Star Wars and Lord of the Rings have been compared as opposites in terms of lore and fantasy elements. The main contrasts are that one is set in medieval times while the other is in space (futuristic). But another is that one adapts a series of books, and the other has inspired a book series.
The Star Wars movies were novelized, spawning a book to correspond with each movie. After that, the Star Wars universe was expanded with the help of multiple books. At one point, the book count exceeded the movie count by a ratio of 1 to 40.
But don’t worry! This post is your complete guide to Star Wars books in order of publication. It includes all the books categorized by how essential they are as well as the format.
our best Star Wars Books at a glance:
- Heir to the Empire (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, #1)
- Star Wars Ahsoka
- Aftermath (Star Wars: Aftermath, #1)
- Star Wars: Lost Stars
George Lucas: The Genius Behind The Star Wars Franchise
George Lucas is one of the most influential filmmakers of this century because he helped develop the new Hollywood movement. Two of his best-known franchises are Indiana Jones and Star Wars. He is also credited with discovering Harrison Ford, who became a global superstar through his performance as Han Solo in Star Wars.
Lucas was born George Walton Lucas Jr. on May 14, 1944. He was raised in California by Dorothy Lucas and George Lucas Sr. His early life exposure to commercial film and entertainment included going to the Disneyland opening in 1955 and consuming Flash Gordon serials as a child.
Despite his enthusiasm for pop culture iconography and films, he never saw himself as making a mark on pop culture. Instead, he fancied himself a racecar driver and spent the majority of his youth as an underground racecar driver.
In 1962, just before graduating high school, Lucas got into a serious accident that could have caused a loss of life. Barely making it with his life, Lucas lost interest in racing and started pursuing other interests, including the creative arts.
The shift to film was gradual, though. Lucas went to Modesto College, where he studied subjects that would inform his later fiction. Among the subjects that he took up was literature, which led him to Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey.”
The Campbell formula would heavily influence the trajectory of Luke Skywalker’s journey in Star Wars. He also took up sociology and anthropology, which would influence the Indiana Jones franchise.
He began filming race cars while in college, now that he wasn’t actively driving them. Remnants of this interest are evident in the concept of hyperdrive in Star Wars. Soon after getting good feedback on his filming, Lucas got more involved in the medium than the subject.
He transferred to the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.
Walter Murch, Hal Barwood, and John Milius were among his classmates, and the group (featuring even more film enthusiasts) became known as the “Dirty Dozen.” During these years, Lucas also met Steven Speilberg, with whom he collaborated on Indiana Jones projects.
His interest in film hadn’t yet reached a career-making stage when he attempted to join the US military on two counts. Once, his voluntary application was rejected because of his record of speeding. And the second time, he was drafted but subsequently rejected on medical grounds for having diabetes.
Only when racecar driving and a potential military stint were out of Lucas’s reach did he get to filmmaking.
When Lucas was done with his internship phase, in which he was fortunate enough to shadow a film being produced by Warner Bros., he started his own company, LucasFilm Ltd., and produced American Graffiti. After his debut movie became a success, George Lucas lobbied to get the rights to Flash Gordon.
He didn’t get the rights and decided to pen an original space opera, which eventually became Star Wars. The rest is history, and the product of history is that Lucas today is credited with founding Lucasfilm, LucasArts, and THX. After inflation, his films remain among the top 100 grossing films of all time.
