|Crash Override wrote:
|Personal recommendations are Truce at Bakura, Shadows of Mindor (Del Rey novel), Courtship, Tatooine Ghost (Del Rey), Heir, Dark Force, Last Command, Dark Empire, Dark Empire 2, Empire's End, Crimson Empire, Crimson Empire 2, Specter of the Past, and Vision of the Future. Plus the X-Wing novels and I, Jedi for non-Big 3 stories. I am also partial toward Black Fleet.
Truce at Bakura -- Starts Leia's post-film character arc, and is somewhat important from that perspective. It's drawn upon in the Corellian trilogy and the Force Heretic trilogy in the New Jedi Order series.
Shadows of Mindor -- Just a good book. Starts Luke's post-film character arc that culminates with Dark Empire, which in turn puts Luke on a character arc that sort of meanders through the rest of Bantam chronologically before starting in earnest in the Hand of Thrawn duology and culminating in the New Jedi Order.
X-Wing series -- Introduces Corran Horn, depicts the capture of Coruscant. The Bacta War introduces a setting used in the Enemy Lines duology in the New Jedi Order series. The Wraith novels introduce characters from Rebel Stand in that duology. Solo Command leads into Courtship.
The Courtship of Princess Leia -- Han and Leia's relationship is the focal point. Luke's character arc is kind of continued (even though it sort of bounces back in the Thrawn trilogy). Dathomir and Hapes are somewhat significant in the NJO.
Tatooine Ghost -- Leia's character arc continues from Truce at Bakura. Sort of sets up the Thrawn trilogy.
Thrawn trilogy -- The class of the Bantam EU. Introduces Mara Jade, Talon Karrde, the Solo twins.
Dark Empire trilogy -- Pretty significant. Luke and Leia's character arcs end here, and Luke's next arc's groundwork is laid. Pretty much the final defeat of the Empire as later Imperial villains aren't really "the Empire," but pretenders or wannabes (I think Hethrir is the only one, unless I'm mistaken?), aside from the more byzantine intrigue of Hand of Thrawn's Imperial villains. Introduces Kam Solusar.
Crimson Empire... trilogy? -- Haven't read Crimson Empire 3 yet, and Crimson Empire 1 isn't really all that relevant except to elucidate Palpatine's demise (and, behind the scenes I suppose the fact that Lumiya engineered it is significant for LOTF). Crimson Empire 1 is just a good story though. Crimson Empire 2 starts laying groundwork for the NJO with Nom Anor.
Jedi Academy trilogy -- I didn't list this, but it introduces Kyp Durron, Streen, Tionne, and Kirana Ti (actually, Kirana Ti first appears in Courtship). Exar Kun is actually a pretty keen villain IMO, but Daala and the Sun Crusher suck. I guess it's worthwhile to read if you can get past KJA's simplistic prose. From a character development standpoint it's null. Also Jacen is badass, so I guess that's cool. And Stover mentions it in Traitor.
I, Jedi -- The only SW novel written in first person unless there's a more recent one that's slipped my mind. The Jedi Academy trilogy from Corran Horn's perspective. Introduces Cortosis.
Starfighters of Adumar -- Part of X-Wing and not really significant but if you're invested in the characters from X-Wing it's worthwhile mostly because it ends Wedge's relationship with Qwi Xux and puts him back with Iella.
Black Fleet trilogy -- I'm partial to this, because I enjoy Lando and Lobot's wacky hijinks and it focuses on Luke's burden of power. I didn't really like how Leia was characterized because the villain plays her like a fiddle and it kind of makes her look like an idiot while Drayson in Alpha Blue knows what's up. It's kind of like "civilian leadership sucks while military intelligence knows what's what." Anyway, Alpha Blue is kind of significance in the latter portion of the NJO. The Fallanassi reappear after the NJO, but I don't think their usage requires any prior knowledge that you'd gleam here.
Corellian trilogy -- I didn't list it but it does introduce Thrackan Sal-Solo and Centerpoint Station, both of which are significant in the Agents of Chaos duology in the NJO, as well as in Legacy of the Force. It also introduces Belindi Kalenda, whom is also in the Agents of Chaos duology. But the novels have the problem of meandering without advancing the plot all that much (but then, so does Vector Prime).
Hand of Thrawn duology -- Officially ends the Galactic Civil War, Luke and Mara get married. Lays the groundwork for the NJO series. Luke's next arc begins in earnest.
There's actually quite an abundance of good Bantam stories but I've focused mostly on the Big 3 centric ones. But I mean there's a lot of good Boba Fett comics and novellas as well. "The Last One Standing" is one of the best SW stories IMO. I miss the days when I felt cool for knowing that Boba Fett's real name was Jaster Mereel.