Droids
A Youtini Reading Guide
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Star Wars Books You Should Read If You Like
Droids

            From the time they bleep-blooped on the screen in 1977, droids have captured the hearts of Star Wars fans. C-3PO and R2-D2 argued and shuffled through the halls of the Tantive IV, across the deserts of Tatooine, and straight into film history. They even received their own stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame decades before Mark Hamill! There’s something endearing about the childlike and mischievous nature of R2-D2 and C-3PO’s talkative know-it-all mentality that forms a dynamic duo that just works perfectly alongside the likes of Jedi, smugglers, Wookiees, princesses, and bounty hunters.

            Since ’77, Star Wars storytelling has had a long tradition of standout droids to grace both the screen and the page: the armies of the Trade Federation and subsequent Separatists in the Prequels were able to provide both a threat and comic relief in the Clone Wars, BB-8 bounced from the Force Awakens into the Last Jedi and into Star Wars immortality with a thumbs-up from everyone young and old, K-2SO brought his brutal honesty in Rogue One, L3-37 liberated the droids of Kessel with her quirky panache. And that’s not to mention Rebels’ Chopper, AP-5, Darth Vader & Doctor Aphra’s Triple Zero and Beetee One, Star Wars Legends books’ standout droid 1-5, bounty hunter IG-88, the red droid R5 unit featured in From a Certain Point of View, or other fan-favorites like R2-KT and Wedge’s droid “Gate” from the X-Wing novels! Star Wars isn’t quite Star Wars without a good droid in the mix.

            This collection is a mix of the best stories about the droids of Star Wars, ranging from canon to Legends, novels to comics to children's’ books, astromechs to protocol droids, delightful to demented. None of the books featured here require prior knowledge of prior Star Wars storytelling, with the exception of Doctor Aphra, for which we recommend starting with Kieron Gillen’s Darth Vader run if at all possible. We won’t tell you the odds, but chances are, there’s something here for you to discover!

This reading guide is
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Books in this Collection

The team at Youtini has hand-selected these books because they fit this theme.
Last Shotamazon button
Adult Novel
Canon

Last Shot

Daniel José Older
10 BBY - 7 ABY

When a common foe from Han and Lando's past shows up on the latter's doorstep, the recent hero of the Rebellion and new father to Ben Solo must rush off once more to save both his friend and possibly, the entire galaxy.

Last Shot uniquely employs a number of different eras throughout the novel, and while jumping between time periods, we get to experience Han, Lando, L3-37 and more at various points in time, allowing us to witness the maturation and evolution of our favorite characters right before our eyes.

With a host of new characters right alongside the classics, including a villain that can't help but terrify all those who encounter him, Last Shot is an essential addition to the Han Solo story.

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Age Of Rebellion Specialamazon button
Single Issue Comic
Canon

Age Of Rebellion Special

various
0 BBY

This issue is a compilation of three separate stories about IG-88, Yoda, and X-Wing pilots Biggs and Porkins, written by Simon Spurrier, Marc Guggenheim, and Jon Adams, respectively.

IG-88’s story, “The Long Game,” is a rare chance to get a closer look at one of the iconic bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back. We see him in action like never before, but we also get a chance to learn what makes him tick. Art by Caspar Wijngaard.

Yoda takes the spotlight in “The Trial of Dagobah.” We check in with the Jedi Master after Order 66 has forced him into seclusion.

“Stolen Valor” focuses specifically on Red Squadron pilots Biggs Darklighter and Jek Porkins as they attempt to take a day off from fighting the Galactic Empire. Art by Andrea Broccardo.

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Lando: Double Or Nothing amazon button
Graphic Novel
Canon

Lando: Double Or Nothing

Rodney Barnes
11 BBY

A young Lando accompanied by the eccentric droid L3, new owners of the Millennium Falcon, find themselves in the middle of a messy job involving a crime lord and a beautiful woman—and L3 throws herself into the middle of a droid rebellion!

