Many underestimate the power of Star Wars storytelling. These unforgettable characters and unparalleled storylines aren’t just found on tv. They are found in various Star Wars canon books as well. These books are written by a variety of talented authors who further the stories of many characters we know and love.
In addition to beloved characters, they introduce new ones not seen on the screen. Planets we see in the movies and tv series are brought to life in each book, along with new ones yet to be explored.
When you think of Star Wars you immediately think of the range of characters. From evil Sith Lords to adorable Grogu, the series’ characters are unmatched. Along with characters, every movie and show have incredible storylines. From dangerous battles, heart breaking love stories, and extensive character arcs, Star Wars does it all.
The Star Wars canon was reclassified when Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2014. Previous novels which were part of the Expanded Universe are now classified as Star Wars Legends.
Star Wars Canon Books
If you are ready to read, here are the best 12 Star Wars Canon books!
12. Alphabet Squadron
This book is set after Return of the Jedi. After the fall of the Empire, the Imperial Army is flailing. Hera Syndulla, from Rebels, gathers a rag-tag team of five pilots. Their goal is to track down the Shadow Wing.
Shadow Wing is an infamous group of TIE fighter pilots creating havoc and destruction throughout the galaxy. They gathered together in the aftermath of the Emperor’s death.
Yrica Quell is chosen to join the rag-tag team, Alphabet Squadron, from her new life as a deserter of the Empire. She and the other members of the team must learn to work together and how to survive and thrive in their new life. Their new goal–to protect the peace of the galaxy.
11. Queen’s Shadow
One of E.K. Johnston’s many books is Queen’s Shadow. Queen’s Shadow focuses on Padme Amidala, a fan favorite, and Anakin’s love. It is the first book in a trilogy.
The movies The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones show Padme going from Queen to Senator. However, we don’t get an in-depth idea of how that transition went for her.
In Queen’s Shadow, Padme readily steps down as queen, ready to return to a normal life. To her surprise, she is asked to continue serving Naboo, but this time as a senator.
Padme and her handmaid Sabe work together to figure out the new road as a politician while still working for the causes close to Padme’s heart. Queen’s Shadow dives further into the character of Padme and her handmaids, revealing their true bravery and dedication to the service of others in the galaxy.
10. Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule
A great addition to the Star Wars canon, the first book in The High Republic Series, Light of the Jedi is set centuries before The Phantom Menace. It is the first in a series of 11.
Light of the Jedi follows the powerful Jedi during their Golden Age. There is peace and security throughout the galaxy until a ship is torn to pieces in hyperspace. This destruction threatens the peace and safety of the entire galaxy.
Led by Jedi Avar Kriss, multiple Jedi are sent to investigate the destruction of this ship. They must rely on the Force and each other to save the galaxy from an even more sinister force growing. This series introduces one of the few Wookiee Jedi.
9. Lost Stars
For those who love Star Wars and romance, Lost Stars is the perfect book for you. It follows the tale of two pilots–Thane Kyrell and Ciena Ree who grew up together on the same planet. Due to their piloting skills, they both have the opportunity to enroll at the Imperial Academy.
Due to further inspection of the evil tactics the Empire uses to maintain control, Thane instead decides to join the Rebellion instead of enrolling at the Imperial Academy.
Ciena, who decides to enroll, is then put in the position where she must decide between her loyalty to the Empire and her love for Thane. This book follows the question, will the galaxy tear them apart, or will their love conquer all?
Written by Claudia Gray, the same author as Lost Stars, Bloodline precedes The Force Awakens. It follows Leia Organa serving as a member of the Galactic Senate in the New Republic. She hoped the end of the Empire would lead to lasting peace, unfortunately, it seems to have not.
As senators are calling for the election of the First Senator in an attempt to keep the fragile peace, Leia grapples with doubts. With the rise of chaos from Imperial Loyalists, evil politicians, and underground movements, Leia must decide how to best keep the threats at bay.
For those who love the newer additions of Star Wars movies, this book is a great choice for you. It gives further insight into what happened right after the Empire was destroyed. Additionally, it gives added insight into the events preceding The Force Awakens.
7. Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson
A formidable character introduced in The Force Awakens was Captain Phasma. Besides her unique metallic silver armor and mercilessness, not much else was revealed about her character in the movies. Phasma gives you a further peek into who she was and how she became a part of the First Order.
A crimson stormtrooper–Cardinal wants the knowledge of Phasma’s past. He has captured a Resistance spy who knows the information he so desperately desires. The spy goes through brutal interrogation by Cardinal in hopes she will reveal what he wants. However, once he receives the information from her, it holds more danger than he expected. He faces the wrath of Captain Phasma with his newly gained knowledge.
A formidable character first introduced in A New Hope and seen in Clone Wars, Rebels, and Rogue One, is further explored in Tarkin by James Luceno. Truly evil and a renowned hater of clones, the book about Tarkin is set five years after the Revenge of the Sith.
Tarkin has risen through the Imperial Ranks, finding himself as an advisor to the Emperor. He helps oversee the creation of the Death Star. The weapon, he believes, will lead to the total annihilation of the last of the Separatist, Republic, and Rebel forces.
While it is being created though, he must help deal with the pockets of insurrection. The Emperor turns to Darth Vader and Tarkin to take down a group of elusive freedom fighters. Together they use their cold-blooded tactics to pave the way for the new Empire and their enemies’ extinction.
