#7 – Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston

This is the only current canon book I felt belonged on this list. Ahsoka Tano is one of those characters all fans like, even if they don’t want to. We see her in The Clone Wars as Anakin’s eager and trouble-finding Padawan up until her expulsion from the Jedi order for crimes she didn’t commit. Then we find her again in Rebels as the mysterious Fulcrum—a behind-the-curtain puppet master of rebel intelligence working for Bail Organa and Mon Mothma. But what about the time between?

Star Wars Books

That’s where Ahsoka takes us, filling the gap. It shows how she avoided Order 66, the events of the Raada Uprising, a little sprinkling of her confrontation with Maul, and what she did that leads her to work for the aforementioned senators, becoming Fulcrum. You’ll also get some interesting back story on the Grand Inquisitor and the Sixth Brother, tailoring in nicely with Rebels canon, and things we may see or hear about in the upcoming Jedi: Fallen Order and the Seventh Sister. It’s a YA stand-alone novel, but well-worth the read.

#6 – Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry

No, not that Steve Perry… Shadows of the Empire makes my list because of the herculean effort this title gave to tell one, cohesive Star Wars story across multiple media platforms. There were SotE comics, SotE video games, the novel, and so on. Pablo Hidalgo says the release of this title is “a movie without a movie”, because it had all the parts of a major title release from Lucasfilm. It just didn’t have a movie at the box office. Even with all the hoopla around it at the time, the book was pretty darn good.

Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry
Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry

Shadows of the Empire (the novel) brings out all the familiar heroes, and introduces a new one… Dash Rendar, Smuggler Supreme! Ok, I made that last part up. However, Dash and his ship, Outrider, have made an indelible mark on the fandom, and the ones who know of him seem to love him. In the novel he is hired as Luke’s protector by a worried Princess Leia, and rightfully so. Vader has dispatched the Bounty Hunters to capture him, while the devious Prince Xizor has paid the same Bounty Hunters to kill him. One of the cool aspects of this book is the first appearance of Leia as the Bounty Hunter Boushh. All-in-all, a great swashbuckling Star Wars tale. The accompanying games and comics are pretty darn good, too.