Pilots
A Youtini Collection

Star Wars books you should read if you like
Pilots

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Pilots
Permission to jump in an X-Wing and blow something up?

In the early to mid 1980s, a cohort of young people was disappointed to learn that flying an X-Wing was not, in fact, a valid career option. Some of them may have settled for a career flying military jets instead, figuring launching off an aircraft carrier was the next best thing (and one of them may have ended up writing for Youtini). It’s common to hear about how another movie and a character named Pete “Maverick” Mitchell gave a boost to aviation recruiting, but for some of us he was a poor substitute for the likes of Luke Skywalker, Wedge Antilles, and a smuggler with a souped-up freighter.

Without pilots, Star Wars would look like an early, extra-galactical draft of Doctor Strange - somewhat removed people in robes solving problems by waving their hands around and occasionally using ancient weapons. From Han Solo and the orange-clad Alliance starfighter pilots to TIE fighter pilots in their iconic black helmets, the pilot’s swagger is a counterpoint to the quasi monastic mysticism of the Jedi. Their braggadocio and edge-of-the-seat adventures constantly balances the often deep and introspective struggles of the saga’s warrior monks.

But, then again, perhaps they’re not so different—on our own planet, after all, early military pilots often - perhaps somewhat whimsically - saw themselves as ideological descendants of the chivalric knights of old. As Cole Horton notes in a 2015 article for StarWars.com, historical dogfight footage and war movies were an inspiration for George Lucas’ vision of space combat. If the Jedi are Knights of the Force, then perhaps the pilots in a galaxy far, far away are Knights of the Stars. At least, that’s what we like to think Wedge tells Luke over a Corellian Ale now and again.

This reading guide is
Coming Soon
Our team is hard at work building out this collection. Stay tuned!

Books in this Collection

The Youtini Collections team has hand-selected the books in this collection
Canon
Canon
Graphic Novel

Poe Dameron Vol. 4: Legend Found (Trade Paperback)

Written by
Charles Soule, Robert Thompson
Artwork by
Nicole Virella, Angel Unzueta, Phil Noto
Having solved their mole problem, Poe Dameron's Black Squadron is back to searching for explorer Lor San Tekka, who Leia Organa and the Resistance hope has the key to securing the galaxy's future. But they find that he's got problems of his own, and they have to find a way to save him while continuing to stay one step ahead of the First Order.
The galaxy's greatest pilot flies on! General Leia Organa gave Poe Dameron an important task: locate the mysterious Lor San Tekka. And our hero may be closer than he thinks...but can he get the job done in time? Then, Black Squadron faces their next assignment. Is it mission impossible? Not for Poe's crew...and that means it's prison break time! Plus, Poe Dameron has never been one to follow the rules. So when he disobeys a direct order from General Organa and gets stranded in First Order space - with no ship and little oxygen - how will he survive?
Canon
Canon
Graphic Novel

Poe Dameron Vol. 3: Legend Lost(Trade Paperback)

Written by
Charles Soule
Artwork by
Angel Unzueta, Phil Noto
The adventures of the best pilot in the Resistance continue as Poe Dameron and Black Squadron continue to gather intelligence, fuel, and recruits for General Organa. But it's a dangerous galaxy, with First Order and other assorted adversaries waiting at seemingly every turn.
Even Resistance soldier Poe Dameron deserves a day off to meet an old friend. But what happens when that old friend is the famed journalist Suralinda Javos, and she has a secret story about the evil First Order? Mayhem ensues, that's what! Then, it's a sad day for the members of the Resistance as they mourn the loss of a fallen comrade. But their fight is far from over — the First Order must be stopped! And Captain Phasma knows just how to get Terex to toe the line. But who is Malarus — and what does she want? Meanwhile, the Resistance is running dangerously low on supplies. Poe and Black Squadron are on the case! But maybe they could do with some new recruits? Follow the continuing adventures of the galaxy's greatest pilot! Collecting STAR WARS: POE DAMERON #14-19.
Canon
Canon
Graphic Novel

Poe Dameron Vol. 2: The Gathering Storm (Trade Paperback)

Written by
Charles Soule
Artwork by
Phil Noto
Picking up where Poe Dameron Volume I: Black Squadron leaves off, this next installment collects Issues 8-13 of Charles Soule's Marvel Comics series. Terex continues to hunt Black Squadron, and Poe is forced to wonder just how it is his nemesis always knows their next move. But first, he and C-3PO have an important mission assigned by none other than General Leia Organa.
Continuing the adventures of the ace pilot hero of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens! Poe Dameron faces the wrath of a vengeful Agent Terex! But how does Terex always seem to know what Black Squadron is doing? Could there truly be a traitor in the Squadron's midst? Poe will undertake a secret mission from General Organa herself…to escort none other than C-3PO on a dangerous mission to the planet Kaddak! But what will be revealed in a peek into Terex's past?
Canon
Canon
Graphic Novel

Poe Dameron Vol. 1: Black Squadron (Trade Paperback)

