The acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney allowed the entire Star Wars universe to have a soft reset because only the movies and a few series were considered part of the official canon. But we do know that there were many different stories about Star Wars in the video games, books, and comic books before Disney acquired the entire Lucasfilm franchise. And that means that the Star Wars world was already quite vast before Disney acquired it.
Many things written about the lore of Star Wars were found in the novels that different authors wrote to expand the entire universe. These books are now considered Legends after Disney acquired Lucasfilm. While these stories are no longer part of the official canon, many fans still love them because they kept the fans engaged in the Star Wars lore for years. So, with that said, let’s look at the best Star Wars Legends books of all time.
15. ‘Scoundrels’ by Timothy Zahn
Written by the man often credited for jumpstarting the entire extended universe of Star Wars, ‘Scoundrels’ is a good book to get into if you’re looking to get to know more about the scum of the galaxy. Of course, we are talking about con artists who lie, cheat, steal, and smooth-talk their way to get what they want. And that means the story will focus on Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, among others.
During the events of this book, we get to see what Han has been doing after getting his reward for rescuing Leia. He knows that he owes Jabba the Hutt a huge amount of money that he needs to pay back to keep the bounty hunters off his back. As such, he now has to accept a dangerous job that involves robbing a crime lord to get the money he needs to pay Jabba. And that’s why he assembles a team full of some of the biggest scoundrels in the galaxy.
14. ‘Legacy of the Force’ Series by Aaron Allston, Karen Traviss, and Troy Denning
Those who spent time reading the Legends books would know that Jacen Solo, Han and Leia’s son, was one of the most well-developed characters in the Legends storyline. Jacen is one of the most interesting characters in the entire extended universe because he had a good character arc that saw him becoming a powerful Jedi and even falling to the dark side of the Force. As such, many different fans are still invested in his story even though he is no longer canon.
The ‘Legacy of the Force’ series will allow you to learn more about Jacen and the other legacy characters of the Star Wars Legends storyline. Take note that many of these characters have stories that are so well-written that you might end up wishing that the extended universe should have been used for the plots of the sequel trilogy.
13. ‘I, Jedi’ by Michael A. Stackpole
While not as popular as the other books on this list, ‘I, Jedi’ is still a great book to read if you’re into the Legends aspect of Star Wars. The Jedi Order was always one of the most important groups of people in the Star Wars galaxy’s history; that’s why many of the series’ best characters are Jedi. In that regard, ‘I, Jedi’ is a great book for those who want to get into the shoes of a Jedi.
What makes this book so compelling is that it provides a deep perspective of what a Jedi has to go through to become a Jedi Knight. This allows fans to see what it’s like to be a Jedi, as the story is not even told from the eyes of an important Star Wars character. And the book also gives you a good perspective of what the Jedi must go through regularly.
12. ‘Jedi Search’ by Kevin J. Anderson
‘Jedi Search’ is one of the best books of the entire Jedi Academy trilogy in the extended universe of Star Wars. Many fans love this book series because it allows them to get into the shoes of a Jedi youngling or Padawan in the middle of their training. In that regard, many kids that read this book years ago had a lot of fond memories about it as it gave them fantasies of being a Jedi. After all, who didn’t want to be a Jedi while growing up watching Star Wars?
In ‘Jedi Search,’ Luke is now looking to restart the Jedi Order after asking the New Republic to give him their blessing. In that regard, he has to gather all of the different Force-sensitive people he can find throughout the entire galaxy, all while Han and Chewie are on their own mission. It makes for a great and classic Star Wars storyline close to the heart of many different people.
11. ‘Coruscant Nights’ Trilogy by Michael Reaves
One of the things that we know about the Star Wars world is that Coruscant is one of the most important worlds in the lore due to how it was the capital of the Republic for thousands of years before it became the seat of power of Emperor Palpatine when the Empire rose. In that regard, this is arguably the most important planet in Star Wars, especially considering that it was the most-featured planet in the prequel trilogy.
The ‘Coruscant Nights’ trilogy allows us to learn more about Coruscant through the eyes of a lone Jedi who survived the events of Order 66. In that regard, the Jedi must live on Coruscant as a private investigator while hiding that he is a Jedi. And the best part about this novel series is that it allows you to have a noir feel.
10. ’X-Wing’ Series by Michael Stackpole and Aaron Allston
You’d be hard-pressed to find a cooler ship than the X-Wing, as this has always been the most iconic Star Wars ship in history. Of course, a novel was written about this ship, and it’s one of the best-expanded universe novels you can find. ‘X-Wing’ was the first novel series that didn’t include the original trio of Luke, Leia, and Han. And that means that it focuses more on new characters.
In ‘X-Wing,’ we follow the story of Corran Horn and Tycho Celchu, who are part of the Rogue and Wraith Squadrons of Star Wars. This novel allows the reader to see what the different squadrons are doing in the books during the earlier days of the New Republic era. And, of course, the X-Wing was the ship that was mostly featured in this novel.
9. ‘The Crystal Star’ by Vonda N. McIntyre
‘The Crystal Star’ focuses on the story of Han and Leia as their children were kidnapped while on a diplomatic mission. In that regard, the local authorities were convinced that this was the doing of the traditional ritual kidnappings that have been part of the local politics in that area. And that was why the authorities opted to wait for a ransom demand before taking action.
As such, Leia and Chewie had to take matters into their own hands when they realized that the local authorities wouldn’t do anything about it. Meanwhile, Luke and Han go on a mission regarding reports about a Jedi enclave in a far-off world, only to find a strange and sinister cult. It’s a compelling and somewhat weird story that will entertain you for hours.
