Whether you have seen the Star Wars series or you are trying to get into it, the books may represent a great option. Even if you are familiar with the action movies, you will get a completely different perspective if you go through the books as well and most importantly these books expand the Star Wars galaxy, both in terms of story and characters.

On the other hand, if you are brand new to this collection, reading the books first will most likely give you a better idea about what to expect. Everyone knows it – books are often better than the actual movies because you get to let your imagination run wild.

Now, no matter what category you are in, you want to go through the story in a chronological order. In other words, you want to read the story as it happens, rather than read a final chapter and then go back to a previous release. So, what are the best Star Wars books in chronological order?

If you are looking for the chronological order of the movies, please click here.

Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void, by Tim Lebbon

Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void will take you to the beginning. It is the perfect book to start your Star Wars venture with. The action begins on Tython – a planet where the Je'daii order was established. The story follows Lanoree Brock. Lanoree is one of the wisest masters in the order and she has a good understanding of the Force.

Her calling is obvious – her training and dedication turn her into one of the most significant disciples out there. The Force was literally flowing through Lanoree. Her parents were in a similar situation. But there was something wrong with her brother though, who grew up and ended up hating and fighting against the Je'daii.

All in all, Lanoree becomes one of the galaxy rangers. Things take an unusual turn when a fanatical cult decides to travel beyond the known space – an action that involves draining the energy and star system. Lanoree is given the mission to prevent this expedition from happening. She is ready for the unexpected and she knew there would be a day when she will be needed. But she never knew why…

Everything starts to make sense as she learns more about the leader of the fanatical cult. It seems her brother is now in charge of taking the world over. While she grieved his death, it seems the former Je'daii is still alive and willing to change the world. Lanoree is now in an unusual situation where she will have to fear for her life and face someone who she loved and missed.

Knight Errant, by John Jackson Miller

Knight Errant is a stunning story whose action takes place way before the characters who everyone is used to. It all happens around 1,000 years before Luke Skywalker. Darth Bane is out of discussion too – everything happens about a generation before him. Where? Somewhere far, in a less known galaxy.

The Republic is not doing too well. There is a crisis going on. The Sith hang around freely, without anyone checking them out. All they do is try to find a way to control the galaxy. But someone has a different plan. Kerra Holt is a relatively lone Jedi and her most passionate idea is to eliminate the Dark Lords.

The bad news is she has lots of enemies out there and the list keeps gaining in size. Some of the most reputable ones include Lord Odion, Dromika, Quillan, Lord Daiman and Arkadia, among many others. Each of them has their own back story. If Lord Daiman believes he is the creator of the universe, Lord Odion believes he is meant to destroy it.

No matter how chaotic everything seems to be, Kerra notices a pattern and she works on it to identify a solution against the enemies. But while some enemies seem simple and easy to deal with, there will be strong and fierce battles on the way to victory too.

She does not seem to have too many chances, but she ends up in a small alliance with a spy and a mercenary general. Are those really part of her team? Are they really going to help her out? Only time can tell…

Rogue Planet, by Greg Bear

Anakin Skywalker is 12 years old now. The Force is strong in the young and adventurous male. While it is seen as a great advantage, it may also come with a few drawbacks. The curious spirit for adventure draws the attention of the Jedi Council, as its members decide it might be the time to push things to another level.

The council entrusts Obi-Wan Kenobi with a new mission – training Anakin to turn into a Jedi Knight. While Obi-Wan does have a few flaws, the council has confidence in him to get the job done. How come? There is an aspect that makes Obi-Wan suitable for the job.

Just like his Master Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan believes that Anakin is the chosen one. He believes that Anakin is the Jedi whose destiny is to keep the Force under control and bring some balance. Based on his ideas and thoughts, Obi-Wan decides to push harder and embrace this mission.

There is, however, a challenge. Anakin is not really the most disciplined apprentice out there. After spending too much time in slavery, the young trainee still has some scars that will prevent him from finding his own balance.

The duo is sent to Zonama Sekot – a planet known for having the fastest ships in the universe. But things go in different directions. The two end up in a challenging venture of betrayals, intrigues and sly stories.

They notice a lack of balance in the Force – an unknown type of disturbance that they have never felt before. Fueling their curiosity, they discover a bunch of secrets that no one knew about on this planet. However, these secrets might ruin the relationship between the two…

Labyrinth of Evil, by James Luceno

The action takes you back to Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones. You do not have to be familiar with the chapter though. All in all, the war is close to its boiling moment, as the Republic is severely attacked by the aggressive Separatist forces. However, things take an unusual turn in a labyrinth of evil.

Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi need to come together for a new mission. They gather a small team and head to Neimoidia in order to capture a Separatist leader. However, the character is sneaky and slippery, as no matter how hard they try, the Jedi pursuers simply cannot reach him. Moreover, they even end up in a few deathtraps that they barely manage to escape from.