5. Aftermath Trilogy (Series)
Written by Chuck Wendig, this trilogy occurs after Return of the Jedi. It follows the destruction of the Empire. Rebel forces scurry to hunt down the remaining forces of the Empire before they can gather together. Wedge Antilles discovers Star Destroyers converging, but is captured before he can get the news to Rebel forces.
Norra Wexley returns from fighting as a Rebel pilot to her homeland. She hopes to regroup and recuperate from the war but intercepts a distress call sent from Wedge. She, her son, a Zabrak bounty hunter, and an Imperial Defector team together for a rescue mission. They know they must do whatever it takes to rescue Wedge and end the Empire’s reign of terror.
This series follows the missions of this unlikely group. Additionally, it goes to known worlds such as Kashyyyk. Characters Han, Leia, and Chewbacca make appearances as well.
In another book written by E.K. Johnston, Ahsoka follows Ahsoka’s story after leaving the Jedi Order and after Order 66. This book was written before the last season of The Clone Wars came out, so some minor details and conversations from it differ from the show. Despite these discrepancies, it still is a wonderful read!
Ahsoka loved being a part of the Jedi Order. She loved her connection to other Jedi, protecting others in the galaxy, and growing her knowledge of the Force. However, when she was wrongly framed for something, she didn’t do, she was kicked out of the order. Even though proven innocent and welcomed back, she chose not to return.
Then the horror of Order 66 happened and the Jedi were destroyed. Although, no longer a Jedi, Ahsoka’s life is still in danger. Alone and forced to take on a false identity and name, Ahsoka must learn how to survive in the wake of the fall of the Republic.
When the Empire comes to occupy the planet, she came to for refuge, she must decide if she should become involved or not. Does she decide to protect her identity or help those she has befriended on the occupied planet?
3. Brotherhood by Mike Chen
Possibly the two most beloved characters in Star Wars–Anakin and Obi-Wan, are portrayed in this novel by Mike Chen. As its name states, it follows the brotherly bond the two men share as they draw closer to the time of the Revenge of the Sith. It also shows Anakin’s transition from Padawan to Knight.
An explosion on Cato Neimoidia leads to the dispatch of Obi-Wan to investigate and strive for diplomatic solutions. He works with a Neimoidian guard to get to the bottom of the issue while discovering the Separatists and Asajj Ventress’s hands in the works.
While Obi-Wan is away investigating, Anakin becomes a Jedi Knight. As always, Anakin, the rebellious Jedi, disregards orders and requests and comes to the aid of Obi-Wan. He also decides to bring along a youngling.
With Anakin’s new ranking, he finds himself on the same level as Obi-Wan. Brotherhood follows their attempt to find a new dynamic between themselves, as they are no longer masters and apprentices. To save Cato Neimoidia and work together, they must learn to accept their newfound brotherhood.
2. Lords of the Sith
Two of the most infamous Sith–Lord Vader and Emperor Palpatine show their power throughout the movie series. We see their relationship develop before they became masters and apprentices, but we see very little of their relationship during it. Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp explores their dynamic during this time.
On the planet Ryloth, Cham Syndulla, and Isval lead a resistance movement. Ryloth, essential to the reign of the Empire due to its slave labor and spice, must be controlled. Emperor Palpatine and Lord Vader go on a mission to ensure its control.
Cham and Isval see this as the perfect opportunity to strike at the heart of the Empire. The mission for Vader and Palpatine proves to test their strength and unity. Will their lust for power, control of the dark side, and former friendship bond them as indestructible allies or tear them apart as formidable foes?
1. Thrawn (Series) by Timothy Zahn
One favorite Star Wars villain–Thrawn, was first introduced in books. Timothy Zahn originally wrote a trilogy in the ’90s. The trilogy and the character’s creation led to an incredible extension of the Star Wars expanded universe.
However, the original series is no longer canon. Zahn was asked to rewrite another Thrawn series though. That series is the one spoken of here and is a part of the canon.
The Thrawn Trilogy follows the ruthless warrior Thrawn. He is rescued from exile by soldiers of the Empire. After his rescue, the Emperor catches wind of his deadly powers and abilities. His lust for power, dedication to the Empire, and fighting abilities lead him to do difficult missions of domination for the Emperor.
As he gains the trust of the Emperor and grows in prestige and power, Thrawn gains the rank of Admiral. With his newfound power, he must help maintain the Emperor’s grip on the galaxy while feeding his thirst for power.
I cannot be the only one who was relieved to see Lando survive the Sequel Trilogy. Who knows, they even left the door open for a side story about him and Jannah. At least to me, it looked like they were teasing a father-daughter moment there at the end of the movie.
Anyway, Lando’s Luck is a book that focuses on a time long before the Sequel Trilogy when Lando was still the owner of the Millennium Falcon. I cannot tell you a lot about the plot but expect countless entertaining moments that will make you laugh and a surprisingly adventurous story.
If you enjoyed the way Lando looked in Solo: A Star Wars Story and you wish L3-37 received more time to shine, then go and grab this book immediately.
No matter if you are a lover of well-known characters or love to discover new ones, there is a Star Wars book for you! If you love romance, war, intrigue, or just a great story there are a variety of authors, books, and storylines to choose from.
As always, Star Wars always delivers an interesting story with unforgettable characters. Come back to this list whenever you need help deciding which Canon book to read next!