Military & Warfare
A Youtini Collection

Star Wars books you should read if you like
Military & Warfare

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Military & Warfare
We're all going to die sometime, so you might as well die pushing the odds for something that matters.

Star Wars. These two words have been so deeply prevalent within pop culture throughout the last 30+ years. Movies, television, books, collectibles, you name it. If something exists, you can almost bet there also exists a version displaying that famous block lettering. Because of this notoriety, it often seems like the latter half of the title gets overlooked.

Wars.

When all is said and done, these epic stories spanning thousands of light years each boil down to the same concept; galaxy-wide conflicts pitting one soldier against another. The objects of these conflicts vary, as do the participants, but the central theme of one side pulling out all the stops to thwart their enemy is constant. Some fight with ruthless aggression. Others fight with honor and nobility. The one thing they have in common? They all fight.

Behind every military action lies a carefully thought-out strategy devised by the efforts of high-ranking personnel. In Timothy Zahn's Thrawn, witness the meteoric rise of the Empire's most clever and calculating mind as he navigates through the Imperial Academy and quickly ascends the ranks of Imperial Leadership.

In any conflict that span across a galaxy, the obvious key to success is to control the skies. Which is why the newly-formed group of pilots in Alexander Freed's Alphabet Squadron are tasked with tracking down and destroying the mysterious Imperial Shadow Wing who threaten the New Republic in its infancy. Flip over to Legends and join the journey as Wedge Antilles reforms the legendary Rogue Squadron to combat the still-powerful Galactic Empire in Michael Stackpole's X-Wing: Rogue Squadron.

There is an old adage that says "The soldier wins the war". This is no less true for wars fought in a galaxy far, far, away. Experience the triumphs and setbacks of front-line troops in Alexander Freed's Battlefront: Twilight Company, and follow the exploits of Imperial Stormtroopers defecting from the Empire in Allegiance by Timothy Zahn. In Christie Golden's Battlefront II: Inferno Squad, Iden Versio leads a covert op to infiltrate a Rebel cell in the wake of the destruction of the first Death Star. Jump back to the Clone Wars era and observe as a team of highly trained Clone Commandos are thrust together following the Battle of Geonosis and sent on search-and-destroy mission in Karen Traviss' Republic Commando: Hard Contact.

High-flying maneuvers. Last-ditch efforts. Fighting through hopeless odds for that small chance of victory. Experience the famous battles of Star Wars history from fresh perspectives, as well as original characters fighting battles equally important exclusivity contained within these books. Whatever aspect it is that draws you to Military & Warfare themed stories, you're sure to find it in the books listed below.

This reading guide is
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Books in this Collection

The Youtini Collections team has hand-selected the books in this collection
Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Republic Commando: Hard Contact

Written by
Karen Traviss
Artwork by

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.

As the Clone Wars rage, victory or defeat lies in the hands of elite squads that take on the toughest assignments in the galaxy–stone-cold soldiers who go where no one else would, to do what no one else could...

On a mission to sabotage a chemical weapon research facility on a Separatist-held planet, four clone troopers operate under the very noses of their enemies. The commandos are outnumbered and outgunned, deep behind enemy lines with no backup–and working with strangers instead of trusted teammates. Matters don’t improve when Darman, the squad’s demolitions expert, gets separated from the others during planetfall. Even Darman’s apparent good luck in meeting an inexperienced Padawan vanishes once Etain admits to her woeful inexperience.

For the separated clone commandos and stranded Jedi, a long, dangerous journey lies ahead, through hostile territory brimming with Trandoshan slavers, Separatists, and suspicious natives. A single misstep could mean discovery...and death. It’s a virtual suicide mission for anyone–anyone except Republic Commandos.

Canon
Canon
Adult Novel

Alphabet Squadron

Written by
Alexander Freed
Artwork by

The Emperor is dead. But the Empire is still clinging to what remains of its resources to survive. It’s up to a mismatched team of pilots to finish chipping away at what remains of one of the worst threats the recent galaxy has ever known.

If you’re a fan of the X-Wing books on the legends timeline, you will love the debut novel in this trilogy set just after the events of Return of the Jedi. With so little known about the events leading up to The Force Awakens, this is the perfect book to introduce you to the Galactic Empire’s final end.

The first novel in a new trilogy starring veteran New Republic pilots.

On the verge of victory in a brutal war, five New Republic pilots transform from hunted to hunters in this epic STAR WARS adventure. Set after Return of the Jedi, Alphabet Squadron follows a unique team, each flying a different class of starfighter as they struggle to end their war once and for all.
 
