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I've been a fan of the Star Wars movies since I was a kid, but I've never read any of the books. Every time I've thought about reading them, I change my mind because there is so many books, I don't know where to start.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Star_Wars_books

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline_of_books

I don't live anywhere near a public library, and I don't have a lot of money to spend on 200+ books. I'm going to be buying the books for my e-reader with Christmas gift cards.

I've heard about The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn, and The Darth Bane Trilogy by Drew Karpyshyn. The Thrawn Trilogy sounds really good, but since Bane isn't in the movies, is it worth it reading about characters I don't know? Is that one of those books I would have to read more in the universe before reading? Is it any good?

I'm interested in learning more about the characters in the original trilogy and the prequels. So, my question is, how do I read them? Do I read them in chronological order? Will I be completely lost if I read them out of order?

marked as duplicate by Valorum, Null, Kreann, Shevliaskovic, The Fallen Dec 12 '14 at 17:35

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    Do any of these answer your question? scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/… – AncientSwordRage Jan 5 '14 at 23:23
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    Welcome to SFF! Since book recommendations are off-topic here, I've removed that part of your question to avoid it being closed. I've read some of the Thrawn books and quite liked them; I'm looking forward to seeing the answers. – neilfein Jan 5 '14 at 23:32
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The best approach I would recommend is using Star Wars Wikia as your guide.

Read:

  • By character. Find all books mentioning a character on the Wikia page for it.

  • By timeline. There's "New Republic" books (Luke/Han/Leia stuff in 10 or so years past Yavin, chronologically starting with Truce at Bakura and ending with Vision of the Future). You can read specific arcs within that (Han+Leia arc; Mara Jade arc; Thrawn arc). Then there are other timelines (New Jedi Order covering Vong war, Legacy stuff even later on, Clone Wars books, and Old Republic coverng events long before the movies).

  • By events/topics. Again, go into Wikia, pick a set of topics to read about (superweapons) and read the books references on those pages.

  • Chronologically in-universe. SFF.SE has questions covering that.

The important part is that Wikia can help you both guide/focus your interest; AND allow you to fill in holes for things that matter but happened in the books you didn't read; AND allow you to preview what the book covers before buying it.

But do NOT NOT NOT skip Zahn. His books are nearly unanimously among the best in 100s of works of EU material.


P.S. Just to get you even more depressed - you can also waste spend money on comic books and games that contain EU material, some that is interesting/important. Or simply read plot summaries on Wikia :)

  • Definitely agree on Zahn. His books are easily the best of them all, and his Thrawn trilogy is probably the best arc ever written about Star Wars – The Fallen Jan 6 '14 at 2:07
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There's an extensive discussion of the most popular Star Wars books here.

Those written by Timothy Zahn and Kathy Tyers seem to have the most support from fans but with over 200+ published non-canon books, an equal number of ebooks and over 31,000 fanfics (most of which are written as stand-alone stories) you can pretty much dive in wherever you like.

My advice would be to try to work out what you actually want to see more of. If you're into romance then these will probably be your choice, if you're after grittier then these would probably suit you, if you're into Star Wars erotica then fanfiction is definitely going to be your main option.

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  • -1 for "Shadow Moon" in the corner <g> – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 6 '14 at 1:47
  • Do I at least get a +1 for pointing him at Star Wars erotic fanfiction? There's an hour of his life he'll never get back and some images that even mind-bleach won't cleanse... – Valorum Jan 6 '14 at 1:49
  • I was very tempred to edit it with a slightly different Rule 34 link :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 6 '14 at 1:58
  • @Richard: So what mind-bleach level? Are we talkin' Chewie-Yoda-BDSM? – bitmask Jan 6 '14 at 16:14
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    @DVK: Ewwww. No seriously, what's wrong with you? ;) – bitmask Jan 7 '14 at 0:03
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I wanted to add it as a comment to the wiki entry but I have tvtropes.org to be an invaluable resource when determining which books or series to get into in any genres. The have a large entry on the expanded universe here:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse?from=Main.StarWarsExpandedUniverse

you can check out a book or series to get an idea on whether you want to read it or not.

On a side note once you learn which you enjoy due to which trope you can find other materials that use that same mechanic. I find all my new materials jumping around tvtropes.

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    +1 for "I find all my new materials jumping around tvtropes.". That's how I find best webcomics and shows and fanfic lately – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 7 '14 at 1:46

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