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Droids Unplugged 1amazon button
Single Issue Comic
Canon

Droids Unplugged 1

Chris Eliopoulos
32 BBY - 34 ABY

This light read is a collection of short comics. Featuring Darth Maul's probe droids, R2-D2, and BB-8.

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Rogue One – Cassian & K-2SO Special 1amazon button
Single Issue Comic
Canon

Rogue One – Cassian & K-2SO Special 1

Duane Swierczynski
1 BBY

Rogue One introduced two dynamic partners to the Rebel Alliance: a morally grey spy who will do whatever it takes to get the job done and a former imperial spy Droid who says wherever is on his mind without a second thought about how his painfully honest remarks will be received. This comic is the story of how their partnership began. Looking forward to the new Cassian and K2 Disney+ TV show? Start here!

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Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter amazon button
Adult Novel
Legends

Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter

Michael Reaves
32.5 BBY

Plans for the Trade Federation’s blockade of Naboo is at risk of being compromised, so Darth Sidious sends his skilled apprentice to Coruscant to take care of the problem. Completely loyal to his master, Darth Maul vows to crush any threat that is prone to delivering their secret agenda to the Jedi.

Shadow Hunter is a spectacular display of a Sith apprentice’s devotion to their master. Darth Maul had been trained by Darth Sidious since he was a child, and it shows in the way he hunts his prey and fuels on his anger to finish the job.

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Alphabet Squadronamazon button
Adult Novel
Canon

Alphabet Squadron

Alexander Freed
4 ABY

From the mind of Battlefront: Twilight Company’s Alexander Freed, Alphabet Squadron (the first book in a planned trilogy) brings us into the lives of the newly minted titular squad of ace fighter pilots led by recent Imperial defector, Yrica Quell. Under the watchful eye and tutelage of both New Republic Intelligence Agent Caern Adan and the illustrious General Hera Syndulla, Quell’s team attempts to coalesce in pursuit of a singular, crucial objective: the eradication of the 204th Imperial Fighter Wing more commonly known as Shadow Wing.

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From A Certain Point of Viewamazon button
Adult Novel
Canon

From A Certain Point of View

Various Authors
0 ABY

A truly unique and heroic feat in Star Wars publishing, From a Certain Point of View is a compilation of forty short stories by more than forty incredible authors to retell the story of A New Hope in celebration of its fortieth anniversary. Not only did Del Rey assemble a massive team consisting of their catalog of regular Star Wars writers such as Chuck Wendig, John Jackson Miller, and Claudia Gray, they managed to rope in many award-winning authors to pen their first stories in a galaxy far, far away. Such authors include Ken Liu, Sabaa Tahir, Zoraida Córdova, and Rae Carson. All of the book’s authors donated their pay to First Book, a nonprofit dedicated to improving literacy.

The stories represent the points of view of many of the notable side characters from A New Hope, such as Wedge Antilles, Greedo, and Grand Moff Tarkin. But they don’t stop there. The book benefits from forty years of expanding the Star Wars universe, and as such many characters not originally in the original film provide perspective in creative ways–Lando Calrissian, Yoda, Breha Organa, and even Qui-Gon Jinn! It is a compilation not only of characters and authors, but also styles and tones. At times heartbreaking, hilarious, and head-scratching. Some stories will connect differently with different readers. It certainly has something for everyone and is a remarkable read.

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Rogue Oneamazon button
Adult Novel
Canon

Rogue One

Alexander Freed
0 BBY

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.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Expanded Editionamazon button
Adult Novel
Canon

Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition

Jason Fry
34 ABY

Jason Fry gets the honor of continuing Star Wars’s rich history with novel adaptation. In particular, his novelization shines in adding additional material to enhance the story in written form, such as Luke’s Force vision introduction and re-insterting deleted scenes from the film–even Rey’s third lesson! The novel allows us to get an inside look at certain characters such as BB-8 during the space battle over D’qar. Reading the novel of Episode Eight will allow you to soak up the story like never before, taking your time with the characters and getting the story from all-new perspectives.

