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What Bantam Books are most important to the ongoing EU Story
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What Bantam Books are most important to the ongoing EU Story
 PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:58 pm Reply with quote  
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  mserabian
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Hey guys

Old reader returning to the EU. I've read the original Thrawn Trilogy when it first came out and the first two X-Wing books and about the first half of the New Jedi Order. I've restarted my reading and I'm going to focus on the the Bantam Era right now. I'm reading Heir to Empire and plan to read the rest of the Thrawn Trilogy. I know many people dislike the Anderson Jedi trilogy, but it seems like they are important to the continuing EU story?

So I also know that numerous other Bantam Era books are not well liked - but I'd like to know which ones introduce important characters, concepts, themes, and plot points that feature in future EU Storylines...

thanks guys

mal


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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:53 am Reply with quote  
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  Arawn_Fenn
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"Important" can be subjective.

One example that comes to mind: Callista from Children of the Jedi, Darksaber, and Planet of Twilight. She's turned up again recently, and her master Djinn Altis has turned up in Clone Wars EU material.

Also, the Hapans introduced in The Courtship of Princess Leia have continued to appear, and Dathomir was used in the Clone Wars television series.
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:57 am Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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The problem with Bantam is that everything is referenced, regardless of how...underwhelming a story may have been. I suppose you could skip books such as the Black Fleet Crisis and The New Rebellion, which are referenced, but not enough to ruin future stories for you. It's hard, though. Bantam is old enough to have become ingrained in Del Rey's timeline. I would say no books are ignored.
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:23 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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I took a look at the Bantam list of books. There's really no way to skip them if you're worried about catching all the backstory when you get to NJO, LOTF, or FOTJ. It really depends how much you enjoy reading Star Wars. I like just about every Star Wars book I read, so I read them all. If you find the Bantam era books bothersome in style, you can certainly skip them. Anything really important is usually rehashed in later books when it's needed.
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:15 pm Reply with quote  
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  LaneWinree
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I actually do have a list of Bantam books I recommend people read to get a mostly-complete amount of universe building in their minds. In order, it's ...

Heir to the Empire
Dark Force Rising
The Last Command
Truce at Bakura AND/OR Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor
X-Wing: Rogue Squadron
X-Wing: Wedge's Gamble
X-Wing: The Krytos Trap
X-Wing: The Bacta War
X-Wing: Wraith Squadron
X-Wing: Iron Fist
X-Wing: Solo Command
Courtship of Princess Leia
I, Jedi
X-Wing: Isard's Revenge
X-Wing: Starfighters of Adumar
Specter of the Past
Vision of the Future

You've already read the Thrawn trilogy, so I don't need to explain why that's such a wonderful way to start.

The X-Wing novels do a ton of universe and character building, definitely worth reading through them. I feel that the series really picks up from the third book onward, and don't worry about the authors changing between books four and five. The transition is pretty seamless.

Courtship of Princess Leia is ... interesting. Someone else gets credit for this, but it's best if you go into that expecting a Bollywood Musical. It does, as mentioned a few posts above, introduce a few key cultures and worlds that appear throughout the EU.

I, Jedi is a pretty vital book in terms of understanding how Skywalker's Jedi Order operates. Also introduces a fair number of major players down the line. I typically recommend this in place of KJA's Jedi Academy Trilogy.

And you wrap up with the Hand of Thrawn duology, a nice ending place for the Bantam era.
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:18 pm Reply with quote  
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  DannikJerriko
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Can't miss out the "Tales of/from" anthologies. Save for maybe Bounty Hunters.
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:02 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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DannikJerriko wrote:
Can't miss out the "Tales of/from" anthologies. Save for maybe Bounty Hunters.

I've heard they're good, but they're nowhere near being essential to continuity.
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:03 pm Reply with quote  
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  DannikJerriko
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Reepicheep wrote:
DannikJerriko wrote:
Can't miss out the "Tales of/from" anthologies. Save for maybe Bounty Hunters.

I've heard they're good, but they're nowhere near being essential to continuity.


Not essential at all. But very good.
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:04 pm Reply with quote  
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  LaneWinree
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I'd agree. They're great supplemental material, but not quite necessary in terms of understanding the universe.
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:20 pm Reply with quote  
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  DannikJerriko
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I suppose they add more depth to the SW Galaxy/Universe/Whetever by showing you that there is more than just Galaxy-saving heroes; there are actual people.
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:19 pm Reply with quote  
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  mserabian
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Thanks for the input guys!

Is it really okay to skip Anderson's Jedi Academy Trilogy? It seems like its pretty important and introduces a lot of new Jedi...


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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:36 pm Reply with quote  
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  Cerrinea
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You can get a lot about JAT by reading I, Jedi which is by Stackpole and a better book. Actually the parts where Luke is looking for Jedi candidates is pretty boring.

However, by reading JAT, you get a lot more of a feel for why Kyp has the reputation he has and what a lunatic Daala is. Of course that then leaves you wondering if everyone in the galaxy had a lobotomy and that's how Daala became chief of state of the GA.

Anyway, it's just that the actual Jedi Academy stuff is really kind of meh.
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:58 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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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.


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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:57 pm Reply with quote  
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  Cerrinea
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Oh yeah and I love the Tales of...books. You get a lot of interesting back story on characters like Mara and Coran, and they're just fun to read. Fills out the Star Wars Galaxy.
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 PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:48 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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Thinking about it, the stories I'd recommend reading, if you want to catch up, are the ones I didn't like. So while my list would include the Thrawn trilogy, the X-Wing books, I'd still include the Jedi Academy trilogy - and then read I, Jedi. The JAT isn't the best series of books I've ever read, but I view it as necessary so that you understand where a lot of these characters come from. And I, Jedi helps plug a few holes (and if you read it afterwards, you can think of it as rewarding yourself for finishing such an abysmal series of books!).

Another on that list - though a bit more enjoyable - is Courtship of Princess Leia. The Dathomiri culture is interesting to read about, as well as the Hapans - who are more active participants in later EU.

Another series is the Corellian trilogy. I hesitate to put this in there, but Thracken Sal-Solo does pop up every now and then in later books, so you might as well read from the source.

The last on my list of bad-books-that-can't-be-swept-under-the-carpet-because-of-their-impact is the Dark Empire trilogy. It's referenced so much that it's hard to ignore, but it's a comic so it'll only take about two days out of your life. As was noted by Crash in another thread, Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor does a lot to explain and ease the story of DE, so reading that beforehand could be helpful (and it's a very good book, and shouldn't be associated with my list of books that suck).

Sorry! I know my listing these books in a way that may make it seem daunting is a tad unfair, but the upside is that I view these as an essential group, yet are small in number, and the good books outnumber and more than make up for that lot. So my list would be similar to the others:

The Thrawn Trilogy, the X-Wing books, Courtship of Princess Leia, Dark Empire (Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor is optional, but highly recommended), Jedi Academy trilogy, I, Jedi, Corellian trilogy, the Thrawn duology.
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