The Expanded Universe discussion

88 views
Books, Authors, and Series > Reading Entire Star Wars EU, in BBY order

Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Michael (new)

Michael Tidd (tiddbitts) | 5 comments So last year I picked up Outbound Flight at a yard sale, wondering if an EU title would be any good. It was a decent read while laying on the beach, and later when an ankle injury killed my summer, I decided that I wanted to read more. When news of the new SW movie broke, well, I thought I should try to read the entire EU series to try to prep.

Geez, I didn't know there were 300+ books, from 1978 all the way to still coming out. So, I needed to make a Google spreadsheet, and buy a lot of stuff on amazon, abebooks, and craigslist.

A lot of the Old Republic stuff could wait - I played some of the games when I was younger, I get the gist, and there's no direct impact to the more 'current' SW universe. So I started with Legacy of the Jedi (earliest BBY, post Old-Republic) and got rolling.

The problem is, a lot of the novels in this area are 'scholastic' books, meaning for young kids. They pumped out a TON of them, Legacy of the Jedi, Secrets of the Jedi, and then 20 books (18 regular and 2 Special Edition) of Obi-Wan as an apprentice to Qui-Gon. That's fine, I plowed through them all, learning that Obi-Wan was a fringe student and was actually given up and sent to the AgriCorps, that he had an attraction to another student, heck even that Qui-Gon was romantically involved. It was all light stuff, not well written, but with just a hair of development.

Now I'm finishing off the second batch, Jedi Quest, where Anakin is a student to Obi-Wan. This is tougher because the author has to show flashes of Anakin's power and his emotional issues...and she has, to this point, but in the last book of the series amps it up quite a bit.

Even when I finish this off and get to Approaching Storm, its just a momentary reprieve before diving headlong into the scholastic Boba Fett series. At least there's only 6 of them. And reading all these easy books really helps hit my 2015 book goal here on Goodreads, haha.

So anyway - has anyone else done this sort of read-thru, in BBY chronological order? It's tough since so many novels (like Darth Plagueis) cover 20+ years or so, and because the writing style varies so much from author to author...but I hope it will be rewarding, especially if I finish off everything up to Episode 6 by the time Episode 7 comes out.


message 2: by Kirk (new)

Kirk Yes, I embarked upon the same journey as you about three years ago including all the scholastic novels. At first it was hard to stick with it because the writing style intended for youth was a bit tedious, but I found that my interest in the back story for these characters that I love kept my interest. I have actually worked my way through several hundred EU novels.

I'm actually finally, finally near the end of the Rise of the Empire era (I've only books 2 and 3 of the 2nd Han Solo trilogy left and then the Dark Forces trilogy) and then I'll jump into the Rebellion era. It's been a fruitful journey and I'm glad that I did it. Like many others, I'm a bit sad that the EU will not be a part of the continuum, but like many here I haven't read any of the books post VI Return of the Jedi which I hear there are many fantastic books and many EU enthusiasts are quite upset about characters being rewritten or written out of the primary canon.

I think the things I've enjoyed most are the stories of all the Jedi during the Clone Wars - Obi-Wan, Mace Windu, Yoda, Shaak Ti, Luminaria, Plo Koon, etc, etc. Such interesting characters. I loved the Republic Commando series - great space opera in my opinion and really enjoyed the Coruscant Nights series.

I think if you stick with it you'll find it worth it. You'll soon get out of the scholastic books and hit many, many really good novels and series that I think you'll enjoy.


message 3: by Cole (new)

Cole Rush (kolejorg) | 2 comments I've been doing the same thing though also been reading the dark horse comics as I go. There's a good chronological spreadsheet out there, I don't remember what it's called but once I do I'll post it. I'm currently on yoda dark rendezvous. I would be a bit further but as the new canon books come out I pause and read those. I did however like the qui gon obi wan books quite a bit. And the clone wars books have been a lot of fun as well. Good luck and I hope you stick with it. I'm fortunate that I read the books as they came out until around 2001. So I don't have quite as much catching up to do, and aside from outbound flight I haven't had to reread a book yet.


message 4: by Greg (new)

Greg | 6 comments I did something similar; chronologically, I started with Darth Plagueis a few years ago. As I worked through the chronology, I also worked in all of the comics available, but skipped all the junior reader scholastic novels. Right about the time I got up to the chronology such that I finished the Han Solo Trilogy, the canon reboot was announced. The announcement --while I totally accept the reasons for it happening--- caused me to lose my momentum on this personal reading endeavor.

