Whether you enjoy the action-shooter mayhem of Battlefront II, the single-player campaign of Jedi: Fallen Order, or the massively multiplayer world of The Old Republic, Star Wars video games hold a unique place in the EU by letting you take control of your favorite characters in a galaxy far, far away. But these stories don’t end when you put down the controller. The EU boasts a bevy of novel and comic tie-ins to your favorite games. Want to know how Iden Versio became the leader of Inferno Squad? Curious about that radio chatter regarding Theta Squad in Republic Commando? You’ll find the answers within this collection.
As the video game industry continues to grow, tie-in novels and comics are front and center at the launch of a new Star Wars game. While the medium’s earliest spin-offs remain often overlooked, they set the precedent for expanding their respective in-game worlds, paving the way for series that marked significant eras in Star Wars publishing history.
With the first Star Wars video game tie-ins dating back as far as the ‘90s, quite a few of these reads land squarely in the Legends realm, while more recent Canon entries include the Battlefront novels and the Jedi: Fallen Order comic miniseries. There’s a lot of history here, and each book gives us a fascinating snapshot of the changing video game landscape as well as its connection to the EU. For this collection, we’re listing those books that are direct spin-offs of their respective video games.
So hit PAUSE, and let’s explore what’s on this list.
Reaching back in time, we start off with the Dark Forces series, one of the earliest Star Wars game spin-offs, notable for detailing the partial theft of the original Death Star plans. Then we move on to the fan-favorite Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire multimedia project, which included a novel and comic line, before breaking into the millennium with 2002’s Starfighter: Crossbones, a limited series comic follow up to Star Wars: Starfighter. Shortly after, The Ruins of Dantooine gave us an unusual prophetic glimpse at a famous future storyline with an Imperial defector named Finn, and the Knights of the Old Republic comic series followed up the smash hit RPG of the same name.
By the early 2000s, video game spin-offs were becoming a true force as the galaxy brimmed with interactive content. In 2004, Republic Commando: Hard Contact kicked off a heavy-hitting series based on its successful first person shooter, much to the delight of gamers who wanted more clone trooper action. The Force Unleashed and its sequel would soon see their respective novelizations hit shelves, followed by The Old Republic novels and comics, which expanded on their already vast massively multiplayer online world.
Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012 would send waves through the EU, formalizing the Legends and Canon timelines and resulting in the Battlefront series becoming the first direct video game Canon tie-in novels. Jedi: Fallen Order: Dark Temple limited comic series followed, preparing gamers for Cal Kestis’s sprawling adventure set shortly after Order 66.
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After graduating the Imperial Military Academy, Stormtrooper Cadet Kyle Katarn is singled out as Force-sensitive by Inquisitor Jerec, who suggests the young leader pursue more powerful career paths. However, Kyle soon discovers the Empire is concealing the true nature of a Rebel attack that destroyed his home village and killed his father. Eyes open to the Empire’s vile tactics, Kyle swears vengeance on the regime he once served. When the Rebel Alliance offers him a dangerous mission to steal the plans to the Empire’s superweapon, the Death Star, Kyle finds his opportunity for retribution.
The Empire Strikes Back was a big hit, as was Return of the Jedi. But many fans wondered what our heroes were up to in preparation for Han’s rescue at Jabba’s palace. Shadows of the Empire fills the blanks in between the two films and gained enough popularity to be released in various media like comic adaptations, video games, and action figures.
Shadows of the Empire Omnibus collects three comic series from the Shadows of the Empire multimedia project.
Set shortly after the events of Episode V, Shadows of the Empire sees Luke, Leia and Chewbacca set out to stop Boba Fett from delivering Han Solo’s carbonite-frozen body to Jabba the Hutt. They quickly find themselves targeted by Darth Vader, who still hopes to turn his son to the dark side, and crime lord Xizor of the Black Sun syndicate, who wants to deliver Luke to the Emperor first so he can usurp Vader’s position.
Shadows of the Empire: Evolution follows Xizor’s former assassin, Guri, a gorgeous human-replica droid left reeling from the events of the first series. As Guri discovers her human side, the Rebels and a host of bounty hunters search for her to unlock the powerful secrets buried within her droid mind.
Finally, in Mara Jade: By the Emperor’s Hand, Mara Jade embarks on her final mission as the Emperor’s assassin. Sent to take down a crime lord who hopes to reestablish the Black Sun syndicate, Mara’s life is soon thrown into chaos by the Rebel victory at Endor and the death of her Master. She vows to complete her final assignment, but knows that success may very well cost her life.
