Journey to The Force Awakens: A Reading Guide


Whenever I watch The Force Awakens it reminds me of seeing the end to a really great first season of a show. All cylinders run at top speeds into an epic experience. ...Except there is a something missing to the story from the time jump after the First Year of the New Republic (reading guide found here) to The Force Awakens. Tiny world building pieces that give the needed context to the sequel trilogy. This reading guide is designed to add in the context intentionally left out of the movie, and bridge the reader from the original trilogy to the sequel trilogy. The Force Awakens is wonderful as it is. Reading these stories makes it even better. If you are on a budget I highly recommend at the minimum to check out the novel Bloodline by Claudia Gray. It is one of my favorite Star Wars novels, and is the catalyst to Leia Organa’s direction in The Force Awakens. Reading all these stories offers up a wonderful buffet of experience that will reshape your view going into the sequel trilogy. It may not be complete as new stories are still being released.

In addition the suggested reading order will be a little wibbly wobbly as exact placements are deliberately not specified. I hope this does not deter you from reading any or all of these wonderful stories! I do want to point out that I did read some of these stories before watching The Force Awakens. They were the three junior novels (Luke, Leia, Han) and four of the short stories by Landry Q. Walker. Holy buckets was that a splendid idea! There were parts, like Rey going into the lower levels of Maz’s Castle that I was worried the creature from “The Face of Evil” was going to show up. It is that increased mystery of having some information that might or might not materialize that sucked me into the story more. Now let’s get to reading!

"Scorched" (Short Story)

by Delilah S. Dawson

Read Here | Magazine | Paperback (Bloodline)

Greer Sonnel can fly. Being such a good pilot has put her on Han Solo’s radar. After many years of smuggling and rebelling, Han Solo has taken on a quieter life. However, that does not stop him from living fast by coaching a racing team. Will Greer’s dreams fly faster than her?

Bloodline (Book)

by Claudia Gray

Audiobook | Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

What lead Senator Leia Organa to form the Resistance? This novel reveals that heartbreaking story as Organa’s world is flipped upside down. Set about five to six years before Poe Dameron arrives on Jakku.

“Bait” (Short Story)

by Alan Dean Foster

eBook | Magazine | Paperback (The Force Awakens)

Grummgar has always been a hunter. With experience one builds up expectations. Expectations of other hunters, which lead into this one encounter. Grummgar must unlearn what he had learned if he was to survive.

Smuggler’s Run (Book)

by Greg Rucka

Audiobook | Hardcover | eBook

The exact placement of this story is unknown. I like to think that after the events of Bloodline, Han Solo and Chewbacca run off, with the Millennium Falcon to relive old times. This leads to a flashback story, which is set shortly after the Battle of Endor.

Tales From A Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens Volume I (Book)

by Landry Q. Walker

eBook | Hardcover

Each of these tales offer unique insight to characters from The Force Awakens. Some may barely be seen, but their existence can be felt. The amount of twists and turns these tales offer will leave you cackling in delight.

High Noon on Jakku: Constable Zuvio is the keeper of the peace at Niima Outpost until cold calculated thievery threatens the place he calls home.

A Recipe for Death: Strono “Cookie” Tuggs must sniff out the culprit in the unseasoned murder of one of his chefs in the form of a cooking competition.

All Creatures Great and Small: Babbajo does two things he knows best, when slavers raid the town of Reestkii on Jakku: tell tall tales and connect with his creatures.

The Face of Evil: Thromba and Laparo cryptosurgeon Frigosians will craft you a new face to face a new day.

True Love: Unkar Plutt has been known as many things, but not as a Crolute tied down… Though will he?

The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku: Captain Sidon Ithano (aka Crimson Corsair), his first mate Quiggold, and crew set off on an adventure. A mad dash to a recently uncovered Separatist ship guaranteed to hold more treasure than friendship!

Join the Resistance series (Book)

by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker

Hardcover | eBook

Join the Resistance: Newly recruited Resistance fighters must work together if they are to ever properly fight against the rising First Order.

