Luke Skywalker.  It’s a name pretty much everyone would recognize, even if they weren’t a Star Wars fan. He’s a pivotal figure in the franchise.  An icon from the original trilogy released back in the 70s.  But say you’re a newcomer and want to dive deeper into the world of Star Wars and learn more about Luke Skywalker?  The big question is: where do you even start?  There are so many books and comics that feature Luke Skywalker.  This article would have thousands of words if I included everything, so I’m just going to go over some of the most relevant novels where Luke is prominently featured.  Let’s get started.

Splinter of the Mind’s Eye

Publisher’s summary:

As a young but already seasoned fighter pilot, Luke Skywalker expected trouble when he volunteered to accompany Princess Leia on a diplomatic mission to Circarpous to enlist their Rebel Underground in the battle against the Empire. But the former farm boy from Tatooine hadn’t counted on an unscheduled crash-landing in the swamplands of Mimban…a landing that destroyed their ships. Nor had he counted on any of the things they would find on that strange planet.

First, unknown to anyone, a secret base of Imperial Stormtroopers was thriving on Mimban. As if that weren’t trouble enough, there was the Kaiburr crystal, a mysterious gem that would give the one who possessed it such powers over the Force that he would be all but invincible. In the wrong hands, the crystal could be deadly.

So Luke had to find the Kaiburr crystal, and find it fast.

Accompanied by Artoo Detoo and See Threepio—his two faithful ‘droids—Luke and the Princess set out for the Temple of Pomojema and for a desperate confrontation deep beneath the surface of an alien world with the most fearsome villain in the galaxy!

You can get it here.

Allegiance

Publisher’s summary:

Five idealistic but fed-up Imperial stormtroopers led by Daric LaRone share the stage with young Rebel Alliance crusaders Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker and Chewbacca in this politically fraught but still rollicking early years Star Wars adventure from Hugo-winner Timothy Zahn (Star Wars: Outbound Flight). Emperor Palpatine’s favorite Sith, Darth Vader, has a new rival, the 18-year-old Countess Mara Jade Claria, whom Palpatine has schooled in the Force to assume the special agent role of “Emperor’s Hand.”

You can get it here.

Choices of One

Publisher’s summary:

Eight months after the Battle of Yavin, the Rebellion is in desperate need of a new base. So when Governor Ferrouz of Candoras sector proposes an alliance, offering the Rebels sanctuary in return for protection against the alien warlord Nuso Esva, Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie are sent to evaluate the deal.

Mara Jade, the Emperor’s Hand, is also heading for Candoras, along with the five renegade stormtroopers known as the Hand of Judgment. Their mission: to punish Ferrouz’s treason and smash the Rebels for good.

But in this treacherous game of betrayals within betrayals, a wild card is waiting to be played.

You can get it here.

Razor’s Edge (Book One of Empire and Rebellion Duology)

Publisher’s summary:

Times are desperate for the Rebel Alliance. Harassment by the Empire and a shortage of vital supplies are hindering completion of a new secret base on the ice planet Hoth. So when Mid Rim merchants offer much-needed materials for sale, Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo lead an Alliance delegation to negotiate a deal.

But when treachery forces the rebel ship to flee into territory controlled by pirates, Leia makes a shocking discovery: the fierce marauders come from Leia’s homeworld of Alderaan, recently destroyed by the Death Star. These refugees have turned to pillaging and plundering to survive — and they are in debt to a pirate armada, which will gladly ransom the princess to the vengeful Empire… if they find out her true identity.

Struggling with intense feelings of guilt, loyalty, and betrayal, Leia is determined to help her wayward kinspeople, even as Imperial forces are closing in on her own crippled ship. Trapped between lethal cutthroats and brutal oppressors, Leia and Han, along with Luke, Chewbacca, and a battle-ready crew, must defy death — or embrace it — to keep the rebellion alive.

You can get it here.

Honor Among Thieves (Book Two of Empire and Rebellion Duology)

Publisher’s summary:

When the mission is to extract a high-level rebel spy from the very heart of the Empire, Leia Organa knows the best man for the job is Han Solo — something the princess and the smuggler can finally agree on. After all, for a guy who broke into an Imperial cell block and helped destroy the Death Star, the assignment sounds simple enough.

