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Top 100 Expanded Universe Works

Posted By Paul on January 21, 2008

Over on the TF.N message boards, they've been running a poll to vote for the Top 100 stories from the Star Wars "Expanded Universe".

Now, this poll obviously wasn't a scientific study of the fandom with a statistically significant and valid sample of respondents. It's just a bit of fun, really.

But it did throw up a few interesting surprises, and we reckon it's worth re-posting here. So, for those of you who've not read it on the message boards, heres the full countdown, from 100 (well, 97th-equal, anyway) all the way to Number One...

The comments are my own. Don't take them all too seriously.

And... here are the results!

97 = Tales of the Jedi: Redemption Kevin J. Anderson/Chris Gossett. In which the author redeemed fallen Sith Lord Ulic Qel-Droma, and also his own reputation among many of the fans who'd hated Leviathan and Darksaber... but departed wildly from the intended character-arc for Ulic.

97 = Splinter of the Mind's Eye by Alan Dean Foster. The very first novel in what would later be known as the Expanded Universe. Quirky, sometimes unsettling, but still a milestone in Star Wars.

97 = Jade Solitaire, by Timothy Zahn. A compact little short story explaining how Mara got from the end of The Last Command to the start of Specter of the Past.

97 = Battlefront II, LucasArts. The first computer game to make the list. You can massacre Gungans, and Havac, the message-boards moderator who ran the poll, reckons that may have something to do with it.

97 = Star Wars Radio Drama, Brian Daley. The NPR audio-serial version of the story now known as A New Hope. With nearly seven hours of airtime, there was a lot of space to develop ideas barely hinted at in the movie itself.

93 = The Corellian Trilogy, Roger MacBride Allen. The novel that really developed the Corellian system, and also, perhaps more importantly, set the Solo family firmly in the context of their homeworld. Neither the New Jedi Order nor Legacy of the Force could have happened the way they did without it.

93 = Jedi: Mace Windu, John Ostrander/Jan Duursema. Sam Jackson wields his big purple lightsaber in anger against a group of rogue Jedi... and, in the background, there's a Whiphid in a mysterious straw Hat, which probably explains its inclusion here, somehow.....

93 = Rogue Planet, Greg Bear. The first Prequel-era Expanded Universe novel. In the end, though, it was probably most important for setting up some of the themes that would later be developed in the New Jedi Order - notably the idea that the Force might have a fundamental unity, above and beyond the dualistic teachings of the Jedi and the Sith.

93 = Boba Fett series, Terry Bisson and Elizabeth Hand. In the old days, young readers Star Wars novels were about noble-hearted, ideallistic Jedi schoolboys. Even the Glove of Darth Vader books had Prince Ken Palpatine as their nominal protagonist. In this age of more complex morality and continuity, we have an orphaned pre-teen assassin, and another contrasting take on the backstory of the silent hunter behind the T-visor mask.

90 = Republic: Honor and Duty, John Ostrander/C.P. Smith. The beginning of the end of the Old Republic, seen through the eyes of an all-too-human Senate Guard. Sagoro Autem is probably one of the more understated characters to appear in the comics, but his journey describes the rise of Palpatine's dark New Order as a force throughout the Galaxy, rather than simply the end of the cloistered Jedi Order. Evidently, it caught some of your attention.

90 = Republic: Darkness, John Ostrander/Jan Duursema. A milestone in the Quin Vos story-arc. Not only did it take the shadow-tinged Jedi Knight home to Kiffu, but it forced him to face off aginst a fallen Jedi Master mind-vampire, it transformed Aayla Secura into the vampire Jedi's scantily-clad slave, and it introduced both Quin's sneaky old mentor Tholme, and Tholme's fellow Jedi Master and lover, shape-shifting tree Tr'a Saa. What could you not love about this story?!

90 = The Truce at Bakura, Kathy Tyers. What is it that makes this novel popular? Is it the reptillian villains and their droid armies powered by imprisoned human souls? Luke Skywalker's tendancy to get badly beaten up and nearly fall in love? The weary Imperial captain at the furthest outpost of the Empire? The Wedge Antilles plotline that disappears after the opening chapters? Or the geriatric libertarian politicians who get their deserved chance to sock one back to the Imperial occupiers? Maybe all of the above.