8. ‘The Han Solo Trilogy’ By Ann C. Crispin
One of the most important characters in the history of Star Wars is Han Solo, one of the big three of the original trilogy and still a very influential figure in the sequel trilogy. In that regard, his story in the Legends storyline was told well through ‘The Han Solo Trilogy’ novels written to flesh out his past as a character. Of course, this is no longer canon because the ‘Solo’ movie changed everything about Han’s past.
Nevertheless, ‘The Han Solo Trilogy’ allowed us to see a different kind of Han Solo in a manner that’s still consistent with his character in the movies. It does a good job of allowing us to see how the different events of his past were intertwined with the different events of the original trilogy. And that’s why this is one of the most engaging Legends book series you can read.
7. ‘Traitor’ by Matthew Stover
One of the best things about the Legends books is that they made the storyline more interesting, far beyond what the original trilogy could offer. In that regard, ‘Traitor’ was a very good addition to the expanded universe of Star Wars as it focused on the story of the New Jedi Order, which focused on the invasion of a sinister group of villains called the Yuuzhan Vong.
Many different characters emerged in this book series, as we know that Jacen Solo, the son of Han and Leia, played an important role in this book. ‘Traitor’ is often considered the best of all the books about the New Jedi Order as it allowed us to get a deeper look into the main characters involved in this novel and the entire New Jedi Order series.
6. ‘Darth Bane’ Trilogy by Drew Karpyshyn
While this is no longer a canon book, the ‘Darth Bane’ trilogy is one of the most informative novels for learning more about the dark side of the Force and the Rule of Two that Bane himself established. Of course, Bane and the Rule of Two are canon, as these concepts were explored in ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars.’ It’s only the story of the ‘Darth Bane’ trilogy that isn’t canon.
The story takes place more than a thousand years before the Skywalker Saga’s events, as Bane became the only Sith Lord alive after a massive battle between the Jedi and the Sith. Knowing that the Sith lost due to their selfish and greedy nature, Bane instituted the Rule of Two and took on an apprentice who was the first to become part of the Rule of Two. This series is very informative as to the nature of the dark side of the Force, and that’s why fans should give the trilogy a try.
5. ’Darth Plagueis’ by James Luceno
Did you ever hear the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? I thought not. It’s not a story the Jedi would tell. Jokes aside, we know that Darth Plagueis was once the master of none other than Sheev Palpatine, otherwise known as Darth Sidious before he became the Sith master of the Rule of Two.
The thing about Plagueis is that we didn’t know a lot about him when Palpatine started telling his story. Nevertheless, the ‘Darth Plagueis’ novel allows us to learn more about what kind of a Sith Lord he was and how he brought Palpatine into the fold of the Sith. ‘Darth Plagueis,’ of course, also tells the story of Palpatine’s early days before he became the uncontested Sith master. But we know that this story is no longer canon.
4. ‘Allegiance’ by Timothy Zahn
Timothy Zahn isn’t only about the ‘Thrawn’ novels because he wrote a few other stories that weren’t about our favorite Grand Admiral. In that regard, ‘Allegiance’ is a book focusing more on the regular guys working for the Empire. We are talking about the stormtroopers, who have always been the dispensable soldiers that the Empire fields in many different skirmishes against the Rebels. And the thing about this novel is that it explores the impact of the Imperial propaganda machine and how people react to it.
The story of ‘Allegiance’ focuses on a group of stormtroopers cruising the galaxy in a stolen shuttle. They work to right a few of the wrongs they committed while engaging in different missions as vigilantes. In that regard, these people become heroes in the eyes of the common folk that the Empire oppressed throughout the Imperial regime. And this is because these troopers realize how the Empire operates.
3. ‘Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter’ by Michael Reaves
One of the most notable villains in the world of Star Wars is Darth Maul, who we know was able to survive his death in canon when the story of his survival was told in ‘The Clone Wars.’ After that, he became an important character in the Clone Wars era and was featured in ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ as a supporting antagonist. In that regard, he was always a popular character among fans.
On the Legends side, Maul’s story was told in ‘Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter,’ wherein his story was fleshed out. This story allowed us to see some things about Maul that were never told in the Legends and comic books. And it is quite engaging for fans who have always enjoyed one of the most badass characters in the history of Star Wars.
2. ‘The Thrawn’ Trilogy by Timothy Zahn
The ‘Thrawn Trilogy,’ which started with ‘Heir to the Empire,’ is the unquestioned GOAT trilogy in the storyline of Star Wars because Timothy Zahn, the author of this series, was the one responsible for jumpstarting the interest in Star Wars years after the end of the original trilogy movies. And the ‘Thrawn Trilogy,’ though no longer canon, allowed fans to learn more about the legendary Grand Admiral Thrawn.
This legendary trilogy actually continues the story of the original movies as Thrawn re-emerged from his mysterious secret mission and became a threat to the New Republic five years after the fall of the Empire. With his intelligence and huge armada, Thrawn is now looking to lead the remnants of the Empire as the so-called heir to the Empire. And one of the things that we saw in this trilogy was Luke Skywalker’s struggle with the dark side when a deranged and crazy clone of a Jedi Master started luring him over to the dark path.
1. ‘Deceived’ by Paul S. Kemp
Out of all of the different Legends books we have on this list, ‘Deceived’ is our favorite because it features Darth Malgus, who was always one of the most interesting Sith Lords during the time of the Old Republic. As such, this novel goes back to the time of the Sith Empire, more than 3,000 years before the events of the Skywalker Saga. And it puts Malgus at the center of it all.
The sinister Sith Lord named Darth Malgus was able to achieve one thing that no other Sith could do—conquer the Jedi Temple. In this book, he emerges as a more complex character with his journey. As such, the book makes him an even greater character, especially regarding the depth of his story and what he had to go through as a ruthless and sinister Sith Lord.
What is your favorite Star Wars Legends book? Let us know in the comments!