ou fought in the Clone Wars?
With only vague references in the original Star Wars motion picture, George Lucas didn’t just make this new universe more complicated and infinitely more interesting, but he also mastered the art of leaving his viewers eager to know more. We don’t learn anything more about this mysterious conflict in the original three films. For a time, fans weren’t sure they’d ever find out more about this period in galactic history. But with the 2002 release of the Prequel Trilogy’s second installment, the Clone Wars exploded onto the big screen.
One of the longest of the franchise’s films, Attack of the Clones gives us a lot to digest. We see the blossoming romance between Anakin and Padmé and how Anakin’s fear of loss can take him in dangerous directions. We visit more planets than we’d ever seen on screen and get another vague reference in the reveal of the mysterious Sifo Dyas. The battle on Geonosis dazzles us with the sight of more lightsabers at once than most have dared imagine. Even Yoda gets to wield one!
And, of course, the ensuing war is a crucial element in Anakin’s eventual fall to the dark side of the Force.
The period surrounding Attack of the Clones is fertile ground for captivating and entertaining storytelling in both Canon and Legends. Over the years, writers have given us plenty of books and comics to add context and weight to what we see on screen. But with so many stories, character arcs, and adventures, it can be hard to know where to start or go next.
Fear not (because we all know where fear leads); Youtini is here to help! Whether your interest is Jedi or Clones, or whether you prefer comics over books, we have you covered. Our comprehensive Canon and Legends timelines include every story set in this era. You can even include films and television episodes to see where a given story falls relative to Attack of the Clones or an episode of The Clone Wars.
And in this guide, we’ve included what we think are some of the era's most important stories.
So, if you’re a reader trying to make your way in the universe, let’s get started!
Most Important Canon Novels
Queen’s Hope by E.K. Johnston
E.K. Johnston’s satisfying character-driven conclusion to her “Queen” Trilogy begins before Attack of the Clones ends as Padmé prepares for her wedding to Anakin Skywalker. However, in the opening days of a galaxy-wide war, even her subdued celebration yields to the demands the conflict places upon them.
The peace-loving senator adjusts to how the war changes the nature of her office as she and her husband navigate their changed relationship. At the same time, we see firsthand the extent to which they must go to hide their marriage, something we don’t see much of on-screen. Perhaps even more interestingly, we get glimpses of who knows the secret and the strain this places on some of Padmé’s closest friendships.
The Handmaidens who attended Padmé during her time as Queen of Naboo return in their own arcs as the galaxy transforms around them. Their independent paths, leading them away from their time together with the queen, offer an emotional reflection on how friendships change as life takes us in different directions, especially against the backdrop of a galactic civil war.
In addition to tying up threads introduced in the first two books, Queen’s Hope examines plot lines that the film, already the franchise’s third longest, lacks time to explore. We see factions evolving in unexpected ways as machinations, intrigue, and covert missions unfold on both sides.
Brotherhood by Mike Chen
Mike Chen takes us to the opening weeks of the Clone Wars. The Jedi are still finding their way as soldiers instead of peacekeepers. A new class of Padawans is promoted ahead of schedule to meet the demands of the growing conflict, including Anakin Skywalker. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan Kenobi finds himself promoted to the Council, and the two have to find their way in their new roles in the Order and relative to each other.
The author’s love for the prequel era shines through on every page as he tells us the story of “that business on Cato Neimoidia.” After a devastating explosion on the planet that could only have been sabotage, the Council sends Obi-Wan to investigate in an effort to maintain the world’s delicate neutrality. Along the way, he finds unlikely help from a Neimoidian guard while at the same time having to work around a sinister new adversary, the mysterious sinister Asajj Ventress.
We’re treated to short appearances from Padmé and even Dexter Jettster (because who else would Obi-Wan ask for help with something as complicated as this?). We meet new characters, including a conflicted youngling, the aforementioned Neimoidian guard, and her own vexing former apprentice.
