uch like the films that form the foundation of the Star Wars universe, Star Wars books have always included several series of closely related stories. From Brian Daley’s Han Solo Adventures, some of the earliest books in the Expanded Universe, to the debut of The High Republic in 2021, readers have always been able to immerse themselves in extended story arcs.
But sometimes, you’re not looking for a series. Maybe you just need a book to read on vacation and not worry about remembering what happened before or what title comes next. Consider the nineteen-book New Jedi Order series or the nine novels in Star Wars: Legacy of the Force. If you weren't along for the ride as these series initially came out, working through them could be daunting. A one-off story might be just the break you need while still letting you enjoy adventures in a galaxy far, far away.
Fortunately, Star Wars authors have also given us shelves full of standalone books over the years. Whether you’re interested in Canon or Legends, there is a wide array of choices, and, as always, Youtini is here with some of the best works to help you get started.
The Best Standalone Star Wars Books in Canon
Canon books have been coming out at a brisk pace in the years since Disney’s acquisition of the franchise. They elaborate on what we see on screen, diving deeper into themes and characters seen only briefly due to time limitations inherent in film and television. They fill in previously blank spots in galactic history, drawing connections between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, and more. And now they've started exploring new eras, with The High Republic showing us the Jedi Order and the Republic in a way we've never seen hundreds of years before the films.
Master & Apprentice
Claudia Gray’s Master & Apprentice is the first Canon book to feature Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi in the years before their fateful trip to Naboo. The story is rich in striking Force lore and poignant character moments embedded in a clever and compelling plot.
While introducing fascinating new characters and worlds, Gray shines in plumbing the depths of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan’s relationship. The pages echo with the voices of Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor. The faithfulness of Gray’s portrayal of the two Jedi and the nuances she shows us in their partnership may well transform the way you watch The Phantom Menace.
Released alongside Solo: A Star Wars Story and set some years before the film's events, Most Wanted shows us the origins of Han and Qi'ra's relationship. Rae Carson depicts life with the White Worms with rich detail that emphasizes how rough it really was, with Lady Proxima pitting her underlings against each other.
Knowing that Han and Qi'ra started out this way makes the partnership we see on the screen much more fascinating. Only through the trials and tribulations of a heist gone wrong, with the help of interesting new characters they meet along the way, do Han and Qi'ra become the dynamic pair we meet on the streets of Corellia. Like other great Star Wars books, Most Wanted has the potential to change how you see the events in Solo forever, and Carson casts the pair's separation at the spaceport and Qi'ra's fateful decisions at the end of the movie in a whole new light.
Another of Claudia Gray’s exemplary efforts, Bloodline shows us part of the transition from the ultimate triumph at Endor to the state of affairs we find in The Force Awakens.
All is not as idyllic as the scenes of dancing Rebels may have led us to hope, with the New Republic's Senate seemingly hopelessly divided. Frustrated and ready to retire from politics, a growing threat calls Leia Organa to action one more time just as the disclosure of a dark secret forever changes her relationship with the New Republic.
Crafted from story arcs initially written for The Clone Wars TV series, Christie Golden's Dark Disciple presents us with an uncommon pairing and a profound reflection on the galaxy-wide war’s effect on the Jedi Order. It also presents us with an uncommon pairing and a profound reflection on the galaxy-wide war's effect on the Jedi Order.
Dooku's former apprentice, Asajj Ventress, became an interesting character in her own right as the show explored her backstory and her wrestling with her master's betrayal. In Dark Disciple, Golden gives Ventress's story a fitting ending. As Dooku’s tactics grow ever more brutal, the Jedi Order ultimately makes the drastic decision to assassinate the Separatist leader. It’s a pragmatic choice but begs the question of how much of their ideals the Jedi are willing to sacrifice to win. The council sends maverick Jedi Quinlan Vos undercover as a bounty hunter to pair with Ventress. Golden weaves the light and dark sides of the Force, romance, and retribution into a morally challenging story.
Leia: Princess of Alderaan
Leia: Princess of Alderaan is Gray’s third entry in our pantheon of best standalone Canon books and the second that focuses on Leia. And frankly, that seems only fitting for such a beloved character so central to the saga and so ironically portrayed on screen by Carrie Fisher and Vivien Lyra Blair.
Gray’s character work is as strong as ever as we encounter the adopted daughter of Breha and Bail Organa at a pivotal time in her life. Pulling back the curtain on Alderaaniaan culture and tradition, Gray tells the story surrounding Leia’s Day of Demand. We follow the young heroine through the rite of passage in which she claims her right as heir to the throne. Along the way, we're treated to entertaining appearances from other on-screen characters. It's not a surprise to see the future senator, rebel, and general prove herself as a worthy heir to both the throne and the legacies of Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker.
