In the 90s, when I was practically living in the Science Fiction and Fantasy section of the Library, the one part of the section that I blindly skipped over was the part of the shelves dedicated to the Star Wars Expanded Universe (and now called Legends instead of EU). Besides the fact that I wasn’t that interested in the characters, the descriptions didn’t seem as interesting as the universes I was exploring elsewhere.
When I became a fan of Star Wars, I decided to give it a shot. After all, I was willing to eat up any tidbit about the Skywalkers, to the point that I was watching the movies on rotation every day. Why wouldn’t I also be in love with the books?
With the exception of Matt Stover’s Revenge of the Sith novelization, I was not in love with the books. But I’m a sucker for punishment, and when I heard good things about the Disney EU, I decided to pick up Bloodline. Then I went on to Lost Stars. And now I’m on Ahsoka.
This new EU is incredible. It’s character-driven, dramatic, tragic, and everything that I look for in Star Wars. I can’t put them down. People on the subway are subject to me muttering “Oh Anakin, you beautiful idiot!” occasionally as I read through how the movies change the lives of all my favorite characters. It’s given The Force Awakens a depth that I didn’t anticipate and I may even watch Rebels at this point just to get more Ahsoka Tano.
You can also jump into these novels without knowing much about the Star Wars Universe outside of the movies. There isn’t a lot of inside language that exists only in the books, so if you want to know what happened to Leila, you can read Bloodline without worrying about what “duracrete” or “transparisteel” is.
Now if only I can get Disney to write that Padme Amidala novel that I need, I will never look back.