The Force is strong with these books. To celebrate May the Fourth, also known as Star Wars Day, we’re taking a look at 12 different stories within the Star Wars universe. Whether you’re more into novels or comics (or both!), we’re pretty sure you’ll find at least one good series to try out on this list. I mean, if you haven’t read all of them already, that is.
1. Master & Apprentice (2019)
Set before the events of The Phantom Menace, Master & Apprentice give Star Wars fans a deep look at the dynamic between Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi. When Qui-Gon is offered an invitation to join the Jedi Council, Obi-Wan becomes increasingly worried that their partnership will end. He also can’t help but think that he failed his Master somehow. When the two are sent on what may be their final mission together, a threat emerges that will test their already strained bond.
If you’re counting down the days until Disney’s Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries like me, I highly suggest checking out Master & Apprentice to get your fix of Obi-Wan content.
2. Star Wars: Darth Vader (2015-2016)
Fans get a look at the war between the Empire and Rebel Alliance from the dark side in Marvel’s Darth Vader comic series. Fans will love this comic run featuring one of the most iconic pop culture villains of all time. Taking place right after A New Hope, we see Vader pursue his personal vengeance against the Rebellion and investigate the mysterious plans of Darth Sidious. It even features characters like Jabba the Hutt, Boba Fett, and Doctor Aphra.
3. Thrawn Ascendancy (2020)
The Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy gives fans a look at Grand Admiral Thrawn’s origins and rise within the Chiss Ascendancy and Galactic Empire. Fans of Star Wars Rebels, where Thrawn made his first onscreen debut, will love this trilogy about the complex antagonist. If you’re pumped about Disney’s Ahsoka miniseries, it would also be in your best interest to familiarize yourself with the character (and watch Rebels if you haven’t already!).
4. Star Wars: Thrawn (2018)
Want more Thrawn content? Check out Marvel Comics’ Thrawn series, which breathes more life into the already fantastic Thrawn novel written by Timothy Zahn. In this series, we see Thrawn quickly rise through the ranks of the Imperial Navy and clash with his rival, Arihnda Pryce. This comic series is a perfect endeavor for when you finish reading the Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy.
5. Ahsoka (2016)
This standalone novel about the fan-favorite characters offers something for all Star Wars fans. Fans of the Prequels and The Clone Wars will see her deal with losing her friendship with Anakin and Obi-Wan, and Original Trilogy fans will see how she began working with the Rebellion. True, we see some of the fallout of Order 66 with Ahsoka and Captain Rex in the final season of The Clone Wars, but this book is a great post-Order 66 read for all Ahsoka fans.
6. Star Wars: Darth Maul (2017)
Darth Maul is, and always will be a top-tier Star Wars villain, and you can’t change my mind. I mean, just look at him. If you’re a Maul fan like me, check out Marvel Comics’ Darth Maul series, which looks at Maul’s time as Darth Sidious’ apprentice. Set before the events of The Phantom Menace, we see Darth Maul nurture his hatred for the Jedi as he prepares for his first encounter with a Jedi.
7. The High Republic (2021)
The High Republic series shows the Jedi at the height of their power. Set long before The Phantom Menace, The High Republic was a golden age where citizens of the Galaxy were confident in the Jedi’s ability to protect them against any foes. But in Light of the Jedi, a disaster in hyperspace sees destruction raining down on an entire system. But as the Jedi race to save the lives of billions, they begin to see a greater threat emerging.
As someone who knew very little about the High Republic era, I loved this series for expanding my knowledge of Star Wars canon. Check it out if you haven’t already!
8. Star Wars: Poe Dameron (2016-2018)
Marvel Comics’ Poe Dameron follows the Resistance’s best pilot as he and his X-Wing squadron investigate sites significant to the Force in an effort to find Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. This story fleshes out the character of Poe Dameron in a way the Sequel films didn’t, and its events lead readers right to the beginning of The Force Awakens when Lor San Tekka provides the Resistance with the final link to finding Luke. As Poe Dameron and Oscar Isaac fan, I’m a little biased when I say this, but this series is a great adventure. I highly recommend it!
9. Queen’s Shadow (2019)
Queen’s Shadow is the first book in a series about Padmé Amidala as she navigates the treacherous world of politics within the Galactic Senate. Set after The Phantom Menace, we see Padmé step down as Queen and become of representative of Naboo within the Galactic Senate. With her loyal handmaidens by her side, she learns to build a new identity for herself, one that Star Wars fans have come to know very well in Attack of The Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
10. Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (2016-2019)
As a collector of rare artifacts, Doctor Aphra has made some enemies, and in this series, she’s doing her best to stay out of their clutches… while paying off some debts. Aphra was first introduced in the Darth Vader series, and barely escaped him and the Empire with her life by the end of it. Now with the help of her two droids, Triple-Zero and BeeTee-One, she’s trying to stay one step ahead of the Empire.
11. Leia, Princess of Alderaan (2017)
Leia, Princess of Alderaan is part of Star Wars’ YA standalones, which were released in anticipation of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in 2017. In this book, we see how Leia came to join the Rebellion against the evil Galactic Empire. This book is a great look at who Leia was before times of war when she wasn’t quite yet fighting for the Rebellion 24/7, something not seen in any of the movies or TV series so far.
12. Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters (2021)
If you’re fresh off of The Mandalorian or The Book of Boba Fett and looking for more bounty hunter action, look no further because War of the Bounty Hunters has got it all. Boba Fett’s got Han Solo frozen in carbonite, ready to be transported to Tatooine to Jabba the Hutt. The payout will be huge, and Boba Fett is ready to collect. There are a lot of appearances in War of the Bounty Hunters, including Crimson Dawn, Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Doctor Aphra, and of course, the Hutts.
Get Lost in a Galaxy Far, Far Away
If you’re new to Star Wars written canon, I think it’s always best to start a series with a character you’re familiar with. Test the waters first, and then if you love it, dive into these other fantastic stories. If you’re a diehard fan and plan to read all of these, good luck, enjoy, and may the Force be with you.
Want even more Star Wars content? Check out 10 more recommendations in the Star Wars universe!