May 25th marks the 35th anniversary of the premier of Star Wars. Since then we have been captivated the sequels and prequels and explored the extended universe through fiction and games. The Star Wars Universe has been explored in books too numerous to mention, so here are just a few that stand out.
Heir to the Empire (M) by Timothy Zahn is reported to have revived interest in the franchise back in the early nineties. It was re-released as an anniversary edition last year.
“It’s five years after Return of the Jedi: the Rebel Alliance has destroyed the Death Star, defeated Darth Vader and the Emperor, and driven out the remnants of the old Imperial Starfleet to a distant corner of the galaxy. Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting Jedi Twins. And Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of Jedi Knights. But thousand of light-years away, the last of the emperor’s warlords has taken command of the shattered Imperial Fleet, readied it for war, and pointed it at the fragile heart of the new Republic. For this dark warrior has made two vital discoveries that could destroy everything the courageous men and women of the Rebel Alliance fought so hard to build. The explosive confrontation that results is a towering epic of action, invention, mystery, and spectacle on a galactic scale–in short, a story worthy of the name Star Wars.” publisher
Darth Bane: Path of Destruction: a novel of the old republic (M) by Drew Karpyshyn takes you back thousands of years before Phantom Menace in the time of the Old Republic.
“On the run from vengeful Republic forces, Dessel, a cortosis miner, vanishes into the ranks of the Sith army and ships out to join the bloody war against the Republic and its Jedi champions. There, Dessel’s brutality, cunning, and exceptional command of the Force swiftly win him renown as a warrior. But in the eyes of his watchful masters, a far greater destiny awaits him. As an acolyte in the Sith academy, studying the secrets and skills of the dark side, Dessel embraces his new identity: Bane. But the true test is yet to come. In order to gain acceptance into the Brotherhood of Darkness, he must defy the most sacred traditions and reject all he has been taught. It is a trial by fire in which he must surrender fully to the dark side–and forge from the ashes a new era of absolute power.” publisher
The release of Phantom Menace opened up that time period which had previously been off limits. In Cloak of Deception (M) by James Luceno
“Mired in greed and corruption, tangled in bureaucracy, the Galactic Republic is crumbling. In the outlying systems, where the Trade Federation maintains a stranglehold on shipping routes, tensions are boiling over?while back in the comfort of Coruscant, the hub of civilized space and seat of the Republic government, few senators seem inclined to investigate the problem. And those who suspect Supreme Chancellor Valorum of having a hand in the machinations are baffled?especially when Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi foil an assassination attempt on the Chancellor. With the crisis escalating, Valorum calls for an emergency trade summit. As humans and aliens gather, conspiracies sealed with large sums of money run rampant, and no one is entirely above suspicion. But the greatest threat of all remains unknown to everyone except three members of the Trade Federation who have entered into a shadowy alliance with a dark overlord. While the trio will be content with more money and fewer problems, Darth Sidious has grander, far more terrifying plans. It is a time that tests the mettle of all those who strive to hold the Republic together?none more so than the Jedi Knights, who have long been the galaxy’s best hope for preserving peace and justice. Yet despite their most valiant efforts, the meeting will explode into fiery chaos beyond everyone?s worst fears . . .” publisher
New this year is Darth Plagueis (M) by James Luceno
“Darth Plagueis: one of the most brilliant Sith Lords who ever lived. Possessing power is all he desires. Losing it is the only thing he fears. As an apprentice, he embraces the ruthless ways of the Sith. And when the time is right, he destroys his Master—but vows never to suffer the same fate. For like no other disciple of the dark side, Darth Plagueis learns to command the ultimate power . . . over life and death. Darth Sidious: Plagueis’s chosen apprentice. Under the guidance of his Master, he secretly studies the ways of the Sith, while publicly rising to power in the galactic government, first as Senator, then as Chancellor, and eventually as Emperor. Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious, Master and acolyte, target the galaxy for domination—and the Jedi Order for annihilation. But can they defy the merciless Sith tradition? Or will the desire of one to rule supreme, and the dream of the other to live forever, sow the seeds of their destruction?” publisher
And finally, what would the Star Wars Universe be without Zombies. In Death Troopers (M) by Joe Schreiber
“When the Imperial prison barge Purge—temporary home to five hundred of the galaxy’s most ruthless killers, rebels, scoundrels, and thieves—breaks down in a distant part of space, its only hope appears to lie with a Star Destroyer found drifting and seemingly abandoned. But when a boarding party from the Purge is sent to scavenge for parts, only half of them come back—bringing with them a horrific disease so lethal that within hours nearly all aboard the Purge die in ways too hideous to imagine. And death is only the beginning.The Purge’s half-dozen survivors will do whatever it takes to stay alive. But nothing can prepare them for what lies waiting aboard the Star Destroyer. For the dead are rising: soulless, unstoppable, and unspeakably hungry.” publisher