I started reading Star Wars books back in the late nineties. There was so much to catch up on because Star Wars books had been around since 1976! I read fast though and eventually caught up to The New Jedi Order, a series that continued the Skywalker saga far beyond Return of the Jedi. Then one day I saw the news that everything I knew to be true (and loved) about my favorite characters was being revamped and thrown out. I was crushed but also curious. How would my favorite characters fare in this new extended universe? As it turns out, many of those books are very good.
I won't lie and say I like where everyone's story line ended up (where is Mara Jade???), but I very much like how some authors have taken great care in continuing the story of some of our beloved characters. If you're into what they call Star Wars "legends", aka The Extended Universe, don't be afraid to try out the new canon. You may be surprised. Here are some of my favorites:
The Thrawn Trilogy: Thrawn, Thrawn Alliances, and Thrawn Treason
by Timothy Zahn
I am so happy Thrawn was brought back into Star Wars canon. He has been a favorite of mine ever since he first appeared in Heir to the Empire; a series that is now part of Star Wars Legends. He is a commanding character that uses culture, not brute strength to defeat his enemies, and is more of a refined bad guy in a way. I'm in love with the new canon for his character because it gives the reader way more in depth understanding of who he is and how he came to be with the Empire. And that's essentially what this trilogy is about. They also explore his relationships with both Darth Vader and the Emperor, which prove to be very interesting.
For more information about the Thrawn trilogy, read my Goodreads review here
by Delilah S. Dawson
Have you been to Galaxy's Edge yet in either Disneyland or Walt Disney World? If you haven't, you should read Black Spire first. I went back in January and having read this book first made me feel even more connected to the story of the Black Spire outpost. I recognized everything because the book is written to make the reader feel as if you are standing in the middle of Batuu. It also reintroduces us to an amazing character named Vi Moradi. She's first mentioned in the book Phasma (also by Delilah S. Dawson), as a hand picked spy of General Organa.
Vi is an amazing spitfire and it's easy to see why General Organa trusts her with a mission to find a new resistance base. Black Spire follows her journey to try and conviencce the rag tag population of Batuu that the resistance is worth fighting for and the adventure she finds along the way. You can also meet her if you visit Galaxy's Edge!
For more information about Black Spire, read my review here
Mastser and Apprentice
by Claudia Gray
The moment I saw Master and Apprentice as a new book for Star Wars canon, I knew it was what fans (at least this one!) needed. Qui Gon Jinn shows up as the Jedi Master to Obi Wan Kenobi's padawan in The Phantom Menace. Until that moment, we knew nothing about Obi Wan's past and it was exciting to see him as a young man. Master and Apprentice gives readers that same excitement. Set back before The Phantom Menace, we see Qui Gon and Obi Wan acting as Jedi during a more peaceful time in the Republic. Not that all things remained peaceful for our two heroes. Tension lies between Master and Apprentice as a new assignment to help prevent the assassination of the reigning princess (and almost Queen), of a distant planet called Pijal. I love Master and Apprentice because it explores the dynamic and partnership of Obi Wan and Qui Gon and seeing both as younger men is refreshing. Getting to know who they are before Phantom Menace is insightful and interesting.
For more information about Master and Apprentice, read about it on Goodreads here
by Claudia Gray
Lost Stars was one of the first new canon books I read in order to get ready for The Force Awakens. I loved the old Expanded Universe and was curiously cautious about how they would represent my favorite characters in this whole new world. To my surprise, I was impressed with how well written and engaging Lost Stars was. The story takes place eight years after the fall of the old Republic It's a classic love story of childhood friends falling in love, growing up, and finding themselves on opposite sides of the galactic war. Through the star crossed lover's eyes, readers get to experience major events from the original movie trilogy from a different perspective. Though this novel introduced completely new main characters to the Star Wars universe, it was written so well that they felt like they'd been there all along.
For more information about Lost Stars, read about it on Goodreads here
by Delilah S. Dawson
We can all agree Phasma is a commanding character from the second you see her in The Force Awakens. Immediately I wanted to know more about this mysterious storm trooper who had risen through the ranks to become such a dominate force for the First Order. And she had silver armor! The novel Phasma gives her character a whole new life, leading the reader through her journey from the small planet of Parnassos to the First Order. Phasma's life has been brutal and through the story we learn just how she has become the Phasma fans know and love.
For more information about Phasma, read my review here