Star Wars Reads Panel discussion

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Star Wars Topics > Your favorite Star Wars Series, Standalone, and Author

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message 1: by Christopher (new)

Christopher | 11 comments I hoped this would be an interesting question, and also aid me in some purchasing decisions :)

List me your top 3 favorite in EACH category

1. Your 3 Favorite Star Wars Series

2. Your 3 Favorite Star Wars Standalone books

3. Your 3 Favorite Star Wars Authors


message 2: by Amber (last edited May 20, 2017 12:58PM) (new)

Amber Martingale | 257 comments 1. Thrawn Trilogy
2. I, Jedi, Splinter of the Mind's Eye and Dark Empire
3. Michael Stackpole, Tim Zahn and EVERY OTHER STAR WARS AUTHOR WHO ISN'T KAREN TRAVIS(STY)!


message 3: by Christopher (new)

Christopher | 11 comments Amber wrote: "1. Thrawn Trilogy
2. I, Jedi, Splinter of the Mind's Eye and Dark Empire
3. Michael Stackpole, Tim Zahn and EVERY OTHER STAR WARS AUTHOR WHO ISN'T KAREN TRAVIS(STY)!"


Haha I find that surprising.. because of how regarded her books seem to be here O.o
amongst the highest rated Star War books at least

BUT I have heard there is also a bit of hatred for her..
which I don't entirely understand? (not quite in the loop with these things)


message 4: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Hicks (jamiehicks73) | 31 comments Okay Christopher here you go:

1: Series: "Heir to the Empire", "Dark Force Rising", "The Last Command": Han Solo Trilogy: "Paradise Snare", "Hutt Gambit" and "Rebel Dawn"
2: Standalone: "Shadows of the Empire" - Steve Perry
3: Authors: Timothy Zahn

Not sure if comics count but "Crimson Empire" is excellent!


message 5: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Hicks (jamiehicks73) | 31 comments I also feel compelled to add "Allegiance" by Timothy Zahn. Takes place smack dab at the heart of "The New Hope" era....


message 6: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Gillies | 10 comments The Thrawn trilogy is awesome for sure, making Timothy Zahn one of the best SW authors automatically. The X-Wing series is also excellent, taking you down a different road with different characters and great humour. Michael A Stackpole and Aaron Allston, great authors. And despite the dark turn, I've always enjoyed the New Jedi Order series. Dark, certainly, but an excellent story line and chance to go Way in depth with many characters.
The Han Solo (with his kids) trilogy is great too, but the writing style I didn't find as compelling. But any time you get to watch the true Han/Leia relationship in all its beauty is right up my alley.

Karen Traviss is actually quite good in her addition to the Legacy of the Force series, though perhaps the restrictions in place for the series made her writing better? I found Order 66 really hard to get into and have yet to finish, but perhaps following random characters rather than the ones I know and love is the hard part.


message 7: by Francisco (new)

Francisco | 37 comments Ok, my favorites are usually often subject to change, and there are many books that I haven't read in a long time, but here's what I've got right now:

Series:
1. Thrawn Trilogy
2. Fate of the Jedi series
3. Dark Forces Trilogy

Standalone:
1. Revenge of the Sith (can this count as standalone?)
2. Kenobi
3. Shadows of the Empire

Authors:
1. Timothy Zahn
2. Matthew Stover
3. Troy Denning

A few notes on what others have said:

Jamie,
Crimson Empire is indeed awesome, I particularly like the audio dramatization, which along with Revenge of the Sith and "Dark Forces: Soldier for the Empire" has got to be one of my most replayed Star Wars audiobooks.

Christopher,
I think I heard something about Karen Traviss (Amber's favorite author ;)) getting mad and threatening to quit writing for Star Wars because one of her stories was overwritten or ousted from canon by something in the Clone Wars show, but I could be confused. I must have read something by her at some point, but I can't remember what I thought of it.

