On your way back to Dagobah to complete your Jedi training? Well, remember last time, how bored you got between training sessions, with nothing to do but have staring contests with Takodanan salamanders? (Which can’t physically blink, by the way – Yoda was playing you like a kloo horn.) This time: bring some reading material.
Important to note, however, is that everything you bring has to be a relatively fast read. The reason? Why should you not bring Marphlomax’s Rise Fall Rise Again and Fall One Last Time of the Dantooine Trade Dynasty, even though this might be your chance to slog through it uninterrupted? Because Dagobah is 100% swamp, and things made of even the best paper will begin rotting the minute you crash land your X Wing. Unless you want to soak every book in Scotch Guard (which probably wouldn’t even work), choose only superfast reads, and keep them individually dyno-sealed until the moment you want to read them. You’ll have a week at most once you break the seal.
So, here are our book recommendations for filling your downtime – nothing to get “bogged” down in (ha ha – get it? bog?) just fun reads to keep you up on the latest Galactic happenings.
(Note: Some of these are for you younger padawans.)
Thrawn (Timothy Zahn) – This blue-skinned jerk. Here you have the backstory of everyone’s favorite love-to-hate strategic-super-genius Grand Admiral Thrawn. From his initial rescue by troopers, the extraordinary victories that put the glimmer in the Emperor’s eye, all the way to his political forays – this is how powerful villains are made. We hate him; he’s amazing.
Empire’s End: Aftermath (Chuck Wendig) – This is the final book in the Aftermath trilogy (the first two are Aftermath and Life Debt), which tells the story of the Empire and New Republic after the Battle of Endor. Even that stunning victory was not enough to destroy the resilient Empire; all it may have achieved is a more level playing field. The whole series features a renewed Republic trying to stop the Empire from regrouping – and a few familiar faces finding themselves in familiar trouble. (I won’t spoil the surprise of who exactly they are, but some of them are the scoundrel-type.) This final installment features the cataclysmic Battle of Jakku — but cataclysmic for whom? (At minimum, the battle will drop many derelict spaceships into the sands of Jakku, providing a livelihood for any nearby orphaned scavengers.)
Rebel Rising (Beth Revis) – How do you go from being an abandoned kid to a rebellion hero? Well, it ain’t easy. Without Jyn Erso, the rebellion would have ended with the Death Star, but her journey was as chancy as the Battle of Yavin itself. This story is her growth and struggles as Saw Gerrera’s protegé.
Guardians of the Whills (Greg Rucka) – These semi-Jedis kept the flame alive under the boot heel of the Empire. These are the particular adventures of Chirrut Inwe and Baze Malbus on Jedha, right before that time we blew up the Death Star. (Ha! They’ll never build another one of those!) Heroes without need for fame or glory: all Jedi should aspire to such detachment.
Ahsoka (E. K. Johnston) – She’s a rebel’s rebel. Before Jyn Erso, there was Ahsoka Tano, cutting her own path thru the galaxy. This book bridges the gap between leaving the Jedi Order and joining the Rebellion. Surely it was not her first choice to do so, but we’re glad she did.
Star Wars Jedi Academy – This series is on-going – and maybe a little frustrating for those of you who do not have the privilege of training with “facilities”, “food” and “a place to sleep”. Yes, long before Dagobah was your best of exactly one options for a Jedi training ground (it’s not all ground, actually – some of it is slime crust – it only looks solid – so be careful), there was an actual Jedi training academy. It was really nice. They even had lockers. Anyway, the latest of these envy-inducing stories is called A New Class (Jarrett J. Krosoczka) and follows students thru a rough semester, where theater is used to help padawan Victor learn how to control his anger — but look, the best part is seeing a young(er) Master Yoda in action. When you get to Dagobah, test his anger control by showing him pictures of his slightly less wrinkly self – or just leave them posted around the swamp – tee hee. Coming this summer is the next in this series, called The Force Oversleeps (Krosoczka). Is Victor’s fellow student (and sister!) a Sith? Surely not – how could a Sith operate right under the noses of such legendary masters as Mace Windu and Obi Wan Kenobi? (Uh, best not to wave this particular story in Yoda’s face. Just don’t.)
If you’re not going back to Dagobah until next season, or – more likely – next next season (we know it’s not fair, but knock it off – Jedi do not whine), then keep an eye out for these:
Phasma (Delilah S. Dawson) – Finally, Captain Phasma in action. She’s imposing, she’s wearing chrome armor, she’s got a cape – here’s your chance to see what a top notch trooper can really do. Except, not yet. September.
Inferno Squad (Christie Golden) – The Inferno Squad is the super-commando unit of the Empire. This is the story of their infiltration of Saw Gerrero’s freedom fighters. They’re not really happy about the theft of the Death Star plans, and they are not nice people. Hilarity ensues. If by hilarity you mean extreme commitment to violent suppression of the rebellion.
From a Certain Point of View – This anthology from multiple authors is not available until next fall, but it sounds incredible. These are retellings of key moments in stories we already know – but told from the perspective of by-standers. For example, what was it like to be one of the Stormtroopers when the Millennium Falcon first blasted its way out of Mos Eisley? Or how about the experiences of the X-Wing pilots not named Luke Skywalker? The lineup of the authors includes a variety of top Star Wars names, like Chuck Wendig and Ashley Eckstein(!), but also some folks whose perspective might be particularly useful for a padawan such as yourself, such as Mallory Ortberg and Griffin McElroy.
If you want to more thoroughly explore the history of the galaxy, access our on-going, comprehensive survey right here – straight outta the Jedi Temple Library, starting way back at the dawn of the Jedi.
Ok, you’re off to Dagobah. Don’t forget to dyno-seal every book individually, and make sure your astromech has fresh gaskets — they will get wet.