85 = Tales of the Jedi: The Sith War, Kevin J. Anderson/Dario Carrasco, Jr. (story by Tom Veitch). Like Havac, I was surprised that this comic-book epic about double-bladed lightsabers, Mandalorian invasions, massive space-battles, and the dangerous willpower of a red-headed Jedi woman proved more popular than it sequel Redemption a psychological story of loss, betrayal, forgiveness, and time passing. In hindsight, I'm not sure why.

85 = Republic: The Siege of Saleucami, John Ostrander/Jan Duursema. On a besieged planet, Quin Vos faces down his darkness. Tholme's sheer badassery suggests he may be an ancestor of Roan Fel. The last of the Morgukai pursues a doomed, desperate attempt to avenge himself on the Jedi. Sagoro Autem watches from his Star Destroyer in orbit, tense and uncomfortable in his new Imperial uniform. Perhaps the "classic" Clone Wars story, combining powerful character-arcs and all the major elements of the overall war story in a single coherent and impressive narrative.

85= Of Possible Futures: The Tale of Zuckuss and 4-LOM, M. Shayne Bell. A philosophical short story about a Force-sensitive alien bounty-hunter and his droid sidekick. Presumably voted for by the same person who wrote the plot-summary on Wookieepedia? Or maybe just one that more people ought to take a look at...?

85 = The Bounty Hunter Wars Trilogy, K.W. Jeter. The author of the Blade Runner sequels gives us a very pared-down portrait of Boba Fett, a complex, switchback narrative structure, and an exotic alien broker sitting at the centre of a web of semi-sentient servants. Also starring KDY kingpin Kuat of Kuat, his cute pet cat, and his kinky cousin Kateel of Kuhvult . And some hover-capable Hutts in heavy armour. And a guy who had his head replaced by a tank turret. Certainly memorable.

85 = The New Jedi Order: Balance Point, Kathy Tyers. Mara Jade spends the opening chapters gazing thoughtfully at Anakin Solo, and then abruptly finds herself pregnant.

79 = Union, Michael A. Stackpole/Robert Teranishi. I can't do better than quote Havac's comments on this one: Luke and Mara's wedding will forever be remembered as a work showing the rare happy moments in which the heroes take time off from the battles against the Imperials, relax, and get attacked by a bunch of celebrity-lookalike Imperials.

79 = Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, LucasArts. There's a lot of ironic commentary in fandom about "warlord of the week" stories that reuse lots of familiar movie locations. Perhaps the biggest irony is that they tend to work quite well. Like this one

79 = The Lando Calrissian Adventures, L. Neil Smith. Quirky early adventures for everyone's favourite cape-wearing gambler, from a prominent libertarian speculative-fiction author. Notable for featuring an Imperial planet guarded exclusively by Kenner mini-rigs, and for establishing that Star Destroyers are armed with "continent-destroying hell projectors". Canonists, please take note.

79 = Legacy: Ready to Die, John Ostrander/Jan Duursema. Roan Fel's badassery knows no bounds. Nothing more need be said.

79 = X-wing Rogue Squadron: In the Empire's Service, Michael A. Stackpole/Darko Macan/John Nadeau. The Empire may be bad, but this was the story arc that really established that even the worst of the bad guys are also human. And some of the people fighting against the Rebellion, like Colonel Baron Soontir Fel, might even be noble and heroic.

79. = X-wing Rogue Squadron: The Making of Baron Fel, Michael A. Stackpole/Darko Macan/Steve Crespo. Following neatly on from In the Empire's Service, above. Looks at how a good man can come to serve the Empire so effectively, and subtly shows how even genocidal madmen and ego-driven killers can be considered with affection by their friends and comrades.

