Welcome to Star Wars week with the Couch Crunchers! This week we will be posting daily articles all related to Star Wars in preparation for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. To start us off, I am about to explain why I love this universe so much.
The Star Wars universe is my favorite franchise and I didn’t realize that until recently. I’ve always been a huge fan of the franchise but I’ve also always been a massive fan of the fantasy genre. There’s no reason you can’t be a super fan of both and so I am. That said, I had read many fantasy novels in my day and told myself my favorite franchise was The Lord of the Rings. A great franchise to be sure but not one that really measures up fully to Star Wars. Lord of the Rings was considered my favorite because of my love for fantasy and the original films. Interestingly, these two franchises are similar in that their original franchises are loved and their prequel trilogies, not so much. But I digress.
About 4 years ago, my boss recommended I read some Star Wars books. Up until then my exposure to Star Wars had been the movies, games and TV shows. Even though I was a reader, I had never delved into the realm of Star Wars books. I honestly wondered if it was too “nerdy” even for me. How wrong I was about that and about Lord of the Rings being my favorite franchise. I started off with, Heir to the Empire, the first entry in The Thrawn Trilogy. These books are now part of what is known as legends (non canon) and they were already legends at that point in time. I didn’t and still don’t care about that. Star Wars books, whether canon or not, are entertaining and fun stories. Heir to the Empire is a phenomenal book that takes place shortly after the events of Return of the Jedi. It introduced the menacing and powerful Grand Admiral Thrawn and showed that you don’t need the force to be a formidable ally against the rebellion/New Republic. Over the course of the Trilogy, Thrawn takes what contingent of the Empire he has and causes all sorts of trouble for Luke, Leia, Han and co. It is a daring tale that puts these heroes into dire situations and introduces one of the best legends characters ever, Mara Jade. While she may never end up being canon, I love Mara Jade and I look forward to reading more legends books with her in them.
After reading the Thrawn trilogy, I went on to read more books in the legends category until the new Canon books started coming out. Some notable entries in the new canon (that I have read) are Tarkin, Lords of the Sith, A New Dawn, and Dark Disciple. There are many others I intend to read such as the Ashoka and Thrawn books but this new canon has some great literature to offer. I fell deeper in love with Star Wars due to these books and I never looked back. The expanded universe of books along with the TV shows and movies make this universe the best out there. I still love fantasy and Lord of the Rings but, in the end, the force, the characters, and the galaxy of Star Wars are more intriguing. There is so much adventure and fun to be had in the Star Wars universe and I personally cannot wait to see what happens next. May the force be with you all!