But when Han locates the brash rebel agent, Scarlet Hark, she’s determined to stay behind enemy lines. A pirate plans to sell a cache of stolen secrets that the Empire would destroy entire worlds to protect — including the planet where Leia is currently meeting with rebel sympathizers. Scarlet wants to track down the thief and steal the bounty herself, and Han has no choice but to go along if he’s to keep everyone involved from getting themselves killed.

From teeming city streets to a lethal jungle to a trap-filled alien temple, Han, Chewbacca, Leia, and their daring new comrade confront one ambush, double cross, and firestorm after another as they try to keep crucial intel out of Imperial hands.

But even with the crack support of Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing squadron, the Alliance heroes may be hopelessly outgunned in their final battle for the highest of stakes: the power to liberate the galaxy from tyranny or ensure the Empire’s reign of darkness forever.

You can get it here.

Shadows of the Empire

Publisher’s summary:

It is a time of crisis. Han Solo, frozen in carbonite, is being taken to the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt. As Princess Leia mounts a rescue mission and Darth Vader scours the Galaxy for Luke Skywalker, another sinister figure emerges. Cunning and ruthless, leader of a powerful crime syndicate, he will pit himself against Vader for the favor of their mutual master…the dreaded Emperor.

You can get it here.

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Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor

Publisher’s summary:

Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader are dead. The Empire has been toppled by the triumphant Rebel Alliance, and the New Republic is ascendant. But the struggle against the dark side and the Sith order is not over. Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, and their faithful comrades have had little time to savor victory before being called on to defend the newly liberated galaxy.

Powerful remnants of the vanquished Empire, hungry for retaliation, are still at large, committing acts of piracy, terrorism, and wholesale slaughter against the worlds of the fledgling Republic. The most deadly of these, a ruthless legion of black-armored stormtroopers, do the brutal bidding of the newly risen warlord Shadowspawn. Striking from a strategically advantageous base at the planet Mindor, they are waging campaigns of plunder and destruction, demolishing order and security across the galaxy — and breeding fears of an Imperial resurgence. And another reign of darkness beneath the boot-heel of Sith despotism is something General Luke Skywalker cannot and will not risk.

Mobilizing the ace fighters of Rogue Squadron — along with the trusty Chewbacca, Threepio, and Artoo-Detoo — Luke, Han, and Leia set out to take the battle to the enemy at the site of its stronghold, and neutralize the threat before it’s too late. But their imminent onslaught against Mindor will be playing directly into the hands of their cunning new adversary. Lord Shadowspawn is no freshly anointed Sith Chieftain, but in fact a vicious former Imperial Intelligence officer — and Prophet of the Dark Side.

The Emperor’s death has paved the way for Shadowspawn’s return from exile in the Outer Rim; and mastery of ancient Sith knowledge and modern technology has given him the capability to mount the ultimate power play for galaxy-wide dominion. Dark prophecy has foretold that only one obstacle stands in his way, and he is ready — even eager — for the confrontation.

You can get it here.

The Courtship of Princess Leia

Publisher’s summary:

Darth Vader and the Emperor are dead, but the Empire lives on and the Alliance must continue the struggle with dwindling supplies of cash and resources. Princess Leia, seeking rich, powerful allies to bring into the Alliance and a new planet as a home for the influential refugees of Alderaan, considers a proposal that could tip the balance of power against the evil Empire. The Hapes consortium, a cluster of sixty-three high-tech worlds, is ruled by the Queen Mother, who wants Leia to marry her son, the dashing and wealthy Prince Isolder.

When Han Solo hears the news of Leia’s impending nuptials, he reacts with shock. Han always dreamed of marrying Leia himself, but in spite of his heroic exploits he feels that she sees him as nothing more than a shiftless rogue and Corellian pirate, unworthy of her hand. Now he makes a desperate last gamble to win her back. Tricking Leia into accompanying him, Han flees with her to the beautiful and untamed planet Dathomir, where he hopes to win her heart.

Fearing the imperious queen’s reaction to Han’s rash move, Luke Skywalker forms an unlikely alliance with Prince Isolder to track down the runaways. Luke has been traveling the far reaches of the galaxy in search of the scattered lore of the Jedi Knights. But when he, Artoo, and Isolder set off to Dathomir, Luke little suspects that it is only the beginning of an adventure that will lead to the discovery of an awesome treasure, a group of Force-trained “witches”…and a showdown with an invincible foe.

