There are facts and there are legends, and you can learn something from all of them.
One of few Star Wars authors who has bridged the chasm between both canon and Legends, prose and comics, is John Jackson Miller. He’s certainly one of the most reputable Star Wars authors, especially with the success of Kenobi, which has had a resurgence in relevance since the announcement of the Disney+ series starring Ewan McGregor in development. He got his start in Star Wars with a Darth Vader one-shot, soon to be followed by his fifty-issue run on Knights of the Old Republic, and went on to write the first book in the new canon—A New Dawn. He certainly has a great love of Star Wars, which is evident in the ethos of his Star Wars writing. When interviewed for The Living Force, he talked about his first time seeing Star Wars in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, when his sister tried time and time again to get them into a showing when only two theaters in town were playing the film. He’s more than happy to talk at length about his love for the original run of Marvel Comics, and in fact read Star Wars #1 before seeing the movie! It’s rare that you’ll find a more compellingly kind person and a Star Wars author with as many broad-ranging and significant contributions to the EU.
Few authors are as prolific in writing tie-in media as John Jackson Miller. In addition to his work on Star Wars, he has also written a notable run on Iron Man, as well as writing multiple books about Mass Effect, Battlestar Galactica, and. . . although it feels blasphemous to mention this on a Star Wars website, Miller even writes extensively for Star Trek. He also contributes immensely to genre fandom through maintaining and comichron.com—a site dedicated to comics circulation history and research. His official author website, farawaypress.com, is well worth your time as it features detailed notes on the development of all of his books!
Here’s the list of most of Miller’s contributions in Star Wars, although he has published several other short stories in Star Wars Insider, which are well worth tracking down. One of them even features his breakout character, Grand Admiral Rae Sloane!
Following Order 66, General Obi Wan Kenobi vanished from the galaxy along with all the other Jedi. Years later, he re-emerged as a crazy old hermit by the name of Ben to play a hand in the fate of the galaxy. However, much more happened in the preceding years than one might expect. Even on a backwater planet like Tatooine, there is conflict, and soon Ben finds himself wrapped up in a decades-long feud between the moisture farmers and their arch nemeses, the Tusken Raiders. Ben must find a way to get to the bottom of an ever-deepening mystery that lies beneath the conflict while also keeping his identity—and his true purpose on Tatooine—a secret.
Kenobi is hands down one of the best books in the Expanded Universe. John Jackson Miller crafted a well-written, easy-to-read piece that not only focuses on one of the most beloved characters in all of Star Wars, but also manages to fill in a crucial gap in the story between movie trilogies. It takes the Western influences in Star Wars and runs with them to create not only an engaging story, but an essential one.
Star Wars Rebels tugged on the heartstrings of countless fans, and this story is where it all began. Taking place before the beloved show, A New Dawn shows us how Kanan and Hera were destined to cross paths and fight together in the Galactic Civil War.
Being the first novel released in the new Canon era of Star Wars books, John Jackson Miller leaves a lasting first impression on what’s to come.
The Lost Tribe of the Sith was formed in 5000 BBY. The cult had spent thousands of years hiding on the planet Kesh to build up their numbers in preparation for their triumphant return to the known galaxy. Shortly after the Second Galactic Civil War (41 ABY), they were discovered by a Sith Meditation Sphere named Ship who informed the tribe of the Jedi’s rise to power. Determined to keep the Sith legacy strong, the Lost Tribe sets out to eliminate Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker.
This massive comics collection begins legendary Star Wars writer John Jackson Miller’s seminal run of Knights of the Old Republic. Not to be confused with the video game of the same title, Miller’s comics focus on Jedi-on-the-run Zayne Carrick as he is framed for a massacre of Padawans. In order to survive and find who’s responsible, he is forced into an unconventional alliance with an unscrupulous band of misfits. Set almost four thousand years BBY, the series is set during the Mandalorian Wars, which serves as the catalyst event leading into the KOTOR video game. Knights of the Old Republic ran for fifty issues and was one of Dark Horse’s best selling comics series.
This issue of IDW’s ongoing Star Wars comic aimed at young readers features two separate stories. One, “Mind Your Manners,” is Kenobi author John Jackson Miller’s only story for IDW to date, where Luke and Leia are on a diplomatic mission but quickly end up on quite the adventure! Cavan Scott wrote the other, “The Lost Eggs of Livorno.” These stories can be found in the fourth volume of the Star Wars Adventures trade paperbacks, Smuggler’s Blues.
Part of the publishing program in preparation for The Last Jedi, Canto Bight comprises four novellas focusing on various characters in the casino city to be featured in the film. This book, while not essential for viewing The Last Jedi as opposed to other
Saladin Ahmed wrote his first Star Wars story, “Rules of the Game.” It sees Kedpin Shoklop, the unassuming red-skinned cyclops-like Wermal character from the film, on vacation to Cantonica but who quickly ends up in a mess of trouble.
Mira Grant’s one and only Star Wars story, “The Wine in Dreams” where mysterious sisters attempt a heist for a priceless bottle of wine for their deep-pocketed master.
Up-and-coming Star Wars writer, Rae Carson (Most Wanted, Rise of Skywalker novelization), writes “Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing.” The story is about Lexo Sooger, Canto Bight’s finest masseur, who has access to secrets of his prestigious clients. A notorious gangster kidnaps his daughter in demand for the secrets he desires.
Finally, renowned writer John Jackson Miller lends his experience to the stable of writers with “The Ride.” He focuses on a professional gambler named Kal who falls on hard times until he meets three frog-like lucky gambling brothers, Dodi, Thodi, and Wodi.
This is a very unique compilation of two full-length canon novels, A New Dawn, and Tarkin, plus three short stories exclusive to this oversized collection. All-Star Star Wars writers John Jackson Miller and Jason Fry, along with Melissa Scott—newcomer to the galaxy far, far away—penned the short stories. Scott’s short story, “Mercy Mission,” features Hera Syndulla on a dangerous mission to her homeworld of Ryloth before her introduction in A New Dawn or Rebels. Miller writes “Bottleneck,” shows Tarkin in a test of whits with A New Dawn’s Count Vidian. Finally, Fry’s story, “The Levers of Power,” is about Admiral Rae Sloane as she commands a Star Destroyer at the Battle of the Second Death Star at Endor.
Star Wars short stories have become notoriously difficult to track down. Some are available in the backs of certain paperback novels, others are available only in Star Wars Insider Magazine, and some, like these, are collected in a compendium. If you’re a completionist, The Rise of the Empire remains the only way to collect these three short stories. "
Knight Errant serves as a tie-in novel to the comic series of the same name. This novel depicts the conflict between two brothers and Sith Lords, Odion and Daiman. Set in a Sith-dominated period of the galaxy, a lone Jedi named Kerra Holt seeks to destroy the Dark Lords and end their merciless rule.
The Knight Errant comic is the introduction to Kerra Holt, set a thousand years before The Phantom Menace. She rises up against competing Sith warlords.
A follow-up to John Jackson Miller’s Lost Tribe of the Sith short stories, Spiral is set about three thousand years before the events of the films. It brings together a Sith outcast-turned-gangster with the princess of a prominent Dark Lord as they have to thwart the threat of an ancient Dark Jedi on the planet Kesh.
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.