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Essential Reading List

 
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Essential Reading List
 PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:38 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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Hey all,

We've had discussions before about whether the EU is accessible or not. Could someone pick up Fate of the Jedi: Outcast and fully understand what is going on, or would they be so removed and lost that they wouldn't enjoy it? These are legitimately complex questions, with opinions varying across fandom.

I personally feel that people might not quite get everything if they just jumped in right away, especially with later books that are predicated on the events of previous series. Granted, they can read other things later, but that might be problematic.

When I first really got into the EU, I started with Vector Prime. I heard cool things about the NJO series, and wanted to jump in. But I already had a basic understanding of the EU up to that point, from years of reading Essential Guides and Wookieepedia. And, thankfully, Vector Prime doesn't directly follow the events of a previous series (whereas both LOTF and FOTJ do).

So I propose creating an Essential Reading List for the post-ROTJ EU (and maybe a second one for the prequel era). This reading list is not a list of the best stories. Instead, it represents the most essential backstory components for readers to get into the modern series. Here is my take:

1- The Thrawn Trilogy (started it all, and we establish the geopolitical situation of the post-ROTJ universe, and we know where the characters are).

2- The Jedi Academy Trilogy (establishes that Luke Skywalker rebuilds the Jedi Order.)
**sidebar: at minimum, there should be cursory acknowledgement of the events of Dark Empire here, but I wouldnt' call it "Essential", especially since, while this series acknowledges it, really none of the later ones do.

3- Hand of Thrawn duology (ends the war between NR and Empire, brings Luke and Mara together).

4- The NJO hardcovers: Vector Prime, Balance Point, Star by Star, Destiny's Way, The FInal Prophecy, The Unifying Force (these take you through the NJO in a fairly quick and all-encompassing way)

5- The LOTF hardcovers: Betrayal, Sacrifice, and Invincible (while you will miss a lot of the steps-in-between, these books show the rise and fall of Darth Caedus quite well)

6- Certain Fate of the Jedi titles: let's say, Omen, Allies, Ascension (the Christie Golden titles) and Apocalypse (these cover the major events of the rise of the Lost Tribe and the rise and fall of Abeloth).

What say you guys?

I want to make more Essential Reading Lists in a bit.
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 PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:34 am Reply with quote  
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  Ultimatedash
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Looks pretty good, though I would say you need to read all of the FOTJ books so that you understand what is happening and so Luke isn't just randomly getting new powers. And I think the argument could beads for the Corellian Trilogy, because it introduces Thrackan Sal-Solo, Centerpoint Station, and let's you gt a feel for the Corelian Sector which all play big roles later in the universe.


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 PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:44 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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The relevant background is provided in the books that refer to Centerpoint and Thrackan, so I don't think the Corellian trilogy needs to be essential.

There are a lot of books that I would say are "Incredibly Helpful, but not Essential." These include the Corellian trilogy, I, Jedi, and Courtship of Princess Leia. I would throw other FOTJ books, namely Outcast (why is Luke traveling with Ben) and Abyss (introduction of Abeloth) in that category too.
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"Who cares what evil lurks in the hearts of men!"
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 PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:36 am Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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I definitely agree that you need all 9 FotJ books, and you should probably have most of the others as well. I'll say that it isn't inaccessible, but just your reading list is long and intimidating to some readers, let alone when they realize that to really understand they need to read at least 3 times that number.
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 PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:02 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Honestly, I think you can jump in anywhere. I don't really think the time period or series matters at all. The only thing that really matters is whether you start with a good book or a bad book. If it's a good one, you'll get hooked and you'll want to read the rest.

Personally the first book I read was the second book in the Thrawn Trilogy. I liked it so much I read the third one, then went back and read the first. As long as it's a good book, people will keep reading. You don't have to understand everything. All the mysterious stuff will just lure you into the other books to find out what's what.
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 PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:11 pm Reply with quote  
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  Ultimatedash
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Darth Skuldren wrote:
Honestly, I think you can jump in anywhere. I don't really think the time period or series matters at all. The only thing that really matters is whether you start with a good book or a bad book. If it's a good one, you'll get hooked and you'll want to read the rest.

Personally the first book I read was the second book in the Thrawn Trilogy. I liked it so much I read the third one, then went back and read the first. As long as it's a good book, people will keep reading. You don't have to understand everything. All the mysterious stuff will just lure you into the other books to find out what's what.

Have to agree with that! I stared with the Jedi Academy series, then jumped to the New Rebellion, and then went to the Han Solo Trilogy. I actually didn't read the Timothy Zahn trilogy until pretty recently. Though that also is starting to change. Whereas before it didn't matter, now it is starting too. Look at FOTJ. it wasn't really a series of it's own, more of sequel series to LOTF, as it was about putting the galaxy back together. Sure it would still make sense without LOTF, but but having read it first still makes a huge difference.


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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:18 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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Outcast was one of the first (though not the first) Star Wars book I'd ever read. I may not have understood all the nuances, everything that was said, but I didn't find it daunting in the least, nor was I particularly removed. I think Allston did a great job of making it accessible.

Now, as to what is essential, I strongly feel that the Corellian trilogy is essential. What happened in those books were covered in later books, yes, but so have many other books, many other stories, and that doesn't negate the need to read them by so much. It's still a story which has a lot of impact, and, relatively speaking, one of the more important ones.
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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:13 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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I actually put the Corellian Trilogy off for a long, long time. When I seriously started reading all the Star Wars books, that was one of the last series I read.
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