These Five Books Will Expand Your View of the Star Wars Universe

The Last Jedi certainly divided popular opinion among Star Wars fans as social media feeds exploded with people hailing it as the best movie since The Empire Strikes Back while an equal number were casting it as the next Phantom Menace.

Thankfully, no matter what side of the debate you fall on, there are plenty of stories in that galaxy far, far away that will provide hours of entertainment. For fans of The Last Jedi, some of these books will add depth to the movie, as they fill in details of Canto Bight or the mysterious Captain Phasma.

The other books on this list expand the Star Wars universe beyond what’s seen on the big screen.

And with Solo being released next month, no matter how you react to the story of everyone’s favorite scruffy-looking nerf herder, you can use these five books to find the Star Wars story that’s right for you.

by Delilah S. Dawson

Much like Boba Fett before her, Captain Phasma was hailed more for what fans thought she should be, instead of what she really was. In Phasma, the mysterious silver-plated stormtrooper is given a bit more depth, with a look at her origin story through others’ accounts. For fans looking for Captain Phasma in full kick-ass mode, this is the book for you.

Star Wars Aftermath
by Chuck Wendig

Taking place after Return of the Jedi, Aftermath opens with a speech from Admiral Ackbar: “[T]he Empire itself lives on. Its oppressive hand closes around the throats of good, free-thinking people across the galaxy … Our rebellion is over. But the war … is just beginning.”

No Vader, no Emperor, no Death Star II, but the Empire lives on and is regrouping while the Rebellion celebrates its victory. Told through the eyes of pilot Wedge Antilles, this novel (the first of a trilogy) chronicles the time between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

Canto Bight
by Saladin Ahmed, Rae Carson, Mira Grant, and John Jackson Miller

This collection of four novellas explore the world of Canto Bight during a single evening. From a successful salesperson to a down-on-his-luck gambler, you never know who inhabits the casino and how they got there. The stories interconnect as each would-be high roller makes their way through the traps and temptations of the big city.

by Timothy Zahn

Before all of the pre-existing Star Wars literature became non-canon, Grand Admiral Thrawn captured the imaginations of fans through author Timothy Zahn’s acclaimed trilogy.

Zahn brings back Thrawn in this origin novel, which has been deemed official Star Wars canon. Set before A New Hope, the blue-skinned military commander encounters Imperial forces for the first time and earns the trust of Emperor Palpatine. His rise up the ranks highlights his military prowess and the lessons learned in the world of politics.

Star Wars From A Certain Point of View
by various authors, from Ben Acker to Wil Wheaton

This is a collection of fan fiction by some well-known fans. Each writer takes a minor (sometimes very minor) character in the Star Wars universe and fleshes them out, whether it’s a rebel lookout sending his family away to safety, a certain Rodian bounty hounter’s fatal encounter in the Mos Eisley Cantina, and everyone’s favorite hit-his-head-while-walking-into-the-control-room stormtrooper.

You can find more Star Wars books using the handy Star Wars Timeline.

Ruel Gaviola is a writer based in Southern California. He writes for Geek & Sundry, reviews games and reports news for iSlaytheDragon, podcasts for The Five By, and his name rhymes with Superman’s Kryptonian name. Follow him on Twitter and read his blog here.