"There is no emotion, there is peace."
If you have the sort of mind that can’t help but wonder how things got to be the way they are—who was the first to do something, who first explored a place, or any number of other people and events that influenced everything that followed—then the Star Wars universe offers plenty of tantalizing threads to pull.
In building a universe that was both completely original and “lived in,” George Lucas didn’t hesitate to make references to things that made sense to his characters but left the inquisitive among us with questions.
Clone Wars? Senate? Republic? Why are there only two Sith Lords at one time? For that matter, where did the Jedi and Sith come from in the first place?
In some cases, our patience is rewarded on screen. The Prequel Trilogy shows us the Senate and the Republic that the Emperor discards, and—along with an entire animated series—the Clone Wars that Ben Kenobi and Luke Skywalker first obliquely mention in 1977.
In other cases, our answers lie in books in comics, and the Expanded Universe lives up to its name by expanding on these enticing references peppered throughout the franchise. In books, we get a fuller understanding of the depths of Palpatine’s machinations, and we even learn why “only two there are” when it comes to Sith Lords.
The Expanded Universe also delivers when it comes to the earliest roots of the Jedi and Sith. Starting more than 25,000 years before the rise and fall(s) of Palpatine, books and comics explore the time before the galaxy’s Force-users fractured into opposing light and dark side camps, and then go on to explore some of the earliest conflicts that set the stage for millennia of galactic history.
If you’ve ever wondered about the roots of the endless conflict between light and dark that shapes the Star Wars universe, here are the titles that show you where it all began.