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The 5 Best Star Wars Books You Can Read On Kindle Right Now

You’d think that with so much new, canonical Thrawn material to choose from, we could finally leave Timothy Zahn’s original Legends trilogy off of a list like this one. And yet, against the odds, “Heir to the Empire” remains a necessary inclusion more than 30 years after its 1991 debut.

Even if you’ve never read the book, you’re probably aware of the story’s broad strokes. A little-known Imperial grand admiral named Mitth’raw’nuruodo, or Thrawn, for short, returns after the defeat of Emperor Palpatine and launches an attack against the recently christened New Republic. Though the Expanded Universe existed in various forms prior to Zahn’s first “Star Wars” novel, this is where things begin in earnest. It’s a fantastic example of ’90s pulp sci-fi, and, as time has gone on, it’s become an increasingly curious historical touchstone for where Disney has taken the franchise.

Thrawn’s canonical arc across “Star Wars Rebels,” “Ahsoka,” and Zahn’s more recent reboot novels is distinct in countless ways from the original “Heir to the Empire” story, but those contemporary texts all exist in conversation with their predecessor. The following two books — “Dark Force Rising” and “The Last Command” — are also still worth checking out if you enjoy “Heir,” but the first book is of unique interest today because of its specific influences on the modern era of “Star Wars.” It’s also, simply put, better than Zahn’s later Grand Admiral Thrawn books, canon or otherwise.

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