We're all going to die sometime, so you might as well die pushing the odds for something that matters.
Star Wars. These two words have been so deeply prevalent within pop culture throughout the last 30+ years. Movies, television, books, collectibles, you name it. If something exists, you can almost bet there also exists a version displaying that famous block lettering. Because of this notoriety, it often seems like the latter half of the title gets overlooked.
When all is said and done, these epic stories spanning thousands of light years each boil down to the same concept; galaxy-wide conflicts pitting one soldier against another. The objects of these conflicts vary, as do the participants, but the central theme of one side pulling out all the stops to thwart their enemy is constant. Some fight with ruthless aggression. Others fight with honor and nobility. The one thing they have in common? They all fight.
Behind every military action lies a carefully thought-out strategy devised by the efforts of high-ranking personnel. In Timothy Zahn's Thrawn, witness the meteoric rise of the Empire's most clever and calculating mind as he navigates through the Imperial Academy and quickly ascends the ranks of Imperial Leadership.
In any conflict that span across a galaxy, the obvious key to success is to control the skies. Which is why the newly-formed group of pilots in Alexander Freed's Alphabet Squadron are tasked with tracking down and destroying the mysterious Imperial Shadow Wing who threaten the New Republic in its infancy. Flip over to Legends and join the journey as Wedge Antilles reforms the legendary Rogue Squadron to combat the still-powerful Galactic Empire in Michael Stackpole's X-Wing: Rogue Squadron.
There is an old adage that says "The soldier wins the war". This is no less true for wars fought in a galaxy far, far, away. Experience the triumphs and setbacks of front-line troops in Alexander Freed's Battlefront: Twilight Company, and follow the exploits of Imperial Stormtroopers defecting from the Empire in Allegiance by Timothy Zahn. In Christie Golden's Battlefront II: Inferno Squad, Iden Versio leads a covert op to infiltrate a Rebel cell in the wake of the destruction of the first Death Star. Jump back to the Clone Wars era and observe as a team of highly trained Clone Commandos are thrust together following the Battle of Geonosis and sent on search-and-destroy mission in Karen Traviss' Republic Commando: Hard Contact.
High-flying maneuvers. Last-ditch efforts. Fighting through hopeless odds for that small chance of victory. Experience the famous battles of Star Wars history from fresh perspectives, as well as original characters fighting battles equally important exclusivity contained within these books. Whatever aspect it is that draws you to Military & Warfare themed stories, you're sure to find it in the books listed below.
After stumbling upon an exiled Chiss on an abandoned planet, the Empire quickly realizes they may have found a new weapon. With his powerful intellect and devastating cunning, Thrawn is soon enrolled in the Imperial Academy on Coruscant along with Eli Vanto, new cadet for the Empire, serving as his translator. Despite mounting unhappiness with the unusual pair’s success, Thrawn and Eli climb the ranks in the Imperial military, just in time for a clash with a mysterious adversary known only as Nightswan…
Any villain as monumental as Grand Admiral Thrawn deserves an equally prodigious origin story, and this book delivers. With a healthy serving of mysteries to be solved, this tale of an unlikely alien’s climb to the zenith of the Empire is one of the Zahn’s most intriguing yet.
Deep in the trenches of the Galactic Civil War, there is no more time for games. Rebel Alliance troops must run headfirst into Imperial territory in order to gain ground, risking everything for even the smallest chance of victory.
The fiercest of them all, a group of soldiers bound by loyalty and their collective hatred of the Empire, is known as Twilight Company. Always eager for a fight, they embark on a mission that could jeopardize everything the Alliance has worked for. But if Twilight Company emerges victorious, their efforts could bring new recruits to the cause and increase the Rebellion’s chances of winning the war.
It’s not often we get to see conflicts in the Star Wars saga from the other side’s point of view. In most Star Wars stories, the heroes are Jedi, rebels, the “good guys.” We forget that from the point of view of an Imperial, the rebels are the evil ones, the ones that must be stopped: the “bad guys.”
In Christie Golden’s Inferno Squad, the attack on the first Death Star is an offense that must be avenged. Iden Versio and her team of special Imperial agents must go undercover to infiltrate Saw Gerrera’s group of Partisans and eliminate their threat. A prequel to Battlefront II, this book offers a new perspective on the aftermath of the events of A New Hope and what remaining Imperial troops were forced to endure in order to survive.
From the mind of Battlefront: Twilight Company’s Alexander Freed, Alphabet Squadron (the first book in a planned trilogy) brings us into the lives of the newly minted titular squad of ace fighter pilots led by recent Imperial defector, Yrica Quell. Under the watchful eye and tutelage of both New Republic Intelligence Agent Caern Adan and the illustrious General Hera Syndulla, Quell’s team attempts to coalesce in pursuit of a singular, crucial objective: the eradication of the 204th Imperial Fighter Wing more commonly known as Shadow Wing.
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.
Sometimes allies are found in the most unexpected places. New heroes of the Rebellion, Luke, Han, and Leia learn this lesson when they team up Daric LaRone and his group of defecting stormtroopers to take on pirates who are threatening supply lines of both the Empire and the Rebellion. However, the unlikely allies are not the only ones on the trail of the pirates. Mara Jade, Hand of the Emperor, is also on the way and may have a very different opinion about how things should turn out once the pirates are caught...
Once again, Zahn delivers a rollicking adventure that not only brings back the original cast of heroes and other fan-favorites like Mara Jade, but also makes readers question if they know what truly lies underneath a stormtrooper's helmet.
In his first entry into the groundbreaking X-Wing Series, Michael Stackpole tells the story of Wedge Antilles reforming the legendary Rogue Squadron. This series was the first of the EU that did not feature the “Big Three” of Han, Luke, and Leia. Instead, we are introduced to original characters such as fan-favorites Tycho Celchu, Corran Horn, and Mirax Terrik. Taking place two years following the destruction of the second Death Star, this story focuses on Wedge as he takes on a mission with his newly constructed squadron during the midst of the Galactic Civil War. X-Wing: Rogue Squadron not only sets the stage for the rest series, but also lays major groundwork for the entire Legends EU that follows.