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Topic: Star Wars

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Subject: Star Wars
Date Posted: 12/12/2007 9:27 AM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2005
Posts: 6
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I have watched the movies (1 - 6, in order) and want to read the books.  When I looked them up, I was floored by how many darn books seems to be in the series.  It looked like there were several books, and some written by different authors.

For someone who has read the books, can you recommend a path for me to start and which books to read so I read the entire series?  (I don't mind reading a series of 20+ books, heck, I've read 28 books of the Xanth series, and have several more sitting on my bookshelf).  I'm just having a hell of time figuring out where to begin with this.

Thanks guys!

Date Posted: 12/12/2007 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 52
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The biggest problem with the Star Wars series is there are almost 200 books (if you count all the books including young adult).  I recommend reading in order of time-line (which most hardcovers have).  Another problen is books are written and released all thru the time-line. "Deathstar" just came out ant it takes place between "Revenge of the Sith" and "A New Hope".  You will never truely be able to read "in order" but it's probably the best way to go. I'm currently reading the entire series and I made the mistake of starting with "A New Hope". Alot of things happended that I had no clue what there were referring to but, now that I'm reading from the first book in the time-line, alot of things are making sense now. Also, during the Clone  Wars,  graphic novels from Dark Horse are also part of the timeline and have an effect on the books. If you don't want to read the entire series. I would recommend starting with the "Junior Jedi Knight" series. There are for young adults but things that happen in this series have some effect on the current series "Legacy of the Force". Then read "New Jedi Order" which is about 20 books. Then  read The "Dark Nest" trilogy and finally, "Legacy of the Force". I'm about 35 books away from reading the whole thing. I'm currently reading "Yoda: Dark Rendezvous". It has taken roughly 2 years of constant reading to get this far.

Last Edited on: 12/12/07 4:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/15/2007 3:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/5/2007
Posts: 40
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I'd recommend that you start with the Jedi Acadamy series by Kevin J. Anderson. (Jedi Search, Dark Apprentice, Champions of the Force) that's what I started with. After that you should read The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zhan (Heir to the Empire, Dark Force rising, The Last Command) Stay away from the New Jedi Order series,it's crap. The Legacy of The Force series is good for hardcore Star Wars fans. Other than that I'd recommend the X-Wing series or any other Star Wars books by the two aforementioned authors. Good luck, and happy reading!

Date Posted: 1/12/2008 6:35 PM ET
Member Since: 11/4/2006
Posts: 1,759
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Just I thought I drop a line from my boyfriend that reads  star wars


I'd start with the Thrawn trilogy by Zahn as they were the first Stars Wars books written that were set after Return of the Jedi.  After that, the Jedi Academy trilogy is a good next stop.

There are a number of good one-off books that don't have to be read in any particular order.  Two good ones are The Truce at Bakura (which takes place **immediately** after Return of the Jedi) and The Courtship of Princess Leia.  The Thrawn trilogy starts with Han and Leia having been married for a few years and expecting twins to arrive shortly, and Courtship is the story of how they got together.

I would avoid the Young Jedi Knights and Junior Jedi series.  They're written for pre-teen and youth audiences, which doesn't automatically make them BAD (I've read plenty of other kids books and liked them) but I read one of Young Jedi books and found it to be pretty lame.

If you're into the battles and technology, the X-Wing series is pretty good.  It's about ten books, but most of them aren't very long.

Happy reading and hope that helps.

Tammy & Geoff

Last Edited on: 1/13/08 2:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/1/2008 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 6/22/2006
Posts: 95
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Totally depends on what you want.

Do you want to continue from where the last of the movies left off or do you want to  catch some of the ones from between the movies or do you want to start way back when? Do you want to include graphic novels(high class comics)? Do you want to include young teen and children books?

For adult style books here are a few suggestions:

After the movies, Zahns books are the best place to start.
During the movies, there are several, Courtship of Princess Leia, the X-wing Series, The Rise And Fall Of Darth Vader etc.
Before The Movies, Darth Bane.

Here is a site with a partional timeline.  If you don't want graphic novels, avoid the ones that say Dark Horse.


Kim (Mistry) -
Date Posted: 2/20/2008 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 4,122
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       I started out with the original Timothy Zahn trilogy, and it was fantastic!  I did actually read the Jedi Academy books and thought they were okay, but I'm a fan of Kevin Anderson.  The XWing Series is my favorite and I've read it 4 or 5 times.   The newer series, like the New Jedi Order, for me, were awful. 20+ books of pure dreck. There are some good points, but few and far between.   The Dark Nest trilogy  totally sucked, that was not worth my time or energy.  Any of the fill-ins that have been mentioned like Courtship of Princess Leia and Truce at Bakuura are wonderful written.

