"The next generation of Jedi has truly arrived."
Before there was Ben Solo, when Return of the Jedi was still the “new Star Wars movie,” the Expanded Universe ran wild with filling the galaxy with new heroes to carry on the Skywalker/Solo legacy.
Beloved by many as some of the greatest characters ever to generate from the pages of the EU, Jacen and Jaina Solo were the bastion of next-generation Star Wars stories. After all, how many times can Han Solo narrowly escape by the skin of his teeth by smooth-talking his way out of trouble? Sooner or later, more stories demanded new characters.
And what a better way to do so than by having Leia Organa Solo bear not one but two Jedi younglings right out of the gate? Timothy Zahn’s groundbreaking original Thrawn Trilogy not only introduced iconic characters like Mara Jade and Grand Admiral Thrawn, but also planted the seed for future stories by telling of Leia’s pregnancy. Jacen and Jaina's stories represent the depth that was decades of Legends storytelling—seeing the characters emerge as infants, be kidnapped by the Solos' enemies (over and over again—seriously, so many times), training at Jedi boarding school, making friends and enemies of their own, learning to pilot starfighters, construct lightsabers, get in over their heads in whirlwind romances, and even reckon with the dark side.
Although Jacen and Jaina were twins, they were as different as night and day, light and dark. Jaina was the compulsive, hot-headed mechanic and pilot. Her raw talent led the way among the new generation of Jedi students, but her headstrong tendencies often landed her in hot water. Jacen, on the other hand, was more methodical. Contemplative. Introspective, even. He connected more easily with creatures than with people (something which comes into play in a BIG way in the New Jedi Order). His philosophical nature landed him reluctant to take up his Jedi legacy for much of his adolescence, something that brought him into conflict with his younger brother, Anakin. Regardless of their differences, however, the Solos were chosen by the Force to play a major role in galactic events. The fate of the galaxy pivoted around their decisions. And what a wild ride it was.
Although not exhaustive (we couldn’t include all 19 New Jedi Order books on this list, could we?), this collection presents a thorough reading guide to the major events in the lives of two of the greatest Jedi to ever grace the pages of a galaxy far, far away. The Young Jedi Knights are the first books to give the Solo kids the spotlight as leading characters as they train in the Jedi ways at Luke’s temple on Yavin IV. If you find the entire series is a bit long, the first six books form a complete story arc that lands them as tried-and-true Jedi, ready to step up to the plate in saving the galaxy.
Overall, though, the New Jedi Order took their character development into much deeper territory, as is to be expected. Vector Prime got this all started with an excellent re-introduction to all three of the young Solos. From there, Jaina took up the mantle among the greatest starfighter pilots in the galaxy by joining the ranks of none other than Rogue Squadron itself in Mike Stackpole’s Dark Tide duology. Jacen was forced to overcome his philosophical hypotheticals in Balance Point. After the cataclysmic upheaval in Star by Star, Jaina got a character-focused semi-romance novel in Dark Journey, while the legendary Matthew Stover (Revenge of the Sith) wrote one of the most mind-bending Star Wars books ever as Jacen Solo was broken and remade in Traitor. Destiny’s Way saw the new cast of Jedi becoming full-fledged Knights, while Unifying Force brought the series, and the Solo twins' part in the fate of the galaxy, to a shocking conclusion.
Following the New Jedi Order, Troy Denning's Swarm War trilogy was as hard sci-fi as it gets in Star Wars. What's not to love when Jaina melds with the hive-mind of an insectoid species and Jacen learns to time-travel? In a radical change of pace, Legacy of the Force saw both Jacen and Jaina as battle-hardened war veterans. This time, instead of a war against intergalactic invaders, Jacen and Jaina were pitted against each other in a classic Star Wars story of Jedi vs Sith. In Legacy, Jaina took on a whole new set of skills, making her an even more formidable fighter.
Not to give too much away, but let’s just say her journey took her to a planet whose warriors were known for possessing armor impenetrable by the blade of a lightsaber. . .