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Solo: A Star Wars Story: Expanded Editionamazon button
Adult Novel
Canon

Solo: A Star Wars Story: Expanded Edition

Mur Lafferty
13 BBY - 10 BBY

More than just a novelization, in her Expanded Edition Mur Lafferty offers us glimpses of scenes cut from the film and gives further development to some of the other characters. We learn more about what happened to Qi’Ra after the spaceport and get more insight into Tobias Beckett and his relationship with Val. Lafferty gives us a new insight into L3’s fate and ends with a wonderful epilogue that nicely links the movie to yet more parts of the Star Wars lore.

From a prologue that nicely captures young Han’s personality, to looks into the White Worms den that are somehow even more cringe-inducing than seeing it on screen, to Han’s time in the military and that wonderful epilogue, Lafferty’s adaptation is what we imagine reading a director’s cut would be like!

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Darth Vader Volume 1: Vaderamazon button
Graphic Novel
Canon

Darth Vader Volume 1: Vader

Kieron Gillen
0 ABY

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.

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Poe Dameron Volume 1: Black Squadronamazon button
Graphic Novel
Canon

Poe Dameron Volume 1: Black Squadron

Chris Eliopoulos / Charles Soule
33 ABY

The Force Awakens introduced fans to the best pilot in the Galaxy—the Resistance's X-Wing pilot, Poe Dameron. In this, his ongoing comics series set in the months leading up to Episode VII, we get introduced to to the full cast of characters who comprise Black Squadron. We also meet Agent Terrix, Poe's arch nemesis, a high-ranking First Order officer with a complex backstory explored throughout the series. Not to mention BB-8's wonderful role as Poe's sidekick!

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The Force Unleashedamazon button
Adult Novel
Legends

The Force Unleashed

Sean Williams
3-2 BBY

What if Vader had taken on a forbidden apprentice with whom he planned to overthrow the Emperor’s reign? The Force Unleashed answers this question by following the story of the nameless apprentice as he carries out several missions at Vader’s bidding. However, as he explores the galaxy and builds new relationships with those other than his merciless master, the apprentice begins to question his own role in the fate of the galaxy.

In The Force Awakens, Sean Williams composes a brand new story perfectly wedged into a well-known time period complete with a full cast of refreshing new characters. As a stand-alone or a part of the larger saga, this story is a fun read for any fan.

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Doctor Aphra Volume 4: The Catastraphe Conamazon button
Graphic Novel
Canon

Doctor Aphra Volume 4: The Catastraphe Con

Simon Spurrier
2 ABY

Rogue archaeologist Chelle Aphra is in hot water—an Imperial prison ship where she is close supervised at all times by guard droids. Despite her sketchy past, she might prove to be the Rebels' only hope. She teams up with a delightful crew consisting of a colorful and existential destroyer droid, a wimpy shapeshifter named Lopset, and ex-lovers Sana Starros and Imperial Inspector Tolvan. They’re on the run from Imperial authorities, a self-righteous lawman, the bloodthirsty droid Triple Zero, and even the psychotic ghost of a long-dead Jedi trapped in a fungus trapped in the hull of a crashed ship!

The characters of Doctor Aphra, Triple Zero, and BT-1 are first introduced in Kieron Gillen’s run on Darth Vader. When that series concluded, Aphra received her own solo series. This series is Si Spurrier’s run on these dark, twisted, and never boring characters.

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X-Wing: Solo Commandamazon button
Adult Novel
Legends

X-Wing: Solo Command

Aaron Allston
7.5 ABY

Wraith Squadron, a hodge-podge strike team of last-chance rebels, is in pursuit of Warlord Zsinj and his Super Star Destroyer, Iron Fist. Han Solo is tasked with leading the Wraiths against Zsinj. Along the way, squadron member Lara Nostil's secret past comes back to haunt them. Plus, an army of sleeper agent droids!

It would be helpful to have an awareness of the characters heading into this story. The storyline begins in book 5 of the X:Wing series, Wraith Squadron.

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