As a self-proclaimed and semi-certified (I do work at HPB after all) Nerd with a capital “N,” I think I can safely say that we live in the best time in all of history. Why, you ask? It’s obvious to me- we get to live in the era in which the saga of Star Wars is still being told. Just as any nerd, I was thrilled by Disney’s announcements regarding the release of new Star Wars TV shows and the continuation of the extremely successful Mandalorian. As much I love Star Wars, I love books, too.
If you liked The Mandalorian then you might like…. Hondo by Louis L’Amour.
Let’s be realistic with one another. Mando is an old-timey Western boy hanging out in space. He’s rough and the strong, silent type who ends up falling for a helpless creature that calls to his strong code of honor. If you, like me, absolutely loved this show, you might enjoy a book by the master of Westerns, Louis L’Amour. Hondo Lane is a lone gunman and a survivor who lives in a hard land that could kill the unwary or weak. For lovers of action adventure stories, Hondo is the perfect book. The villain is low-life scum whom you’ll enjoy rooting against. There’s good and evil, men of weakness and of courage, and a moral code the men you root for uphold above all else. Sound familiar? This classic cowboy novel is an excellent read, if you keep in mind the time period in which it was written.
If you liked The Clone Wars then you might like…. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman.
Based in part on Haldeman’s service in Vietnam, The Forever War is an award winning classic for a reason. The book follows William Mandella, a physics student conscripted into service for an elite squad within the United Nations Exploratory Force. He and his fellow recruits must fight for their planet light years away against an alien force known as the Taurans. Those who survive are able to return to Earth—only to find themselves alienated from their own home planet. Much like The Clone Wars, this book reveals truths about war and alienation that aren’t often discussed in detail.
If you liked Rogue One then you might like…. Neuromancer by William Gibson.
First, I should say that if you love dystopias, cyberpunk or sci fi at all, you need to read this book. It is one of the best-know works in the cyberpunk genre and is the only novel to win the Nebula Award, the Philip K. Dick Award and the Hugo Award. The story follows Henry Dorsett Case, a low-level hustler who was once a talented computer hacker and is now wanted by a drug lord. Case is saved by Molly Millions, a mercenary for a shadowy US ex-military officer named Armitage, who offers to cure Case in exchange for his services as a hacker. Sounds kind of like how Jyn Orso was snatched up by the Rebel Alliance, right? Neither Case nor Molly know what Armitage is really planning. I don’t want to reveal too much more but I can assure you that this book is worth the read.
If you liked the Original films then you might like…. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples.
It’s pretty hard to compete with the originals. They had it all: romance, friendship, the battle between good and evil, action, robots and even a furry Wookie. So we’re not going to find the perfect book to compare, but I would say the epic graphic novel Saga comes close. This space opera is heavily influenced by Star Wars. It depicts a husband and wife from long-warring extraterrestrial races who are fleeing authorities from both sides of a galactic war as they struggle to care for their daughter. This series has been met with critical acclaim, and you’ll see why once you read it. This diverse portrayal of ethnicity, sexuality, and the devastating effects of war is everything you didn’t know you wanted. Be warned, this graphic novel is intended for adults.
What are your favorite Star Wars-esque novels? Tell us in the comments below!