You can get it here.

Heir to the Empire (Book One of The Thrawn Trilogy)

Publisher’s summary:

Heir to the Empire begins five years after the end of Return of the Jedi: the Rebel Alliance has destroyed the Death Star, defeated Darth Vader and the Emperor, and driven the remnants of the old Imperial Starfleet back into barely a quarter of the territory that they once controlled. Leia and Han are married and have shouldered heavy burdens in the government of the new Republic. And Luke Skywalker is the first in a hoped-for new line of Jedi Knights.

But thousands of light-years away, where a few skirmishes are still taking place, the last of the Emperor’s warlords has taken command of the remains of the Imperial fleet. He has made two vital discoveries that could destroy the fragile new Republic — built with such cost to the Rebel Alliance. The tale that emerges is a towering epic of action, invention, mystery, and spectacle on a galactic scale — in short, a story that is worthy of the name Star Wars.

You can get it here.

Dark Force Rising (Book Two of The Thrawn Trilogy)

Publisher’s summary:

Five years after the events of Return of the Jedi, the fragile Republic that was born with the defeat of Darth Vader, the Emperor, and the infamous Death Star stands threatened from within and without. The dying Empire’s most cunning and ruthless warlord — Grand Admiral Thrawn — has taken command of the remnants of the Imperial fleet and launched a massive campaign aimed at the Republic’s destruction. With the aid of unimaginable weapons long hidden away by the Emperor on a backwater planet, Thrawn plans to turn the tide of the battle, overwhelm the New Republic, and impose his iron rule throughout the galaxy.

Meanwhile, dissension and personal ambition threaten to tear the Republic apart. As Princess Leia — pregnant with Jedi twins — risks her life to bring a proud and lethal alien race into alliance with the Republic, Han and Lando Calrissian race against time to find proof of treason inside the highest Republic Council — only to discover instead a ghostly fleet of warships that could bring doom to their friends and victory to their enemies.

But most dangerous of all is a new Dark Jedi, risen from the ashes of a shrouded past, consumed by bitterness…and thoroughly, utterly insane. Now he schemes to use his awesome mastery of the Force to summon young Skywalker, allay his misgivings, cunningly enthrall him, and ultimately corrupt him to the Dark Side.

You can get it here.

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The Last Command (Book Three of The Thrawn Trilogy)

Publisher’s summary:

It is five years after the events of Return of the Jedi. The fragile New Republic reels from the attacks of Grand Admiral Thrawn, who has not only rallied the remaining Imperial forces but has driven the rebels back with an abominable new technology: clone soldiers.

Hopes are dim as Thrawn mounts a final siege against the Republic. While Han and Chewbacca struggle to form a wary alliance of smugglers in a last-ditch attack against the Empire, Leia keeps the Alliance together and prepares for the birth of her Jedi twins. But the Empire has too many ships and too many clones to combat. The Republic’s only hope lies in sending a small force, led by Luke, into the very stronghold that houses Thrawn’s terrible cloning machines.

There a final danger awaits. The Dark Jedi C’baoth schemes in his secret fortress, directing the battle against the rebels, nursing his insanity, and building his strength to finish what he had already started — the destruction of Luke Skywalker.

You can get it here.

Jedi Search (Book One of The Jedi Academy Trilogy)

Publisher’s summary:

As the war between the Republic and the scattered remnants of the Empire continues, two children — the Jedi twins — will come into their powers in a universe on the brink of vast changes and challenges. In this time of turmoil and discovery, an extraordinary new Star Wars saga begins….

While Luke Skywalker takes the first step toward setting up an academy to train a new order of Jedi Knights, Han Solo and Chewbacca are taken prisoner on the planet Kessel and forced to work in the fathomless depths of a spice mine. But when Han and Chewie break away, they flee desperately to a secret Imperial research laboratory surrounded by a cluster of black holes — and go from one danger to a far greater one….

On Kessel, Luke picks up the trail of his two friends, only to come face-to-face with a weapon so awesome, it can wipe out an entire solar system. It is a death ship called the Sun Crusher, invented by a reclusive genius and piloted by none other than Han himself….

