Recent Star Wars Novels, Reviewed

And by recent, I mean, within the last couple of years.

Star Wars: Tarkin

This novel explains the rise and career of Wilhuff Tarkin, up to his appointment as a Grand Moff. It jumps from period to period (boy, young Judiciary Force commander, Imperial Officer), skipping over his appearances in Clone Wars. If you thought Tarkin just got a bad rep for blowing up an entire planet just to test the Death Star, but was otherwise an okay guy, then this book will correct you of that gross misjudgment of character.

Rating: Decent

Star Wars Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel

This novel starts right near the end of the Old Republic, and goes up to a couple of years before Rogue One: A Star Wars Story starts. It is primarily a story about Galen Erso and Orson Krennic, particularly since Jyn isn’t born, and when she, is she is a young child. It explains some of the hardships it took to construct the first Death Star aka, the 20 year project to build a moon-sized space station. (And yet, they built a second functional one like 4 years later which was larger in size). This book doesn’t exactly endear anyone to Galen Erso, either.

Rating: Fine

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Live Chat: Star Wars Holiday Special

Time for that amazing Star Wars Holiday Special Live Chat. A show which Carrie Fisher described as “a punishment from God.” – 8 out of 10 Cats 2016 Christmas Special. Originally recorded live in Mos Eisley, which no longer exists.

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Highlights from 2015 – 1st Quarter

Top Stats

The question with the highest votes was Is there a Vulcan funeral blessing? asked by Iszi.

The two questions with the most views (by a narrow margin of 200 some odd views between them) were Why is ‘Belgium’ the rudest word in Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? and Why do people risk death by joining Starfleet if not for money or preservation of their homes? asked by Dries and Emissarry respectably.

The top voted answer was user42365‘s answer to Is there a Vulcan funeral blessing?. Second place was phantom42‘s answer to Why did Peter Quill wait 26 years to open his mother’s gift?

Top User Picks

SSumner is like, totally, obsessed with Star Wars.

They liked the questions:

They liked the answers:

Richard liked the following questions:

And my answers to them weren’t half bad, either, if I can toot my own trumpet.

Darth Melkor liked the top voted question, Richard’s answer to the Neo question, additionally:

On the Neo question he said:

Richard got an awesome answer to this one precisely one minute before I did, and did a much better job of it than I did too, so it’s worth a shout-out

Author Picks

If I had to choose my favorite questions (which I don’t, but I will) they would be:

All asked by Tango and answered by Jack B Nimble.

After researching the Adventures of Superman series questions for several hours everyday for five days I finally stumbled upon a book called Flights of Fantasy: The Unauthorized but True Story of Radio & TV’s Adventures of Superman, which I decided to buy on the hope of finding the answers to the two questions. Fortunately, I did.

The (new) Star Wars Canon guide

Over the years, there have been 1366 Star Wars tagged questions on SFF:SE. These have attracted some great answers from a wide variety of sources including the Star Wars films, comics, games, TV shows, novels, art-books and RPGs. The number one response asked in comments is always “how canon is that source?“.

With the purchase of LucasFilm by Disney there have been some recent changes to the way in which Star Wars licensed properties are managed. I thought that now would be a good time to provide the definitive guide (I wish) to the New Star Wars Canon.


Canonicity in the Star Wars universe is, as of April 2014 determined by a working group comprised of representatives of Disney and LucasFilm known as the Lucasfilm Story Group.

The primary change made is that the old canon system (G-Canon, T-Canon, etc) has been nuked from orbit and only the original six feature films (the Original Trilogy and the Prequel trilogy), Clone Wars TV show, Clone Wars film and Star Wars : Rebels TV shows are considered to be part of the official Star Wars film canon.

All other properties (with a few small exceptions) are now lumped together under a single banner known as Star Wars : Legends. Those exceptions seem to include the film’s novelisations (where they elaborate on things seen on screen), the official StarWars.com Data Bank (which replaces the old Data Bank website) and elements of the Jedi Path Manual.

“While Lucasfilm always strived to keep the stories created for the EU consistent with our film and television content as well as internally consistent, Lucas always made it clear that he was not beholden to the EU. He set the films he created as the canon. This includes the six Star Wars episodes, and the many hours of content he developed and produced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. These stories are the immovable objects of Star Wars history, the characters and events to which all other tales must align.”
LucasFilm Statement – Apr 2014

Those other film and TV properties that were originally deemed to be G-Canon and T-Canon (the Star Wars Radio Dramatisations, Star Wars Holiday Special, Ewoks films, Star Wars : DroidsTV show and Star Wars: Ewoks TV show) are now all considered to be Legends properties.


Moving forward, all future properties (films, books, comics and games) will be licensed and fully compliant with the Star Wars Story Group’s rules regarding canon status, unless explicitly stated. Excluding the exceptions listed above, the full list of canon works (past, present and near future) now stands as follows:

  • (Film) Episode I: The Phantom Menace (and the novelisation by Terry Brooks)

  • (Film) Episode II: Attack of the Clones (and the novelisation by R. A. Salvatore)

  • (Film) The Clone Wars (and the novelisation by Karen Traviss)

  • (TV Show) The Clone Wars: Season 1-5

  • (TV Show) The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions

  • (Comic) Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir by Jeremy Barlow

  • (Novel) Dark Disciple by Christie Golden (not yet released)

  • (Comic) Kanan: The Last Padawan by Greg Weisman (not yet released)

  • (Film) Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (and the novelisation by Matthew W. Stover)

  • (Novel) Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp (not yet released)

  • (Novel) Tarkin by James Luceno

  • (Novel) A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller

  • (Novel) Servants of the Empire: Edge of the Galaxy by Jason C. Fry

  • (Novel) Ezra’s Gamble by Ryder Windham

  • (TV Show) Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion

  • (TV Show) Star Wars Rebels: Season 1

  • (Film) Episode IV: A New Hope (and the novelisation by Alan Dean Foster)

  • (Comic) Star Wars by Jason Aaron

  • (Comic) Star Wars: Darth Vader by Kieron Gillen (not yet released)

  • (Comic) Star Wars: Princess Leia by Mark Waid (not yet released)

  • (Short Story) One Thousand Levels Down Alexander Freed

  • (Novel) Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne (not yet released)

  • (Film) Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (and the novelisation by Donald F. Glut)

  • (Film) Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (and the novelisation by James Kahn)

  • (Short Story) Blade Squadron by David J. Williams

  • (Film) Episode VII: The Force Awakens (and the novelisation). (not yet released)

Original answer to the question How is canonicity of derivative works determined for Star Wars?

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