The Star Wars Expanded Universe: The Pithy Reader’s Companion Vol. I

It’s pretty well understood at this point that this site is populated wholly by long-time members of’s Jedi Council Literature forums. Having been there myself for fourteen years now, I like to think of my role here as something of a curator—seeking out the best and brightest voices on the forums and giving them a more direct spotlight than a message board might offer.

Sometimes, of course, the best and brightest are also pretty damned snarky. So just over a year ago, inspired by the then-imminent release of Pablo Hidalgo’s Star Wars: The Essential Reader’s Companion, I started a discussion thread called One Sentence or Less, wherein I would pick a story from the Expanded Universe—not quite at random, but not in any specific order either—and forumers would have two days to summarize it in one sentence (four words minimum). Readers then voted for their favorite entries via the forum’s “like” system, meaning that the winners were pretty much out of my hands (though you’ll notice many were penned by “Havac”—ETE staffer Lucas Jackson, and “GrandAdmiralJello”—staffer Jay Shah, proving I have impeccable taste in cohorts). The result is an extensive (but not yet comprehensive) synopsis of the length and breadth of the EU—with a couple imaginary stories thrown in for good measure.

So for you casual fans out there who might want to try out some of the EU, consider this sort of the polar opposite of The EU Explains—some of the winners are serious, many are sardonic, and one may even be an elaborate Gilbert & Sullivan parody—but any truly helpful information is purely coincidental.

Lastly, please note that while I have handed the reigns over to stalwart Lit forumer @instantdeath, the One Sentence or Less thread is still ongoing, and there’s much more left to cover. For my part, I’ll continue updating the articles here from time to time with new winning entries.

And now, with no further ado, I present Volume I of what will be the three-volume Pithy Reader’s Companion: Dawn of the Jedi through Return of the Jedi


Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void – Being her brother’s keeper didn’t work because he didn’t want to be kept. – @LarryG

Dawn of the Jedi [1]comic series – Someone takes the star system set-up from Firefly, crosses with the writers who gave us Legacy throws in Pyramids that look like Mortis for mysteries sake and then spends the first arc showing its antagonist in various states of nudity; unsurprisingly, it does well. – @Sinrebirth

1-totjThe Golden Age of the Sith – Force-sensitive twins discover a secret…wait, hasn’t this story already been done? – @DarthRelaxus

The Fall of the Sith Empire – Evil Space Egyptians invade the Republic, only to be stopped on Coruscant by the Jedi-led forces of Gondor. – @RC-1991

Knights of the Old Republic – Imagine an ancient era of nomadic Jedi Knights, fighting evil and battling bizarre dark side cults, in the golden age of the Old Republic . . . and then imagine it not really being much good. – @Havac

The Freedon Nadd Uprising – The most expensive trade paperback in my collection that is simultaneously the most worthless trade paperback in my collection. – @Zorrixor

The Old Republic: Annihilation – A novel of the Old Republic. – @Ulicus

The Old Republic: Deceived – You were deceived… if you thought this book was about Darth Malak. – @Todd the Jedi

Knight Errant [2]novel – A solipsist, a nihilist, a chaotician, and two juvenile twin zombie overlords vs an errant Jedi. – @Barriss_Coffee

Darth Bane: Path of Destruction – Disgruntled sociopathic miner turned soldier is recruited to the Sith Hogwarts where he plays the role of a 300lb Harry Potter before slaughtering Draco Malfoy, being seduced by Hermione, and claiming his destiny by getting Voldemort to blow himself up. – @Charlemagne19

Darth Bane: Rule of Two – The floating telepathic hairballs were right about the girl all along. – @LarryG

Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil – Darth Bane, on the wane, died in pain, trying to get in Zannah’s brain. – @LarryG

Darth PlagueisStar Wars: Darth Plagueis is The Essential Reader’s Companion to the Pre-Prequel Era masquerading as a novel. – @CT-867-5309

Cloak of Deception – Come one, come all, and watch as the astounding James Luceno performs his greatest feat: he makes The Phantom Menace make sense. – @instantdeath

Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter – The book that proves that Darth Maul is much better at recovering Palpatine’s stolen plans than Darth Vader is. – @fistofan1

Rogue Planet – This is what the prequel EU looked like when we hadn’t been afflicted with AOTC yet — Jedi adventures, the end of a golden age, married Jedi, a relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin that was flawed but fundamentally loving, and Tarkin in a sinister Palpatinist cabal working with a totally awesome Raith Sienar. – @Havac

Outbound Flight – A young George Lucas meets a brilliant foreign strategist, and after exchanging linguistics and general world views, their actions lead directly to the deaths of thousands, while they both go on to live extremely prosperous lives. – @Todd the Jedi



Republic Commando: Hard Contact – Karen Traviss’, Omega’s, and Etain’s spectacular debut, before any of us knew exactly how they would all just as spectacularly let us down. – @MistrX

Republic Commando: Triple Zero – At long last, a Star Wars novel about a
bunch of people hanging out in an apartment. – @ezekiel22x

Republic Commando: True Colors – Apparently, the Kaminoians who were responsible for instilling in commando units their loyalty to the Republic and the Chancellor were on a coffee break when this batch was being grown. –@mnjedi

