Wars. All of it. Well, I am not planning to read every single book but all of the major books of both the old and new canon.
Now it gets nerdy. If you are the person who is like, “I like Star Wars! I used to watch it when I was a kid!” then be warned because it is going to get kind of technical. Also, I am kind of embarrassed to post online about HOW MUCH of a Star Wars enthusiast I am, so I keep adding disclaimers to make people stop reading. Surprisingly, I don’t have a lot of Star Wars themes images so here are photos of books and flowers.
In the 1990’s fans wanted more Star Wars, but there were no movies to be had. A group of writers worked with Lucas Films to write many, many novels that were all considered “Star Wars Canon,” meaning that it was authorized by George Lucas and considered to be a real story rather than just fan fiction. Quite a lot of these novels takes place after The Return of the Jedi. I mean, who would not want to know if Leia and Han got married and what Luke did with no guidance except a bunch of mentor-force-ghosts around a burning pier? Don’t even get started with the leftover ships of the Empire that didn’t get destroyed with the second Death Star.
Like I said, important questions.
So after Disney murdered, I mean bought Star Wars several years ago, it also proclaimed that all of these books were not “canon” any more- it reduced them to essentially fan fiction. Hundreds of childhoods were ruined.
I really like the old canon a lot. If you want to give it a try, I’d recommend starting with the Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn. (These are affiliate links, btw) The first book is called Heir to the Empire. Grand Admiral Thrawn is arguably the coolest character in all of Star Wars. He is a Chiss: a species that you haven’t met in any of the films and the unarguably the smartest character in the whole franchise (don’t even try to debate me). The next books, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command, continue the story arc which also introduces the legendary Mara Jade (see what I did, there?), love interest of Luke Skywalker. While Zahn’s writing style did not greatly impress me; I was completely captivated by his genius plot and fascinating characters.
When I finished the Thrawn Trilogy, I immediately wanted more so I continued to the Thrawn Duology, also by Zhan. To be honest, I didn’t like the plot of this story arc as much as the previous trilogy, but if you want to know more about Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade, these two books, Specter of the Past and Vision of the Future are essential and answer a lot of questions.
Maybe you want to start with the new Canon as it lines up with all of the current new movies and TV shows. Conversly, maybe Disney ruined your life and you have eschewed the new canon. I have the same advice for both of these scenarios: Give Thrawn a chance. Rubber stamped by Disney, Timothy Zahn brings the same old Grand Admiral Thrawn to the current story-line. Zhan’s writing improved A LOT since writing the Thrawn Trilogy and Duology. The complaints in style that I had for the first books are non-existent in the new Thrawn book. Even more exciting, Thrawn is the first part of a new trilogy; the next book, Alliances, is going to be released in July.
I could go on and on about the new Canon books. While I prefer much of the old story-line, the new books have been enjoyable to read. I get through the new story-line by viewing it as an alternate reality, not necessarily at competition with the old universe. You know, what lets you sleep at night.