"Luke Skywalker? I thought he was a myth."
The tale of Luke Skywalker is one of a hero. Growing up on a moisture farm but dreaming of flying through galaxies far beyond Tatooine, the naive young boy finds himself in the middle of a galactic conflict after his uncle charges him with the simple task of fixing up two new droids for the farm. Little did Luke know, those droids were central to the Rebellion and were attempting to escape Imperial capture, placing Luke and his family on the Empire’s wanted list. Luke’s place in the conflict is solidified as Stormtroopers raid his home and murder his aunt and uncle.
Luke is fearless, brave, and daring. He jumps into conflict eagerly, and consistently puts himself in danger to help his friends. The original trilogy shows Luke’s development as he grows from a fearless young man into a full-fledged Jedi Knight, ultimately redeeming his father. And, of course, Luke undergoes his own redemption arc, as a fear of the dark side leads to the creation of Kylo Ren and the beginning of Luke’s period of hiding. Ultimately, however, Luke recognizes his own failure and sacrifices himself for Rey and the Resistance.
As one of the central characters in the Star Wars universe (after all, the nine main series films have been termed the Skywalker Saga), Luke appears in many novels in both the Canon and Expanded Universe. This reading guide has been designed to highlight the most important books that include Luke, the books that help to build his character or are central to understanding his story. In each of these books, we see a new side of Luke and get a deeper look into his adventures beyond the movies and the ways that he grows in the Force. If you’re a fan of Luke or just want to dig deeper into this important character, this guide is perfect for you!
Legends of Luke Skywalker explores the myths surrounding Luke. The book is set on a ship traveling to Canto Bight, and crew members swap stories of their experiences or encounters with Luke. One story, for example, comes from a droid that details Luke leading a droid rebellion, while another comes from a former Imperial officer that details how the legend of Luke is a complete myth.
This novel does not add much to the actual canon story of Luke, but, instead, takes a more whimsical approach to help convey the reputation that Luke has gained in the Star Wars universe. It was published as part of the Journey to the Last Jedi series and helps to expand upon the larger-than-life character that is Luke before the movie that details the end of his story. It is a fun and easy read!
Heir to the Jedi, published in 2015, was the third novel in the new canon and picks up just after a New Hope in the timeline. The novel describes a mission given to Luke by Admiral Ackbar, to go undercover and rescue a captured cryptographer that is being used by the Empire. Luke teams up with Nakari, who also desires to fight against the Empire, aboard her yacht, as the two undertake the espionage mission.
The novel is unique in its first-person narrative, giving us a look inside the mind of Luke just after the death of Obi-Wan and destruction of the first Death Star. It provides an interesting perspective on Luke acquiring new Force abilities as he learns more. Reviews on the novel are mixed and reception was generally lukewarm–the story is not outstanding, but it is recommended reading for fans of Luke Skywalker and those looking to read more about his exploits with the Rebellion.
Weapon of a Jedi takes place after the events of a New Hope. The story is told from the perspective of C-3PO to another pilot, and the book explores Luke’s period of training and growing in the Force now that Obi-Wan is no longer around to mentor him. The book is part of the Journey to the Force Awakens period, but its primary goal is to build the story around Luke’s development.
The book is a fairly easy and short read, but it is also quite an enjoyable one. For fans of Luke Skywalker or anyone looking to learn more about his journey in the Force, this is a great story.
Heir to the Empire is essential reading material because without it, the rest of the Expanded Universe might not exist. In this book, Zahn manages to construct a new type of Star Wars villain in Grand Admiral Thrawn who defeats his enemies with superior intellect that is every bit as overwhelming as Vader’s Force choke. Luke, Han, Leia, and the entire cast of the Original Trilogy make their triumphant return and must find a way to deal with this new threat who is poised to bring back the Empire even stronger than it was before.
Timothy Zahn has arguably crafted some of the most important books in the Expanded Universe and they all started with Heir to the Empire.
Horror comes in many forms. For Leia and Han, it takes the form of a conspiracy that threatens to topple the galaxy’s new government before it ever has a chance to truly start. For Luke and Lando, it takes the form of a cluster of attacks from clone-crewed pirate ships. For the New Republic as a whole, it takes the form of an evil believed to be long dead: Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Against readers’ expectations, Timothy Zahn picks up the story of Grand Admiral Thrawn right where he left it to spin a brand new tale of intrigue. With plenty of twists and turns, you won’t have this story figured out until its final chapters.