You can get it here.

Dark Apprentice ( Book Two of The Jedi Academy Trilogy)

Publisher’s summary:

As the New Republic takes devastating losses in the ongoing war with the scattered remnants of the Empire, the galaxy’s future depends on three small children — among them the Jedi twins — born to incredible powers and perils, as an extraordinary new Star Wars saga unfolds….

While the New Republic struggles to decide what to do with the deadly Sun Crusher — a new doomsday weapon stolen from the Empire by Han Solo — the renegade Imperial Admiral Daala uses her fleet of Star Destroyers to conduct guerrilla warfare on peaceful planets. And now she threatens the watery homeworld of Admiral Ackbar. But as the battle for a planet rages, an even greater danger emerges at Luke Skywalker’s Jedi academy.

A brilliant student delves dangerously into the dark side of the Force and unleashes the spirit of an ancient master of the evil order that warped Darth Vader himself. Working together, they may become an enemy greater than any the New Republic has ever fought… more powerful than even a Jedi Master can face.

You can get it here.

Champions of the Force (Book Three of The Jedi Academy Trilogy)

Publisher’s summary:

 As the New Republic continues its struggle for survival, a scattered but powerful remnant of the shattered Empire seeks to destroy three precious children — among them Han and Leia’s Jedi twins — who represent the next generation of Jedi Knights, in this third and final novel of the Jedi Academy Trilogy…

Suspended helplessly between life and death, Luke Skywalker lies in state at the Jedi academy. But on the spirit plane, Luke fights desperately for survival, reaching out physically to the Jedi twins. At the same time, Leia is on a life-and-death mission of her own, a race against Imperial agents hoping to destroy a third Jedi child — Leia and Han’s baby Anakin — hidden on the planet Anoth.

Meanwhile, Luke’s former protégé Kyp Durron has pirated the deadly Sun Crusher on an apocalyptic mission of mass destruction, convinced he is fighting for a just cause. Hunting down the rogue warrior, Han must persuade Kyp to renounce his dark crusade and regain his lost honor. To do it, Kyp must take the Sun Crusher on a suicide mission against the awesome Death Star prototype — a battle Han knows they may be unable to win… even with Luke Skywalker at their side!

You can get it here.

Children of the Jedi

Publisher’s summary:

Princess Leia, Han Solo, and Chewbacca set out on a mission vital to the survival of the fragile New Republic. They are searching for the long-lost children of the Jedi, a quest that takes them to the once vibrant stronghold of Belsavis — a nearly forgotten frozen world. Leia has heard tales of a Jedi exodus from the dark crypts below the planet’s surface. She has also heard that since the time of the exodus no one entering the crypts has returned alive.

Halfway across the galaxy, Luke Skywalker has undertaken an equally dangerous expedition that, if it fails, could have fatal consequences for Leia, Han, and Chewbacca. Haunted by ominous dreams and guided by a force he cannot identify, Luke journeys to a remote asteroid field over the planet Pzob. There he discovers the automated Dreadnaught Eye of Palpatine — from the days of all-out war.

Camouflaged deep within a nebulous gas cloud and dormant for thirty years, Eye of Palpatine is governed by a super-sophisticated artificial intelligence system known as the Will. Taken aboard the Dreadnaught, Luke is counseled by the spirit of Callista, a Jedi Knight who gave her life to stop the ship once before. Now Luke must learn from her how to destroy it once and for all. The Will has awakened. The Eye of Palpatine is on the move. Its mission: the total annihilation of Belsavis.

The mystery of the crypts, the invincible power of the Will, the lost Jedi, and the burgeoning passion between Luke and Callista come together in the stunning climax of Children of the Jedi — the latest chapter in the magnificent Star Wars saga.

You can get it here.

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Darksaber

Publisher’s summary:

Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, cloaked by the Force and riding with the hostile Sand People, have returned to the dunes of the desert planet Tatooine in hopes of finding what Luke so desperately seeks: contact with Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke is hoping the old Jedi Knight’s spirit will tell him how to help his love, Callista, regain her lost ability to use the Force. Tormented and haunted, Luke cannot rest until Callista is a Jedi in the fullest sense, for only then will the link between their minds and souls be restored. Yet brewing on Tatooine is news that will shake Luke and Han and threaten everything they value.

