The 10 Best Star Wars Books For Becoming An Expert

The Star Wars franchise has an incredibly vibrant history, both real and fictional, and 10 books serve as a great starting point for fans seeking to become experts. The amount of Star Wars content continues to grow daily, whether it be TV shows on Disney+, comic series from Marvel, or adult novels from Del Rey, making it difficult to keep track of the most essential releases. Those caught up in the official canon may want to dive into the old Expanded Universe, now branded as Legends, since old characters and plot lines are being integrated into new stories. In short, navigating the Star Wars universe can be a daunting task.
However, the real-world history of the Star Wars franchise is just as fascinatingly complex, with countless individuals and events contributing to its development. George Lucas' journey to creating Star Wars is one of the film industry's most compelling tales, with many stories inspiring his decision to pass the torch to a new generation. The works that directly influenced Star Wars' identity created many different lenses to view the saga, which several authors have chronicled in detail. Here are the 10 best books for taking the first step into the larger world of Star Wars expertise, both in-universe and out.
10 "The Hero With A Thousand Faces" (1949) By Joseph Campbell Lucas was greatly inspired by Joseph Campbell when creating Star Wars, and The Hero with a Thousand Faces lays out the basic hero's journey found in every form of myth. The best way to understand Star Wars on a deeper level is to understand the material that directly influenced Lucas, and beyond Luke Skywalker's hero's journey, so many aspects of the Star Wars saga become clear after reading Campbell's work. The Hero with a Thousand Faces dives into human psychology and how it influences character development, adding greater depth to Anakin Skywalker's fall and why Lucas made certain creative decisions in his films.
9 "Star Wars And Philosophy: More Powerful Than You Can Possibly Imagine" (2005) The Star Wars saga is thematically rich and full of real-life parallels, making this entry from the Popular Culture and Philosophy team an absolute must-read. Star Wars and Philosophy features several essays from different contributors that analyze Star Wars through unique philosophical lenses. Entries include "The Far East of Star Wars" by Walter Robinson, "The Aspiring Jedi's Handbook of Virtue" by Judith Barad, and "Religious Pragmatism through the Eyes of Luke Skywalker" by Joseph W. Long. This fascinating collection is an incredibly fun way to dive into the deeper meaning behind Star Wars and spark intellectual discussion on the franchise.
8 "The Making Of Star Wars" (2007) By J.W. Rinzler The original Star Wars film had an extremely hectic, yet utterly fascinating production, and J.W. Rinzler brilliantly chronicled its journey to completion in The Making of Star Wars. What makes this guide special is that it was the first production book to be published for the original film specifically, even though the other Star Wars movies had received their own. Using original cast interviews and never before seen photos and artwork, Rinzler was able to give Star Wars a long-overdue account of its production. The Making of Star Wars is perfect for fans eager to learn how Star Wars was crafted from its inception to one of the all-time greats.
7 "Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide To The Galaxy" (2007) By Matthew Reinhart One of the best and most creative Star Wars guidebooks, Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy by Matthew Reinhart is a fun way for fans of all ages to dive into the Star Wars universe. The book relies on elaborate paper engineering that brings several Star Wars moments to life, from the crowded Mos Eisley cantina to Darth Vader's helmet. Additional fold-out tabs contain extra information on characters, alien species, planets, and ship designs. A battery even allows two lightsabers to glow, one green and one red, making it a great way for parents to introduce the larger Star Wars universe to their own Jedi younglings.
6 "Star Wars: The Essential Reader's Companion" (2012) By Pablo Hidalgo The Star Wars Expanded Universe, now branded as "Legends," contains hundreds of stories, and no book is better suited to guiding newcomers than The Essential Reader's Companion by Pablo Hidalgo. It covers every Star Wars novel published prior to Disney purchasing the franchise, presents them in chronological reading order, and contains behind-the-scenes trivia on each story. Hidalgo also includes certain comic series and video games if they're relevant to the book timeline, so this guide is perfect for those who want to explore the old EU. While The Essential Reader's Companion doesn't cover stories from the official Disney canon, it does serve as a great introduction to Star Wars fiction.


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