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.
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.
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.