77 = Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines, Karen Traviss. The first paperback in the 'Legacy of the Force' series, introducing an older, more introspective Boba Fett, and seeing Jacen embark on his path to become President of the Galaxy/reigning Sith Lord. You think they're trying to tell us something by combining those two roles?

77 = Vader: The Ultimate Guide, Dan Wallace/Abel G. Pena/Karen Traviss/Pete Vilmur. The first non-fiction book to make the grade; but according to Havac, that's largely due to the fact that it includes "In His Image", a short story by Karen Traviss.

74 = The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic Trilogy, Sean Williams and Shane Dix. There was a lot more to this series than just the Empire opening up a big can of whup against the Yuuzhan Vong--glimpses inside Tahiri's mind, for instance, or the development of several exotic alien environments. But, like Havac, I suspect it was mainly the sight of Star Destroyers striking back again that won it votes here.

74 = Dark Empire Sourcebook, Michael Allen Horne & others. The first entry for a West End Games Sourcebook in the list. I'm not sure what singled this one out--perhaps the detailed descriptions of the neglected events between The Last Command and Dark Empire?

74 = The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader, Ryder Windham. A new book, and a young-readers' book too. Obviously, Adrick wasn't aone with the enthusiasm he expressed for this story's "shockingly cool" highlights in his recent review.

72 = Shadows of the Empire (computer game), LucasArts. Fans tend to look at Dash Rendar, and see a shallow replacement for Han Solo. It seems it's a little different when you are Dash Rendar, and put your own imagination behind the cockpit POV of the character.

72 = The Courtship of Princess Leia, Dave Woverton. Not just one Galaxy-threatening barbarian civilization of matriarchal feminists from outside known space... but two!!

71 Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader, LucasArts. I suspect a group of gamers probably voted in this poll, but who's complaining? True, it has none of the original characters, ships and plotlines found in some other games, just a couple of Expanded Universe locations thrown in, but it's a solid starfighter sim, broadly reprising the plot of the Trilogy. It can also boast Dennis Lawson reprising his role as the voice of Wedge. And Wookieepedia tells me that, with a cheat code, you can fly a '69 Buick against the Empire.

68 = Death Star, Michael Reaves and Steve Perry. Not actually the epic story of the construction and development of the Empire's iconic superweapon, but a series of understated plotlines about ordinary men and women, intertwining aboard the battlemoon before and during Episode IV. Not that there's anything wrong with that, though, is there?

68 = Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, James Luceno. Presented as the direct sequel to Episode III. Obviously, the marketing strategy worked. Or maybe it was just the chance to watch the big guy with bad breath and black armour again, as he learned what he could really do now that his journey to the dark side was complete.

68 = Knights of the Old Republic: Days of Fear, John Jackson Miller/Dustin Weaver/Brian Ching. What accounts for the appearance of this particular story-arc in the list? Was it the Gryph? Or the Mandalorians showing the Republic that they had codpieces of bes'kar. Not the rather gratuitous cameo by one of those HK-series assassin droids, surely?!

66 = The Cestus Deception, Steven Barnes. Another of those prequel-era one-shot novels--and the only Clone Wars novel to place Obi-Wan in a starring role. Not to say that General Kenobi steals the scene completely: a talking snail proves to be a better sidekick than Jar-Jar, and it also has a very human portrait of a clone trooper, one of the few worthwhile protagonists to actually be killed in a recent Star Wars novel.

66 = The New Essential Guide to Characters, Daniel Wallace. One of several examples of this author's effortlessly comprehensive mastery of Star Wars continuity. The luscious illustrations by Michael Sutfin may also have had something to do with its popularity, too, as you see quite a few as screen-name icons.

65 The New Jedi Order: Dark Journey, Elaine Cunningham. Overshadowed a little at the time of its release by Star by Star and the start of the War on Terror, subject to affectionate reassessment in recent years: Jaina goes some way towards resolving her tangled relationships with men (... /Jag... /Kyp... /Lowie... /Zekk... /Isolder...?!) and starts on the path to forge an important, enduring partnership.