Star Wars Books In Order
Original Novelizations in the order of publication
- Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker/Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
- Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – The Illustrated Edition
- Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars
- Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (junior novel)
- Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
Star Wars Legends Books In Order of publication
- Splinter of the Mind’s Eye: Star Wars Legends
- The Han Solo Adventures: Star Wars Legends
- Jedi Search: Star Wars Legends (The Jedi Academy)
- The Adventures of Lando Calrissian: Star Wars Legends
- Champions of the Force: Star Wars Legends (The Jedi Academy)
- The Truce at Bakura: Star Wars Legends
- The Courtship of Princess Leia: Star Wars Legends
- Tales from Mos Eisley Cantina: Star Wars Legends
- The Crystal Star: Star Wars Legends
- Tales from Jabba’s Palace: Star Wars Legends
- Children of the Jedi: Star Wars Legends
- Darksaber: Star Wars Legends
- Tales of the Bounty Hunters: Star Wars Legends
- Shadows of the Empire: Star Wars Legends
- The New Rebellion: Star Wars Legends
- Tales from the Empire: Star Wars Legends
- Planet of Twilight: Star Wars Legends
- I, Jedi: Star Wars Legends
- Tales from the New Republic: Star Wars Legends
- Saboteur: Star Wars Legends (Darth Maul) (Short Story)
- Rogue Planet: Star Wars Legends
- Cloak of Deception: Star Wars Legends
- The Approaching Storm: Star Wars Legends
- A Forest Apart: Star Wars Legends (Short Story)
- Tatooine Ghost: Star Wars Legends
- The Ruins of Dantooine: Star Wars Galaxies Legends
- Fool’s Bargain: Star Wars Legends (Novella)
- The Hive: Star Wars Legends (Short Story)
- Battle Surgeons: Star Wars Legends (Medstar, Book I)
- Jedi Healer: Star Wars Legends (Medstar, Book II)
- Yoda: Dark Rendezvous: Star Wars Legends
- Survivor’s Quest: Star Wars Legends
- The Cestus Deception: Star Wars Legends (Clone Wars)
- Revenge of the Sith: Illustrated Screenplay: Star Wars: Episode III
- Jedi Trial: Star Wars Legends
- Labyrinth of Evil: Star Wars Legends
- Dark Lord: Star Wars Legends
- Boba Fett: A Practical Man: Star Wars Legends (Short Story)
- Outbound Flight: Star Wars Legends
- Star Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter
- Star Wars: Shatterpoint
- Allegiance: Star Wars Legends
- The Dark Lord Trilogy: Star Wars Legends
- Death Star: Star Wars Legends
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Force Unleashed: Star Wars Legends
- Millennium Falcon: Star Wars Legends
- Crosscurrent: Star Wars Legends
- Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor: Star Wars Legends
- Knight Errant: Star Wars Legends
- The Force Unleashed II: Star Wars Legends
- Riptide: Star Wars Legends
- Shadow Games: Star Wars Legends
- Red Harvest: Star Wars Legends
- Scourge: Star Wars Legends
- Choices of One: Star Wars Legends
- Winner Lose All–A Lando Calrissian Tale: Star Wars Legends (Novella)
- The Last Jedi: Star Wars Legends
- Scoundrels: Star Wars Legends
- Crucible: Star Wars Legends
- Razor’s Edge: Star Wars Legends
- Lockdown: Star Wars Legends (Maul)
- Honor Among Thieves: Star Wars Legends
- Shatterpoint: Star Wars Legends
- Darth Plagueis: Star Wars Legends
- Kenobi: Star Wars Legends
- Shadow Hunter: Star Wars Legends (Darth Maul)
- Death Troopers: Star Wars Legends
Star Wars Canon Books In Order
- Star Wars Aftermath
- aftermath Life of Debt
- A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy
- The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to Be a Jedi?
- Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!
- Star Wars: The Force Star Wars: The Force Awaken/s
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens – A Junior Novel
- The Force Awakens: Rey’s Story
- The Force Awakens: Finn’s Story
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Star Wars: Rogue One – A Junior Novel
- Star Wars Ahsoka
- Star Wars: Lost Stars
- Star Wars: Life of Debt
- Star Wars: A New Hope
- Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Expanded Edition
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi – A Junior Novel
- Solo: A Star Wars Story – Expanded Edition
- Solo: A Star Wars Story – A Junior Novel
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Expanded Edition
- Star Wars: The Mandalorian Junior Novel
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – A Junior Novel
- Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 2 Junior Novel
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Books In Order
- William Shakespeare’s The Phantom of Menace: Star Wars Part the First
- William Shakespeare’s The Clone Army Attacketh: Star Wars Part the Second
- William Shakespeare’s Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge: Star Wars Part the Third
- William Shakespeare’s Star Wars (Verily, A New Hope)
- William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back
- William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return
- William Shakespeare’s The Force Doth Awaken
- William Shakespeare’s Jedi the Last
- William Shakespeare’s The Merry Rise of Skywalker
The Best Star Wars Books To Read
Heir to the Empire is one of the most significant Star Wars books because it launches and follows one of the most significant characters in the Star Wars extended universe, Mitth’raw’nuruodo. Thrawn is the core name of Mitth’raw’nuruodo, and this book is the first entry in the Thrawn trilogy.
It takes place five years after the events of The Last Jedi and takes place thousands of lightyears away from the main stage. Warlords who have expanded their control after the Empire’s fall are the key characters in the story, and a secret that could upset the government established by the Rebel Alliance is the plot driver.
