Is there any better way to celebrate May the Fourth than by rewatching the original trilogy and talking about some of our favorite and (in our opinion) best Star Wars books? We can’t think of any! Check out Rachel and Sarah’s selection of literary Star Wars favorites. And May the Fourth be with you!
From a Certain Point of View by various authors
How could I even begin to discuss my favorite Star Wars books without one of my favorite additions to Star Wars cannon? The From a Certain Point of View books. I’m specifically talking about the 40th Anniversary edition here, but also just the entire premise of anthologies featuring some of the best SFF writers out there exploring the side characters and stories happening off-screen while the main characters are having their big, galaxy-spanning adventures in the movies. It’s just such a brilliant idea! And so well executed.
Some of my absolute favorites from this collection include Nnedi Okorafor’s “The Baptist,” about the creature in the trash compactor, Ken Liu’s “The Sith of Datawork” about Imperial datacrunches, and Claudia Gray’s “Master and Apprentice” where the ghost of Qui-Gon Jinn and Yoda have a conversation through the Force.
Star Wars: Chewbacca by by Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto
As I was writing up a guide to Star Wars comics for a piece over on Book Riot, I was introduced to a number of new comics that have become favorites, including Star Wars: Princess Leia, Doctor Aphra, and Star Wars: Han Solo. But my absolute favorite was definitely this Chewbacca comic from Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto.
Set after the Battle of Yavin, Chewbacca crash lands on an Imperial-occupied planet where a young girl named Zarro enlists him to help take on the Imperials. Without Han there to translate, their communication is a bit piecemeal which is honestly part of the fun. It’s truly one of the most pure Star Wars comics I’ve ever read.
Jedi Apprentice by Dave Wolverton
It’s pretty safe to say I was raised on Star Wars. I was all but unbeatable at Star Wars: Trivial Pursuit as a kid, even against my dad who had seen the original trilogy in theaters. And a lot of that intense level of knowledge came from my love of Star Wars books, particularly the Jedi Apprentice series.
The Jedi Apprentice books followed Obi-Wan’s time as a padawan under Qui-Gon Jinn’s tutelage. The series is no longer cannon, of course, but honestly I’d still love to see some of the ideas it explored used for a new show or series someday. And yes, I enjoyed Claudia Gray’s Master and Apprentice as well, but it will never take the place of the Jedi Apprentice series in my mind.
My favorite Star Wars book as a kid was Star Wars Episode I Journal: Queen Amidala by Jude Watson. That book is no longer canon in the Star Wars Universe. But E.K. Johnston has filled the Padme shaped hole in my heart first with Queen’s Shadow and then with Queen’s Peril (and later this year Queen’s Hope)
Queen’s Peril tells the story of Padme Amidala and her handmaids from the time of her election to the aftermath of the Battle of Naboo. It gives the background details of what’s actually going on in Naboo that the movies gloss over.
Phasma was the first book of the new expanded universe novels I read, and it showed me just how much room there is for incredible storytelling within the Star Wars Universe. Phasma grew up on a desolate, isolated planet where violence is the only way forward. In a lot of ways it reminded me of the Sardaukur and Fremen in Dune, which are also incredible fighting groups that grow up on desolate planets.
The story wisely isn’t told from Phasma’s perspective, but from the perspective of one of her companions, which allows us to see Phasma’s backstory, without removing the mystique that makes her a great Star Wars villian.
Like older sister’s everywhere, I was prone to “borrowing” Rachel’s things. That included whatever book series she was reading at the time. That’s why I also read a few books in the Jedi Apprentice series. When I saw that Claudia Gray was coming out with a new Expanded Universe novel about Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi on a mission together, I knew I had to pick it up.
The book really exemplifies both the incredibly different styles Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan take to being a Jedi, but also how they work together and compliment each other.
What are you favorite Star Wars books or comics? Let us know in the comments or on social media.