 I'm more of a New Republic fan and prefer those books to the New Jedi Order ones.  I am enjoying the Legacy of the Force, but it won't be a keeper series for me.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2007
Posts: 33
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Good discussion. I wanted to add my 2cents worth on this. Although, I have not finished the "New Jedi Order" stuff, I tend to agree it's tedious. I wonder if I have to finish it to really appreciate the "Lagacy of the Force" stuff that has been coming out for a year now....

But you can't go wrong with any of the Timothy Zahn stuff. If you read that stuff, and the Kevin Anderson books, you will get a good grasp of what a future Star Wars Universe looks like. You don't even have to read anything beyond that.

I am starting to enjoy the novels delving into the past because years ago, I had enjoyed some of the Graphic Novels published by Dark Horse about the Old Republic and the Sith rebellions.

Date Posted: 3/4/2008 9:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2008
Posts: 1
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I recommend this: Devide star wars into 2 parts: Prequal era (Before A new hope), and after that (A new hope and beyond). Decide which area you are more interested in.

I personally like reading what happened after Return of the Jedi, while reading some Prequel era books here and there.

To fully Understand what comes after Return of the jedi, I believe the Thrawn Trilogy and the Jedi Academy Trilogy (in that order) are a must. After that it's up to your disgression.

I also personally like reading EVERY book in chronological order. This website has a list of all Novels in chronological order. 

http://theforce.net/books/reviews/novels_chrono.asp  <-----CLICK HERE

It's what I used to find all the books I wanted. It also has reviews that you can read to see if you would be interested.

Last Edited on: 3/4/08 9:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Can I begin with Darth Bane: Path of Destruction?
Date Posted: 5/14/2008 6:42 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 10
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Hi there, I'm a Star Wars newbie (have only seen the movies and played video games) but I'm interested in getting started with the novels.

From what I can tell on Wikipedia, "Darth Bane: Path of Destruction" is the farthest back in the chronology. (And I happen to be pretty interested in the Sith anyway).

Do any of you veteran Star Wars readers have advice for me? Is this a good book to pick as my introduction to the Star Wars universe?



Subject: Ideas for Adrian
Date Posted: 5/14/2008 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 11/4/2006
Posts: 1,759
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Tammy's sci-fi junkie boyfriend Geoff here ...

Have you seen all of the movies?  Because that affects my answer ...

If you've seen Revenge of the Sith, start with Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader.  That would be a good place to start if you're a Sith fan.  After that, read the Bane books.  The Bane books really aren't all that great a starting point, even though chronologically they're the first books.

If you've seen Return of the Jedi, start with the Thrawn trilogy by Timothy Zahn.  Then once you have an idea of what things are like in the Expanded Universe, feel free to skip around and go to the Bane books or whatever else catches your interest.


Tammy & Geoff

Subject: Thanks Geoff
Date Posted: 5/18/2008 11:24 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 10
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I was able to find both Bane: Path of Destruction and Dark Lord: Rise of Darth Vader at my local libraries. I tried the Vader one first but the first few pages didn't grab my interest. However, I'm 1/3 of the way through Path of Destruction and really enjoying it!

Thanks for the input.


Date Posted: 6/18/2008 11:02 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2006
Posts: 10
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I'd also recommend Shadows of the Empire which takes place between Empire and Jedi. And as everyone else has said the Thrawn trilogy is a great place to start as they were the books that brought SW back to the public...not us fans but the general public ;)

Personally, I loved the Young Jedi Knights books even though they are YA.

It's very difficult to read anything that's come out inthe past couple years (New Jedi Order, Legacy of the Force) without knowing what's gone before as they tend to feature characters and reference things from previous books. So if you're not up on everything it can be confusing :(

Karen Traviss' Republic Commando books are very good also if you like a little military thrown in with your Star Wars.

If you're not adverse to comics, I'd suggest Star Wars; Legacy. It's set 100+ years after Return of the Jedi so everything is new again and it's been a great story so far.

Date Posted: 6/18/2008 1:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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I'm not sure how to pose this question but I'll do my best.  I have the books of the movies and would like to read more but to read all 200+ is a bit beyond the scope of my interest.  Are there books that are important enough to the continuum to be considered equal to the movies?  If every single book had been made into movies which would be on par with Episodes I-VI, or which books are movie worthy.  Is that even a fair question?  I plan on reading these recent books about the time between Revenge of the Sith and New Hope but aside from that I'm lost.  I mean, there's this series about Luke and Han's kids that seems to stretch into the double digits, are all of those "necessary"?  Or do I simply have to toughen up and read pretty much every book that isn't a "Choose Your Own Adventure"?

Any kind of answer is probably a good one, 'cause I'm adrift here.

Date Posted: 6/21/2008 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2008
Posts: 68
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I second (third?) the recommendation to read the Thrawn trilogy, Truce at Bakura and Courtship of Princess Leia.

I would also recommend the "Classic" Star Wars books - there's 2 Omnibus editions that are worthwhile... you can probably find them here at PBSwap... the "Lando Calrissian Adventures" and the "Han Solo Adventures", which each collect three solo novels starring each of those characters.