Still, they try harder and harder and their efforts pay off. They discover a holotransceiver with intelligent capabilities that can push the Republic forces towards the victory.

Obi-Wan and Anakin pay attention to every single clue in order to reach their goals, advancing one step at a time. But in a war full of ambushes, spying experts, strikes and retaliations, the Separatist leader Sidious is always one step ahead.

As the action unfolds, readers face an unusual turn that throws everything in the air. Sidious and his troops come up with a marvelous plan to divide the Jedi forces in order to overwhelm them and finally destroy the Republic. Will he manage to do it?

From this point on, Labyrinth of Evil becomes a story that turns with every page. Nothing is what it seems to be. There are unusual turns with every new page leading to an overwhelming final result.

Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, by Kevin Anderson

This book features stories from 16 authors and teams, including names like Timothy Zahn, Kathy Tyers, Daniel Keys Moran and Kenneth C. Flint, among many others. Most stories float around the main characters in the Star Wars collection. They are all unique and independent, so they are not really related to other stories.

There are 16 different stories put together in a classic. Edited by Kevin J. Anderson, the story goes in a faraway corner of the galaxy. There is a small planet in the middle of nowhere – Tatooine – full of unusual creatures. The desert planet has a few buildings. Most aliens seem to gather around in a dark canteen, where they have fun, set deals, do business and tell their stories.

The environment is quite toxic – lots of troopers, aliens, thieves, assassins and gangsters, both people and aliens. If you have already watched the movies, you may already be familiar with some of these sketchy characters. Most of them were featured in the Star Wars: A New Hope movie. The scene in the canteen is one of the best from the entire movie.

The book introduces the audience to the back stories of some of these aliens. The more you know about them, the easier it becomes to understand their motives, passions and actions. Each of them has a story. Such back stories are often overlooked, but this collection helps the reader understand what draws these criminals to do what they do.

While most readers will expect to learn about dark past stories and negative feelings, you will also discover a small good part in each character.

Survivor's Quest, by Timothy Zahn

In Survivor's Quest, the Star Wars story is more obvious than ever – a Jedi's work is continuous. It is simply never done. Mara Jade and Luke Skywalker know it better than anyone else. The action takes place three years into their marriage and they are still trying to figure out how couples work.

The problem is they barely have any free time for themselves. The duty keeps them busy round the clock, so they struggle to spend time together. But things change a little when the two aspects come together – their professional life and their personal life come together, as they need to go on a mission together.

It all starts with a message coming from Nirauan. Luke and Mara had a mission there in the past and they barely made it alive. The planet is run by Thrawn. Fifty years ago, Thrawn destroyed a Jedi expedition, yet some remains were found now. The aliens living there want to hand the remains out to the New Republic.

Retrieving the remains involves a long and risky expedition. Thousands of souls died in that cluster of stars, so chances are it would be extremely risky for the couple. But then, the mission would mean more than that. It seems the whole idea triggers a new feeling in Mara.

The couple gets an officer to join them, as well as some stormtroopers. Dangers start occurring all around the crew – even around the actual ship. The ultimate test involves surviving this unexpected deathtrap because, indeed, it was not a random thing. Everything was perfectly laid by aliens trying to complete Thrawn's job. Will the heroes make it back in one piece?

The Joiner King, by Troy Denning

Years later, this new adventure takes the reader way after the triumph in the unifying force chapter. The adventure is up for another thrilling show and the heroes are back together to save the world and ensure everyone is safe.

The book starts with Luke Skywalker. He is happy after the previous triumph, but he is still worried. He knows the war is not over yet. They have only won a battle, but the war is still on. Things get a bit sketchy when a bunch of Jedi Knights goes missing.

The bad news is that his niece and nephew – Jaina and Jacen – are among the missing knights. They went out to deal with an unusual cry for help. No one else could hear it though. They went straight to the Unknown Regions and never came back.

Things clear out pretty fast, after alien Chiss comes up with a complaint regarding Jedi Knights crossing a border. Apparently, the knights stepped into a conflict between angry Chiss and an unidentified intruder. Luke knows there is something fishy about this whole happening, so he decides to step in.

Luke heads to the Unknown Regions, along with Leia and Han. While they do not necessarily expect a friendly response for whatever is in there, they are certainly not ready for the aggressive response they get.

It seems an alien colony expands over Chiss and the space and someone needs to stop this aggressive behavior…

Millennium Falcon, by James Luceno

The action in Millennium Falcon takes the reader a few years after Jacen Solo's death. Jacen was introduced to the dark side and became part of it. He died in his twin sister's arms – Jaina. Leia and Han are still grieving their son’s dramatic death, as the pain is too big to bear with.

