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New Update! Ranking The Canonical Star Wars Novels

star star-wars-catalyst-book Thrawn

With “Shadow Fall” due out next week, it felt like the right time to do an updated ranking of the SW novels. There are A LOT of new additions here so it’s essentially like a brand new list. It should be noted that I did not include novelizations or children’s books nor is this a complete list. This is simply everything I have read in the new canon.

1.Star Wars: Catalyst- A Rogue One Story- Not only is it a great novel on its own, but the fact that it is a PERFECT companion piece to “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” makes it so much more special.

2. Lost Stars- Claudia Gray has written 3 fantastic SW novels, but this one is still her best so far. She manages to create compelling new characters all while telling a clever story that ties into the saga as a whole.

3. Dark Disciple- This Asajj Ventress and Quinlan Vos centric book is an essential read for “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” fans.

4. Resistance Reborn- If only the sequel trilogy was as good as this novel.

5. Queen’s Shadow- A splendid E.K. Johnston novel about Padme and her Handmaidens that takes place after “The Phantom Menace.”

6. Rebel Rising- A highly underrated novel that sheds light on Jyn and Saw’s past. This should be getting more press than it is.

7. Leia, Princess of Alderaan- A young Leia story by Claudia Gray? It’s as good as it sounds.

8. Star Wars: Battlefront 2: Inferno Squad- The tie in to the underrated “Star Wars: Battlefront 2” video game delivers pulse pounding action, a unique POV, and some deliciously dark drama.

9. Bloodline- Claudia Gray’s first Leia novel was an intriguing precursor to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

10. Galaxy’s Edge: A Crash Of Fate- Before you go to Galaxy’s Edge at a Disney park, check out this novel that perfectly sets up the world of Batuu and the Black Spire Outpost.

11. Most Wanted- “Solo: A Star Wars Story” fans who want to know more about the dynamic between young Han and Qi’ra on Corellia should seek this book out.

12. Star Wars: A New Dawn- Maybe I got caught up in the hype of reading this prior to the premiere of “Star Wars Rebels,” but I still thoroughly enjoyed the first canonical SW novel.

13. Thrawn: Alliances- A real return to form for Timothy Zahn. More like this please!

14. Lords of the Sith- Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, and Cham Syndulla. Need I say more?

15. Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire- A solid story that explores the character of Vi Moradi.

16. Queen’s Peril- An involving prequel to “Queen’s Shadow” that takes place before and during the events of “The Phantom Menace.”

17. Master And Apprentice- The story may be overstuffed, but there’s a lot of rewarding prequel era character moments.

18. Star Wars: From A Certain Point Of View- This anthology novel that contains 40 stories with 40 different character POVs during the events of “Star Wars: A New Hope” is a fun read.

19. Canto Bight- The Canto Bight sequence may have been a low point in “The Last Jedi,” but this engaging anthology book harkens back to the “Tales From” series of ‘Legends.’

20. Pirate’s Price- You can’t go wrong with Hondo.

21. Guardians of the Whills- Even though the story is rather slight, Greg Rucka perfectly captures the characters of Baze and Chirrut.

22. Myths And Fables- A quick-read anthology book with 9 well written stories.

23. Phasma- Although parts of it don’t feel very Star Warsy, there’s a lot to like here. Not only do we FINALLY get some much needed Phasma characterization, but the plot also does a fine job of shedding light on the First Order as well.

24. Thrawn: Treason- While nowhere near the level of ‘Alliances,’ this was a fitting end to the trilogy.

25. Lando’s Luck- A good old fashioned Lando adventure. 

26. Spark of the Resistance- A quality pre-TROS adventure tale.

27. Force Collector-While tedious and repetitive at times, Kevin Shinick’s novel does explore the mythology of “Star Wars” in unique ways.

28. Ahsoka- As a fan of Ahsoka, this novel was rather disappointing in the story department as it feels like author E.K. Johnston is hamstrung by the story she can tell. Still, it’s a decent enough read.

29. Last Shot- A messy Han and Lando centric story that has its moments.

30. Star Wars: The Last Jedi- Cobalt Squadron- A forgettable story, but there is some quality characterization of Rose and Paige.

31. Legends Of Luke Skywalker- This anthology book had a great concept, but the execution wasn’t the best.

32. Star Wars: Heir To The Jedi- Despite having some decent character moments, there’s a reason why this Luke novel doesn’t get mentioned much.

33. Star Wars: Aftermath: Life Debt- Ranking the “Aftermath” novels is like pulling teeth to me as I find all of them to be a colossal let down. However, the second one has a slight edge…I guess?

34. Star Wars: Aftermath: Empire’s End- The third part of the “Aftermath” trilogy is arguably the most eventful, but the fact that the MAJOR events in this deeply flawed book are canon is a real shame as this epic story could have been saved for a film or series.

35. Star Wars: Aftermath- The first in the “Aftermath” story is filled with jumbled storytelling and dull characters. As with the other two novels, however, the best part is the side stories.

36. Star Wars: Battlefront: Twilight Company- A tedious and flat tie-in to the 2015 “Star Wars: Battlefront” video game.

37. Thrawn- Unless you enjoy a seemingly endless amount of moments involving Thrawn’s mindset about everything and anything, Timothy Zahn’s highly anticipated return to the SW universe was an utter slog to get through.

38. Alphabet Squadron- I know this novel has its fans, but I couldn’t get on board with it. Perhaps the sequels will fare better?

39. Dooku: Jedi Lost- Much like the novel listed below, this audio drama turned book did a disservice to the underrated Sith character in my opinion. 

40. Tarkin- As a big fan of James Luceno, it pains me to put this one last. Alas, I don’t feel like it does the character of Tarkin justice. I don’t buy his boring backstory here.

June 18, 2020 - Posted by | List | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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