Surfing the Star Wars Universe

The wonderful worlds of George Lucas’ Star Wars are a total jumble in my head.

Star Wars, and in particular the Jedi, are a bit of an obsession for me. George Lucas created a world that is ever-expanding at an ever-increasing pace. Fans were sucked into this universe with the first trilogy, accompanied by comics from Marvel and a couple of books, but once the trilogy completed itself, things — stopped. The story seemed over and then, almost tentatively, a book was released that picked up after Return of the Jedi. And then another book, and another, and next things fans knew we were being run over by a veritable onslaught of novels to read. Not just single books, but trilogies, and linked stories, books for adults and for children.

George made another three movies, chronicling the fall of the Old Republic and the rise of the Empire which Luke and Leia and Han defeated. I know that some people hate the new movies; others love them more than the originals. Me? I’m an equal opportunity fan — I adore the classic simplicity and design of the original movies, while cheering the ornateness and broad range of aliens in the prequels. Truth be told, I may be slightly more fond of the prequels — heresy, I know, to many, but hey! There’s a lot more Jedi swinging lightsabers during the romanticized Old Republic era — and as you can tell from the name of this blog, I love pointy things and romance.

Now, of course, with Disney taking the helm of Lucasfilm, fans are promised six or more new movies, another TV show, and yet another expansion of the Star Wars Universe. While I decry the slowdown in the creation of new action figures (hey, Hasbro, I want more Jedi!), I cannot wait to see where Star Wars goes from here.

Meanwhile, as I said, I am a devoted Star Wars fan. In my hunger for new stories, I read fan fiction — there are some lovely, epic-length sagas out there. I have even been known to write the occasional story of my own, in a genre that can only be described as ‘crack’ or ‘cracked’ (how else to classify a story in which Ewoks drive — and crash — a Senatorial pod?).

My desks and computers are guarded by Jedi action figures, while I not-so-secretly plan how to turn my somewhat unartistic talents to making figures of the Jedi who have yet to be modeled by Hasbro. And yes, I am one of those fans who lobbied for an action figure of Jocasta Nu. Gotta love the librarian.

Most importantly, I’ve read all the books and most of the graphic novels that expand on, and fill in the gaps of, the existing movies and the Clone Wars TV shows, so that the narrative created by Mr. Lucas never ends. It seems a new novel comes out every couple of months. Fortunately, I’m a fast reader.

I am, though, also a bit of a confused reader. I’ve read the comics and books as I got to them, not as they came out — and not in any particular chronological order. So I jumped from Luke wandering the galaxy with his son in search of the lost Sith tribe back to the pre-Republic era of Revan and then forward to the adventures of Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi. I cruised through the rise of the Empire with Darth Maul and then surfed back and forth between the battles of the Clone Wars and the battles against the Yuuzhon Vong.

My head is a giant bin filled with names, places, events and relationships, and while I know who goes where and why, I feel like I’ve missed something in my scattershot approach to reading the novels. So, for relaxation, I’ve decided to start re-reading the novels in chronological order. Fortunately, there’s a list so I don’t have to go crazy trying to figure out what juvenile book fits where between the adult and graphic novels.

I’m in no particular hurry; I’m doing this because I want to savor, slowly, a world I fell in love with years ago. I’ve started all the way back at the beginning with, fittingly, the latest book, “Into the Void.” I plan to read for at least 30 minutes a night, just to relax. Thirty minutes, for me, can translate into several chapters. Wonder if I’ll reach the end of the Universe before the end of the year?


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