The Emperor is dead. His final weapon has been destroyed. The Imperial Army is in disarray. In the aftermath, Yrica Quell is just one of thousands of defectors from her former cause living in a deserters’ shantytown—until she is selected to join Alphabet Squadron.
 
Cobbled together from an eclectic assortment of pilots and starfighters, the five members of Alphabet are tasked by New Republic general Hera Syndulla herself. Like Yrica, each is a talented pilot struggling to find their place in a changing galaxy. Their mission: to track down and destroy the mysterious Shadow Wing, a lethal force of TIE fighters exacting bloody, reckless vengeance in the twilight of their reign.
 
The newly formed unit embodies the heart and soul of the Rebellion: ragtag, resourceful, scrappy, and emboldened by their most audacious victory in decades. But going from underdog rebels to celebrated heroes isn’t as easy as it seems, and their inner demons threaten them as much as their enemies among the stars. The wayward warriors of Alphabet Squad will have to learn to fly together if they want to protect the new era of peace they’ve fought so hard to achieve.

Canon
Canon
Adult Novel

Thrawn

Written by
Timothy Zahn
Artwork by
After stumbling upon an exiled Chiss on an abandoned planet, the Empire quickly realizes they may have found a new weapon. With his powerful intellect and devastating cunning, Thrawn is soon enrolled in the Imperial Academy on Coruscant along with Eli Vanto, new cadet for the Empire, serving as his translator. Despite mounting unhappiness with the unusual pair’s success, Thrawn and Eli climb the ranks in the Imperial military, just in time for a clash with a mysterious adversary known only as Nightswan… Any villain as monumental as Grand Admiral Thrawn deserves an equally prodigious origin story, and this book delivers. With a healthy serving of mysteries to be solved, this tale of an unlikely alien’s climb to the zenith of the Empire is one of the Zahn’s most intriguing yet.
One of the most cunning and ruthless warriors in the history of the Galactic Empire, Grand Admiral Thrawn is also one of the most captivating characters in the Star Wars universe, from his introduction in bestselling author Timothy Zahn’s classic Heir to the Empire through his continuing adventures in Dark Force Rising, The Last Command, and beyond. But Thrawn’s origins and the story of his rise in the Imperial ranks have remained mysterious. Now, in Star Wars: Thrawn, Timothy Zahn chronicles the fateful events that launched the blue-skinned, red-eyed master of military strategy and lethal warfare into the highest realms of power—and infamy.
Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

X-Wing: Rogue Squadron

Written by
Michael Stackpole
Artwork by
Part of the
X-Wing Series

In his first entry into the groundbreaking X-Wing Series, Michael Stackpole tells the story of Wedge Antilles reforming the legendary Rogue Squadron. This series was the first of the EU that did not feature the “Big Three” of Han, Luke, and Leia. Instead, we are introduced to original characters such as fan-favorites Tycho Celchu, Corran Horn, and Mirax Terrik. Taking place two years following the destruction of the second Death Star, this story focuses on Wedge as he takes on a mission with his newly constructed squadron during the midst of the Galactic Civil War. X-Wing: Rogue Squadron not only sets the stage for the rest series, but also lays major groundwork for the entire Legends EU that follows.

They are the X-wing fighters: sleek, swift, and deadly. And as the struggle rages across the vastness of space, the fearless men and women who pilot them risk both their lives and their machines. Their mission: to defend the Rebel Alliance against a still powerful and battle-hardened Imperial foe in a last ditch effort to control the stars!

Its very name strikes fear in enemy hearts. So when Rebel hero Wedge Antilles rebuilds the legendary Rogue Squadron, he seeks out only the best, the most skilled, the most daring X-wing pilots. Through arduous training and dangerous missions, he weeds out the weak from the strong, assembling a group of hard-bitten warriors willing to fight and ready to die.

Antilles knows the grim truth: that even with the best X-wing jockeys in the galaxy, many will not survive their near suicidal missions. But when Rogue Squadron is ordered to assist in the assault of the heavily-fortified Imperial stronghold of Black Moon, even the bravest must wonder if any at all will survive.

Canon
Canon
Adult Novel

Battlefront: Twilight Company

Written by
Alexander Freed
Artwork by

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.

The bravest soldiers. The toughest warriors. The ultimate survivors.

Among the stars and across the vast expanses of space, the Galactic Civil War rages. On the battlefields of multiple worlds in the Mid Rim, legions of ruthless stormtroopers—bent on crushing resistance to the Empire wherever it arises—are waging close and brutal combat against an armada of freedom fighters. In the streets and alleys of ravaged cities, the front-line forces of the Rebel Alliance are taking the fight to the enemy, pushing deeper into Imperial territory and grappling with the savage flesh-and-blood realities of war on the ground.