At that point, I decided to wait and see what kind of new 'canon' novels would emerge from the reboot. While I waited, I instead focused on reading the comics that took place in various eras --- I just finished the "Legacy" series this week.... Read through all of the Original Marvel era Star Wars comics a few months ago.... And tackled "Knights of the Old Republic" before that.

The only new canon novel I've read so far is "Tarkin" -- which was an ok read, but didn't match anywhere near the highs of luceno's "Darth Plagueis" and "The Rise of Darth Vader". I think I'm slowing down in my Star Wars reading, and I have no plans to read any of the (currently branded) "Legends" novels that take place after Episode VI. I'll probably read some of the new canon books announced, such as "Aftermath".

Btw, I'm such a geek that I made my own spreadsheet to track my reading a few years ago! Yeah, I'm also one of those people...! Lol


message 5: by Michael (new)

Michael Tidd (tiddbitts) | 5 comments Would anyone be interested in comparing nerdy spreadsheets? I'd love to see what I am missing. Maybe we could categorize things (animated series, movies, comics, video games, scholastic, etc). I have no comics on my list but all the scholastic stuff I think.

Wookiepedia has a decent list but I don't feel like its complete, just a starting point. So many of them are little ebooks or back of the paperback additions. There's even a few Vader stories buried in the backs of Legacy of the Jedi paperbacks, as weird as it is.

One other question: do you feel reading a novelization of a movie or video game is warranted? I'd rather just play the game unless its terrible. I don't think I'll ever read a movie novelization for SW - and definitely not the silly character journals. But let me know if any of those are worthwhile at all.


message 6: by Albert (new)

Albert Nguyen Michael wrote: "Would anyone be interested in comparing nerdy spreadsheets? I'd love to see what I am missing. Maybe we could categorize things (animated series, movies, comics, video games, scholastic, etc). I..."

Read the novelization of Revenge of the Sith by Matthew Stover. I'm honestly not sure if there is or ever will be a Star Wars book better than that book. Hell even as book in general it's one of the best I've ever read. (I apologize for the excessive fanboying. I really like this book.)


message 7: by Jim (new)

Jim | 100 comments Michael wrote: "Would anyone be interested in comparing nerdy spreadsheets? I'd love to see what I am missing. Maybe we could categorize things (animated series, movies, comics, video games, scholastic, etc). I..."

The Star Wars Readers compendium actually does a really good job of putting all the books/stories in chronological order. It includes the kids novels as well as short stories that appear in the Tales of books and Star Wars Insider. It also accounts for the disconnects with the Clone Wars TV show to reorder the Clone wars novels (from what is in the front covers) to be consistent with the cartoon. That was pre-Legends decision though.

Some of the novelizations are really good. To echo Revenge of the Sith. The entire opening battle between Dooku and Obi-Wan/Anakin is told from Dooku's POV. You get a much greater perspective of the battle than you do from the movie.


message 8: by Michael (new)

Michael Tidd (tiddbitts) | 5 comments Thanks - where can I find the Star Wars Readers compendium?


message 9: by Jim (new)

Jim | 100 comments The readers companion can be found here https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... It is a published lucasbooks product so you should be able to find it at most booksellers. I thought it was very useful.


message 10: by Bernard (new)