Republic Commando: Order 66 – Commander Cody, the time has come: execute wedding registries. – @ezekiel22x

The Cestus Deception – The one with bugs that’s not by Denning. – @Havac

Jedi Trial – You can skip this one. – @Ulicus

Yoda: Dark Rendezvous – Count Dooku and Asajj Ventress take brief breaks from being cartoon villains in order to be real, amazing characters; Yoda takes a break from being a lecturing piece of Jedi Council furniture in order to be playful, wise, active, and impressive again; some Padawans show up to try to make us care about them and their angst and underachievement for the billionth time and this time we actually do; there are droids that are actual characters; and we almost believe that Dooku’s about to be redeemed . . . before Anakin and Obi-Wan’s heroism gets in his way. – @Havac

MedStar: Battle Surgeons – A Sullustan, a Mirialan, and a protocol droid walk into a bar…. – @Todd the Jedi

MedStar: Jedi Healer – Barriss Offee does ‘shrooms while Den Dhur and I5 end up unemployed until Coruscant Nights. – @DarthRelaxus

Labyrinth of Evil – Darth Sidious learns an important lesson: ALWAYS delete your browsing history. – @fistofan1

Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader – Vader gets to play antagonist to a new character in a book named for Vader, meanwhile the Empire decides not to let the Wookiees win. – @AdmiralWesJanson

Imperial Commando: 501st – Despite the title, this book contains about two pages of commandoing, a couple chapters of Imperials, and an awful lot of women, some literally kidnapped, swooning over hunky armored Mandalorians in the kitchens of their farmhouses. – @Havac

The Lando Calrissian Adventures – (James Bond + Indiana Jones) x Colt45 = Lando Calrissian – @DarthRelaxus

The Han Solo Adventures – Gallandro shot first. – @Todd the Jedi

The Force Unleashed – Bail Organa is rescued from being executed on the Death Star only to be executed by the Death Star. – @DarthRelaxus

The Force Unleashed II – The middle and final installment of the Force Unleashed trilogy. – @Ulicus

The Force Unleashed III [3]bonus round; nonexistent story – The stunning conclusion to the story of Starkiller, where he becomes so tired of such a hard life that he strips himself of the Force and moves to and becomes mayor of Sernpidal, a planet he figures is so far from the center of the galaxy that nothing exciting or critically important could ever happen there. – @Todd the Jedi

1-totjThe Han Solo Trilogy: The Paradise Snare – Han Solo is with a Wookiee who is not Chewie, a woman who is not Leia, and pilots a ship that is not the Falcon. – @krtmd

The Han Solo Trilogy: The Hutt Gambit  – Han Solo manages to win a massive naval victory over the Galactic Empire yet still gets picked to lead the ground team at Endor. – @Charlemagne19

The Han Solo Trilogy: Rebel Dawn – The story of Bria Tharen, heroine of the rebellion, guest starring Han Solo. – @Charlemagne19

Deathtroopers – Han of the Dead – @Todd the Jedi

Death Star – An exclusive inside look at the daily lives of the two million people blown up by Luke Skywalker. – @The Loyal Imperial

Tales from the Empire – Thrawn’s the dude playing a dude disguised as another dude. – @Todd the Jedi

The Star Wars Holiday Special – We built this forest on rock n’ roll. – @instantdeath

Ruins of Dantooine – The Star Wars version of Waiting for Godot. – @blackmyron

Empire [4]comic series – Dark Horse takes a never-before-seen glimpse in the GALACTIC EMPIRE, the political struggles, the betrayals, the side of Star Wars that you… okay, fine, we’ll just go back to doing stories about the Rebel Alliance, happy now? – @blackmyron

Rebellion [5]comic series – Luke Skywalker continues to sleep his way through the girls of the Rebellion. – @Zorrixor
[6]multi-series comic crossover Haunted jewelry bedevils three generations of Skywalkers and some other guy. – @Parnesius

Splinter of the Mind’s Eye – “Hey Leia, remember that time on Mimban, before I found out you were my sister?” – @instantdeath

Tales of the Bounty Hunters – Six bounty hunters compete to see whose story can be most ignored in the future. – @Havac

The Bounty Hunter Wars: The Mandalorian Armor – In the first book of Jeter’s Tell, Don’t Show trilogy, Boba Fett contemplates the Bounty Hunter Wars, Kuat of Kuat contemplates politics, Xizor contemplates treachery, an Assembler contemplates his Balancesheet, and everybody else contemplates Boba Fett. – @cthugha

The Bounty Hunter Wars: Slave Ship – This, too, is why Zuckuss is mentally ill. – @TrakNar

The Bounty Hunter Wars: Hard Merchandise – Don’t worry about the title; the bounty hunter porn is only metaphorical. – @Havac

Shadows of the Empire – Lord Vader turns his would-be rival into an awesome fireworks show and the Imperial Navy bails out Rogue Squadron. – @GrandAdmiralJello



Stay tuned for Volume II in two weeks—otherwise known as “The Bantam Era”….

1, 4, 5 comic series
2 novel
3 bonus round; nonexistent story
6 multi-series comic crossover

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