The story connects the Anakin/Obi-Wan duo we see in Attack of the Clones to the one we watch in The Clone Warsand ultimately in Revenge of the Sith. The extra insight we get into their, well, brotherhood entertains even as it makes Anakin’s ultimate fall that much more tragic.
Dark Disciple by Christie Golden
In a novel presenting an arc from unaired episodes of The Clone Wars, Christie Golden explores the further adventures of Asajj Ventress, Count Dooku’s erstwhile apprentice. After falling out of grace with her former master, the Night Sister assassin has taken up work as a bounty hunter but never gives up her thirst for retribution.
Meanwhile, after Dooku orders the destruction of a refugee ship with no survivors, the Jedi Council decides to eliminate the Separatist leader and former Jedi. This mission makes for strange alliances: the Order taps Master Quinlan Vos for the task, and to get to the Count of Serreno, he teams with Ventress.
As the two hunt the Count, feelings emerge between them, complicating Ventress’s efforts to get her vengeance and let go of her past. More broadly, we face the moral ambiguities that can arise in war and the extent to which the Jedi Order now feels it must go to win.
Most Important Legends Novels
The Approaching Storm by Alan Dean Foster
In this prologue set immediately before Attack of the Clones, Alan Dean Foster shows us that “border dispute on Ansion” Mace Windu mentions early in the film. Before their assignment to help protect Senator Amidala, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin team up with Master Luminara Unduli and her Padawan, Barriss Offee.
At the Chancellor’s request, they travel to a small but strategic planet where a territorial dispute brews between city-dwellers and nomads on the plains. The urban faction threatens to join the growing Separatist movement if their demands aren’t met. Since Ansion is entangled in a complex web of treaties, its secession could spark a chain reaction of worlds leaving the Republic.
As the Jedi face hostile wildlife, mercenaries, and even a Hutt, the Separatist Council’s influence lurks in the background. The novel shows us the state of the galaxy and how far the Republic has fallen in the ten years since the Trade Federation’s invasion of Naboo. It also gives us the first introduction of several new characters who play important roles in the upcoming conflict.
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones by R.A. Salvatore
In the novelization for Attack of the Clones, renowned science fiction author R.A. Salvatore (who also wrote the first book in the New Jedi Order series, Vector Prime) expands on what we see on screen, shows us deleted scenes from the film, and even delivers a few original scenes. Combined, this offers additional insight and deeper character studies, enriching the movie’s story.
Background characters get a chance to shine. We get more of the father-son relationship between Jango and Boba Fett, lending extra weight to his encounter with Mace Windu in the arena on Geonosis. We learn the backstory for the Lars family and see Shmi’s bond with her stepson Owen and how hard he and Cliegg had tried to rescue her.
And, of course, the book offers a more detailed exploration of Anakin and Padmé’s growing relationship. Anakin meets her family, and after dedicating her life to public service, the domestic setting helps the senator see her Jedi guardian in a new light. Forebodingly, though, we also see the new Jedi Knight torn between his sense of duty and his growing feelings for the senator.
To get the full story of Attack of the Clones, you must check out Salvatore’s novelization.
For more info about Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, visit our Official Book Profile, where you can find user reviews and affiliate links to order the book directly and help Youtini out in the process.
Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover
Matthew Stover’s Shatterpoint takes place six months after the Battle of Geonosis. On the jungle planet of Haruun Kal, Jedi Depa Billaba had been training the locals to fight back against invading Separatist forces, but she has disappeared. And even though the Separatists have been driven off, bloody violence persists.
The war-torn planet is Jedi Master Mace Windu’s home world, and because Billaba had been his Padawan, he volunteers to get to the bottom of things. To find her, however, he must face his own past and the terrors awaiting in Haruun Kal’s jungle. The plot and the visceral, up-close look at war and its effect on its participants strongly echoes Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the basis for the film Apocalypse Now.
Shatterpoint is an exciting story and fast-paced action interspersed with reflections on the nature of the Force. It takes the reader inside the head of a fan favorite while introducing new characters. It represents a much different path for Depa Billaba than what we see in Canon. With dark visions of what the future holds, it invites consideration of just how much of their ideals the Jedi will be willing to give up to win the war.
