“Wars do not make one great.” — Yoda
What does it mean to be a hero?
By definition a hero is someone admired for their bravery when faced with a challenge. In the context of a war in the stars, most idolized are the heroes of the battlefield. Until the end of the Clone Wars, the Jedi were the Galactic Republic’s heroes. Following the defeat of Emperor Palpatine, Luke Skywalker and his allies made the ultimate sacrifices to save the galaxy.
But not all heroes wear armor. Some of them forgo helmets and blasters in exchange for diplomacy or knowledge.
Star Wars has opened fans’ eyes to the many different forms of heroism that can exist in a single galaxy. You can be a senator’s daughter; the son of a Jedi; a queen. You can also be a smuggler; a former stormtrooper; a nobody from nowhere. No matter who you are or where you come from, you, too, can be a hero.
The expanded tales of your favorite Star Wars heroes are waiting for you. Here’s our list of top picks from the Star Wars timeline.
Our team is hard at work building out this collection. Stay tuned!
Books in this Collection
Following Order 66, General Obi Wan Kenobi vanished from the galaxy along with all the other Jedi. Years later, he re-emerged as a crazy old hermit by the name of Ben to play a hand in the fate of the galaxy. However, much more happened in the preceding years than one might expect. Even on a backwater planet like Tatooine, there is conflict, and soon Ben finds himself wrapped up in a decades-long feud between the moisture farmers and their arch nemeses, the Tusken Raiders. Ben must find a way to get to the bottom of an ever-deepening mystery that lies beneath the conflict while also keeping his identity—and his true purpose on Tatooine—a secret.
Kenobi is hands down one of the best books in the Expanded Universe. John Jackson Miller crafted a well-written, easy-to-read piece that not only focuses on one of the most beloved characters in all of Star Wars, but also manages to fill in a crucial gap in the story between movie trilogies. It takes the Western influences in Star Wars and runs with them to create not only an engaging story, but an essential one.
The Republic has fallen.
Sith Lords rule the galaxy.
Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi has lost everything . . .
Everything but hope.
Tatooine—a harsh desert world where farmers toil in the heat of two suns while trying to protect themselves and their loved ones from the marauding Tusken Raiders. A backwater planet on the edge of civilized space. And an unlikely place to find a Jedi Master in hiding, or an orphaned infant boy on whose tiny shoulders rests the future of a galaxy.
Known to locals only as “Ben,” the bearded and robed offworlder is an enigmatic stranger who keeps to himself, shares nothing of his past, and goes to great pains to remain an outsider. But as tensions escalate between the farmers and a tribe of Sand People led by a ruthless war chief, Ben finds himself drawn into the fight, endangering the very mission that brought him to Tatooine.
Ben—Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, hero of the Clone Wars, traitor to the Empire, and protector of the galaxy’s last hope—can no more turn his back on evil than he can reject his Jedi training. And when blood is unjustly spilled, innocent lives threatened, and a ruthless opponent unmasked, Ben has no choice but to call on the wisdom of the Jedi—and the formidable power of the Force—in his never-ending fight for justice.
Master & Apprentice
The relationship between Jedi Master and Padawan is tumultuous as often as it is tight. Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi Wan Kenobi know this fact all too well. In the midst of their struggles to work together, Qui-Gon gets an offer that would allow them to part ways forever. However, after being sent on what may be their final mission together, Qui-Gon begins have visions that cast everyone’s future into doubt.
Claudia Gray once again does what she does best by delivering a moving, impactful story that delves into big questions surrounding the Force. She was entrusted with hugely important characters and uses them expertly.
An unexpected offer threatens the bond between Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi as the two Jedi navigate a dangerous new planet and an uncertain future.
A Jedi must be a fearless warrior, a guardian of justice, and a scholar in the ways of the Force. But perhaps a Jedi’s most essential duty is to pass on what they have learned. Master Yoda trained Dooku; Dooku trained Qui-Gon Jinn; and now Qui-Gon has a Padawan of his own. But while Qui-Gon has faced all manner of threats and danger as a Jedi, nothing has ever scared him like the thought of failing his apprentice.
Obi-Wan Kenobi has deep respect for his Master, but struggles to understand him. Why must Qui-Gon so often disregard the laws that bind the Jedi? Why is Qui-Gon drawn to ancient Jedi prophecies instead of more practical concerns? And why wasn’t Obi-Wan told that Qui-Gon is considering an invitation to join the Jedi Council—knowing it would mean the end of their partnership? The simple answer scares him: Obi-Wan has failed his Master.
