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The Best Star Wars Stories EVER

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Hello there! Padawan J here, the resident Star Wars expert from the ODPH! Star Wars is a franchise that has been around for more than 40 years, and has branched into most every medium imaginable. From movies to tv, novels & comics, radio dramas, video games, card games and much more. But with all of those stories, how can you possibly pick a top 10, 15 or 20? Well for this May the 4th, I’m going to give you my Top 5 Star Wars stories EVER!

Just a couple of ground rules before I get started!

One: to quote Stephen A Smith on ESPN’s “First Take” morning show “the list is fluid”. So, this is my Top 5 list RIGHT NOW, and I reserve the right to change the list with new projects that come out or how my mood is feeling at the moment you might reach out and ask me.

Two: I’m going to do my best to avoid spoilers, but some might make it through. So, I apologize in advance.

Three: I’m going to include both canon and “Legends” content in this list. If you’re not familiar, “legends” content is anything from comics/books/video games that were released prior to Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012. So there for canon content is anything that came out after the Disney purchase.

Four: some of these picks won’t just be a single book/comic/tv episode, I might include an arc ‘s or a small series of books.

Five: if you don’t agree with me…that’s fine! We can certainly have that discussion about your list.

So, without further delay, let’s jump into the list!

5. The Darth Bane Trilogy by Drew Karpyshyn (2006, 2007 & 2009)

Darth Bane was first mentioned in the novelization of Episode I: The Phantom Menace released in 1999. All that was mentioned was that he established as the one who set up the “Rule of Two” for the Sith, and not much else was known or said. Fans would not find out much more until Kevin J Anderson wrote a short story titled “Bane of the Sith” in April 2001, and Darko Macan wrote the Dark Horse comics series “Jedi vs Sith” from April 18, 2001 through September 19,2001.

What makes the Darth Bane Trilogy so good? It’s partly the writing from author Drew Karpyshyn and partly the subject material. Drew Karpyshyn was already a well-established author himself by the time the first novel was released in 2006. Having been the lead writer for the first two Mass Effect games, Karpyshyn is known for his work on the original Knights of the Old Republic video game, and his work on Baldur’s Gate II. The other part was writing about a character so shrouded in mystery.

The whole series takes place about 1,000 years before the events of Episode IV: A New Hope. In the first novel we see Bane go from lowly worker in the mines of his homeworld Apatros to lowly Sith acolyte, to finally claiming the title of Dark Lord of the Sith. From there it’s an adventure of trying to accomplish his ultimate goal of destroying the Jedi Order through stealth, cunning and subterfuge which might take a little while.

The novel is a must read if you like Star Wars, but don’t want to read anything super tied into the films/shows. And you really don’t need to know the continuity of the timeline going into it. You can find the audiobooks available from wherever you buy audiobooks, they’re read by Johnathon Davis who does a fantastic job. And you can find physical copies at your bookstores as it was released as part of the Essential Legends Collection.

4. The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn

(1991, 1992 & 1993)

The Thrawn trilogy – Publisher: Bantam Spectra

When “Heir to the Empire” released in May of 1991, it would launch an entire expanded universe in Star Wars that would captivate fans to this very day. The publisher’s summary even says, “Here is the science fiction publishing event of the year: the exciting continuation of the legendary Star Wars saga.

Picking up where the movie trilogy left off, Heir to the Empire reveals the tumultuous events that take place after the most popular series in motion-picture history—masterfully told by Hugo Award–winning author Timothy Zahn.” The novel ended up topping the New York Time’s Best Seller List for Fiction in June 30, 1991.

Heir to the Empire would introduce the world to the notorious villain Grand Admiral Thrawn, who we still see to this day on Star Wars TV. It was also the first time the planet Coruscant would be officially named, a name that George Lucas would carry on into the prequel films. And was also the introduction to the massively popular character Mara Jade.

The film is a MUST READ if you’re a Star Wars fan, and there’s a reason that as of 2017 the trilogy has sold more than 15 million copies.

3. Rogue Jedi Arc (S5:E17-20, The Clone Wars)

I don’t think I can express in enough words just how massive this story arc was for The Clone Wars, but I’m going to do my best to try. When this arc started on February 9, 2013 the fate of the show wasn’t certain, but most of the speculation at the time suggested it was going to end. By this point Disney had purchased Lucasfilm, and the next trilogy of films had been announced. And the typical timeframe of when the show was renewed for another season had long since come & gone. The season finale would air on March 2nd and the news would be reported of the cancellation on March 11th, just for reference.

When the Clone Wars film came out in 2008, fans had no idea who Ahsoka Tano was or what her ultimate fate was. She was not a part of the Revenge of the Sith film, and a number of fans expected she did not survive Order 66. So when it came time for the final 4 episodes of Season 5, a lot of people got nervous what was going to happen.

The arc finds Ahsoka Tano & Anakin Skywalker called back to Couruscant to investage a bombing that took place at the Jedi Temple. And during the ensuing investigation, Ahsoka becomes the prime target after one if the suspects dies in custody. The ensuing story is case of cat & mouse with Republic forces trying to track her down, Anakin trying to catch up to her to help prove her innocence and Ahoska trying to prove her own innocence. I won’t spoil how it ends, because it’s a gut wrenching ending. And I’m not afraid to say the ending left me in tears when it aired.

2. The Siege of Mandalore Arc

(S7: E9-12, The Clone Wars)

This arc is some of the best storytelling Star Wars has done EVER. Fans could tell with seasons 5, 6 & 7 that the show was getting closer and closer to the events of Revenge of the Sith. And that became abundantly clear once episode 9 aired. The arc finds Ahsoka & Anakin reuniting after events that had taken place. Anakin ends up sending Ahsoka off with Clone Captain Rex and part of the 501st legion to Mandalore to retake the planet which is currently ruled by Darth Maul and his forces.

Part of the arc is just trying to track him down, and capture him. All the while this is going on we find out tidbits of what’s going on back on Coruscant, and it’s the events of Revenge of the Sith! The climax of the arc is after Darth Maul is captured, and during transport Order 66 is executed. And after 12 years of wondering and no solid answers from the cast & crew, we finally find out if Ahsoka survived or not. It is storytelling at it’s finest.

1.  Secrets of Mortis Arc (S3:E15-17, The Clone Wars)

The Clone wars: season 3 (Credit: Lucasfilm)

This, to me, is the absolute pinnacle of storytelling in Star Wars. The arc starts of simply enough, a mysterious force draws Anakin, Obi-Wan & Ahsoka to a mysterious planet and then takes a hard left turn into some deep lore about the Force itself.

I mean at one point you meet a father, sister and a brother. And sure the bicker and argue, but what family doesn’t? Except the difference between this family and yours is that the sister is the living embodiment of the light side & the son is the living embodiment of the dark side, and the only thing keeping them in balance is the father.

Liam Neeson returns to voice Qui-Gon Jinn in one of the episodes, Anakin gets a preview of his future that scares him. And that is just scratching the surface. I was already a fan of Dave Filoni and his crew, but this convinced be that they were the best story tellers Lucasfilm had and that opinion has not changed.

So there you have it, my Top 5 favorite Star Wars stories of all time. It wasn’t easy to narrow down over 40 years of Star Wars stories down to just 5, but this is my list. Feel free to message me with your list, or why something else should be in the list instead. I’m open to suggestions!

Thank you for taking the time to read my list. For more of my content, check out ODPHpodcast.com and follow me on Twitter!

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