Republic Commando: Hard Contact by Karen Traviss
Fans of clone troopers and gritty tactical military action will enjoy Karen Traviss’s Hard Contact, the lead title of the Republic Commando series. A tie-in to the early 2000s video game of the same name, the book introduces us to two squads of clone troopers, Omega and Delta. Subsequent titles in the all five-book series follow them as they fight the Clone Wars, all the way through Order 66.
In addition to clones of Jango Fett, Traviss introduces us to colorful new characters, including a Mandalorian soldier responsible for training the elite units. Along the way, Traviss infuses the story with complex lore while exploring themes of family, loyalty, and the human side of the Grand Army of the Republic. We find a different perspective on the Jedi and the complicated moral issues of creating human beings expressly for combat.
With fast-paced action, fascinating looks at Mando warrior culture, and rich character arcs, the entire series is beloved by fans. After you finish Hard Contact, you’ll probably be one of them!
For more info about Republic Commando: Hard Contact, visit our Official Book Profile, where you can find user reviews and affiliate links to order the book directly and help Youtini out in the process.
The Clone Wars: Wild Space by Karen Miller
Karen Miller’s The Clone Wars: Wild Space sees Senator Bail Organa leave the refined atmosphere of royal palaces and the Galactic Senate to team up with Obi-Wan Kenobi in searching for a Sith holocron on a remote planet. Their mission turns out to be a trap set by the mastermind behind the entire war, and a wounded Obi-Wan has to overcome his well-known distrust of politicians if they are to escape.
The two men forge a friendship critical to the galaxy's fate in the coming years through their travels and travails on a hostile world. We discover Bail is no mere stuffed shirt politician; he can be as rough and ready as he needs to be. Considering the princess/rebel/Jedi/general he raised, though, that probably shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Although it’s a neatly self-contained adventure, the story neatly ties Attack of the Clones to The Clone Wars animated film and television series. It will also likely give you a reason to smile when you hear Mon Mothma and Senator Organa talk about his “Jedi friend” the next time you see Rogue One.
Most Important Comic Book
Clone Wars Volume 7: When They Were Brothers by W. Haden Blackman, Miles Lane
There is so much storytelling content in the Dark Horse Comics Republic Series that it can be hard to pick “the most important,” but the seventh of nine trade paperbacks makes a solid case to be on the list. As the Clone Wars rage, Obi-Wan Kenobi recruits his former Padawan Anakin Skywalker to help hunt for Asajj Ventress. Anakin wonders about this quest, believing he’s already killed her.
Has Obi-Wan become obsessed? Are they walking into a trap? As the duo chase leads across the galaxy, we see how their relationship has changed throughout the Clone Wars. On occasions when they find themselves separated, we get new glimpses of Anakin under the creeping influence of the dark side of the Force and without his former master’s moderating influence. Ultimately, the mission ends in a clash made for the comics medium, with a titanic showdown pitting a team of Jedi all-stars and a unit of clone troopers against General Grievous and Count Dooku.
The title echoes Obi-Wan’s later line, “you were my brother,” and these stories show the two heroes near the peak of their power before the Battle of Coruscant. Although the arc diverges a bit from the later seasons of The Clone Wars television series, it is still immensely entertaining.
For more info about Clone Wars Volume 7: When They Were Brothers, visit our Official Book Profile where you can find user reviews and affiliate links to order the book directly and help Youtini out in the process.
Begun, Your Reading Has
Of course, with the amount of content covering this dynamic era, these ten titles barely scratch the surface of Star Wars books and comics giving us a more in-depth look into the period surrounding Attack of the Clones. If you’re ready for more, be sure to visit the Youtini Reading Order, our timelines, and our topic- and character-specific collections to find your next adventure. Check out our YouTube channel where you can find all three of our weekly shows as well as video reviews, series recaps, and more. And be sure to let us know what you’re reading on our Discord!