When Jedi Rael Averross, another former student of Dooku, requests their assistance with a political dispute, Jinn and Kenobi travel to the royal court of Pijal for what may be their final mission together. What should be a simple assignment quickly becomes clouded by deceit, and by visions of violent disaster that take hold in Qui-Gon’s mind. As Qui-Gon’s faith in prophecy grows, Obi-Wan’s faith in him is tested—just as a threat surfaces that will demand that Master and apprentice come together as never before, or be divided forever.
After the events of Order 66, survivors of the Jedi Purge must navigate the galaxy undetected. It's been a year since Ahsoka Tano watched the Galactic Republic fall, and she's leaving yet another planet to dodge Imperial suspicion and start over. Again. Something strange is happening, however, and she can't help but let her curiosity get her into serious trouble.
E.K. Johnston's young adult novel builds an important bridge between the Ahsoka we knew from The Clone Wars and the Fulcrum we meet in Star Wars Rebels. It's in this story that our hero must come to terms with her past and discover the role she is meant to play in her darkened galaxy's future.
After the fall of the Empire, the Senate is split into the Populist and Centrist parties. Both profess the goal of restoring the Republic, though they are unable to set aside their opposing views. Tired of the pointless bickering within the Senate, Leia takes on one final mission before retiring. However, the mission proves to be bigger than she originally thought, inducing chaos and unveiling corruption.
Leave it to Claudia Gray to make politics exciting with action and drama! Bloodline is also an excellent gateway into the sequel trilogy, making this an essential read for fans interested in that era.
WITNESS THE BIRTH OF THE RESISTANCE
When the Rebellion defeated the Empire in the skies above Endor, Leia Organa believed it was the beginning to a lasting peace. But after decades of vicious infighting and partisan gridlock in the New Republic Senate, that hope seems like a distant memory.
Now a respected senator, Leia must grapple with the dangers that threaten to cripple the fledgling democracy—from both within and without. Underworld kingpins, treacherous politicians, and Imperial loyalists are sowing chaos in the galaxy. Desperate to take action, senators are calling for the election of a First Senator. It is their hope that this influential post will bring strong leadership to a divided galaxy.
As the daughter of Darth Vader, Leia faces with distrust the prospect of any one person holding such a powerful position—even when supporters suggest Leia herself for the job. But a new enemy may make this path Leia’s only option. For at the edges of the galaxy, a mysterious threat is growing. . . .
Leia: Princess of Alderaan
In keeping with Alderaanian tradition, Princess Leia undergoes her Day of Demand, where she claims her right as heir to the throne and sets forth how she will prove herself worthy. Yet things have been tense between her and her adopted parents, Queen Breha and Viceroy Bail Organa. As Leia - also a member of the Empire's Apprentice Legislature - undertakes her challenges of the Body, Mind, and Spirit, she learns more about her adoptive parents than she ever suspected and begins her own journey that will forever change the galaxy.
Claudia Gray excels at taking on the challenge of portraying one of the most important and beloved characters in the entire Star Wars mythos, and along the way treats us to compelling depictions of other on-screen characters as diverse as the former Captain Panaka, the future Vice Admiral Holdo, and Bail Organa. This book presents the not-to-be-missed backstory of how Leia became the fearless rebel we meet, and love, in the films.
Sixteen-year-old Princess Leia Organa faces the most challenging task of her life so far: proving herself in the areas of body, mind, and heart to be formally named heir to the throne of Alderaan. She's taking rigorous survival courses, practicing politics, and spearheading relief missions to worlds under Imperial control. But Leia has worries beyond her claim to the crown. Her parents, Breha and Bail, aren't acting like themselves lately; they are distant and preoccupied, seemingly more concerned with throwing dinner parties for their allies in the Senate than they are with their own daughter.
Determined to uncover her parents' secrets, Leia starts down an increasingly dangerous path that puts her right under the watchful eye of the Empire. And when Leia discovers what her parents and their allies are planning behind closed doors, she finds herself facing what seems like an impossible choice: dedicate herself to the people of Alderaan--including the man she loves--or to the galaxy at large, which is in desperate need of a rebel hero...
The Paradise Snare
The Paradise Snare offers a glimpse into some of the most formative years of Han Solo’s life. After getting away from a rough upbringing on Corellia, Han looks to make his way in the galaxy as a pilot. Being new to the scene, he takes up a less than desirable job running cargo for priests in a religious colony on the planet Ylesia. However, dark secrets about the true nature of the colony soon emerge and force Han to make the toughest decision of his young life: stay and help the colonists or save his own skin.
AC Crispin pens a beautiful story with this novel that offers a rich, rewarding insight into Han’s earliest years. It’s one of the deepest dives you can take into the history of Solo. As the book progresses, readers will note more and more familiar characteristics of the galaxy’s scruffiest nerf herder.