Leading the charge are the soldiers—men and women, human and nonhuman—of the Sixty-First Mobile Infantry, better known as Twilight Company. Hard-bitten, war-weary, and ferociously loyal to one another, the members of this renegade outfit doggedly survive where others perish, and defiance is their most powerful weapon against the deadliest odds. When orders come down for the rebels to fall back in the face of superior opposition numbers and firepower, Twilight reluctantly complies. Then an unlikely ally radically changes the strategic equation—and gives the Alliance’s hardest-fighting warriors a crucial chance to turn retreat into resurgence.

Orders or not, alone and outgunned but unbowed, Twilight Company locks, loads, and prepares to make its boldest maneuver—trading down-and-dirty battle in the trenches for a game-changing strike at the ultimate target: the very heart of the Empire’s military machine.

Canon
Canon
Adult Novel

Battlefront II: Inferno Squad

Written by
Christie Golden
Artwork by

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.

After the humiliating theft of the Death Star plans and the destruction of the battle station, the Empire is on the defensive. But not for long. In retaliation, the elite Imperial soldiers of Inferno Squad have been called in for the crucial mission of infiltrating and eliminating the Partisans—the rebel faction once led by notorious Republic freedom fighter Saw Gerrera.

Following the death of their leader, the Partisans have carried on his extremist legacy, determined to thwart the Empire—no matter the cost. Now Inferno Squad must prove its status as the best of the best and take down the Partisans from within. But the growing threat of being discovered in their enemy’s midst turns an already dangerous operation into a do-or-die acid test they dare not fail. To protect and preserve the Empire, to what lengths will Inferno Squad go . . . and how far beyond them?

The Rebellion may have heroes like Jyn Erso and Luke Skywalker. But the Empire has Inferno Squad.

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Allegiance

Written by
Timothy Zahn
Artwork by

Sometimes allies are found in the most unexpected places. New heroes of the Rebellion, Luke, Han, and Leia learn this lesson when they team up Daric LaRone and his group of defecting stormtroopers to take on pirates who are threatening supply lines of both the Empire and the Rebellion. However, the unlikely allies are not the only ones on the trail of the pirates. Mara Jade, Hand of the Emperor, is also on the way and may have a very different opinion about how things should turn out once the pirates are caught...

Once again, Zahn delivers a rollicking adventure that not only brings back the original cast of heroes and other fan-favorites like Mara Jade, but also makes readers question if they know what truly lies underneath a stormtrooper's helmet.

Never before has the incendiary mix of action, politics, and intrigue that has become Timothy Zahn's trademark, been more evident that in this new Star Wars epic. On the heels of the stunning events chronicled in Star Wars: A New Hope, the newly minted heroes of the Rebellion - fledgling Jedi Luke Skywalker, smuggler turned reluctant freedom-fighter Han Solo, and Princess Leia Organa, a bold leader with a world to avenge - must face the harsh realities of the cataclysmic conflict into which they have so bravely plunged. From this point forward, legends will grow, treachery will abound, and lives will be irrevocably altered, in the long, hard fight to counter the fist of tyranny and restore hope to a galaxy too long in darkness.

The destruction of the Death Star by the Rebel Alliance was a decisive blow against the Empire, but Palpatine and his monstrous enforcer, Darth Vader, are no less of a threat. The brutal extermination of Alderaan not only demonstrated the magnitude of their murderous power, but served as a chilling testament to their resolve to crush the Rebel uprising. Standing against them, Skywalker, Solo, and the Princess remain uncertain opponents. Luke is gifted and brave, but unschooled in the power he possesses. Han has doubts about waging someone else's war - and his contentiousness is one more burden for Leia to bear as she struggles to help keep the Rebellion alive. The three have been sent to mediate a dispute between Rebel Alliance factions in Shelsha Sector - agitating matters by forcing Han to deal not only with pirates, but with his more dreaded enemy, politics. At the same time, Mara Jade - all of eighteen and years away from her fateful meeting with Luke - is serving her evil master, Palpatine, well in her role as the Emperor's Hand: tracking suspected treachery in the Empire to what may be high places - while trying to stay out of Darth Vader's way.

But the Rebels will prove to be only one of the Empire's concerns. For Imperial Stormtrooper Daric LaRone, his faith in the Empire shaken by the wanton destruction of Alderaan, will commit a sudden and violent act of defiance, and take four other enforcers with him, in a desperate bid to elude their masters' wrath.

Each of these fateful actions, whether sanctioned, secret, or scandalous, will expose brutality and corruption, spur upheavals destined to shake the Empire to its core, and shape momentous events yet to come.