Luke and Mara Jade believed Thrawn's evils were in their past...until the wreckage of The Outbound Flight was discovered.
Desperate to uncover the secrets stowed aboard the destroyed ship, Luke and Mara Jade set out with a team including an Imperial officer and a team of stormtroopers on a recovery mission. However, it soon becomes clear that the answers to their many questions will shake Luke and Mara Jade's faith in their relationship, the Jedi Order, and everything they thought they knew about the fall of Thrawn.
Jedi Search is the first novel in the Jedi Academy Trilogy, and it details the beginnings of a new Jedi academy that Luke is determined to build. The book tells stories of Luke’s search for Force-sensitive beings in the galaxy, Leia’s governmental duties and raising her children, and Han Solo and Chewbacca attempting to stop a dangerous weapon.
The book takes place in the years after the original trilogy, under the New Republic. It is an important story in the expanded universe, as it details the beginnings of Luke’s creation of a Jedi Academy and his first step into training the next generation of Jedi, while continuing to detail the clashes between the New Republic and the scattered factions of the Empire.
Children of the Jedi takes place soon after the Jedi Academy Trilogy, and describes the continued search for long-lost Force users in the galaxy. While Leia, Han, and Chewbacca are searching for a group of Force children, however, Luke learns of an imminent threat on a distant planet and must delve into the Force to be able to stop it.
Children of the Jedi continues to build the story of the New Republic. It is a great read for fans of Luke or those looking to learn more about everything that took place after the original trilogy.
Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor takes place just after the fall of the Empire and the creation of the New Republic. Despite the death of the Emperor, however, threats to the New Republic still remain. Imperial factions that are cut loose from the Empire wreak havoc, including a dangerous faction that is headed by a Sith Chieftan on the planet Mindor. Recognizing the threat on the New Republic that this has, Luke Skywalker heads up the assault to stop the faction before it grows too powerful.
As the heroes of the Rebellion begin their attack on Mindor, they realize that their adversary is no empty threat. The Sith Chieftan returned from exile in the wake of the Emperor’s death, and proves a powerful enemy. This story is an exciting look into the post-Empire world and is a compelling story of the threats on the New Republic.
Before the Storm is the first novel in the Black Fleet Crisis trilogy. The trilogy is unique in its focus on military campaigns, as it describes in detail the political and military threats to the New Republic. Before the Storm establishes the brewing conflict with xenophobic threat from the far reaches of the galaxy, as Leia attempts to allay the threat. Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker sets out on a mission to discover the truth about his mother and her origins, leading him to her home planet.
Before the Storm is a great read for fans of more military-focused novels. It is an excellent look into the politics and workings of the New Republic. Of course, it is also an important book for fans of Luke, as it details an important quest to learn more about his origins.
Planet of Twilight takes place in the early New Republic. Leia is captured by a warlord that seeks to dismantle the New Republic, while Luke hears a message from Callista and seeks to help her, learning much about the Force in the process.
The novel is an exciting story about adventures in the Outer Rim, and is great for fans of Luke and Han. We recommend reading Children of the Jedi beforehand, as Planet of Twilight has ties to Luke’s storyline in that book.
This novel serves as the springboard for the rest of the New Jedi Order series by introducing the Yuuzhan Vong, an invading alien race bent on conquering the galaxy. Luke, Mara Jade, Han, Leia, Chewie, and the Solo children must familiarize themselves with their new adversaries and their strange technology. However, everything comes to a cataclysmic conclusion when the Yuuzhan Vong threaten to demonstrate their very own planet-destroying capabilities.
This novel is required reading for those looking to learn about the most important stories in the EU. It is the start of a long series, and for fans of the EU, Luke, or the Solo family, Vector Prime and the rest of the NJO series are highly recommended.
Outcast is the first novel in the Fate of the Jedi series. It takes place in the aftermath of the reign of Darth Caedus and primarily features Luke Skywalker, Han, Leia, and their children. In Outcast, an arrest order is put out for Luke, the start of anti-Jedi sentiments brewing in the galaxy, forcing Luke’s hand and setting him out on a mission with Ben Skywalker. Outcast is a great start to the Fate of the Jedi series, and continues to develop some of the main stories in the EU.