63 = Return of the Jedi novelization . Fashes of brilliance liven up the prose of this, my personal favourite among the original trilogy adaptions. The scenes seen through the masked eyes of Darth Vader are among the best told from the Dark Lord of the Sith's perspective.

63 = The Approaching Storm, Alan Dean Foster. Did this get votes for Anakin and Obi-Wan, I wonder? Or for Barris and Luminara? Or maybe some of you just dig stories about Jedi diplomats mediating in socio-economic disputes?

62 The History of the Mandalorians, Abel G. Pena. I still get nostalgic for the days when all the supercommandos were dead and no-one quite knew where or how Jaster Mereel became Boba Fett. But it's an impressive feat to wrangle a range of inspiration that runs from the old Marvel comics up to Episode II tie-ins into a single coherent narrative, especially when you manage to avoid losing the sense of complexity and diversity that came with the original chaos.

61 Young Jedi Knights series, Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta. For some fans, this is still the apogee of Star Wars storytelling.

60 Survivor's Quest, Timothy Zahn. Is it just me, or is that Grand Admiral Thrawn hamming it up in a yellow dress for the benefit of his stormtrooper bodyguard, tricking Luke and Mara into starting a war for him?

59 Legacy of the Force: Tempest, Troy Denning. Alema Rar. The madness of war. And Luke Skywalker faces off against his first love in a knock-down, drag-out lightsaber fight. The only problem with this novel, if it is one, is that Jacen Solo has almost no weight or agency in his supposedly central role. But he's a vital element of set-up for a daft "Many Bothans died..." metatextual joke, so we can forgive him.

57 = Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties, Abel G. Pena. Second Retcon Symphony, Op. 327, binding together the stories of the "bad guys" into a subtly coherent narrative: clarity somehow shaped and shaded into being by shadows and ambiguity. Considering that the story runs from the Infinite Empire to the Galactic Alliance, it's like a William Rutherford novel alchemically told in a few thousand lines.

57 = Jedi Apprentice series, Dave Wolverton, Jude Watson. Building the much-needed bond between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, and establishing their characterization as rounded human beings. Wasn't that meant to be The Phantom Menace's job, rather than a series of young-reader stories?

55 = Dark Times: The Path to Nowhere, Mick Harrison/Doug Wheatley. Genocide, slavery, cannibalism, and a few characters surviving against the odds. When even Darth Vader's secretly thinking the Empire's a terrible mistake, you know that things are bad, and that's a situation that can be bounced out into powerful storytelling.

55 = X-wing: Alliance, LucasArts. We always knew that Ace Azzameen had his fans. We just didnt realise there were quite so many of you!

54 Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force, Ryder Windham. Obviously, some of you really liked the idea of a single-volume survey binding together all the things the Jedi have got up to in the various stories. And, once again, as with The Essential Guide to Characters, swanky illustrations may also play a role in its popularity.

53 Republic: Show of Force, John Ostrander/Jan Duursema. Mace Windu lights up his big purple lightsaber again. And this time, he's backed up by the same hard-core Jedi strike-team who'll later appear in Episode III. How different it would have been if this was a Barriss Offee story, as originally planned.

51= The Han Solo Adventures Brian Daley. Some people still cite this as the classic example of what a Star Wars story ought to be--a bit like the prose equivalent of Empire Strikes Back, appropriately enough.

51 = Jedi Academy Trilogy, Kevin J. Anderson. Blob Races. Gratuitous superweaponry. Daala. A sadistic frog as one of the major villains. And a love interest inspired by Chewie's dad's Wookiee porn from The Holiday Special. I sometimes wonder if this story's fans may take it more seriously than it does itself...?

49 = The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way, Walter Jon Williams. I always think that this book's much more cynical than it seems on the surface. Or was it just the scene of Ackbar getting a hot-tub massage from Mara and Winter that got this the high raiting that it did...?

49 = TIE Fighter, LucasArts. I used to end up flying my TIE upside-down all the time when I played this game. But, even with that taken into account, and even if you're flying for the bad guys, it's still a lot of fun. Also the only Star Wars project to give Grand Admiral Thrawn his own theme-tune.