Escape from Vodran: *release date November 7, 2017*

C-3PO: The Phantom Limb (One Shot Comic)

by James Robinson and Tony Harris

Digital | Physical | TPB (bundled with Shattered Empire)

How did C-3PO get his red arm? This tale speaks of duty and remembrance. This small story leaves open a lot to think about, when it comes to the existential thoughts droids go through.

Weapon of a Jedi (Book)

by Jason Fry

Audiobook | Hardcover | eBook

Jess Pava is a skilled pilot in the Resistance, who runs into the droid C-3PO. The droid reveals to her a story about the legendary Luke Skywalker. A tale set a little bit after the Battle of Endor. The time C-3PO first saw Luke Skywalker use his lightsaber in combat on the planet Devaron.

The Perfect Weapon (Novella)

by Delilah S. Dawson

Audiobook | eBook | Paperback (The Force Awakens)

Bazine Netal is a bounty hunter, who gets thrust into a mission that goes from bad to worse. What is so precious about the box she must obtain?

Moving Target (Book)

by Cecil Castellucci and Jason Fry

Audiobook | Hardcover | eBook

Leia Organa is writing a memoir. Included is an event that reshaped her focus in the fight against the Empire shortly after Bespin. Something she must write down to share, with her Resistance fighters.


Star Wars: Battlefront II Single Player Campaign (Video Game)

By developers EA DICE, Motive Studios, Criterion Software

Released on Playstation 4, Xbone One, and PC by EA Studios. Iden Versio, Del Meeko, and Gideon Hask are not your typical Imperial soldiers. They each utilize their unique talents as a clean up crew to Imperial blemishes, for Admiral Versio originating after the first Death Star was destroyed (check out my review of Battlefront II: Inferno Squad by Christie Golden origin story novel here). They are known as Inferno Squad, and their mission got completely turned upside down during the Battle of Endor. That is where the single player campaign starts of Battlefront II. Throughout the campaign the player follows Inferno Squad as they must venture on to the Battle of Jakku and beyond as it edges into the events of The Force Awakens. Surprises await as the campaign weaves into unexpected moments from the other reading guide (New Republic: Year One reading guide found here), and brings forth a few punches of it’s own.

Poe Dameron (Ongoing Comic)

by Charles Soule and Phil Noto

Digital | Physical | TPB (currently up to 13 issues)

Resistance pilot Poe Dameron must find the adventurer known as Lor San Tekka if General Leia Organa is to ever reunite, with her brother. However, the path is not always a straight line as Poe and his trusty droid keep getting side tracked.

Phasma (Book)

by Delilah S. Dawson

Audiobook | Hardcover | eBook

Captain Phasma of the First Order is a poster child of complete loyalty, strength, and honor. Yet, in this tale a kidnapped Resistance spy Vi Moradi recounts Phasma’s “true” history to her First Order interrogator Captain Cardinal. Will Vi reveal the stains splattered across Phasma's chrome armor? The events in this novel reshape our point of view of Captain Phasma going into Before the Awakening, The Force Awakens, and beyond! (Alternatively, this story can be read during the Journey to The Last Jedi reading order.)

Before the Awakening (Book)

by Greg Rucka

Audiobook | Hardcover | eBook

The stories cover three different spans of time, which introduce the new cast from The Force Awakens.

Finn: Before becoming a Stormtrooper sent to Jakku, FN-2187 had to deal, with some tough decisions as a cadet on a riot control mission.

Rey: Before rescuing BB-8 from the villainous Teedo, Rey puts her trust in others to salvage something amazing.

Poe: Before venturing on a mission to find Lor San Tekka, Poe gets recruited from the New Republic into the Resistance.

The Force Awakens (Book)

by Alan Dean Foster

Audiobook | Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

After watching The Force Awakens, be sure to check out the novelization as it includes more Leia Organa scenes! This adaptation leans more towards the science fiction side, than the fantasy. If you are curious how much of the novelization fits into canon, check out my article about that here.

On the Horizon

I hope you enjoyed all these wonderful stories! As the next wave of “Journey to…” is released, there are going to be so many exciting new stories! What I am most excited for is the Captain Phasma novel and comic, Princess Leia young adult novel, Luke Skywalker young adult novel, and so much more!