Andrew, (alert, possible NJO spoilers)

I struggled at first with the New Jedi Order series. As a kid, reading Vector Prime turned me away from Star Wars books for some time, I don't think I finished it because I was crushed that Chewie was...well...crushed, and that Han was so terrible to Anakin about it and was pretty sure that Mara Jade would also die in that book because she had that sickness. Then some years later I reintroduced myself after catching a preview of one of the audiobooks. I was roughly as old as Jaina and Jacen in the beginning of NJO at the time (I grew up with "Young Jedi Knights" when I was younger, so I've always felt connected to those two, they always seem to be my age when I am reading a new book with them).

I struggled again with Han's period of grief (though I had come to terms with the incident), and with seeing so many familiar people and places destroyed by the Yuuzhan Vong, but I got through it. I couldn't believe how big of a jerk Jacen turned into, and at some points there seemed to be much less love between some characters than I had imagined. I was so ready for Caedus to be taken down by the end of the series and felt much better about the whole thing by the series' end. I read them all fairly back to back, and by the time I finally finished I felt like I had just won a hard war too.
To me it was a necessary experience that put me in a place where I really felt the age and history of all the characters and the galaxy when I finally (more recently) entered into the Fate of the Jedi series, and could totally relate to character's expressions of how grueling the Yuuzhan Vong War had been.


message 8: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Gillies | 10 comments I agree, Francisco! There wasn't much in the NJO series that was not easy to read. In some ways, it was similar to my thought after watching The Force Awakens when the Republic was wiped out... I mean, the Yuzzhan Vong wiped out most of what Leia and Luke and so many others spent 3 decades building. The movie just did it suddenly, whereas the Vong war was more gradual.
But the grief and despair of many characters... so realistic. I liked that about it

But I also feel that true character growth occurred during NJO that you don't see as much with other books. They were all forced to rethink how they lived their lives and how they approached so many things. Chewbacca was bad... Anakin, in my mind, was far worse... the hope for the future and all that. There was darkness but also rays of light in the series that had more Real to it than other books had.

And yes, Fate of the Jedi was really good, too! I had to re-read it as I didn't read them closely together and got a bit lost in parts. I have yet to read the Lost Tribe series... worth it?
Abeloth is an interesting concept, though the notion of the Ones was perhaps a stretch even in the Star Wars universe. Philosophically though, fascinating, and bringing back the Sith in a new form was awesome.
A shame we'll never see the One Sith in novel form 😕

I also enjoyed Legacy of the Force, though for different reasons. As far as a downfall into evil, Caedus seemed more realistic than Vader. Again, more gradual and frankly more believable. Do I need to read Revenge of the Smith? Anakin Skywalker is so whiny in the movies! Lol. Absolutes in thinking like "from my point of view, the Jedi are evil" all of a sudden... seems dumb.
But Jacen's decline is easy enough to follow. If only Luke had properly debriefed him after his years-long trip...
And then two families in conflict, two families that were always bound together by love and respect, was also a great concept.


message 9: by Amber (new)

Amber Martingale | 257 comments Andrew wrote: "The Thrawn trilogy is awesome for sure, making Timothy Zahn one of the best SW authors automatically. The X-Wing series is also excellent, taking you down a different road with different characters..."

Only if you LIKE her Mando worship and how she helped make Jacen Solo as Darth Cadeus one of the WORST Expanded Universe Sith lords....especially compared to Darth Bane! DC as I called him may have been SMART to poison his aunt Mara Jade Skywalker but even for a Sith Lord it was a cowardly way of killing her.


message 10: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Gillies | 10 comments Haha looking at the Mandalorian side of things was actually interesting. More so than in other books with Boba Fett. But yes, got a bit long at times.