48 Republic Commando, LucasArts. Be an elite Republic stormtrooper and kill some of those Trandoshan slaver scum!!

47 Star Wars: Legacy: Claws of the Dragon, John Ostrander/Jan Duursema. So awesome that it gets onto the list when it's not yet finished. The story of Cade Skywalker takes another twist and turn, the origins of Darth Krayt are revealed, and in the background, a rescue-mision swings into action, led by Artoo Deetoo, Cade's hard-as-nails mom, and a transsexual Hutt. Oh, and the cover for issue #16 is the single defining image of the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

46 The New Essential Chronology, Daniel Wallace. The ultimate in comprehensive summarizing of Star Wars continuity, revised and expanded! Perhaps the quirky and colourful photomanip illustrations (Riders of Rohan in the Great Sith War, anybody?) also counted for something....

45 Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice, Karen Traviss. Mara Jade Skywalker died. Ben Skywalker went through the psychological mincer. Boba Fett stared people down. A lot of you enjoyed it!

43 = Cloak of Deception, James Luceno. The political corruption and Sith trickery of the early Prequel era seem to work much better when they're outlined in narrative prose.

43 = Obsession, Haden Blackman/Brian Ching. Obi-Wan Kenobi wrestles with his own motives as he pursues the trail of Asajj Ventress across the Galaxy. And Anakin Skywalker blasts Durge down the long drop to his doom in the most spectacular riff on this bad-guy-disposal motif that we've seen in Star Wars canon. But then they scraped enough of him off the walls to bring him back again in Star Wars: Galaxies...

42 = Jedi: Count Dooku, John Ostrander/Jan Duursema. A study in shades of darkness, as the Clone Wars' other Sith Lord tests the loyalty of Jedi deep-cover spy Quinlan Vos. The flip side of Palpatine's relationship with Anakin?

41 MedStar duology, Michael Reaves and Steve Perry. It's MASH in space!

40 The Black Fleet Crisis trilogy, Michael P. Kube-McDowell. Hard military sci-fi with an edge of Arthur C. Clarke-style deep-space mystery and some subtle moral ambiguity. Notable for depicting the movie heroes during various forms of mid-life crisis, while putting the weight of the action on a seperate cast of original characters. Oh, and Lobot and Lando have a funky subplot.

39 Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, LucasArts. Kyle Katarn swaps his Bryar pistol for a lightsaber. Occasionally.

38 Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, Michael Reaves. In which the moody Zabrak with the double-bladed lightsaber slices his way through a cast of vaguely Star Wars-y characters--neurotic young Jedi, down-on-his-luck Corellian, second-hand droid packed with mechanical plot-devices. Still, when it's done well....

37 Knights of the Old Republic: Flashpoint, John Jackson Miller/Dustin Weaver. When lots of Mandalorians and an elf girl in chains suddenly started appearing on the covers of Knights, I thought they were going for shameless fanservice. The story behind the cover, however, was a tight, neatly-wrapped combination of plot, place and people. And it introduced Dustin Weaver to those of us who hadn't seen his work in Star Wars Tales. This was where this series really started to gain its stride.

36 Tatooine Ghost, Troy Denning. Grand Admiral Thrawn tries to disrupt Han and Leia's honeymoon.

35 Star Wars: Legacy: Ghosts, John Ostrander/Jan Duursema. Mara Jade and Darth Vader rise up from Cade Skywalker's unconscious mind; the Yuuzhan Vong and K'Kruhk, complete with his indestructable Hat, are classically Campbellian "help from without". But any analysis will simply fail to do justice to the persuasive power of the story here.

34 The New Jedi Order: Vector Prime, R.A. Salvatore. A bunch of ugly alien punks rock up, and moon at Chewbacca.

33= The Han Solo Trilogy, A.C. Crispin. For those of you who loke your scoundrels heroic, your rebels desperate and scarred, your Imperials all-too-human, your Boba Fett silent and enigmatic, and your Hutts pregnant.

