This content contains affiliate links. When you purchase through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
It’s Star Wars Day! If you’re a fan, maybe you’re planning a movie marathon or a re-read of your favorite SW book – or maybe you’d like to pick up a book you haven’t read. One of my favorite things about the galaxy is that there are so many different stories and so many different characters. People have their favorites, and there are always friendly (and sometimes less friendly) debates and discussions.
A few years ago there was a tweet in response to the Skytalkers podcast about how “Star Wars has always been a guy thing”. Many people, including Mark Hamill, strongly felt the opposite. Star Wars is definitely not just a “guy thing”, whatever that means. I’ve always loved how the galaxy has grown, we’re seeing more and more strong women in the galaxy, and we’re getting their stories – not just as accessories for men. Side note: I also always thought Leia was the main character in the original trilogy, and I’ll never be bitter that Episode 9 was supposed to be Leia’s movie. I hope we do one more, one way or another.
To help you celebrate Star Wars Day, I’ve collected books and comics featuring various women from across the galaxy. This is certainly not an exhaustive list, just a starting point. These are some of my favorites, and there are many more where they come from. May the force be with you!
Battlefront II: Inferno Squad by Christie Golden
This book takes place right after A thug and is a prequel to the video game Battlefront II. He introduces us to an Imperial special ops group called Inferno Squad. They have been tasked with infiltrating the Dreamers, a partisan group once led by Saw Gerrera. Iden Versio leads them and is a leader like you’ve never seen before. Golden writes the Empire in a nuanced and detailed way that even made this rebel loyalist have doubts about Inferno Squad.
The Spark of Resistance by Justina Ireland, Phil Noto
This is an intermediate level book that was part of the preparation for The Rise of Skywalker. In this book, Rey, Poe, Rose and BB-8 receive supplies from the Resistance when they receive a call from the planet, Minfar, who needs their help. Although they’re supposed to return to the Resistance, they can’t leave a cry for help unanswered and they travel to the planet to see what’s going on. The Zixon living there are peaceful, and the First Order threatens to overtake them – can Rey and her crew help? It’s a fun novel, and Ireland really “gets” the SW galaxy. (Check out his SW book The High Republic Out of the Shadows for more!).
Star Wars: Journey to The Force Awakens: Shattered Empire by Greg Rucka, Marco Checchetto, Angel Unzueta, Emilio Laiso, Joe Caramagna, Andres Mossa
This comic takes place right after Episode VI and examines the impact of Palpatine’s death on the galaxy. Shara Bey and her husband, Kes, are the main characters, along with Luke, Han and Leia. Shara and Kes are Poe Dameron’s parents, and we get a lot of their backstory in this neat comic. Bey is a rebel pilot, and we can see where Poe gets it from. The art is so beautiful to look at and Rucka is a wonderful writer. It’s a comic that’s a welcome addition to the story.
The Queen’s Shadow by E. K. Johnston
It’s the first book in the Padmé trilogy that Johnston has written, and it’s a compelling look at a character that many of us don’t often think about too much. In this book, Padmé has just left her role as queen and has been invited to serve in the Galactic Senate. Eager to serve her people eagerly, she hesitates, but takes on the role anyway – what will it be like to be someone other than “the queen?” It’s a character-driven story and while we get to know Padmé better, we also get a glimpse into the world of the Handmaidens.
Mara Jade – By the Hand of the Emperor by Timothy Zahn, Michael A. Stackpole, Carlos Ezquerra
If you’ve never read any Legends books, you’re missing a lot, but especially Mara Jade. Smart, powerful, and awesome, she’s one of those Legends characters that people love and want more of, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen anytime soon. Which is why it’s good that we at least have this comic for more Mara Jade goodness. In this TPB, which takes place mainly after Return of the Jedi, Mara is an Agent of the Empire, and while the Emperor is dead, she leaves to carry out his last orders. The writing is fantastic (would you expect less from Zahn and Stackpole?) and the art is great – okay, the book is a little dated, but the art complements the story and is visually appealing. This is the one you absolutely want in your SW library.
Star Wars: Princess Leia by Mark Waid and Terry Dodson
This TPB has all the issues of the Princess Leia comic book series, and while Leia could be visually described as a bit more… glamorous than we generally think (at least IMO), it’s still worth a look. to be read. It’s fixed right after A new hope, and we see Leia trying to come to terms with the destruction of Alderaan and what it means – in addition to being called in for a new mission. If Leia is one of your favorites, this is a must read.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: Crash of Fate by Zoraida Cordova
This book is a little different – it’s the story of two friends, Izzy and Jules. They were childhood friends on Batuu, until one day Izzy and her family left, leaving Jules behind to follow in his father’s footsteps as a farmer. Now, over 10 years later, Izzy returns to Batuu to deliver a package, and she meets Jules – but how can she let him into the life she has now? It’s an action-packed read that’s fun and engaging while introducing us to new characters and a richly drawn new world.
Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse
This book is a prequel to The Rise of Skywalker, and Roanhorse is just a fantastic Star Wars writer. The Resistance is at its wit’s end, and although Leia has called for help, no one has answered. The First Order is still around and still a threat, but the Resistance needs more people, and so a journey to find others – including former leaders – begins. This book is a real treat for SW readers, as Roanhorse makes connections between other books and brings threads from other stories into this book. But even if you’re not very familiar with the other books, you’ll still enjoy this one!
If you’re looking for even more SW books to read, check out this article on YA Star Wars books and this article on Star Wars audiobooks!