And I think we're confusing smart and cowardly. This is all based on how you define combat, but there are plenty of other literary examples where combat isn't about the battle. It's simply about winning. Wipe out the enemy while they sleep. Poison them. Drug them. Light their outhouse on fire. The goal is elimination of the enemy, and as dark as Jacen went, he understood that the end goal doesn't mean you fight honourably. Honourable fighting can get you killed. So I'm not sure 'cowardly' plays in here.

Besides... As a literary tool, it came as a big surprise since she had him dead to rights and fell for a trick.

You can understand the bad guys' point of view and condemn it at the same time. But cowardly goes too far, I feel


message 11: by Amber (new)

Amber Martingale | 257 comments I never said it wasn't smart, but posion is a coward's trick because it means you don't have the stones to do anything else....like the always popular fry them with Force lightning or the Force Choke.

Or what Darth Zannah liked to do...use their own inner demons against them... . She was Darth Bane's apprentice.


message 12: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Gillies | 10 comments Don't have the stones? Hmm... He certainly had the stones to choke Boba's granddaughter to death. And that was prior to his fight with Mara.

Gah! Still need to read the Bane trilogy. Only got through the first and don't remember much of it at all.

But regardless, Mara knows how to block lightning and choke. Only works if caught off guard. He was about to die! She had him... He used a play to survive.

Like I said, if survival and valuing life are your high values, you don't just let yourself die because it would be considered cowardly. That's just not intelligent thinking. Sure, it was clever and smart, but it wasn't cowardly. It was survival.

But man, that moment sucked!! I love Mara... She's one of the best SW characters. Kicking ass and taking names. Even when she was kidnapping Luke back in the Thrawn trilogy, I was still cheering for her. Badass!


message 13: by Amber (new)

Amber Martingale | 257 comments She wasn't family, Mara was. Takes more stones to Force Choke a family member who can defend themselves than it does to force choke a non family member, regardless of whether or not the other person can defend themselves, like a Mando probably can.

Wasn't aware one could block Force Choke, either.


message 14: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Gillies | 10 comments If Force choking can't be blocked, Sith would always win a fight.
And force lightning and choking sounds cool, but since he was intent on killing her regardless, the method means nothing. The intent is everything. Honour doesn't make you any less dead.
Nevertheless, it was a literary tool to throw a curve and it worked.


message 15: by Francisco (new)

Francisco | 37 comments Andrew wrote: "I have yet to read the Lost Tribe series... worth it?...Do I need to read Revenge of the Smith? Anakin Skywalker is so whiny in the movies! Lol. Absolutes in thinking like "from my point of view, the Jedi are evil" all of a sudden... seems dumb... "

I haven't read the Lost Tribe series yet either, so I don't know. I am really more interested in the Lost Tribe's interactions with the Skywalkers and the outside galaxy than in the Lost Tribe themselves, so it's not that high on my priority list.

Revenge of the Smith? As in: "After Pocahontas leaves him for John Rolfe, our hero John Smith strikes back with a fury that will shake the foundations of Jamestown! Who is the better John? Find out in the epic story: Revenge of the Smith!" That one? :P

Actually, I think if you like at least some of the Revenge of the Sith movie you should give the book a chance, it goes much more in depth, especially in the scenes with Palpatine. If you can, check out the (unabridged) audiobook version, I think they did a really good job with it.
Here is a short clip of the intro:
http://descriptive.link/intro-to-rots...
Reading this book made me enjoy the movie much more, I think it is really well written and definitely worth checking out.


message 16: by Amber (new)

Amber Martingale | 257 comments Don't even joke abut that. Someone might actually MAKE a fan film combining Pocahontas and ROTS, Francisco.


message 17: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 19 comments Francisco wrote: "Andrew wrote: "I have yet to read the Lost Tribe series... worth it?...Do I need to read Revenge of the Smith? Anakin Skywalker is so whiny in the movies! Lol. Absolutes in thinking like "from my p..."
I loved listening to Revenge of the Sith, and Jonathan Davis is such a good narrator. He also did Catalyst and Rogue one., amongst others.


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