Star Wars books have a long history of great stories and characters. They never have a face, yet we fall in love with them and follow them on their journeys, waiting months on end until the next book comes out. The great thing with these books is it is so much easier to go in depth with smaller characters and continue their stories that might otherwise be out of place in a movie about the main characters.
I know a lot of fans had conniptions when the old books were labeled as Legend and thrown out of the Canon story line. I would hope most fans that have read the new books though would admit they are, as a whole, far better than the Legends books as a whole. Sure there were some stellar Legend books, but there were some serious stinkers as well. Other than a single book or two I do not know that the canon books have really missed. Here are my top 10 books in the new canon timeline from worst to best.
HONORABLE MENTION: REVENGE OF THE SITH, A NEW HOPE, ROGUE ONE. Here I need to add in three books that kinda have their own category. I separated them out from the main list, and yes two are not new. I reference these three because they are the only movie books I would almost call essential reads to truly understand the movie. Movie have a tendency to read like a script and in the end add nothing. A New Hope, being written before the release of the actual movie, has scenes that did not make the final cut of the film or had to wait for the extended cuts. It also has its own feel and does not read like a script. Revenge of the Sith is the mental side of the movie. Lucas crammed so much into ep3 that it was all action and movement with little exposition or explanation. Remember Sidious cutting down 3 out of 4 of the top Jedi Masters in about 5 seconds? It didn’t seem very plausible in the movie. Read the book and that scene makes perfect sense. Anakin/Obi-Wan vs Dooku? In the book there is a lot more of a chess match going on than it appears in the movie. Finally Rogue One. This should have easily been in the top 10 if not for this class. Rogue One reads nothing like a script and gives you so many small details about what all the different characters are thinking and feeling that it adds layers and depth to the movie. Of all the movie books, these three are the must reads and the only three of the movie books worth reading.
#10: Tarkin by James Luceno – The author who brought us the great legends book Plagueis, as well as another book coming up later, does an excellent job writing about the young relationship between Vader and Tarkin as well as laying out Tarkin’s viewpoints and thoughts. This book is lower on the list because I am not a huge Tarkin fan, but if it was written by James Luceno, you can guarantee it will be a well written story with great characters.
Let me throw in a quick preface before this next one. For those who are new to the books or haven’t ventured in this direction before, the next book is the first of several that are considered Young Adult Novels. These are found more in the teen section of the bookstore. This may turn some people away thinking these books are too simple or for kids. You could not be more wrong. Basically Young Adult means you wont get any Game of Thrones graphics or gratuity or language. This takes nothing away from Young Adult books. In fact I would say the best stories in Science Fiction/Fantasy are being written in this genre right now. Do not be deterred by the category.