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The 10 Best Star Wars Stories Set In The Original Trilogy Era


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Summary

  • The original Star Wars trilogy has spawned a vast catalog of books, comics, and other media that expand on the story and characters.
  • The Force Unleashed
    video game and
    Rogue One
    both offer compelling and emotionally impactful stories set during the early days of the Rebel Alliance.

  • Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars
    and
    Star Wars Infinities
    provide non-canon yet entertaining and creative takes on the original trilogy.

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The original Star Wars trilogy is still considered the franchise’s magnum opus after 40 years, but it has also spawned countless stories set during the same era. Before the first film hit theaters in 1977, Star Wars had received a novelization and a comic adaptation, offering dedicated sci-fi readers a preview of what would become one of the all-time greatest movies. Star Wars books and comics continued to expand the original trilogy era during the wait between films, with more stories added over time to create a vast catalog. The franchise now encompasses thousands of canon, Legends, and non-canon tales across Star Wars movies, TV shows, video games, and literature.

The original trilogy era is officially known as the “Rebellion” or “Age of Rebellion” era, and the pre-Disney Expanded Universe, now known as “Legends,” marked this era from 0 BBY (0 years before the Battle of Yavin in A New Hope) to 4 ABY (shortly after Return of the Jedi). While the new canon timeline on the Star Warswebsite supports this version, the timeline in new comic issues dates the beginning of the Rebellion era to Star Wars Rebels 5 BBY. 10 Star Wars stories set during the rebellion against the Empire did the best job expanding the original trilogy era while being exceptional tales in their own right.

Related

The 10 Best Star Wars Stories Set In The Prequel Trilogy Era

The prequel trilogy era is one of the most exciting parts of the Star Wars timeline, filled with countless stories that brilliantly expand the saga.

10 The Story Of Darth Vader’s Secret Apprentice

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (Legends)

Although Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is set two years before A New Hope, the game involves the birth of the Rebel Alliance, and the Ultimate Sith Edition features bonus missions set during the original trilogy. Starkiller begins as Darth Vader’s secret apprentice, sent to gather the Emperor’s enemies as a distraction so they can kill him and rule the Empire. However, Starkiller grows fond of his rebel allies and chooses to protect the new Rebel Alliance. This offers a variety of exciting missions and a compelling arc for the characters, and The Force Unleashed‘s dark side ending shows what would have happened if Starkiller replaced Vader as Palpatine’s apprentice.

9 How The Rebels Stole The Death Star Plans

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Release Date
December 13, 2016

Director
Gareth Edwards

Cast
Felicity Jones , Diego Luna , Ben Mendelsohn , Donnie Yen , Mads Mikkelsen , Alan Tudyk , Jiang Wen , Forest Whitaker

Runtime
134 Minutes

Writers
Tony Gilroy , Chris Weitz

Budget
$200–265 million

Distributor(s)
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Disney’s first live-action Star Wars spinoff film revealed how the rebels stole the Death Star plans, resulting in one of the franchise’s most emotionally devastating stories. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story adds more weight to A New Hope by showing how much the rebels sacrificed to stop the Empire, making it more satisfying when Luke Skywalker destroys their weapon. The movie sports a memorable cast of characters with unique backgrounds and reasons for wanting to fight the Empire, and it was a bold decision to have everyone die at the end. Rogue One is an engaging, well-crafted story and a perfect segue between the prequel and the original trilogies.

8 A Brilliant Star Wars Parody

Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars (Non-Canon)

Phineas and Ferb Star Wars

Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars proves that stories don’t have to be canon to be incredible, and this is one of the most hilariously entertaining Star Wars parodies. Set concurrently with the events of A New Hope, the special shows the Phineas and Ferb characters on their own hero’s journey, showing the film from their perspective. The writers’ love for Star Wars is apparent in every scene, featuring several clever jokes for fans and impressive attention to detail. Topped off by a catchy soundtrack tackling different Star Wars topics, Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars is a surprisingly great addition to the franchise’s catalog.

7 The First Comic Of The New Star Wars Canon

Star Wars Vol. 1: Skywalker Strikes

Cropped Star Wars Comic #1 2015

The first arc of Star Wars by Jason Aaron and John Cassaday perfectly captures the magic of the original trilogy, balancing all the main characters as they take on Darth Vader and the Empire. Cassady’s artwork is gorgeous, while Arron’s script feels like it could easily be translated into a Star Wars movie. What really makes this volume stand out is the number of shocking moments, from Vader learning Luke is his son to the introduction of Han Solo’s wife. The final issue even has a showdown between Luke and Boba Fett, adding new depth to their encounters in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

6 The Tale Of Mon Mothma’s Son

“Entrenched” (Legends)

Battle of Hoth in Star Wars with a flight shooting at an AT-AT

The Star Wars: Visionaries graphic novel collection allowed Star Wars concept artists to write and illustrate their own stories. “Entrenched” by Alex Jaeger and M. Zachary Sherman tells the story of a young rebel soldier killed during the Battle of Hoth. The ending reveals that the soldier is the son of Mon Mothma, the leader of the Rebel Alliance, and she listens to his final message to her just before briefing the rebels for their attack on the second Death Star. “Entrenched” is a short yet compelling story and a reminder that everyone in the Rebel Alliance lost something they loved.