Bernard As I've noted in other threads, I'm reading the books (even YA) and some comics in published order. I feel as if it is a more organic progression. I'm half way through Jedi Apprentice and New Jedi Order series which were published about the same time in late 90s / early 2000s. A long way to go, but hey, that's why it is called a hobby. A friend of mine said I'd never catch up, so I should just abandon it. Now that Disney has abandoned EU I might be able to catch up, at least on rebranded Legends. Then he said, forget Legends, now is your chance to stay current and read only the new canon tie ins! Well, we'll see....


message 11: by Darren (new)

Darren It's nice to read about others journeys to try and read the books in chronological order. I first started back in early 2000s with Jedi Apprentice series. As time went on I was faced with the reality that it would take way too long so I made some adjustments.
I stopped reading the YA novels completely and started listening to audiobooks of the other novels. While this propelled me quickly through the novels, I felt like I was missing a lot of the story because the audiobooks were all abridged.
By the time I reached the NJO I adjusted again and went back to reading the full novels because I really wanted to soak up everything in the 20 book NJO series. Well that was 4 years ago and I still haven't finished the NJO yet (up to book 16). Because I know this whole era will be rewritten when the new movie comes out, my goal is to read the entire NJO, Legacy and Fate series before The Force Awakens. A challenge I know!
Thankfully the new canon novels starting with A New Dawn are available in unabridged audiobook so I have been able to keep up with the recent releases. I've also jumped into the marvel comics knowing they are all canon now.


message 12: by Michael (new)

Michael Tidd (tiddbitts) | 5 comments Oh god the comics. So, so much on Wookiepedia is from those...I don't have a one and don't even know where to go with that, from the '77 Marvel to the later Dark Horse...ugh. Books I can get away with, the wife might end this project if she finds 100 comic books.

The young adult ones are somewhat skip-able I suppose - I'm reading the boba fett ones now and they get pretty childish. The early ones where Obi Wan was apprentice were the best and there were way too many.


message 13: by Darren (new)

Darren I felt the same way about the comics. I was invested in the books but wondered where was a good place to start with so many comics. The canon reboot with Marvel felt like a great place to start and I'm really enjoying them. I get the questions from my wife saying 'what is comixology and why are we paying them $5 every other week?'
I really liked the Jedi Apprentice series too. If only I could get through the 20 book NJO as quickly as I read the 20 JA books.


message 14: by Darren (new)

Darren I felt the same way about the comics. I was invested in the books but wondered where was a good place to start with so many comics. The canon reboot with Marvel felt like a great place to start and I'm really enjoying them. I get the questions from my wife saying 'what is comixology and why are we paying them $5 every other week?'
I really liked the Jedi Apprentice series too. If only I could get through the 20 book NJO as quickly as I read the 20 JA books.


message 15: by Darren (new)

Darren I felt the same way about the comics. I was invested in the books but wondered where was a good place to start with so many comics. The canon reboot with Marvel felt like a great place to start and I'm really enjoying them. I get the questions from my wife saying 'what is comixology and why are we paying them $5 every other week?'
I really liked the Jedi Apprentice series too. If only I could get through the 20 book NJO as quickly as I read the 20 JA books.


message 16: by Darren (new)

Darren I felt the same way about the comics. I was invested in the books but wondered where was a good place to start with so many comics. The canon reboot with Marvel felt like a great place to start and I'm really enjoying them. I get the questions from my wife saying 'what is comixology and why are we paying them $5 every other week?'
I really liked the Jedi Apprentice series too. If only I could get through the 20 book NJO as quickly as I read the 20 JA books.


message 17: by Cole (new)

Cole Rush (kolejorg) | 2 comments Check out this site. I use it to keep track of what I have read in order. So far it's the best breakdown covering all medias. http://starwarstimelinealmanac.com/SW...


message 18: by Michael (new)

Michael Tidd (tiddbitts) | 5 comments Kolejorg - thank you immensely. that is a huge help...the person that went through all that effort has certainly made life easier. Not sure why it's a PDF instead of an Excel that I can filter, but oh well - it's a hugely handy guide.


back to top