“If we don't stand up for others, who will be left to stand up for us?”
What other author can claim having created an entire culture and language from scratch,incorporating them into their books with such effectiveness that it becomes second-nature to the readers? No, not J. R. R. Tolkien, we’re talking about Star Wars Legends author Karen Traviss.
Known for her military science fiction such as Halo and Gears of War, she started her Star Wars run with Republic Commando: Hard Contact in the tie-in novel to the video game for the original XBox and Nintendo GameCube. From there, she more than doubled the cast of its series, deepened the characters in truly remarkable ways, and established herself as a force to be reckoned with when it came to writing Star Wars.
For the mid-to-late 2000s, Traviss was a staple among Legends authors. She wrote her own 5-book series set during the Clone Wars, featuring a Mandalorian who adopts a squad of Clones as his sons. From there, she was one of three authors selected to collaborate on Legacy of the Force alongside Aaron Allston and Troy Denning—which she used as a golden opportunity to incorporate elements of the Mandalorian culture she had created in Republic Commando and to continue the tales of a few key characters.
In fact, Travis holds the illustrious honor of being one of only a handful of authors whose work has reached number one on the New York Times Bestsellers List, with Legacy of the Force: Revelation (though it was the Mass Market Paperback list)!
Her time in a galaxy far, far away was ultimately cut short as she went out in a blaze of glory. As George Lucas, Dave Filoni, and crew were developing Mandalore for the Clone Wars animated series, they chose to go in a different direction. Thus she chose to depart from writing for Star Wars. That being said, we at Youtini think both versions of Mandalorian lore are incredibly strong and equally enjoyable! They overlap and dovetail in key ways, challenging your imagination to tie them together.
Her impact on the Legends universe as well as the fandom of the armor-clad was massive, making her a fan-favorite among many. In this guide you’ll find all five of her Commando books, her Legacy of the Force books, as well as Clone Wars: No Prisoners.
Beyond her books, Traviss wrote a significant amount of short stories, a novella, and a handful of articles for Star Wars Insider. “Boba Fett: A Practical Man” being the most substantial of the lot. Boba Fett made his long-awaited return to Legends after an extended absence, bringing in an army of Mandalorians to repel the Yuuzhan Vong It is included in the paperback edition of Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice.
“Targets” is paired with Republic Commando: Triple Zero. “Odds” is included with Republic Commando: True Colors. Both of her Republic Commando short stories are excellent inclusions in the series and are referenced within the subsequent novels, making them well worth the read (especially considering that the series was cut short).
Although writing Star Wars books again looks to be a long shot, Karen Traviss graced the galaxy with impactful characters and made the Mandalorians into a culture that felt as real as any to ever exist in fiction. For that, she’s royalty to us.
A tie-in novel to the Republic Commandos video game, Hard Contact is the first in a five book series. This novel introduces a squad of clone troopers as they take on a precarious mission to destroy a nanovirus production facility on the Separatist-controlled planet of Qiilura. When the clones find themselves split up behind enemy lines, their chances of success seem slim. If they’re to be successful and make it out alive, each trooper will have to rely on his clone brothers to have his back.
Karen Traviss’ Republic Commando series is one of the most celebrated and dearly loved Legends series out there. Hard Contact, its first installment, is responsible for laying the foundation for fans’ staunch dedication.
The second installment in the Republic Commando series brings Omega Squad together with Delta Squad—units with plenty of rivalry between them—in order to stop an internal terror threat on Coruscant. It also develops the Mandalorian mercenary-turned commando instructor Kal Skirata as a main character. It takes the foundation laid in Hard Contact and adds more complexity, character development, and clones into the mix for an excellent Clone Wars novel.
This is the third installment in Karen Traviss’s Republic Commando series, focusing on the Omega and Delta Companies of special ops clone commandos, their Mandalorian father-figures Kal Skirata and Walon Vau, and Jedi generals Etain Tur-Mukan and Bardan Jusik. This story develops the themes of family and loyalty as the clones investigate Palpatine’s plot and track down the cruel Kaminoan cloner Ko Sai. Will the commandos' loyalty ultimately lie with the Republic for which they fight, or the Mandalorians with whom they identify culturally?
The job of the clone troopers is simple: destroy the enemy at all costs. But as the war wages on and its atrocities add up, some clones start question their purpose and plan to lay down their arms altogether. Suddenly, a seemingly simple command from Chancellor Palpatine ruins those plans and also leaves them wondering exactly who the enemy is that they’re supposed to destroy.
Karen Traviss—who has proved more than capable of placing the reader inside the helmet of a trooper—is once again successful with this novel. The pain and suspense of the Order 66 scene in Revenge of the Sith is somehow stretched the entire length of the novel. Readers who have followed the Republic Commandos series can’t miss this part of the story!
Order 66 may have unified the galaxy under the Empire’s control, but it split members of the clone army. Just weeks after the order was carried out, former brothers-in-arms now find themselves on opposite sides. Will they ultimately choose to serve their Emperor or their ex-comrades, the Jedi? And just how far are they willing to go in the process?
While the Jedi may have gotten the worst of it, Karen Traviss manages to brilliantly portray the struggle of the clones following Order 66. This book serves as a fitting end to her run with the Republic Commandos.
In this solid entry in the Legacy of the Force series, a number of story-lines intertwine, revolving around the Solo family. Jacen continues down the dark path he began down in this book’s predecessor, Betrayal, under the influence of a dark side Force user from Luke’s past, Lumiya. Meanwhile, Han and Leia seek to intervene in the pending Civil War that threatens the Galactic Alliance by returning to Han’s homeward of Corellia. Upon returning, they find out that Han’s estranged cousin, Thrackan, has a bounty out for Han! Another major plot point in this book is concerning an aging Boba Fett, whose past has caught up with him and who might have to team up with an old nemesis in order to get a job done. For both Fett and the Solos, they will have to reckon with the idea of legacy.
This book relies heavily upon numerous elements of the Legends universe, including the New Jedi Order, the Corellian trilogy, the Mandalorian culture fleshed out in Karen Traviss’s Republic Commando series, and even the old Marvel comics!
In order for Jacen Solo to complete his transformation into a Sith Lord, he must make a drastic sacrifice. His former Jedi Master, Mara Jade Skywalker, investigates his turn to the dark side. Jacen continues his negative influence over Ben Skywalker by tasking him with an assassination.
Karen Traviss picks up plot threads from her Republic Commando series by sending Boba Fett on a quest for a cure for complications with his compromised clone body. He teams up with Null ARC Jaing Skirata and Darman's son Venku.
Legacy of the Force continues in this entry from the infamous Legends author Karen Traviss. And it wouldn't be a Traviss book if it didn't have Mandalorians! Jaina Solo trains under Boba Fett himself to learn the skills it will take to defeat Darth Caedus.
Set just prior to the Yuuzhan Vong war, this short story fills in the gaps that lead Boba Fett to lead the Mandalorians against the Vong. Although Mandalorians historically have not been on the same side with the Jedi, this war brings them together. This short story fits into Karen Traviss’s Legends-continuity development of the Mandalorian society and culture.
Torrent Company’s Captain Rex takes Ahsoka on a three-day cruise on Captain Pellaeon's new ship. However, what was intended as a training cruise turns into a rescue mission as an undercover agent for the Republic goes missing.The Clone Wars: No Prisoners continues to tie into the popular Clone Wars TV show, adding to the development of the characters in the show while expanding on plot lines from its episodes.