It is widely considered one of the best Star Wars novels, apart from the novelized versions of the movies.
Ahsoka, or Star Wars: Ahsoka, is a novel that follows one of the popular non-movie characters who has had a great run on TV. Even after erasing the Star Wars Extended Universe and the Legends Canon, Disney has continued to hold on to Ahsoka, who in many ways symbolized the extension of the Star Wars lore with the Clone Wars.
This story follows Ahsoka’s journey offscreen between the events of the Clone Wars series and the Star Wars Rebels series. It is a Disney co-signed story that is well-received by Lucas fans and the new Star Wars fans.
Star Wars Aftermath is a mainstream-interest book in the Star Wars universe. It caters to the curiosity of those who are interested in what happens after the events of the original Star Wars trilogy and is a very accessible book for anyone who has watched the main trilogy or even the final movie in the first Star Wars trilogy.
The Lost Stars is a heartfelt story of two love-struck childhood friends who grow up to find themselves on opposite sides of the main conflict that takes place in the primary Star Wars trilogy.
Again, this is a popular book because one doesn’t need to be well-versed in the extended lore to understand the events taking place in it. Anyone who has watched the prequel and the main trilogies can enjoy this book.
Star Wars FAQs
How Many Star Wars Books Are There?
There are 381 books in the Star Wars universe, not counting fan fiction and Star Wars-inspired books. The total book count consists of official novels, comic books, and spin-offs. The Star Wars bibliography is extensive, with secret histories, short stories, and adventure accounts included.
However, all the books don’t tell a singular and cohesive story like the Lord of the Rings books. Instead, they tell different stories in different series and formats, but they don’t contradict each other all that much.
You don’t have to read all 300+ books to “get” Star Wars. The main nine books in the Star Wars canon are frequently regarded as textual versions of the films. They tell a cohesive and chronological story across three sagas. It is often assumed that they were written by George Lucas, even though he didn’t write those books either.
How Many Star Wars Books Did George Lucas Write?
George Lucas wrote zero Star Wars books but created the characters that appear in the original nine as well as the remaining 300+ Star Wars books. All Star Wars books are written by ghostwriters and/or collaborators.
George Lucas wrote the original movies, and because the novelization captures the story of the movies, it gives credit to Lucas. Aside from those nine books, the rest credit Lucas in part because he created the Star Wars brand. This is similar to the creator credit that a show’s primary creator gets, even if the series’ episodes are written by other writers.
Who Wrote The Original 9 Star Wars Books?
Alan Dean Foster adapted the original Star Wars books into novels using the screenplays written by George Lucas. Initially, Foster was the ghostwriter, which is why George Lucas has the cover credit. However, Lucas has not denied Foster’s involvement or stopped him from taking credit.
Lucas retroactively gave Alan Dean Foster a half-percent royalty on the novelization, which wasn’t even a part of his contract. The skyrocketing interest in Star Wars novels made Foster significantly richer.
Are Star Wars Books Canon?
Select Star Wars books are canon. Disney has shuffled the canon after acquiring the franchise. It was always understood that the novelization of the screenplays would be in the Star Wars canon. But other stories were always at risk of being decanonized.
The legends’ canon of Star Wars was considered authentic and final until Disney decided to scrap it, making the previous canon officially non-canon. Now, the Disney canon includes the Clone Wars series and the novelization of the movies.
In other words, the Disney canon, as well as the previous canon, have one thing in common: movie novelization.
Who Was The First Jedi?
Prime Jedi was the first Jedi in Star Wars Legends, and he founded the order that included Jedi Masters Cala Brin, Garon Jard, Rajivari, and Ters Sendon. These were the Original Jedi. The first Jedi is not revealed in the Disney Canon.
Who Was The First Sith?
Ajunta Pall was the first Sith lord in the Star Wars Legends continuity. Disney canon hasn’t revealed its first Sith. Until then, Ajunta Pall’s status as the first Sith lord remains intact.
Is Disney Star Wars Being Novelized?
The Disney Star Wars movies (the main new trilogy) have been novelized. Each novel is positioned as an “expanded edition” and has made it to the New York Times Bestsellers list.
Wrapping it up
The Star Wars movies have created a fandom that has an obsessive passion for the story and the lore. This appetite can be satisfied with over 300 books that are set in the Star Wars universe.
The canon of Star Wars shifted to scrap the Legends series and save the novelization of the primary and prequel trilogies. It now also includes the novelization of the latest three books that follow the Disney trilogy.