This October marks the ninth year of Star Wars Reads, a month-long celebration of Star Wars and reading. My son and I love Star Wars, and this is a great opportunity for me to build in another fun project into our homeschooling this year.
I got into the Star Wars comics a few years ago, but it took me a little longer to start reading the books—and there are plenty of them to read, from Legends to the new canon. Whatever you love about Star Wars, there is likely a book about it or that has it in the story. I admit, I am new to Star Wars Rebels and Thrawn, and my canon knowledge exceeds that of my Legends knowledge, but that’s also one of the things I love about the fandom: just how much is out there and that there’s always more to read and learn.
My one complaint: Disney, come on. Leia is the main character of the saga (I’ve written about this before). Leia is an icon. She’s got a hell of a storyline. Yes, we have the Claudia Gray book and one volume of a Leia comic. I WANT MORE! I want her childhood on Alderaan with Bail and Breha. I want her Jedi training with Luke, as was alluded to in Episode IX. I want a book about her as a mother, raising Ben (I know, I guess we’ll ignore Jacen and Jaina). I want more stories of her watching her Resistance fight and die and find hope. I would love, love, love a book about her getting older and navigating her desire to have Ben denounce the Dark Side, and her realization of everything she’s lived through. Disney, hit me up. I have ideas.
Yes, I will die on this hill.
Since those books don’t exist (yet), I put together a list of books that I’ll be reading for October, as well as some of my favorite Star Wars books. For those with young Padawans, I have some suggestions for them, too! For even more Star Wars bookish goodness, check out this post and this post, too.
Shadow Fall by Alexander Freed
If you’ve read Alphabet Squadron, this is the next book in the trilogy, following Yrica Quell and the rest of the Squadron. It’s a little bit of a slower pace and a more in-depth look at characters than many other Star Wars books—but it also gives the reader a new look at areas of the galaxy and battles.
Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray
This is one of my favorite Star Wars books, so I’ll definitely be rereading this one. This is a YA book that centers Leia, telling the story of her teen years and how she ended up joining the Rebellion. It takes place several years before Episode IV, and really gives us a good look at who Leia is and how she got that way. Gray just gets the Star Wars voice, she gets the Star Wars world. If you like this one, Bloodline is another amazing one by Gray, also featuring Leia. Hmm…I am going to add that to my stack now to reread.
Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge: A Crash of Fate by Zoraida Cordova
For me, this book felt very different than most Star Wars books, but that’s exactly why I love it. Izzy and Jules were childhood friends, but Izzy left one day with her family. Years later, she returns to Batuu to deliver a package. All she wants to do is drop it off and leave—but then she runs into Jules. Cordova adds wonderful stories and depth to the Star Wars galaxy with this book, giving the reader a glimpse of how many other stories are out there, with the overarching storyline as merely the backdrop.
Star Wars: A Jedi You Will Be by Preeti Chhibber (October 6)
My 4-year-old son LOVES Star Wars. He loves the Golden Books, the picture books, the early readers, the random board books I find—all of it. Although he leans toward the Dark Side, the minute he saw me take this out of the mail, he grabbed it from me, saying it was “my mail.” Despite his Sith inclinations, he loved reading about Yoda and looking at the pictures of Luke’s training. If you have a Padawan of your own, definitely pick this one up.
Thrawn: Ascendancy: Chaos Rising by Timothy Zahn
I have not read any new canon about Thrawn before, so this book is pretty novel to me. It came in the mail, blue pages ablaze, and I’m really looking forward to reading it for SW Reads. Zahn wrote the Legends Thrawn trilogy and rumor has it this reminds a lot of readers of Legends books…in a very good way. This follows Thrawn as a young military officer, and introduces readers to the Ascendancy, an area in the Unknown Regions where Thrawn is. After the Ascendancy is attacked, Thrawn is recruited to find out who is behind the attack—leading to discoveries he didn’t expect. Zahn gets Star Wars, and even though I’m a Rebel Alliance girl all the way, I’m really excited to read this.
The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark edited by Jennifer Heddle
What I love about Star Wars anthologies is the variety of voices they include, and this collection is no different: Jason Fry, Yoon Ha Lee, Tom Angleberger, Rebecca Roanhorse, and more. These are retellings of episodes from the Clone Wars TV series, told from a different point of view. I’ve never watched the series, but this didn’t bother me in the least. Even if you have watched it, it’s worth a read just to get a fresh take on the episodes.
Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse
I loved this book and will recommend it to anyone and everyone looking for a good Star Wars book. Roanhorse gets it. The book takes place between Episodes VIII and IX, and when it starts, the Resistance is a mess, fresh off the battle of Crait and the loss of Admiral Holdo. Obviously, I loved the more in-depth look we get at Leia and her thought processes, but I also loved the new people we meet, the pacing, the details—this is a quintessential Star Wars story.
What will you be reading for Star Wars Reads?