COUNTDOWN: Top 5 Star Wars Expanded Universe novels

With news that the expanded universe is being disregarded in the new movies Mark Berryman counts down his top 5 Star Wars Expanded Universe novels.


5. Heir to the Empire

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Five years after the Death Star was destroyed and Darth Vader and the Emperor were defeated, the galaxy is struggling to heal the wounds of war, Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting twins, and Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of new Jedi Knights. But thousands of light-years away, the last of the Emperor’s warlords—the brilliant and deadly Grand Admiral Thrawn—has taken command of the shattered Imperial fleet, readied it for war, and pointed it at the fragile heart of the New Republic. For this dark warrior has made two vital discoveries that could destroy everything the courageous men and women of the Rebel Alliance fought so hard to create.


4. Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina

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An anthology of stories compiled by Kevin J Anderson and written by a collection of celebrated sci-fi authors it was the first in a trilogy of anthology collections that shed light on all those lessor characters seen in the background of the movies. Set in a far off corner of the universe, on the small desert planet of Tatooine, there is a dark, nic-i-tain-filled cantina where you can down your favorite intoxicant while listening to the best jizz riffs in the universe. But beware your fellow denizens of this pangalactic watering hole, for they are cutthroats and cutpurses, assassins and troopers, humans and aliens, gangsters and thieves.


3. The Han Solo Trilogy

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Set before the events of Episode IV, the Millennium Falcon is “the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.” So when Han Solo wins it in a game of sabacc, he and Chewbacca become kings of the smugglers–uncatchable, unstoppable. But with the Empire clamping down, Han knows his luck can’t last. Still, when an old girlfriend who is now the leader of an insurgent Rebel group offers him a shot at an incredible fortune, Han can’t resist. The plan seems a sure thing. The resistance will be light and the take enormous. Han and his friends will divide it equally with the Rebels. Too bad for Han that the planet of Ylesia is far from a pushover, that the Rebels have an agenda of their own, and that smuggler friends can often turn into enemies…quicker than lightspeed.


2. Shadows of the Empire

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It is a time of crisis. Han Solo, frozen in carbonite, is being taken to the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt. As Princess Leia mounts a rescue mission and Darth Vader scours the Galaxy for Luke Skywalker, another sinister figure emerges. Cunning and ruthless, leader of a powerful crime syndicate, he will pit himself against Vader for the favor of their mutual master…the dreaded Emperor.


1. Darth Plagueis

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Darth Plagueis: one of the most brilliant Sith Lords who ever lived. Possessing power is all he desires. Losing it is the only thing he fears. As an apprentice, he embraces the ruthless ways of the Sith. And when the time is right, he destroys his Master—but vows never to suffer the same fate. For like no other disciple of the dark side, Darth Plagueis learns to command the ultimate power . . . over life and death.

Darth Sidious: Plagueis’s chosen apprentice. Under the guidance of his Master, he secretly studies the ways of the Sith, while publicly rising to power in the galactic government, first as Senator, then as Chancellor, and eventually as Emperor. Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious, Master and acolyte, target the galaxy for domination—and the Jedi Order for annihilation. But can they defy the merciless Sith tradition? Or will the desire of one to rule supreme, and the dream of the other to live forever, sow the seeds of their destruction?”

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