HELLO FRIEND I AM HERE
okay so once again I must admit that I am not the residing fountain of knowledge regarding the eu, and I direct you to my friend cogito-ergo-dumb
what I can tell you is this:
Start with the Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn – it goes as such:
Heir to an Empire (pdf here)
Dark Force Rising (pdf here)
The Last Command (pdf here – and man oh man I only just realized the significance of the title SORRY I NEED A MOMENT okya I’m good now)
I mean I’ve made several posts about exactly why Thrawn is one of the most incredible works of fiction I’ve ever read, given the circumstances, but I will tell you this: you should read it first because it picks up where you left off, wondering whether or not the characters really do live happily ever after – five years after rotj, you’ve got everything your heart ever desired in these three books – Luke and Leia twinning, Lando being that shady yet surprisingly helpful friend who comes to their aid, Han and Leia being adorably married, SOLO BABIES ON THE WAY like man oh man the Twins make me weep silent tears of joy forever and LEIA KICKING ASS WHILE PREGNANT, that is also a thing. ANd I mean Zahn gives you all of these incredible new characters to compliment the blissfully and wonderfully in-character oldies, which is GREAT, because Karrde and Mara Jade and Thrawn are probably some of my all time faves after this, ya know? The plot is complex and beautifully intense and the characters are multi-faceted and amazing and THE VILLAIN IS IMPECCABLE so you have this wonderful Holems-and-Watson Villain and Villain’s companion thing going on with Thrawn and Captain Paelleon and I LOVE IT FOREVER okay.
Just. Go read them.
second on the list is Tim Zahn’s follow up duology, The Hand of Thrawn, in which, ten years after the events of Thrawn, shit starts going down and the Imps are being conniving again gosh diddly darn so anyway Luke and Mara Friendship Quests are a thing again ANWYAY:
Specter of the Past (pdf here)
Vision of the Future (pdf here)
I personally am not sure I wholeheartedly agree with everything that goes down, so I’ve stopped reading them for a while, but that’s only because I have very specific headcanons re: Solo family dynamics and I’m not sure that I wholly agree with “let’s leave the kids with winter and go save the world” like as cool as winter is I’m not sure that’s entirely in character but don’t listen to me read them anyway because Tim Zahn is genius.
NEXT ON THE LIST, and the thing I’m reading now and IT IS DOING THINGS TO MY HEART, is the YOUNG JEDI KNIGHTS SERIES (pdf here) oh man oh man
If you are the type to be figuratively slain by precious ten-year-old gang on nerds adventures and “we have to fix things before the adults find out!” and Jacen’s pet snake escaping every other chapter and wreaking havoc on a 1st year Draco-Malfoy-esque rival nerd, THEN YOU ARE IN FOR A TREAT MY FRIENDS
– Jacen making amazing punny jokes every other page
– Jaina face palming in response every other page
– Tenel Ka the part-amazon and Lowbacca the wookiee completing this motley gang of PRECIOUS CHILDREN as they do things such as start food fights in the mess hall as distractions (while Jacen crawls desperately on the floor looking for Mister Snake) – no seriously, Tenel Ka thinks it’s perfectly reasonable to throw Jaina’s cold soup in the Malfoy-equivalent kid’s face, poor guy, to create a diversion, and Jaina totally goes along with it like I can’t believe
– “We need to find Mom and birthday present because her birthday’s in like two days but everything is going wrong”
– DAD DAD DAD DID YOU BRING US BACK PRESENTS FROM YOUR COOL ADVENTURES IN SPACE
– Jaina being SUPER EXCITED about all things starship-related and being super into mechanics (u can tell Han is so proud I think I’m weeping forever)
– Jacen simultaneously being the biggest ecology nerd TO EXIST like this kids spends his free time in the mud looking for rare species of exotic purple spiders to keep as pets
– Jaina makes the cages for all his pets, naturally
– slumber party hostage situations
– COMMITTEE JOKES. THEY MAKE A COMMITTEE JOKE
– Uncle Luke
– unCLE LUKE
– UNCLE LUKE
– I mean “Master Skywalker” right of course
– basically it’s like a collection of these kids’ zany adventures around the Yavin temple and it’s perfectly precious SO GO READ IT AT ONCE like it’s not exactly written all that amazingly BUT THE STORIES MAKE UP FOR THE LACK OF LITERARY EXPERTISE OKAY
Finally, you have the Rogue Squadron books, which I do not, unfortunately, have a link to, but I am told are very good – I haven’t actually read them, but the author is well-liked, and honestly anything involving Wedge and Wes and Hobbie and Tycho like I’m sure these books are totally ideal
AND FINALLY FINALLY, you have Matt Stover’s ROTS novelization, which I am told is a must-read and also from the snippets I’ve read seems HELLA
and by hella I mean hella goddamn heart-breaking but read it anyway.
OH YEAH I ALMOST FORGOT if u are the type to enjoy STUPENDOUSLY BADLY WRITTEN SHREK 2 PLOTLINES IN SPACE take a go at The Courtship of Princess Leia (pdf here) which is quite honestly the most hilariously OOC book I have ever encountered and yet IT’S PURE GOLD I mean never forget the Han Solo School of A+ Romantic Gestures featuring KIDNAPPING THE WOMAN YOU LOVE AT GUNPOINT FOR A ROMANTIC GETAWAY ON A PLANET INFESTED BY PSYCHOTIC FORCE WITCHES but anyway yeah if you have a lot of time to kill GO READ IT AND WEEP TEARS OF PAIN AND LAUGHTER and bask in the majestic glory of Prince Isolder’s “flowing golden locks, cascading down his chiseled shoulders”
yes, that is a direct quote
and that’s all I got, bros
Anything Thrawn: http://astore.amazon.com/thrawn-20
First 6-7 books give you the info you need about him, even if Lucasfilm changes the canon markedly. The Thrawn Trilogy is very well written.