The 8 Best Star Wars Novels Fans Should Read First

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  • March 8, 2024
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  • 6 min read


For science fiction lovers, there is hardly a more favorite brand than Star Wars. The series gained momentum in 1976, thanks to the film-based saga created by George Lucas and its subsequent expansion beyond the theater screen. Finally, it has evolved into video games, comic books, and many collectibles.

The series has many advantages, but perhaps the most precious of these is the novel development that provides a more complete picture of the plots and their fascinating settings.

If you’re a diehard Star Wars fan who’s also been looking to start their reading journey in that galaxy far, far away or a science fiction fan who is seeking to delve into the world of Jedi, Sith, and intergalactic politics, then this article is definitely for you.

Here, the Ghostwriting founder presents the eight best Star Wars novels that fans should read first.

1. Darth Plagueis by James Luceno

Fans of the Sith who wish to follow more about their rise to dominance should look no further than “Darth Plagueis” by James Luceno. This novel explores the story of the titular Darth Plagueis, the Sith Lord whose character is glimpsed in “Star Wars: “Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.”

To persuade Anakin Skywalker in the movie, Palpatine will reveal the power of Darth Plagueis: the ability to alter Midi-chlorins, create lives, and prevent death. However, the movie only had a brief allusion to Plague, so the audience does not have a proper idea of him.

As Luceno excavates deeply into Sith Lords, their mysteries are almost uncovered. It showcases the depths of his character, his climb to power, and the consequences of his decisions that brought both the Naboo trade blockade and Theed Capital’s inhabitants. The “Darth Plagueis” novel is probably the best option for any fan itching to take a deep dive into the dark galaxy of the Sith.

2. The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn

If you’ve watched the animated series “Star Wars: Rebels,” you’ve likely encountered Grand Admiral Thrawn. It is a highly intelligent and ruthless tactician who is a formidable enemy to the Rebel Alliance. If you’re intrigued by this blue-skinned, red-eyed Chiss character, then “The Thrawn Trilogy” by Timothy Zahn is a must-read.

The trilogy is comprised of “Heir to the Empire,” “Dark Force Rising”, and “The Last Command”. It introduces several cherished characters, including Jedi Knight Mara Jade, Han Solo and Leia Organa’s twins, Jacen and Jaina Solo, and Thrawn himself.

Set five years after “Return of the Jedi,” the trilogy is intricately plotted and brimming with intense starship battles, political intrigue, and the timeless pull of the Force.

For readers embarking on their writing journey, Zahn’s work serves as a good example of expanding on a beloved universe with new characters, plots, and themes while remaining respectful and true to the original source material.

3. Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray

“Master & Apprentice” by Claudia Gray takes us back in time to the days before “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace,” focusing on the often-turbulent relationship between Qui-Gon Jinn and his young apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

This novel shines a light on the complexities of the Master-Apprentice dynamics within the Jedi Order, exploring the differing philosophies between the two characters and their personal growth. Claudia Gray beautifully captures the essence of their relationship, filling in the gaps and adding depth to these beloved characters.

The book is more than just a character study; it’s an engaging story that shows fans the challenges and trials that shape Jedi and their decisions, painted against the vibrant backdrop of the Star Wars universe. For those interested in the Jedi Order’s inner workings and the philosophical underpinnings of the Force, “Master & Apprentice” is one of the best Star Wars novels to start with.

4. Bloodline by Claudia Gray

Another exceptional entry by Claudia Gray, “Bloodline,” takes us into the political arena of the New Republic. It offers a gritty look at the challenges and tribulations facing its leaders. This novel focuses on Princess Leia Organa as she navigates the complexities of galactic politics, sowing the seeds of what would become the Resistance.

“Bloodline” is a political thriller exploring loyalty, legacy, and the unending fight for peace and justice. For fans interested in the Star Wars saga’s political landscape and Leia Organa’s character, “Bloodline” stands out as one of the best Star Wars novels.

5. Darth Bane: Path of Destruction by Drew Karpyshyn

One of the most noticeable figures in the Sith’s history, Darth Bane’s rise to prominence is the focus of this novel. This fascinating book delves deep into the dynamics of the Sith Order and uncovers its members’ fractured and volatile nature.

Darth Bane: Path of Destruction reveals the rise of an unlikely yet consequential Sith Lord. His journey from a poor mine worker to a formidable presence within the Sith Order is fraught with moral and philosophical dilemmas.

This journey into the Dark Side ranks high on our list of best Star Wars novels because of its layered characterization.

6. Revenge of the Sith by Matthew Stover

Novelization of films can often be perceived as lackluster retellings; however, Matthew Stover’s Revenge of the Sith defies these expectations. This novel broadens the scope of the saga’s prequel trilogy by diving headfirst into the characters’ interior lives, motivations, and underlying complexities.

Stover skilfully navigates through established book tropes while introducing a fresh perspective. Blending familiar elements with new insights elevates the novel beyond a simple adaptation. It turns it into an essential part of the Star Wars literary universe.

7. Kenobi by John Jackson Miller

In Kenobi, readers are privy to the journey of one of Star Wars’ most wholesome and beloved characters – Obi-Wan Kenobi. The novel offers an insightful exploration of Obi-Wan’s life on Tatooine.

This fascinating study of Obi-Wan adds layers to his ever-honorable character, enriching his portrayal seen in the films.

8. The Republic Commando series by Karen Traviss

Lastly, on our list of best Star Wars novels is the Republic Commando series. This captivating series invites readers to experience the Star Wars universe through the eyes of clone troopers.

The series offers an in-depth exploration of these characters who primarily feature as secondary characters in the main storyline. Their experiences provide a different perspective on the war. It also brings attention to the more overlooked aspects of this multi-faceted universe.


These novels are a great place to start for Star Wars fans eager to embark on a reading journey that complements and expands the universe they love. Each book mentioned not only stands as one of the best Star Wars novels but also adds incredible value to the overall saga.

Find stories for every taste—whether it’s dark side deeds, Jedi secrets, or space politics that catch your interest. Moreover, you can explore fan fiction to see how others add twists to the Star Wars universe.

So, find a cozy spot, pick up one of these books, and get ready for a trip to a galaxy far, far away.

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