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‘Star Wars’ Expanded Universe: Where Should a New Reader Begin?

‘Star Wars’ Expanded Universe: Where Should a New Reader Begin?

When it comes to the novels of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, we have a literal (and literary) embarrassment of riches:  a wonderful saga that could rival any in the history of mankind. Authors have explored this rich setting and its characters for decades now, and there’s still plenty left to see. Characters like Luke Skywalker, Mara Jade and Darth Vader will probably ascend into the mythological ranks to join Gilgamesh, Vainamoinen and Beowulf in future centuries. Who knows? thousands of years from now our descendants may look at the constellations anew, renaming them in honor of these mythic characters. As a Star Wars fan, I feel proud to be a part of this legacy.

That being said, I often wonder what a good beginning point would be for a new reader in the Star Wars universe. Should I recommend Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire? Stackpole’s X-Wing: Rogue Squadron? What about the Fate of the Jedi books? Something else? It can be a daunting task: recommend the wrong book and you may lose a reader forever.

With this in mind, I turn to you, dear readers and Star Wars scholars, with this question: What is your recommendation for a reader’s first Star Wars novel? Assume that our hypothetical reader is familiar with all six films and enjoyed them all equally, and generally enjoys science fiction literature. Where would you tell him or her to begin?

53 Responses to “‘Star Wars’ Expanded Universe: Where Should a New Reader Begin?”

  1. Cameron says:

    I started with “Shadows of the Empire,” and it, being set within the movies, was a great starting point. ‘Heir’ is the favorite here, and it’s a great book, but I also recommend a film adaptation, particularly the stunning “Revenge of the Sith” novel by Stover. Other options would be to explore the horror entries “Death Troopers” and “Red Harvest,” as they require little backstory. I later dove into “Fate of the Jedi” and love the Legacy Era now. I had to look some things up and put things together, but I love it!

  2. Oance Raul Calin says:

    And I started to write a book,called “THE SITH RETURNS-THE REIGN OF DARTH URIEL EXOR”,the plot takes place on 80.000 ABY,where a non-sensitive being,finds an ancient sword,used by a “hiemps”(my own species)and infuse it with the Dark Side of the Force,so the sword changes into a “darksaber”(lightningsaber),somehow that hiemps is destroyed,but his sword will be found by an Yetsar(my own species,in the book is detailed,so I will say on short),who is a non-sensitive,but in the mean time,the ancient sword will infuse him with dark energy,thus this will change his body,

    “The darksaber grew so powerful,that Frassta Uri could not control it anymore,as a result,the darksaber took his mind and made him lose his sanity.
    The dark energy,with a mixture of red and blue lightning,enveloped his whole body,the eyes changed from white to dark black,from his veins began to flow purple blood,the hair became from white to red,his teeth have fallen down on the ground.
    After that, he started to fell from height,most of his neurons were decimated permanently,but especially the power of the dark side,made him also to lose weight,his skin went into a state of decay only just in a few moments….”

    His eyes,especially the left one,was petrified by the dark energy,his feet disappeared,the arms and hands were totally with no skin,his red hair disappeared in air,taken by the wind.”

    “After Frassta-Vir become chancellor,she took the remains of Frassta-Uri and put them in the system “Caligo-Nox”-a system with no life support,only “empty” energy.Because the remains of Frassta-Uri grew so full of dark energy,that he was a threat to all kind of beings.
    But this was not the end,it looks like the “empty” energy consumed his most dark energy,but in the same time,through that process, he was resurrected,and gave him abilities beyond those of a Sith Lord.
    In that “emptyness” and silence,Frassta-Uri opens his right eye,he starts moving his hands…”

    -Where am I?(being unconscious)
    -What is this place?
    -I am alive!(after he figured out what happened with him)
    -I can feel the Dark Side…,how is flowing through me.
    -I knew it,my hatred kept me alive,the Dark Side resurrected me,I will bring terror over the Jedi Order,and I shall rule the Yetsar.The darkness is my ally.I have reborn!
    -Frassta-Uri is gone,I am “Darth Uriel Exor”,the Lord of Death.-Making referring to his new acquired powers and second life.

    On short he found someone who built for him a battlesuit,which serves both as “battlesuit” and koltotank,this is a phrase to describe it:

    “From the depth of the shadows and mightiness,his new flesh appeared,very fearsome,where only the bravest could see something like this…and to live on again.
    Indeed,a great power is in that battlesuit,but also a great doom”-Farasty Blair’s thoughts about the battlesuit.

    So what do you think my friends,it’s interesting this story,?

  3. Elliot Brack says:

    I started in 2006 by reading a book from the legacy era (I saw one of the books in Iraq at a PX store and bought it to have something to read, being a Star Wars fan it help me escape from the nasty reality I was living in to the beloved Star Wars world). I was so interested and wowed by the characters that I looked at the beginning of the timeline (For novels) and started from the beginning of the timeline. I read and bought every book on the timeline and even getting into the graphic novels now. I am up to The Fate of the Jedi, but went back to read the new books coming out.
    My favorite was the Commando series by Karen Traviss. Got to love those Mandalorians.

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