32 Dark Empire, Tom Veitch/Cam Kennedy. Palpatine returns, and throws Star Destroyers and superweapons at the Rebellion, while trying to turn Luke to follow his father's path to the dark side. It simply doesn't get any more Star Wars than this!

31 Jedi vs. Sith, Darko Macan/Ramon F. Bachs. The Jedi and the Sith are brought down to the same level in the mud and carnage of Ruusan. A young hero loses his ideals, his innocence, and his right hand, and walks away not as a Jedi or a Sith, but as a man. Darth Bane ruthlessly pursues his own status as the big dog among the bad guys of the era, and makes himself the unchallenged Master of the Sith. And, somewhat more subtly, Farfalla gives a Sith Lord an honourable death, and walks away a Jedi.

28 = Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. The Bryar pistol is back. And so is Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, as an Imperial warlord and his dark side allies attack the Jedi on Yavin 4. They just don't make 'em like this any more, alas.

28 = Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, Drew Karpyshyn. Taking up the cues from Jedi vs. Sith, the three-dimensional characterization of the bald-headed Sith Lord is most impressive... but putting faithfully-adapted scenes from the source material in a totally different order in the closing chapters can be a little bit disconcerting.

28 = The Last One Standing: The Tale of Boba Fett, Daniel Keyes Moran. There's still a whole lot of love out there for this pre-Episode II version of Fett: silent, deadly, driven by his rigid moral complex and a barely-articulated grudge against Han Solo.

27 Knights of the Old Republic: Commencement, John Jackson Miller/Brian Ching. Introducing that Wayne guy. Has it ever struck you that he's actually inept enough to be responsible for the Padawan Massacre after all?

26 Legacy of the Force: Fury, Aaron Allston. Ewoks lurk in the undergrowth. A massive battlemoon becomes fully-armed and operational. Luke Skywalker leads starfighter squadrons into battle. The Sith return. The most Star Wars you can get without actually featuring the Empire....

25 Outbound Flight, Timothy Zahn. More than just a story about Thrawn. For some reason, this is the only Prequel-era story to feature smugglers in a meaningful role, or a delusional, psychotic Force-user commanding a big space battleship. Am I the only person who's worried by that? This, at least, is the Star Wars you remember.

24 The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory duology, Greg Keyes. Not just Anakin Solo and Tahiri Veila. Also the start of seeing the Yuuzhan Vong as more than just barking villains, the return of Corran Horn, and Jaina and Kyp in Rebirth. But, yeah, Anakin and Tahiri. I've said it before, but Conquest is probably my single individual favourite among all the Star Wars novels.

23 Republic Commando series, Karen Traviss. Have you heard the one about the four commandos, the Mandalorian NCO, and the female Jedi Knight...?

22 Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, Sean Stewart. Because a novel about a red-haired, green-eyed young Jedi girl titled "Tallisibeth Enwandung-Esterhazy: Dark Rendezvous" doesn't quite have the same straightforward punch to it. Also features a very Freudian take on Count Dooku, and a neat one-line cameo by Qui-Gon talking in the back of the green dude's head. Sure, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi seem slightly tacked onto the plot, but it's still regarded as one of the better Prequel-era novels, and that shows with its placing here. Extra bonus for including the largest number of never-before-seen starfighter designs in any single Star Wars prose work.

20 I, Jedi, Michael A. Stackpole. Corran Horn is the first Expanded Universe character to hold down the lead role a novel, and tells it in the first person too. Is popularity may also be helped by the fact that he's up against the whip-wielding personification of the Empire's kinky underbelly.

20 = Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, LucasArts. Some fans complain about the cuts made in this game before release. But look at the passion which people have put into researching and reconstructing the missing sections of the game: the fan reaction only really serves to emphasise how much people came to care about the story of the Exile and her companions.

19 The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide duology, Michael A. Stackpole. Anakin Solo again, plus Mara, Corran, Jag, Jaina, a lot of fighter pilots, and some awesome lightsaber duels. Oh, and in part two, Pellaeon puts on a Grand Admiral's uniform, and tells the Moff Council, "I rule the Empire". Just imagine what might have been if Lucasfilm had stuck with their original plan, and let Mike Stackpole write a couple of trilogies in the NJO....

