Forty Years With the Force

Poster for Return of The Jedi by Matt Ferguson
image © Matt Ferguson

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, so this post will feature all things Star Wars for all ages, whether you’re new or seasoned fans! The franchise is galaxy-spanning, so I’m not going to be able to recommend everything, but if I miss a favourite of yours, chime in in the comments!

Also, expect to see minor spoilers, though I will try to avoid major ones.

We’ll start things off with the original trilogy featuring Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, which you can borrow individually or as a trilogy set.

Follow it up with the prequel trilogy (or don’t, if you hate them, although I personally enjoy them) in The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith for insight into Luke’s origins and why and how he came to be the Jedi’s new hope.

Cover of Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

There are of course, so many novelizations for both junior and adult audiences. One best-seller is the Thrawn trilogy, featuring the fan-favourite villain, first introduced in Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire (also very worth checking out). This tale takes place after Revenge of the Sith but before the Rogue One film and brings the reader to the start of the 2017 television season of Star Wars Rebels. 

Cover of Rogue One

Speaking of Rogue One, this is my all time favourite Star Wars related media (so far, second only to The Mandalorian) and a truly beautiful, tear-jerker of a story. Even if you’re not a fan of Star Wars, or have little-to-no knowledge of the franchise, this is a gorgeous film, made only more poignant with familiarity of its place in the larger canon.

Cover of Clone Wars Season One

There’s also plenty of animated Star Wars media. High on the list of fan favourites is The Clone Wars tv series, which ran from 2008 to 2020 and chronicles the adventures of Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi and other popular characters from the Star Wars universe during the violent Clone Wars, as dwindling numbers of Jedi knights struggle to restore peace.

Cover of Star Wars Rebels

Then there’s the aforementioned Star Wars Rebels, another animated series, this time focusing on the events between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Imperial forces occupy a remote planet and are ruling—and ruining—its inhabitants’ lives with an iron fist.

A clever, disparate crew aboard the starship Ghost takes a stand against the Empire, facing new villains and colourful adversaries as they attempt to ignite a rebellion. The rebels on the Ghost include leader Kanan, ace pilot Hera, feisty heroine Sabine, tough guy Zeb and 14-year-old con artist Ezra.

For those fans of LEGO, there’s also plenty of Star Wars LEGO movies, books, and games too!

Cover of The Art and Imagery of The Mandalorian

And finally, there’s content that dives into the creation and design of Star Wars, such as The Art and Imagery of The Mandalorian, this Ultimate Visual Guide, this Star Wars Storyboards collection, or (my favourite) Star Wars and History, mapping the real life influences on the fiction!

Cover of Star Wars and History

Truly, the Star Wars franchise is a treasure trove of content, meaning there’s always something new to explore for those lovers of this fantastic universe, and there’s sure to be something to suit everyone, if only you keep searching.

May the Force be with you!

About Sumayyah

Sumayyah is an Information Assistant at the Vaughan Public Libraries. She's also a bookworm and author, constantly dreaming up a multitude of different stories and wrestling with finishing them.  |  Meet the team