The Best Standalone Star Wars Books in Legends
That 2014 decision to establish a new, wide-open timeline didn’t erase decades of storytelling. Rebranded as Legends, the books published before 2014 have been widely available and still enjoyed by readers. They are experiencing a renaissance with the launch of the Essential Legends Collection, which reprints a growing selection of titles with fresh cover art accompanied by all-new unabridged audiobooks. If you haven't explored Legends, including its standalone books, there's no better time than now!
In Darth Plagueis, James Luceno spins a sweeping tale of dark side lore and intrigue out of a short conversation at the Coruscant opera. We follow the origins of Palpatine from his roots on Naboo to his rise to the chancellorship.
While the narrative can sometimes be dense, it fully displays the future emperor's political cunning and ruthlessness. The book sets the stage for—and overlaps with—The Phantom Menace and shows how, through manipulating the Republic's institutions, the Sith shrewdly work to bring their centuries-long Grand Plan to fruition.
Picking up at the end of Revenge of the Sith, John Jackson Miller's Kenobi follows Obi-Wan Kenobi as the former general and exiled Jedi Master adapts to life on Tatooine. Almost immediately, Obi-Wan stumbles into a long-running feud between moisture farmers and Tuskens, echoing the western movies that originally influenced George Lucas.
Obi-Wan—now calling himself Ben—is compelled to resolve the conflict as a lifelong servant of the light. As he comes to grips with Order 66 and the fall of Anakin Skywalker, he must balance his Jedi instincts with the need to watch over the child who may be the galaxy's last hope. The book is one of the six titles Youtini recommends to new Star Wars readers. Both director Deborah Chow and actor/executive producer Ewan McGregor read it before making the television series Obi-Wan Kenobi. After reading it, we think you'll agree with John Jackson Miller that, despite being in different timelines, the book and the show complement each other well.
Labyrinth of Evil
Labyrinth of Evil is one of the best Prequel-era novels in either Canon or Legends and an excellent scene-setter for Episode III. Set just before Revenge of the Sith, Luceno’s Labyrinth of Evil follows Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi as they hunt the ultimate power behind the Separatists’ machinations.
At the same time, Count Dooku and General Grievous strive to bring that same mastermind’s plans to fruition. As the two Jedi follow leads from one world to the next, Luceno gives us yet another deep dive into galactic politics and an exploration of Grievous and Dooku’s backstories. All the while, an ominous foreshadowing of Anakin’s ultimate fall looms.
Without something from Timothy Zahn, no “best of” list about Legends books would be complete. Zahn’s 1990s Thrawn trilogy reinvigorated Star Wars publishing and helped maintain interest in the franchise in the quiet years between the Original and Prequel trilogies (and before the Internet and social media made it easier for fandoms to sustain a critical mass).
Set before the Clone Wars, Outbound Flight tells the story of a Jedi Master’s plan to explore beyond the known galaxy. But the effort also has the discrete interest—and support—of Darth Sidious. The book chronicles one of the earliest encounters between the Republic Grand Admiral Thrawn of the Chiss Ascendancy, a fan favorite and one of the first Legends original characters to be reintroduced to Canon.
Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
Although technically a standalone novel, Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader meshes so well with Labyrinth of Evil and Revenge of the Sith that many people consider it part of an unofficial trilogy. But since it’s so good and not an official series, we count it here.
Dark Lord shows us the former Anakin Skywalker’s ceaseless and painful effort to adapt to life as Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith. A masterful bookend to the Prequel Trilogy, Dark Lord is a haunting look behind the mask into the shattered psyche that was once one of the Jedi Order’s greatest champions.
How to Find More Standalone Star Wars Books
Of course, a list like this can only scratch the surface. Between Canon and Legends, there are hundreds of Star Wars books for us to enjoy. While many are part of epic series, there are also plenty of independent, standalone stories to read.
If you're looking for more standalone Star Wars books, Youtini has the resources to help you out. We have dedicated pages with comprehensive lists of both Canon and Legends titles. And of course, there's our signature Youtini Star Wars Book Reading Order that puts everything together. It groups Canon and Legends books and considers aspects like readability, importance, and entertainment. It arranges them into groups of books we think you must read, the ones we think you should read, the ones you could, and those you might only like if you're a completionist. And if you're in that last category, you're in good company along with many of us on the Youtini team!
Star Wars publishing is alive and well, and new titles keep filling our shelves and feeding our imaginations. While many are part of more recent series like The High Republic or the Ascendancy Trilogy, there are also excellent standalone books like Shadow of the Sith and The Princess and the Scoundrel. To keep up with the latest Star Wars book releases, visit and bookmark Youtini’s Star Wars Book Release Schedule.
And, of course, be sure to join our growing community of Star Wars book fans just like you! Join the Youtini Discord community and tell us what standalone Star Wars book you just finished, or ask for a recommendation for your next one!