Star Wars books continue to have the strength they did last year, following up a pretty spectacular showing in 2015 with some heavy hitting books for 2016. And the work of the Star Wars Story Group is clearly evident in the line of fiction books being released with the subtle weaving together of different plot lines and stories from throughout the history of this beloved universe. The non-fiction side is pretty amazing, too. Beautiful artwork and lots of great detail about the movies fill each book. So if you have a Star Wars fan in your life and you’re looking for the perfect gift, any one of these top 5 picks will bring great smiles.
Bloodline: I loved this book! So well written with a great balance of political intrigue and hard core action. Author Claudia Gray gives Leia the well-rounded novel she deserves and fills in the gap about her history post-Death Star II explosion. She also explores Leia’s relationship with Han and gives us a glimpse into the complexity of how they work. It was intriguing exploring the fall out of her relationship to the worst villain in the galaxy. A definite must read.
The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens: This book is so well done that any movie fan will want it in their collection. Tons of great conceptual art gives you an idea of how this fictional universe takes shape. But what got me the most interested were the different story ideas at the beginning that showed some alternate ideas about where the movie might have headed. Rey and Finn were supposed to have different names? And Finn looked like a cross between Indiana Jones and Han Solo. Definitely worth checking out.
Ahsoka: The reason there isn’t a full-blown review for this book yet is that I’m not QUITE done with it! But it is so good, so well written, and such an intriguing story that I needed to include it. The topic interested me right from the start. What happened to Ahsoka following the Clone Wars? E. K. Johnston pens her story in a natural, flowing style. It feels like you are taking this journey with Ahsoka, and slowly the details of her past are starting to fill in. Inspired by the work done by Dave Filioni and crew, it’s a story that honors Ahsoka’s past while showing how she became the freedom fighter we encounter in Star Wars Rebels. Great read for fans of Rebels, Clone Wars, and Ahsoka!
Catalyst: Rogue One: Okay, I just started reading this, but having read the beginning and knowing that it provides the backstory for the upcoming Rogue One I would be remiss if I didn’t include this as a top 5 gift for the Star Wars fan. Considering James Lucerno’s past work in the Star Wars universe and the topic of the book (the development of the most powerful weapon in the galaxy), this is a hard one to pass up. Lucerno can be a bit dry and methodical at times, but he is a good, solid writer who offers Star Wars fans a story they won’t be disappointed in. I enjoyed Tarkin and thought he did a great job fleshing out his motivation and background and look forward to more of the same from this book.
The Perfect Weapon: Yes, an e-book made the list of top 5 books for the year. I enjoyed this from beginning to end and it took a very minor character from The Force Awakens and gave her some substance. Bazine is the sexy assassin who sits with Grummgar and rats out the location of Rey and Finn to the Empire, but she is much more complex than that as Deliah Dawson describes in this mini-novel. Hard to wrap this one up and give it as a gift, but sending it to a friend long distance or simply getting a little something for yourself would be worthwhile.
There are plenty of other books out there that enrich the Star Wars universe, but I picked my five favorites for the year. And the novelization of Rogue One will actually be out before Christmas this year with an on sale date to coincide with the movie so that’s another possible great gift for the Star Wars fan (unlike The Force Awakens which came out a month after it was released in theaters to avoid any possible spoilers). If your favorite isn’t on here, I just may not have read it. Share with all of us and tell us about yours!