If you’re new to Legends and want to have an understanding of some of its greatest characters, Jacen and Jaina are a good place to start! Prepare to be inspired, entertained, and emotionally devastated in the way that Star Wars does best.
This volume collects the first three Young Jedi Knights books, Heirs of the Force, Shadow Academy, and The Lost Ones. The series propels Jacen and Jaina Solo into the spotlight as they train to become Jedi at Luke's Jedi Academy on Yavin IV. But when you're an heir to the Skywalker legacy, there's never a dull moment! Jacen, Jaina, their friends Tenel Ka Djo, Lowbacca, and Em Teedee go from one crisis after another—whether it's being captured by Imperials or crash-landing in the untamed jungle on a training exercise.
The second collected paperback is comprised of Lightsabers, Darkest Knight, and Jedi Under Siege. It rounds out the first major story arc of the Young Jedi Knights series, as Jacen, Jaina, and the students at Luke's Jedi Academy on Yavin IV face off against the Dark Jedi Brakiss, his apprentice Zekk, and the Shadow Academy.
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.
Picking up where Vector Prime leaves off, Dark Tide: Onslaught gives us our first glimpse into the fallout from the initial Yuuzhan Vong incursion. In an effort to learn more about this foreign race, and with little assistance from the New Republic, Luke Skywalker takes it upon himself to dispatch a number of small teams on various missions across the galaxy involving recon, rescue, and recovery. As is often the case, these missions end up being much more than meets the eye, as the heroes of this New Jedi Order find themselves pushed to their limits...
The second installment in the Dark Tide duology sees various attempts to stop the Yuuzhan Vong: Caamasi Senator Elegos A’Kla seeks peace through diplomatic negotiations, Corran Horn investigates a spore native to the planet of Ithor capable of weakening the Vong’s crab armor, while Jaina Solo makes a military alliance with Jagged Fel and the Chiss Defense Force, as well as Gilad Pellaeon and the Imperial Remnant. The Vong unleash a planet-annihilating force of destruction upon the peaceful planet of Ithor. To save it, Corran Horn must challenge Shedao Shai into an honor-duel upon which the fate of an entire planet hinges.
One of the five hardbacks of the New Jedi Order, Balance Point primarily revolves around the Battle of Duro. It also includes interesting points that propel the story into the future—Jacen's vision of the future, Leia kidnapped by Warmaster Tsavong Lah, and Jacen having to cross the precipice into embracing his calling as a Jedi.
Star by Star is a major turning point in the New Jedi Order series. A massive strike team consisting of Jacen, Jaina, Anakin, and many other young Jedi must infiltrate a Yuuzhan Vong worldship. They are tasked with taking out a cloning lab for voxyn—vicious beasts bred from the vornskyrs native to Mykyr—who specialize in hunting Jedi. The mission is incredibly hard-fought and has devastating consequences for our heroes, for whom life will never be the same.
In one of the most existential Star Wars novels ever written, Jacen Solo is broken and remade at the hands of the Yuuzhan Vong and the enigmatic ex-Jedi Vergere. After his capture in the mission to Myrkyr, Jacen must battle both the Vong and himself from behind enemy lines. This book irrevocably changes Jacen Solo, and, consequentially, the galaxy itself.
Jaina Solo must deal with the fallout of the catastrophic mission to Myrkyr in Star by Star, as well as navigate the complicated love triangle in which she finds herself. Torn between her grief and multiple potential suitors, she must find herself in the midst of a dark downward spiral. This book also sees the return of several of the major players from The Courtship of Princess Leia, as Hapan politics once again catches up to the Solo family.
One of the five original hardcover tentpole books of the New Jedi Order, Destiny's Way is a pivotal book in the grand scheme of galactic politics. A new government is forming to better handle the galactic shakeup that has come at the hands of the Yuuzhan Vong. Luke Skywalker positions the Jedi to be major players in galactic events and inducts a new class of Jedi Knights into a now fully-formed Jedi Order. But disparate factions within the government propose various solutions to the Yuuzhan Vong problem—including biological warfare that would exterminate the Vong in their entirety.
