May the Fourth Be with You...
While the anniversary of the release of the original Star Wars movie is May 25th and all subsequent Star Wars movies released by George Lucas have been around Memorial Day weekend (to coincide with Lucas’ birthday on May 14th), “Star Wars Day” is celebrated by fans on May 4th because of a pun: May the Fourth (May the Force) Be with You. You get it. So let me be the first to say, May the Fourth Be with You this Star Wars Day as you travel to a galaxy far, far away by checking out one of these great books:
One of my favorite Star Wars novels is from the no-longer-canon, newly branded “Legends” series: I, Jedi by Michael A. Stackpole. Taking place 11 years after the original movie, this book follows Corran Horn—former CorSec Officer (police from Han Solo’s planet) and current X-Wing pilot for the New Republic—who is recruited by Luke Skywalker to train to become part of his New Jedi Order. His training is interrupted when he learns that his wife has been kidnapped by Dark Side wielding pirates and he rushes off to save her.
Looking to the new canon, Thrawn by Timothy Zahn is an instant classic. Bringing fan favorite Grand Admiral Thrawn back into the fold, this book by Thrawn’s creator is the first in a new series about the blue-skinned alien from the Chiss Ascendancy. In this book, Thrawn, in exile from his homeworld, is found by the Empire on an Outer Rim planet and begins his career and rapid ascent of the Imperial ranks. Thrawn connects to the animated series Star Wars Rebels, which enables the crossover of both Lothal and Arihnda Pryce--Pryce from a period before she becomes Governor.
One of the benefits of Star Wars joining team Disney is Marvel regaining the license to create Star Wars comics. One of my favorites from the new Marvel lines is Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 1 by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca. This series follows Vader as he struggles to keep the Emperor’s favor while plotting to crush both the rebellion and the upstart young Jedi who destroyed the Death Star, while also building his own power base, including delightfully evil counterparts to fan favorites C-3PO and R2-D2.
And for those who would rather be members of the Federation than denizens of the Empire, Ethan Siegel’s Treknology: The Science of Star Trek, From Tricorders to Warp Drive is a fun look at the science behind 25 iconic pieces of Trek Tech and how close we are to achieving them in this pre-warp society. Included among the tech Siegel explores are universal translators, replicators, the Holodeck, and Synthehol. This book is fun to skim through, while also rewarding deeper dives and may also serve as a starting platform--a transporter deck if you will, for the serious tech enthusiast.