5 The Droid Who Almost Conquered The Star Wars Galaxy

“Therefore I Am: The Tale of IG-88” (Legends)

IG-88 stands in the lineup of bounty hunters aboard the Executor in The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars: Tales of the Bounty Hunters includes five short stories about the bounty hunters in The Empire Strikes Back, and “Therefore I Am: The Take of IG-88” by Kevin J. Anderson is the most fascinating. The story reveals that IG-88 was four identical assassin droids who planned to conquer the galaxy, with IG-88B accepting the assignment to track the Millennium Falcon. When the other three units are destroyed, the original IG-88A downloads himself into the second Death Star’s computer and plans to launch a droid revolution. It’s a bizarre yet entertaining concept that shows the events of the original trilogy from a new perspective.

4 An Alternate Version Of The Original Star Wars Trilogy

Star Wars Infinities (Non-Canon)

Star Wars Infinities was a series of non-canon comics that told “What if…?” stories for every film in the original trilogy. Each comic explored what would have happened if Luke failed to destroy the Death Star in A New Hope, if he couldn’t become a Jedi in The Empire Strikes Back, and if Han’s rescue went wrong in Return of the Jedi. The result is a wide range of outcomes that show how the original trilogy would have been radically different with one change, making Star Wars Infinities one of the franchise’s most creative stories.

3 The End Of The Empire

Star Wars: Aftermath Trilogy

Star Wars Aftermath Book Cover

Covering the year after the Battle of Endor, the Star Wars: Aftermath trilogy follows a group of rebels hunting down the last Imperial warlords while the Empire prepares a contingency set in motion by Emperor Palpatine. While Chuck Wendig’s writing style admittedly takes some getting used to, it is a unique departure from most Star Wars novels, and the characters are thoroughly engaging from beginning to end. The trilogy also succeeds at setting up the First Order in the sequel trilogy while bringing the Galactic Civil War to a close.

2 Inferno Squad Joins The Rebellion

Star Wars: Battlefront II (2017)

Set before, during, and after Return of the Jedi, the story campaign of Star Wars: Battlefront II also chronicles the year after the Battle of Endor, but this time from the perspective of former Imperials. The game manages to turn two members of Inferno Squad from loyal soldiers to rebel defectors in a short period, pitting them against their former squadmate who chooses to stay with the Empire. Battlefront II features one of the best portrayals of Luke Skywalker, who helps convince a member of Inferno Squad to leave the Empire. The cinematics are incredible, the action is fun, and the Battle of Jakku brings the story to a satisfying close.

The Battlefront II Resurrection DLC shows what happened to Inferno Squad during the Star Wars sequel trilogy.

1 Romeo And Juliet In A Galaxy Far, Far Away…

Star Wars: Lost Stars

Star Wars Lost Stars cover

Romance has always been a central aspect of the Star Wars saga, and nowhere is it handled more skillfully than in Star Wars: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray. The book follows childhood friends turned lovers Ciena Ree and Thane Kyrell, who join the Empire but eventually find themselves on opposing sides of the conflict. Lost Stars brilliantly crosses over with the original Star Wars trilogy, showing the Empire from Ciena’s perspective and the Rebellion from Thane’s, respectively. Beautiful, heartbreaking, and epic, Lost Stars is highly memorable and one of the best Star Wars stories set in the original trilogy era.

Every Star Wars movie and TV show is available to stream on Disney+.

  • Star Wars Franchise Poster

    Star Wars

    Created by:
    George Lucas

    TV Show(s):
    The Mandalorian, Andor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Book of Boba Fett, Ahsoka, The Acolyte, Star Wars: Skeleton Crew, Lando, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars: The Bad Batch, Star Wars: Resistance, Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures, Star Wars: Visions

    Character(s):
    Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, Rey Skywalker, Kylo Ren, Emperor Palpatine, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, Grand Admiral Thrawn, Grand Inquisitor, Reva (The Third Sister), The Fifth Brother, The Seventh Sister, The Eighth Brother, Yoda, Din Djarin, Grogu

    Movie(s):
    Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, Star Wars: Episode IX- The Rise of Skywalker, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi, Star Wars: New Jedi Order

    First Film:
    Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

    Cast:
    Mark Hamill, James Earl Jones, David Prowse, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Ian McDiarmid, Ewan McGregor, Rosario Dawson, Lars Mikkelsen, Rupert Friend, Moses Ingram, Frank Oz, Pedro Pascal

    Video Game(s):
    Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords, Star Wars: Battlefront, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (2017), Star Wars: The Force Unleashed , Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

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