The Yuuzhan Vong near ultimate victory in their quest to conquer the galaxy. The floundering Alliance is on the brink of total collapse. Meanwhile, some of its greatest heroes have vanished in its most dire time of need. However, an uprising from among the Yuuzhan Vong’s own ranks and a strange new toxin known as Alpha Red offer a small ray of hope. As the final moves of the war are made, Luke, Han, and Leia are desperate to stop the Yuuzhan Vong and save their galaxy once and for all...no matter the cost.
With this novel, James Luceno takes readers on one final ride in the climactic conclusion of the lengthy New Jedi Order series.
Where do you go after a 19-book series like the New Jedi Order? Into a hive of mind-controlling space bugs, obviously! Troy Denning goes full-throttle on this incredibly off-kilter sci-fi series. Jacen is dark and broody, Leia training as a Jedi, and a crazed Dark Jedi Alema Rar on a rampage.
Jacen Solo is one of the most well-developed characters in the Legends timeline. His experiences in the hands of Vergere and the Yuuzahn Vong changed him irrevocably. He saved the galaxy once, but to what lengths is he willing to go in order to save it again? Betrayal takes his story in a new direction, reintroducing a villain from the original Marvel comics, Lumiya, who guides Jacen along a dark path. All the while, Jacen is serving as the Jedi teacher to his nephew, Ben Skywalker, and the Skywalker and Solo clans might be torn apart along family lines.
It would be helpful to have read the New Jedi Order before starting Legacy of the Force, but we realize that's a tall order. At the very least, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the main characters and with Jacen's torture at the hands of Vergere in Traitor before diving in.
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!
The third entry in the Legacy of the Force series revolves around the planet Hapes and Jacen's lover, Jedi and Queen Mother Tenel Ka. Because of her loyalty to Jacen, she has sided with the Alliance against Corellia. But she faces opposition from within as the cutthroat political rivals on Hapes hire bounty hunters to eliminate her. Han and Leia go to Hapes to reason with Tenel Ka, unknowingly stepping into a flashfire that will incur the wrath of Jacen, who blames them for the upheaval.
Troy Denning seizes the opportunity to weave deranged Dark Jedi Alema Rarr into the plot. She looks to assassinate Jacen, but is secretly sought after by Jagged Fel, who is exiled by the Chiss.
As the fourth book in nine book series, this novel continues to build on the plot lines of books 1-3. Exile also brings back Wedge, Lando, and Booster to help aid the main characters and their plot points. The story is told from multiple character perspectives and is packed with steady action.
We begin with Han and Leia in exile, Jacen Solo continues to struggle, while the tensions between the Alliance and the Confederation are at an all time high, and Ben Skywalker embarks on a solo mission that seems key to his character's development.
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.
Inferno is a critical turning point in the Legacy of the Force series. Darth Caedus sends troops to arrest Han and Leia Solo, Ben Skywalker looks for his chance to strike, and the great forests of Kashyyyk are burned to the ground! It's jam-packed with the action, heartbreak, and deception that makes Legacy of the Force such a great series.
Darth Caedus, formerly Jacen Solo, kidnaps his daughter, Allana, from Hapes, threatening her life if her mother Tenel Ka doesn’t pledge Hapes to the Galactic Alliance. Tenel Ka turns to the Jedi for help rather than caving in to Caedus’s pressure. Meanwhile, Han and Leia track down the ever elusive Dark Jedi Alema Rar. As Caedus continues his domination, he turns his sights on obtaining a super weapon: Centerpoint Station.
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.
In the final, explosive conclusion to the incredible Legacy of the Force series, we see Jaina Solo go toe-to-toe with Darth Caedus. But it's not a 400 page lightsaber battle—Invincible brings absolutely every player to the table and lays it all on the line. Anything and everything you could want in a Legends book is here, complete with massive space battles, infiltration missions, Jedi strike teams, emotional gut punches, kidnapping, and of course one heck of a lightsaber duel.