Starfighter: Crossbones is a limited series spin-off of 2001’s Starfighter video game. Set eight years after the Battle of Naboo, pirate-turned-mercenary Nym is recruited to hunt down Sol Sixxa, the pirate who led a vicious attack on the planet Maramere.
The Ruins of Dantooine is a strong tie-in novel to the game play of the now defunct Star Wars Galaxies game. The species that are described within the pages are species that were available for selection during the character creation screens of the game. The same goes for the locations of the novel and so on.
Whether you are familiar with the game, this is still a fun and interesting adventure that any reader can connect with. The authors fluidly write an enticing story with hints of mortal peril, cameos from the major film characters and examples as to why someone might choose to betray the Empire and join the Rebellion.
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.
What if Vader had taken on a forbidden apprentice with whom he planned to overthrow the Emperor’s reign? The Force Unleashed answers this question by following the story of the nameless apprentice as he carries out several missions at Vader’s bidding. However, as he explores the galaxy and builds new relationships with those other than his merciless master, the apprentice begins to question his own role in the fate of the galaxy.
In The Force Awakens, Sean Williams composes a brand new story perfectly wedged into a well-known time period complete with a full cast of refreshing new characters. As a stand-alone or a part of the larger saga, this story is a fun read for any fan.
In the second installment of this series, a new version of Starkiller returns! However, this Starkiller is desperate to break free of Vader’s influence, knowing that his master has no loyalty to him. With a head full of memories and Force visions that don’t add up, Starkiller escapes and searches for the comrades he once knew: Juno and Kota. With the right help, Starkiller has one mission in mind: to end his struggle with Darth Vader once and for all.
Sean Williams manages to further enmesh Starkiller into the fabric of the Original Trilogy by pulling in even more familiar faces. Fans of Starkiller, Darth Vader, or avid video gamers who want to read the story they’ve already played should definitely pick this up.
Based on the video game Star Wars: the Old Republic, Sean William’s novel launches a four book tie-in series. A prestigious auction held by the Hutt cartel causes a stir in the galaxy. As representatives gather to bid for the right to a dangerous treasure, an unlikely alliance unites in the form of a Republic envoy, Sith Apprentice, Jedi Padawan, Republic Black Star trooper, and a mysterious Mandalorian, all in an effort to steal the prize.
Darth Malgus is a testament to how the Sith embrace emotions to fuel their power, as opposed to the Jedi who shun those feelings altogether. He will do whatever it takes to keep his power in check, even if it tears him up inside. But that’s how the Sith operate. Pain and anguish only makes them stronger.
With Revan no longer an obstacle, the Sith move in on the Jedi temple on Coruscant to eradicate the enemy with Darth Malgus leading the attack. When Malgus learns that the Sith Empire and Galactic Republic were planning a peace treaty, he takes matters into his own hands to prevent such a disgraceful act that would only cease their growing strength.
Being a Jedi turned Sith and finding redemption, Revan has become one of the most powerful Force users by practicing balance between the light and dark sides. Learning how he broke free of the dark side but continuing to draw on its power of his own will puts powerful Force use into perspective.
This novel takes place after the Knights of the Old Republic video game, starting with Revan and Bastilla contemplating their future together. But a threat to the galaxy begins to reveal itself, forcing Revan to leave his wife and unborn child behind to make sure the world is a safe place for his family in the years to come. On the way he encounters Scourge, a Sith strong in the dark side of the Force who intends to break his willpower.
Darth Karrid will stop at nothing to reign over the Sith Empire. When she takes command of the superweapon the Ascendant Spear, the Republic knows they must destroy the colossal battle cruiser or risk total galactic conquest by the Sith. In a desperate attempt to turn the tides of war, Theron Shan, the non-Force wielding son of a prestigious Jedi Master, enacts a plan to infiltrate the Ascendant Spear and take down Karrid before it’s too late."
This massive comics collection begins legendary Star Wars writer John Jackson Miller’s seminal run of Knights of the Old Republic. Not to be confused with the video game of the same title, Miller’s comics focus on Jedi-on-the-run Zayne Carrick as he is framed for a massacre of Padawans. In order to survive and find who’s responsible, he is forced into an unconventional alliance with an unscrupulous band of misfits. Set almost four thousand years BBY, the series is set during the Mandalorian Wars, which serves as the catalyst event leading into the KOTOR video game. Knights of the Old Republic ran for fifty issues and was one of Dark Horse’s best selling comics series.
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.
Set before the events of the hit video game Jedi: Fallen Order, the Dark Temple limited series follows impulsive Jedi Cere Junda and her master Eno Cordova as they travel to the planet Ontotho to settle a conflict regarding a mysterious temple holding dark secrets.