However, there is still some hope out there. Jacen had a daughter – Allana. Not only was she part of the good team, but she was also loving and bright. She is well looked after by her grandparents and everyone expects her to be the next big thing in the fight against the evil.

The young girl is curious and willing to learn, while the Force keeps growing inside her. At some point, she makes an unexpected discovery. She gets into Han's spacecraft and finds the Millennium Falcon. This is when things get to a turning point. The family needs to explore an unknown territory now, leading to a brand new adventure.

Han is familiar with everything about the Millenium Falcon, but Allana brings in an alien device that no one knows anything about. Her adventurous nature pushes her forward in an attempt to solve the mystery. She has to backtrack the past, find people, events and discover places.

The adventure escalates quickly. The reader gets from a peaceful and mysterious story to a war of impressive proportions. There are crime lords, alien politicians, galactic pirates and hunters all over the place. The cat and mouse challenge puts Han, Leia, Allana and C-3PO in an unusual position, as they are the newest players out there.

It is worth noting that this book comes with a bonus section based on excerpts and ideas from other well known Star Wars books.

Crucible, by Troy Denning

Crucible follows the story of Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa Solo and Han Solo. They all go together in a challenging adventure that will bring in a plethora of unexpected situations. Everything is related to helping the trio understand what life truly means, not to mention the actual Force.

It all starts with Leia and Han arriving at Lando Calrissian's mine. The mining operation – known as Outer Rim – needs help dealing with an aggressive takeover. The couple tries to implement the law in the area, so they only help evening up the odds, rather than getting too involved.

Things change when a bunch of aliens come in the area. They have a message for the locals and things seem to escalate. A few random threats turn out to be a hostile move and people start dying. As things settle down a little, it looks like the threatening mission is a fight with a far more important stake.

At this point, Luke, Leia and Han gather up in the attempt to fight a harsh adversary interested in one thing only – dominating the whole galaxy. But at this point, unlike most expectations, it is not the Empire they have to fight against.

The whole war is against a team of geniuses with a series of dangerous weapons, as well as a personal issue against Han Solo. Sooner or later, Han finds himself helpless in front of the ruthless duo. Everything is down to Luke and Leia now, who need to face all kinds of challenges and nightmares to solve the issue.

Things become more interesting when they discover an artifact that could bend the time and space. What is going to happen next?

The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition (Star Wars) by Rae Carson

Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker (Expanded Edition), by Rae Carson

This is the final chapter of the so called Skywalker saga. It is the chapter that everyone has been waiting for – especially those who have been through most of the books in the series. The book is available in more formats and can also be purchased in an audio format.

What makes this book so special? Apart from nicely closing a saga that everyone has been dying to discover, this special edition includes a series of extra scenes. It is called the expanded edition because it features lots of content that no one has seen in theaters so far.

All in all, the story takes you to the Resistance. The Resistance is back on track and regaining its power after all the hassle it has been through. However, there is a problem. The flame of rebellion is spreading all across the galaxy like a disease. Rey and her colleagues are ready to join the fight. But at the same time, the battle against the First Order is likely to go on for ages, especially with Kylon Ren running the order now.

A tight team brings in the Resistance, Poe, Rey and Finn. Everyone gets ready to embark on the most challenging experience in their lives. The difference? They have to cooperate and work like a team in order to succeed. They are not alone though – they gain a bunch of new allies and some old friends, not to mention the Force guiding them.

All in all, the story that started in a previous chapter is now ready for an overwhelming conclusion that will leave everyone stunned.

Conclusion

Bottom line, these are some of the best Star Wars books in chronological order you can try. Obviously, if you want to go through the entire adventure, you will need to read dozens of books. Each of them has its own adventure and story. While they are often related, you can often get along with the adventure without having a clue about the characters.

Star Wars movies in the correct chronological watch order

If you are into the Star Wars movies now and your are here to check what the watch order should be of the series, I would say chronological order won't be the best if you are first timer. Simply because the prequel of the original series (IV, V, VI) contains too much spoilers about the upcoming pieces.

The basic chronological order is the following:

  1. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (set 32 years before A New Hope)
  2. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (22 years before A New Hope)
  3. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (19 years before)
  4. Solo: A Star Wars Story (about 12 years before)
  5. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (ends moments before A New Hope)
  6. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  7. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (three years after A New Hope)
  8. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (four years after)
  9. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (34 years after)
  10. Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (34 years after)
  11. Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (35 years after)

The right watching order, which is based on the Ernst Rister's original order:

  1. Rogue One (2016)
  2. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
  3. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  4. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
  5. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
  6. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  7. Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
  8. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
  9. (Optional) The Mandalorian (2019)
  10. Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
  11. Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)
  12. Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

And trust me Machete order suits only if you have no time, well 2020 we will have definitely one thing: time. 

Have a great time with the books or even watching the complete movie series.