18 Dark Nest Trilogy, Troy Denning. Now... things are worse. But it was a fun ride getting there!

17 Legacy of the Force: Betrayal, Aaron Allston. Luke Skywalker's short-sighted military thinking plunges the Galaxy into war. Han and Wedge step up and save the day.

16 The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines duology, Aaron Allston. Wedge Antilles plays hardball with the Yuuzhan Vong. If only the New Republic had given him command at the beginning, rather than trying to sideline the Bantam-era characters as politically undesirable....

15 Shadows of the Empire, Steve Perry. Many Bothans died to bring you this ESB/RotJ bridge novel. It may have Dash Rendar instead of Han, but it also has a lot of strong POV from Leia, plus a lounge-lizard crime kingpin, and a much cuter battledroid than the ones in the Prequels.

14 Legacy of the Force: Inferno, Troy Denning. Luke Skywalker strikes back. And Anakin kisses Tahiri, too. The only complaint you can really make about this book is that they surely didn't need five earlier novels to set up the fun.

13 X-wing: Starfighters of Adumar, Aaron Allston. Blastswords at five paces!

12 The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force, James Luceno. The Galactic Alliance re-conquer the Galaxy, one continuity reference at a time.

11 Labyrinth of Evil, James Luceno. Like many things about the Prequels, the question of just who was hiding beneath Darth Sidious's cowl seems more compelling on the printed page.

10 X-wing: Wraith Squadron arc, Aaron Allston. Ewoks and Super Star Destroyers, oh my!!

9 Shatterpoint, Matthew Woodring Stover. "I love the smell of tibanna in the morning!"

7 = X-wing: Rogue Squadron arc, Michael A. Stackpole. Almost all the novels with serious X-wing action make the top 20. The series that kinda started it all is the highest-placed of the specifically squadron-focused entries.

7 = Star Wars: Legacy: Broken, John Ostrander/Jan Duursema. New Century. New Skywalker. New Empire. New Sith.... Same Galaxy. Welcome back.

6 = The Hand of Thrawn duology, Timothy Zahn. In the mid-1990s, there was a meme called "How Zahn Could Fix This Mess". Then he did. Because everyone loves an all-too-human Luke Skywalker and thoroughly professional Imperial officers, with a side-helping of roguish smuggler types.

5 Knights of the Old Republic, LucasArts. Before the fortieth century BBY re-emerged as an established setting for stories, there was just this computer game, and the concept which its creators were aiming for was palpable and simple: Star Wars.

4 The New Jedi Order: Star by Star, Troy Denning. Anakin Solo dies. Coruscant falls. Luke Skywalker gets back in the cockpit and leads the Jedi Knights out in X-wings against the Yuuzhan Vong. Still the biggest single story in the Expanded Universe.

3 The New Jedi Order: Traitor, Matthew Woodring Stover. From the biggest, to the most tightly-focused. It wasn't Jacen who realy changed here, it was the Star Wars Galaxy, and the fandom.

2 The Thrawn Trilogy, Timothy Zahn. Forget the Prequels. Forget the Special Editions. This is where it all began again.

1 Revenge of the Sith novelization, Matthew Woodring Stover. "Though this is the end of the age of heroes, it has saved its best for last." And it's at the very top of our list!

Well, that's the climax of the "Top 100" poll: but there's more to come from us.

Over the next few days, the TF.N Books team will be bringing you our own, personal count-downs of our personal favourite Expanded Universe works.

Stay tuned!


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Catalog Details For New Essential Characters Guide
Posted By Eric on May 2, 2013:
Synopsis, quick facts, and rough release date

Synopsis Posted For Star Wars: Kenobi
Posted By Eric on May 2, 2013:
"The Republic has fallen. Sith Lords rule the galaxy."

Jedi Journals: May 2013
Posted By Dustin on May 1, 2013:
Chris & Jay discuss their May The 4th (Be With You) plans!

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