The disturbing piece of information is that the evil Hutts, criminal warlords of the galaxy, are building a secret superweapon: a reconstruction of the original Death Star, to be named Darksaber. This planet-crushing power will be in the ruthless hands of Durga the Hutt — a creature without conscience or mercy.
But there is worse news yet: the Empire lives. The beautiful Admiral Daala, still very much alive and more driven than ever to destroy the Jedi, has joined forces with the defeated Pellaeon, former second in command to Grand Admiral Thrawn. Together they are marshalling Imperial forces to wipe out the New Republic.

Now, as Luke, Han, Leia, Chewbacca, Artoo, and Threepio regroup to face these threats, they are joined by new Jedi Knights and Callista. Together they must fight on two fronts, outshooting and outsmarting the most formidable enemies in the galaxy. In Darksaber the Jedi are heading for the ultimate test of their power — a test in which all the temptations of the dark side beckon. And Luke Skywalker must draw upon his innermost resources to fight for a world in which he can not only live, but dare to love.

You can get it here.

Planet of Twilight

Publisher’s summary:

Nam Chorios is a barren backwater world — once a dreaded prison colony, now home to a fanatic religious cult. It is here that Princess Leia has been taken captive by a ruthless and charismatic warlord bent on destroying the New Republic. Meanwhile, Luke lands on a mysterious planet in search of his lost love, Callista, only to discover the Force is his own worst enemy. But worst of all, as Han, Chewie, and Lando leave Coruscant on a desperate rescue mission, a strange life-form, unlike any the galaxy has ever seen, awakens…a life-form so malevolent it will destroy everything — both Empire and New Republic — on its path to domination.

You can get it here.

The New Jedi Order Series

Brace yourselves because this is the biggest multi-author series that Lucasfilm oversaw. This series consists of 19 novels.  The New Jedi Order takes place approximately 21 years after the Return of the Jedi.  It spans four years of events.  The event in question is the Yuuzhan Vong war.  The Yuuzhan Vong were one of the biggest threats that any one has faced.

You can get it here.

Dark Nest Trilogy

Publisher’s summary:

Luke Skywalker is worried: A handful of Jedi Knights, including his nephew and niece, Jaina and Jacen Solo, have disappeared into the Unknown Regions in response to a strange cry for help that only they could hear. Now the alien Chiss have angrily lodged a formal complaint, accusing the missing Jedi of meddling in a border dispute between the Chiss and an unidentified aggressor.

Luke has no choice but to head to the Unknown Regions for serious damage control. Han and Leia follow, intent on protecting their children from what could be grave danger. But none of them are prepared for what they find when they reach their destination.

A colony of mysterious aliens is expanding toward the edge of Chiss space. The leader of the alien nest is resolute. Adept in the Force, he is drawing old friends to his side, compelling them to join the colony and meld their Force-abilities with his, even if it leads to all-out war….

You can get it here.

Legacy of the Force Series (Nine-Book Series)

Publisher’s summary:

This series focuses on the Second Galactic Civil War.  Jacen Solo, son of Han and Leia falls to the dark side of the Force.

Dark enemy stalks Luke Skywalker and the Jedi.

A devastating war threatens the galaxy.

A dangerous destiny summons Jacen Solo.

You can get it here.

Fate of the Jedi Series (Nine-Book Series)

Publisher’s summary:

Fate of the Jedi launches a huge story arc, with heroic roles for the galaxy’s most beloved characters — Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa Solo, and their surviving children, Ben Skywalker and Jaina Solo. While Luke and Ben set off on the journey of a lifetime — of discovery and hardship, of obstacles and victories — the others remain in more familiar territory, dealing with the aftermath of the civil war that rocked the galaxy in the Legacy of the Force.

That’s a long list, isn’t it?  You’ve also probably noticed that these novels are from the Expanded Universe or Legends as it’s now known.  Don’t let that deter you from reading them.  Even though they are no longer canon, these stories dive deeper into Luke’s life after Return of the Jedi.  They help better understand why Luke is such a beloved character amongst Star Wars fans.  Is there something else that should be on this list? 

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