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Must-Read Star Wars Books (These Ones are Canon!)

5 Minute Read
May 11 2023
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There are a lot of new canon Star Wars books, but it can be hard to know where to start or which are good. These are my top recommendations.

We’re in a bit of a Star Wars lull at the moment. The Bad Batch and The Mandalorian have wrapped up and Ahsoka is still a few months out. And who knows when we’ll get more TV shows or movies. We’re definitely in a star rut. But a lack of new shows doesn’t mean there aren’t any ways to explore the galaxy far far away. There are so, so many books to start reading through.

The great Disney acquisition of 2012 brought quite a few changes to the Stars Wars canon, not least of which was the loss of all of the Expanded Universe (now Legends) books. They aren’t gone forever, of course, you can still purchase, read, and love them. But they have been relegated from a status of pretty-much-gospel canon to glorified-fan-fiction. And this is something that hasn’t sat well with parts of the fandom, with previously invested readers of the Star Wars books wondering if the new novels are worth the time.

I am here to tell you that yes, many of them absolutely are. If you’re willing to give the new canon a chance, these books are my top picks for the best places to start letting yourself get invested in the galaxy’s novels again.


Perhaps my favorite of the new books, Bloodline primarily follows Leia six years prior to the events of The Force Awakens. Gray mixes political intrigue and realism in with the more classic Star Wars themes, creating a story that brings a little more context to who Leia (and Han, and Kylo Ren) are in Episode VII while still being very much a story that takes place in space with aliens and space wizards. I can’t think of a more perfect story to tell about a fully grown Leia doing her absolute best to keep a fledgling democracy together.


With the Ahsoka series coming out soon, you may have plenty to catch up on in Rebels and Clone Wars episodes alone. But if you, like much of the fandom, can’t seem to get enough of Ahsoka Tano‘s story, this novel by E. K. Johnston will help fill in some holes in the timeline for you. Before reappearing in Rebels, Ahsoka had her own adventures. Join her as she tries to avoid detection, makes friends, and (unintentionally) creates trouble.

From A Certain Point of View

This one is a little different from the other books. Creating less of a single cohesive book but a collective retelling of Episode IV from the perspective of the background characters, From a Certain Point of View is a very Star Wars take on the anthology. Every story is by a different writer, pulling talent from some of my best novelists, comic writers, and audio storytellers. And each of the short stories comes together to form an interesting retelling of the story that started it all. And if you like this book, there are Empire and Return versions as well.


Phasma is an interesting and often overlooked character, and I completely understand why. She’s a character with a ton of potential and was unceremoniously and overwhelmingly removed from the movies before we could see her real potential. So many readers may not think a book about her would be interesting.

But her book is perhaps the thing that makes her an interesting and terrifying villain. Phasma is definitely a Star Wars book. But more than that it’s a compelling and well-written horror story that will make you appreciate a character you never knew you would want to know more about.


By this point, there are quite a few books about Thrawn between new canon and old. And frankly, I recommend all of them. Especially if you want to jump into the upcoming Ahsoka series with a full understanding of who this villain is. But we’re focusing on new canon today, so the best place to start is Timothy Zahn’s simply named, Thrawn. It covers how he came to join the empire, where his allegiances are, and what it looks like when he and Vader try to problem-solve together.


Lost Stars

I’m going to be honest with you, this is a romance novel for tweens set in the Star Wars universe. But that doesn’t make it not great. It’s sweet and fun and sometimes a little sad. But where this book really shines is in the incredible amount of world-building and humanizing it brings to the galaxy.

You get to budding disillusion with the Empire and what climbing the ranks looks like in the best and worst times of the Empire. And you watch likable characters go from bright-eyed and idealistic children to radicalized, traumatized adults. But it’s also a romance novel for tweens. So it’s one of the easiest, fastest reads on this list. Plus, it’s been reimagined in manga form.

The Princess and the Scoundrel

If you’re looking for something a little nostalgic and comfortable, this may be the book for you. Almost immediately after the Battle of Endor, Princess Leia and Han Solo get married and take their honeymoon on the Halcyon. That’s right, that Halcyon. But Imperial remnants aren’t going down without a fight and they find their honeymoon a bit less relaxing than they hoped.

Have you been convinced to give at least one or two of the new books a try? Which of the new canon books is your favorite? Are there any you were resistant to pick up but ended up liking a lot? Let us know in the comments!

May the Force be with you, adventurers!


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