Han Solo was a child without a past, a Corellian street urchin, abandoned, foraging for scraps of food, when the cruel Garris Shrike whisked him away to a nomadic band of spacefaring criminals. Now, years later, Han fights his way free. His goal: to become an Imperial Navy pilot. But first he needs hand-on experience flying spacecraft, and for that he takes a job on the planet Ylesia—a steaming world of religious fanaticism, illicit drugs, and alluring sensuality…where dreams are destroyed and escape is impossible.
The Han Solo Adventures
Hailing from a time before anything like the Extended Universe was even conceived, Brian Daley's Han Solo Adventures combines three tales of our favorite smuggler as he travels the corporate sector with Chewbacca in a constant search for the next big score.
Han Solo At Star's End puts the fearsome duo inside one of most bizarre and diabolical prisons they could ever imagine. Han Solo's Revenge takes Han across the galaxy in search of vengeance that is owed upon someone who thought they could cheat this fierce Corellian during a cargo shipment. Han Solo and the Lost Legacy throws assassins and murderous robots at Han and Chewie as they attempt to find a long fabled treasure of indescribable value.
This collection puts all of Han's original adventures in one easy package that is essential for any fan of the scoundrel with a heart of gold.
Han Solo's extraordinary exploits continue in this awesome trilogy.
HAN SOLO AT STARS’ END
Han Solo trusts no one, and does no favors. But when the best illegal ship rebuilder in the galaxy disappears, Han and Chewbacca agree to go after him—after all, the Millennium Falcon needs some very special repairs. Their search pits them against powerful and ruthless enemies out to destroy them, and finally leads them to an airless speck of desolate asteroid—the Authority prison planet known as Stars’ End.
HAN SOLO’S REVENGE
For a cool ten thousand credits, Han and Chewbacca will do just about anything—except transport slaves. For one thing, it means an instant death sentence. So when a high-paying cargo shipment turns out to be a consignment of slaves, Han and Chewie have to think fast. But Han forms a plan to turn the tables on the slavers and free the captives. Then, good deed accomplished, he scours the skies for the nasty joker who set him up—because revenge can be so sweet.
HAN SOLO AND THE LOST LEGACY
There’s a fabled treasure at stake and a price on Han’s head. So he and Chewbacca head for a planet rumored to hide undreamedof riches. But once they get there, Han’s beloved spacecraft, the Millennium Falcon, is hijacked by a band of assassins and killer robots. Their chances for survival are so slim, they might as well risk it all.
Heir to the Jedi
Heir to the Jedi, published in 2015, was the third novel in the new canon and picks up just after a New Hope in the timeline. The novel describes a mission given to Luke by Admiral Ackbar, to go undercover and rescue a captured cryptographer that is being used by the Empire. Luke teams up with Nakari, who also desires to fight against the Empire, aboard her yacht, as the two undertake the espionage mission.
The novel is unique in its first-person narrative, giving us a look inside the mind of Luke just after the death of Obi-Wan and destruction of the first Death Star. It provides an interesting perspective on Luke acquiring new Force abilities as he learns more. Reviews on the novel are mixed and reception was generally lukewarm–the story is not outstanding, but it is recommended reading for fans of Luke Skywalker and those looking to read more about his exploits with the Rebellion.
Luke Skywalker’s game-changing destruction of the Death Star has made him not only a hero of the Rebel Alliance but a valuable asset in the ongoing battle against the Empire. Though he’s a long way from mastering the power of the Force, there’s no denying his phenomenal skills as a pilot—and in the eyes of Rebel leaders Princess Leia Organa and Admiral Ackbar, there’s no one better qualified to carry out a daring rescue mission crucial to the Alliance cause.
A brilliant alien cryptographer renowned for her ability to breach even the most advanced communications systems is being detained by Imperial agents determined to exploit her exceptional talents for the Empire’s purposes. But the prospective spy’s sympathies lie with the Rebels, and she’s willing to join their effort in exchange for being reunited with her family. It’s an opportunity to gain a critical edge against the Empire that’s too precious to pass up. It’s also a job that demands the element of surprise. So Luke and the ever-resourceful droid R2-D2 swap their trusty X-wing fighter for a sleek space yacht piloted by brash recruit Nakari Kelen, daughter of a biotech mogul, who’s got a score of her own to settle with the Empire.
Challenged by ruthless Imperial bodyguards, death-dealing enemy battleships, merciless bounty hunters, and monstrous brain-eating parasites, Luke plunges head-on into a high-stakes espionage operation that will push his abilities as a Rebel fighter and would-be Jedi to the limit. If ever he needed the wisdom of Obi-Wan Kenobi to shepherd him through danger, it’s now. But Luke will have to rely on himself, his friends, and his own burgeoning relationship with the Force to survive.