For the unofficial Star Wars celebration on May 4th (May the Fourth be with you!), here are eight books to hand to Rebels and Imperials alike. Some are direct tie-ins to the films, and others will appeal to teens who dream of a galaxy far, far away.
Lost Stars runs from before Rogue One and A New Hope to the events of Return of the Jedi. Thane and Ciena grew up together and fell in love, but Imperial occupation of their planet tore them apart. One went to the Imperial Academy (which is where Luke was going to go in ANH, remember?), and the other became a Rebel. A classic tale of star-crossed lovers set in the Star Wars universe, this one has boatloads of acclaim.
Speaking of Claudia Gray, if you want to know what happened to Leia Organa in between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, snag Bloodline. Technically, this is aimed at adults, but why not give it to teens? If they’re into Star Wars, they’ll devour this.
For me, Timothy Zahn is one of the foremost Star Wars authors, and I was super sad when his Heir to the Empire trilogy got retconned into the Legacy books (i.e. it’s no longer canon). However, in a very smart move, his iconic character Thrawn was repurposed in Rebels and makes his solo appearance in the revamped universe in the brand new book Thrawn. One of the Empire’s most notorious baddies rides again!
There are loads of Star Wars books to delve into, especially if you count all of the AU/Legacy titles (please read the Heir to the Empire books!). Sometimes they can be hard to track down, which is why sci-fi readalikes save the day!
How about some Illuminae? Yep, it’s everyone (seriously, almost everyone I know who has read this has loved it)’s favorite space thriller with traitors, hackers, and killer biological agents! What if the Rebels didn’t have the Force on their side, but super-duper hacking abilities? What if the Empire was everyone you ever trusted? (Oh wait, that part is kinda true)
Any Rocket Raccoon/GotG comic should scratch the itch caused by one dashing Corellian smuggler and his co-pilot from Kashyyyk. I highly recommend Skottie Young’s run on Rocket Raccoon for its frenetic art and spot-on characterizations.
So go forth to your local library’s holocron (er, catalog) and reserve as many as you can! May the Force be with you. Always.