Written by
Chris Eliopoulos, Charles Soule
Artwork by
Chris Eliopoulos, Phil Noto, Phil Noto
The Force Awakens introduced fans to the best pilot in the Galaxy—the Resistance's X-Wing pilot, Poe Dameron. In this, his ongoing comics series set in the months leading up to Episide VII, we get introduced to to the full cast of characters who comprise Black Squadron. We also meet Agent Terrix, Poe's arch nemesis, a high-ranking First Order officer with a complex backstory explored throughout the series. Not to mention BB-8's wonderful role as Poe's sidekick!
Poe Dameron, former Republic flyer turned Resistance fighter, is the best pilot in the galaxy. Hand-picked for the resistance by General Leia Organa to lead a squadron on a top secret and vital mission…Poe sets off investigating sites of historical importance to the Force. Revealing backstory leading directly into the holidays' greatest adventure, follow Poe and his X-Wing squadron on covert missions against the First Order brought to you by writer Charles Soule (Star Wars: Lando, Daredevil) and artist Phil Noto (Star Wars: Chewbacca, Black Widow)!
Canon
Canon
YA Novel

Lost Stars

Written by
Claudia Gray
Artwork by

You may be familiar with the events of Star Wars’ Original Trilogy, but Lost Stars manages to re-explore its major plot points through the eyes of brand new characters Ciena Ree and Thane Kyrell, recruited to join the Rebel Alliance by Wedge Antilles. Along the way, it tells a love story that rivals that of Anakin and Padme.

Claudia Gray is among the elite Star Wars authors when it comes to crafting compelling stories. This book excels by giving a fresh take on the Star Wars story fans already know and love.

The reign of the Galactic Empire has reached the Outer Rim planet of Jelucan, where aristocratic Thane Kyrell and rural villager Ciena Ree bond over their love of flying. Enrolling at the Imperial Academy is nothing less than a dream come true for both of them. But Thane sours on the dream when he sees firsthand the horrific tactics the Empire uses to maintain its ironclad rule.

Bitter and disillusioned, he joins the fledgling Rebellion--putting Ciena in an unbearable position between her loyalty to the Empire and her love for the man she's known since childhood.

Now on opposite sides of the war, will these friends turned foes ever find a way to be together, or will duty tear them--and the galaxy--apart?

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

Solo: A Star Wars Story: Expanded Edition

Written by
Mur Lafferty
Artwork by

More than just a novelization, in her Expanded Edition Mur Lafferty offers us glimpses of scenes cut from the film and gives further development to some of the other characters. We learn more about what happened to Qi’Ra after the spaceport and get more insight into Tobias Beckett and his relationship with Val. Lafferty gives us a new insight into L3’s fate and ends with a wonderful epilogue that nicely links the movie to yet more parts of the Star Wars lore.

From a prologue that nicely captures young Han’s personality, to looks into the White Worms den that are somehow even more cringe-inducing than seeing it on screen, to Han’s time in the military and that wonderful epilogue, Lafferty’s adaptation is what we imagine reading a director’s cut would be like!

Young Han dreams of someday soaring into space at the helm of his own starship and leaving his home, the gritty industrial planet Corellia, far behind. But as long as he’s trapped in a life of poverty and crime—and under the thumb of the sinister Lady Proxima and her brutal street gang—reaching the distant stars seems impossible. When Han tries to escape with his girlfriend and partner-in-crime, Qi’ra, he makes it out—but she doesn’t. Desperate for a way to find his own offworld vessel and free her, Han enlists in the Imperial Navy—the last place for a rebellious loner who doesn’t play well with others.

When the Empire clips his wings, Han goes rogue and plunges into the shady world of smugglers, gamblers, and con artists. There he meets the charming and cunning high roller Lando Calrissian, makes an unlikely friend in a cantankerous Wookiee called Chewbacca, and first lays eyes on the Millennium Falcon. To snag his piece of the outlaw pie, Han joins a crew of pirates to pull off a risky heist. The stakes are high, the danger is great, and the odds are slim. But never tell Han Solo the odds.

Canon
Canon
YA Novel

Cobalt Squadron

Written by
Elizabeth Wein
Artwork by

Cobalt Squadron tells the story of the Resistance's crack bomber pilots and technicians, including sisters Rose and Paige Tico, survivors of a world overrun by the First Order. Encountering another family on the run, the sisters undertake a mission to provide emergency aid to the Alterra system. Outwitting the First Order and helping people in need will take all of their ingenuity, bravery, and teamwork.

Cobalt Squadron overlaps the events of The Force Awakens and establishes the back-story for the Tico sisters. Many readers will find it helps deepen their appreciation for Paige and Rose as we see them on screen in The Last Jedi. In particular, it adds weight to Rose's sense of loss and her deepening sense of resolve through the film.

From New York Times best-selling author Elizabeth Wein (Code Name Verity, Rose Under Fire), this middle-grade novel is all about the pilots and technicians of the Resistance's very own Cobalt Squadron. New characters from The Last Jedi, including mechanic Rose Tico and her gunner sister Paige, get the chance to shine in this hardcover adventure.

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.