Galactic Empire
A Youtini Reading Guide
"Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design."

Star Wars Books You Should Read If You Like
Galactic Empire


“Execute Order 66.”


With these words, and the unspeakable actions they commanded, the Galactic Republic began to fall. In its place, something much more sinister took form.


The Galactic Empire rose as all dark forces do: Slowly, in the shadows so that only those who were meant to know of it were told, until the moment came for it to reign supreme.


For years, the galaxy had no choice but to bend to its will … sometimes until parts of it broke apart. Stormtroopers showed no mercy to civilians. Governors restrained every system, forcing it to obey the Emperor it now, by default, served.


Eventually, a force would rise against and defeat the darkness -- or rather, one rebellion made up of forces that could not be stopped. Though Palpatine always had a plan in place in case his Empire fell, he never thought his greatest enemy could rise from within the very man he believed to be destroyed.


Whether you want to see the Empire’s ruthless impact on the galaxy at large or you’re itching for a glimpse at its terror from someone on the inside, the characters and narratives surrounding this era of the galaxy far, far away has something to satisfy everyone’s curiosity.


Witness the rise, tyranny, and fall of the Empire through the many stories told in the Star Wars expanded universe.

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Books in this Collection

The team at Youtini has hand-selected these books because they fit this theme.
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sithamazon button
Adult Novel
Loosely Canon

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Matthew Stover
19 BBY

Every Star Wars movie has an accompanying novelization, but none so impressive as Revenge of the Sith. While it expertly tells the story of the film, it also manages to add to it in unexpected ways. Not only is it the best novelization, it’s a fantastic work of fiction in and of itself.

Matthew Stover outdoes himself in this novelization by painting Obi Wan, Anakin, and the rest of the Jedi as glorified super heroes in the eyes of the common man in the Star Wars universe. Somehow, this raises the stakes of one of the most intense episodes of the saga and makes Anakin’s ultimate fate even more impactful.

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Catalyst: A Rogue One Novelamazon button
Adult Novel
Canon

Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel

James Luceno
22 - 17 BBY

When Director Krennic arrives on Lah'mu to bring Galen Erso back into the arms of the Empire, he greets him as an old friend. While his nefarious motivations are clear to any viewer, we can't help but wonder...did this friendship truly exist?

Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel answers this question by introducing us to the two men as they both attempt to climb the professional ladder in their respective fields. Galen's obsession with kyber crystals proves to be an irresistible draw to Krennic as well as a distinct hindrance to the family life that Galen and Lyra are trying to create.

If you ever wondered how the most brilliant scientist in the galaxy could walk away from his life's dream in order to hide on a farm at the edges of the universe, this is exactly the place to start.

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Lords of the Sithamazon button
Adult Novel
Canon

Lords of the Sith

Paul S. Kemp
14 BBY

The most iconic Sith duo is that of Darth Sidious and Darth Vader. When it comes to the films, the immense power of their strengths combined remains to be seen. Lords of the Sith offers the display of unrivaled power that we deserve, and Paul S. Kemp delivers those brutal moments in vivid detail.

The magnitude of chaos and destruction unleashed by the Sith Lords is emphasized alongside the sheer terror and hopelessness of the rebels attempting to fight against them. Their despair is even more apparent through the eyes of Cham Syndulla, Hera Syndulla’s father and rebel leader of Ryloth, showing that even the most courageous minds are no match for the dark side.

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Tarkinamazon button
Adult Novel
Canon

Tarkin

James Luceno
14 BBY

Compared with other villainous characters in the Star Wars universe, very little is known about Grand Moff Tarkin. Yet he remains one of the most hated Imperials of all time. He’s the one who gave the command that left Alderaan in ruins. He is unsympathetic and menacing. A man of true evil.

Leave it to James Luceno to craft a Wilhuff Tarkin origin story audiences never knew they needed. Five years after the birth of the Empire, we meet a man who has yet to rise through the ranks to become the tyrant we know he will become. Tarkin’s refusal to let anyone or anything stand in his path will get him exactly where he wants to go … but not without cost.

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Aftermathamazon button
Adult Novel
Canon

Aftermath

Chuck Wendig
4 ABY

What many still don't know about the Empire is that it did not instantly crumble with the destruction of the second Death Star. For a long time, those who remained loyal to the Emperor held on, refusing to surrender and accept defeat. In the aftermath of the Battle of Endor, there is still a war to be won. And it's not just up to the high-profile heroes we know and love to get the job done.

Follow an unlikely team of rebel heroes as they struggle against what remains of Palpatine's forces and try to save the galaxy from coming undone again.

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Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader amazon button
Adult Novel
Legends

Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader

James Luceno
19 BBY

Revenge of the Sith reveals the tragedy of Anakin Skywalker and the creation of Darth Vader as the cloaked titan screams “Nooooo” in agony before taking his side next to Darth Sidious as he accepts his fate.

Dark Lord: Rise of Darth Vader is what happens next.

Witness Darth Vader in his prime right after the events of Order 66 on his mission to hunt down the last known remaining Jedi.

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Death Staramazon button
Adult Novel
Legends

Death Star

Michael Reaves & Steve Perry
Starts in 3 BBY

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.

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Heir to the Empireamazon button
Adult Novel
Legends

Heir to the Empire

Timothy Zahn
9 ABY

After destroying the second Death Star and freeing the galaxy from the Emperor’s clutches, Luke, Han, and Leia find themselves trying to lead the fledgling New Republic into a new age. However, in the far reaches of space, a new threat rises from the ashes of the Empire in the form of Grand Admiral Thrawn. Despite only having the remains of the Imperial military at his disposal, Thrawn’s intellectual prowess promises to push our heroes to their absolute limits.

Timothy Zahn changed Star Wars forever when he released Heir to the Empire in 1991, and it continues to have a profound impact on the fandom to this day. It proved that Star Wars could not only live beyond the story of the original films, but that it could thrive. All Expanded Universe books were born out of the spirit of this novel, making it essential reading for all fans.

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