"The Force will be with you, always."
This is where it began. This is what the galaxy needed. A New Hope. We were first introduced to the trio, as well as those who would become our favorite supporting characters and villains in the film, but there is so much more to be seen and experienced in the pages of these books and comics centered around A New Hope. If you need more Empire, more Rebellion, or just more Episode 4 era in general - then grab something off this list. You wont be disappointed.
Plucked directly from the opening credits of A New Hope, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story brought us exactly the type of adventure that fans had been longing for. The dark yet hopeful tone of the film is mirrored beautifully in the words of Alexander Freed in this novelization as he weaves the tale of Jyn and her compatriots.
As opposed to some other film adaptations, Freed uses this opportunity to create a novel that can truly stand on its own regardless of the reader's previous history with the film. And if you loved Rogue One as much as we did, you'll be awed by his masterful characterizations of the beloved team as they're plunged into the most harrowing moments of their lives.
Heir to the Jedi, published in 2015, was the third novel in the new canon and picks up just after a New Hope in the timeline. The novel describes a mission given to Luke by Admiral Ackbar, to go undercover and rescue a captured cryptographer that is being used by the Empire. Luke teams up with Nakari, who also desires to fight against the Empire, aboard her yacht, as the two undertake the espionage mission.
The novel is unique in its first-person narrative, giving us a look inside the mind of Luke just after the death of Obi-Wan and destruction of the first Death Star. It provides an interesting perspective on Luke acquiring new Force abilities as he learns more. Reviews on the novel are mixed and reception was generally lukewarm–the story is not outstanding, but it is recommended reading for fans of Luke Skywalker and those looking to read more about his exploits with the Rebellion.
This standalone novel is a fan favorite. It covers the construction of the first Death Star from the unique point of view of one of the numerous mechanics who worked on it. As it focuses on the lower level characters we generally overlook, the author does not vilify the Rebels or the Empire.
The story telling is fantastic and you find yourself hoping the characters of the novel are able to make it off the ship before its inevitable destruction.
Scoundrels is a classic heist story involving none other than Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian.
After Han’s reward for helping the Rebellion at the Battle of Yavin is stolen, he finds himself in desperate need of credits. So, when he is approached about a job stealing back hundreds of millions of credits from a crime lord on the planet Wukkar, he jumps at the chance. However, more than a few twists and turns along the way threaten to derail the entire operation and leave Han wondering which of the people standing by his side can be trusted…
After being forced to evacuate its base on Yavin, the Rebellion is in turmoil. Its pledge to overthrow the Empire's iron-fisted rule is dependent upon finding a new headquarters for their operations. So, when an unlikely source approaches Rebel leadership offering the perfect location in exchange for Rebel protection from an invading alien war force, it seems the Force may be working in the Rebels' favor.
Unbeknownst to Luke, Han, Leia, and the rest of the fledgling Rebellion, Mara Jade, the Hand of the Emperor, and five stormtroopers called the Hand of Judgement, are on their way to that exact prospective base location, looking to destroy the Rebellion once and for all.
The Ruins of Dantooine is a strong tie-in novel to the game play of the now defunct Star Wars Galaxies game. The species that are described within the pages are species that were available for selection during the character creation screens of the game. The same goes for the locations of the novel and so on.
Whether you are familiar with the game, this is still a fun and interesting adventure that any reader can connect with. The authors fluidly write an enticing story with hints of mortal peril, cameos from the major film characters and examples as to why someone might choose to betray the Empire and join the Rebellion.
Weapon of a Jedi takes place after the events of a New Hope. The story is told from the perspective of C-3PO to another pilot, and the book explores Luke’s period of training and growing in the Force now that Obi-Wan is no longer around to mentor him. The book is part of the Journey to the Force Awakens period, but its primary goal is to build the story around Luke’s development.
The book is a fairly easy and short read, but it is also quite an enjoyable one. For fans of Luke Skywalker or anyone looking to learn more about his journey in the Force, this is a great story.
Sometimes allies are found in the most unexpected places. New heroes of the Rebellion, Luke, Han, and Leia learn this lesson when they team up Daric LaRone and his group of defecting stormtroopers to take on pirates who are threatening supply lines of both the Empire and the Rebellion. However, the unlikely allies are not the only ones on the trail of the pirates. Mara Jade, Hand of the Emperor, is also on the way and may have a very different opinion about how things should turn out once the pirates are caught...
Once again, Zahn delivers a rollicking adventure that not only brings back the original cast of heroes and other fan-favorites like Mara Jade, but also makes readers question if they know what truly lies underneath a stormtrooper's helmet.
Author Greg Pak does an outstanding job showcasing one of fiction's most diabolical villains. This installment to the Age of Rebellion series expands on Tarkin's monstrous thoughts and actions that we miss out on in the films.
For anyone wishing to see a quick, darker side of one of the Empire's top officials, this is the comic for you. If you weren't afraid of Tarkin before, you will be by the end of the tale.
This series marks an enormously significant moment in not only Star Wars storytelling, but in comics publishing history. After Dark Horse had a 25-year run with the license, Star Wars returned to Marvel! And they did so with a bang. This ongoing series began by featuring some of Marvel's best talents—Jason Aaron and John Cassaday—to perfectly capture the feel of the film that started it all. It picks up in tone and in narrative right where A New Hope left off. It fills in the gaps between Episodes IV and V. Luke even still thinks that Darth Vader betrayed and murdered his father. We find the Big Three navigating their relationships with one another in order to forge the bonds that we see in The Empire Strikes Back. Plus, over time, Aaron develops his own cast of original characters, not the least of which being Sana Solo! Did we mention Luke battling Boba Fett in the abandoned home of Ben Kenobi? This is a series worth the read and the re-read.
Marvel’s first Star Wars crossover event bridges Jason Aaron’s flagship title with Kieron Gillen’s Darth Vader series. Vader Down sees Vader up against the entire Alliance army. How dangerous can he be if backed against a wall? It’s also brings together each comic’s main characters into a single story: from R2-D2 and BT-1 to Princess Leia and Doctor Aphra.
This ongoing series by prolific Star Wars comics writer Kieron Gillen kickstarted some of the best aspects of Marvel’s stewardship with the license. Taking place immediately after the events of A New Hope, Gillen’s Vader run sees the Dark Lord on a short leash after the destruction of the Death Star. It revolves around Darth Vader’s secrets that he keeps even from the Emperor himself, all while he seeks out who exactly was piloting that X-Wing in the trenches of the battle station. All of this, plus Gillen introduces Doctor Aphra, a twisted archaeologist, accompanied by her demented droids, BT-1 and Triple Zero! This is a series you don’t want to miss.