Also, Splinter of the Mind's Eye is an excellent "classic" Star Wars novel that takes place during Luke Skywalker's training time with Yoda, so it's a supplemental to the Return of the Jedi film.

Date Posted: 8/20/2008 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2008
Posts: 68
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You may find this helpful if you'd like to read the entire series in chronological order:



Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Date Posted: 8/23/2008 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 146
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As a die hard SW reader who has an entire bookcase of nothing but Star Wars novels, graphic novels and YA books (and about to need to buy a second bookcase)... I don't envy someone new trying to jump in at this point.  The problem is that so much of the early stuff from the 70's and 80's, and even the 90's were written independently, and it's only in the past 10-15 years or so that they've tried to tie it all together, even including the old Marvel Comics run of 1977-86.  I don't want to scare anyone off from reading any of it... there is a lot of really good SF adventure there.  But the reality is it's become a daunting task just to keep up with and is in danger of collapsing under it's own weight, similar to what's happened to Star Trek over the years.  In my opinion, anyway.

Personally, my rule of thumb with most series is to read in the order the books were written, not necessarily the story chronology.  Think of the movies... they were written in order 4-6 then 1-3.  Viewing them for the first time in that order preserves the plot twists as they were originaly intended.  In The Empire Strikes Back you're not supposed to know who Yoda is, or the truth about Luke's father.  In The Phantom Menace the fact Anakin turns out to be 3PO's maker is an intriguing revelation.  Those surprises are lost when viewed 1-6.  When reading a series for a second time is when I read according to the story chronology.

Another thing is that a lot of tales that were written around the same time take place in different eras, but still cross reference each other.  For example, Kevin Anderson's Jedi Academy Trilogy features the spirit of Exar Kun, who was a character in Anderson's Tales of the Jedi comic book series.  Both were written around the same time, but Tales of the Jedi takes place 4000 years before the movies, so if reading chronologically so much stuff happens in between that you might have a hard time remebering who Exar Kun was by the time you get to the Jedi Academy Trilogy anyway.

I would recommend not worrying about reading in any sort of order, aside from specific trilogies or multi-book series (i.e. New Jedi Order) .  My personal favorites to start with, which do not require any background other than the movies, would include:

1. Timohty Zahn's Thrawn trilogy - set 5 years after Jedi (Heir to the Empire - this is the book that kicked off the whole SW resurrgance in 1991, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command)

2. Steve Perry's Shadows of the Empire (set in the year between Empire and Jedi)

3. James Luceno's Cloak of Deception (a tale about Palpatine's maneuverings before the start of The Phantom Menace)

4. Alan Dean Foster's Splinter of the Mind's Eye (the first ever SW spinoff book... keep in mind it was written before Empire Strikes Back was made!)

5. Tales From the Mos Eisley Cantina and Tales From Jabba's Palace - a collection of short stories about the aliens in the Cantina and Jabba's palace, respectively, and their view of the events that occured there during the movies.  Very well written, and they intertwine in surprising and unexpected ways!

Last Edited on: 8/30/08 10:39 AM ET - Total times edited: 4
Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Date Posted: 8/24/2008 12:25 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 146
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I just had another thought...

You might be interested in reading The New Essestial Chronology by Daniel Wallace and Kevin J. Anderson.  It's like a history textbook of the SW universe.  (Although probably a much more interesting read than the history texts you had to read in high school! ;)  It was published in 2005, so anything written after Revenge of the Sith came out won't be included, at least until they write a third edition!

The only thing I didn't like about it was the first edition had extensive footnotes to tell you what books/ comics/ video games the events occur in.  This second edition doesn't have that.  Instead they did an online supplement on starwars.com, which is probably still out there, somewhere, but I've found their search engine is not very helpful.  In any event, at least it gives you a reference if you're missing some backstory to a particular novel you're reading.

Date Posted: 2/28/2009 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2008
Posts: 370
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To the person who asked if they should read Darth Bane first.  I wouldn't.  I think you have to have an understanding of the Start Wars universe or you will miss a lot if you read Bane first.

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 11:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 22
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One thing I'd suggest is reading the movie novelizations first. You can get the original trilogy in one trade paperback omnibus. That will help you get a feel for the universe in written form before moving on. One thing that's interesting about The Revenge of the Sith by Matt Stover is that it is all character-driven. So, while the movie is all about the action, his novel is all about what is going on in the character's heads. It makes a great companion. After you finish those, I'd pick either BBY or ABY and go from there. Those stand for Before and After the Battle of Yavin 4. Then, work your way through whichever you choose. But, be sure to do it in chronological order.
Date Posted: 4/24/2009 6:44 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2009
Posts: 360
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Hahahahahahaha! Good luck.

I have about 100 of the books, have been collecting/reading since the Thrawn trilogy in the 90's. I wouldn't want to be new fan jumping in now, that is for sure :-)


-edited for accuracy-

Last Edited on: 5/14/09 10:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1