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

Welcome to Volume II of the Pithy Reader’s Companion! This round takes us all the way up to the marriage of Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade, and includes some of the biggest hits—and biggest misses—of the EU, most from what’s popularly known as the “Bantam Era”. Buckle in!



The Truce at Bakura – Curse your sudden yet inevitable betrayal! – @cavalier_one

xwrsThe Rebel Opposition – The introduction of a new roster of Rogues, as well as the beginning of the greatest romance in SW history- that between Wes Janson and Hobbie Kliv- I mean, Tycho and Winter. – @Todd the Jedi

The Phanton Affair – On a college campus infested with avian space-hippies and thinly-veiled Nazi analogies, a professor invents the GFFA equivalent of the suitcase nuke, which is used against Captain Blobface – the Joker of Wedge Antilles’ Batman-style origin story – and then never heard of again, even when it would come in handy against enemies uglier than its first and only victim. – @Darth_Culator

Battleground Tatooine – Bib Fortuna masterminds a plot that gets him out of his brain walker and is ready to take over the galaxy, but sadly his reign will be cut short by some sort of Viper. – @Lugija

The Warrior Princess – Despite what the cover wants you to think, Leia is not in this story — the princess turns out to be the beer-swilling, face-punching redneck who’s been in the squadron the whole run, allowing Stackpole to do a riff on the Anastasia story that’s just as bald as the princess is. – @Havac

Requiem for a Rogue – Hot Human on Bothan action. – @Gorefiend

In the Empire’s Service – Isard sets a trap for both the Rebels and Pestage, and they Fel for it. – @GrandAdmiralJello

Blood and Honor – Finally, a Star Wars story with a good guy as the protagonist! – @GrandAdmiralJello

Masquerade – By failing to see the disguise, Tycho proves that he’s not meant to be with Winter, as her one true love would have instantly known it was a trap. – @GrandAdmiralJello

Mandatory Retirement – There once was a lady named Isard
to whom a coup d’etat seemed wizard
so after gaining his ear
she betrayed the vizier
who played the decoy-clone-thence-to-Byss card. – @Parnesius

The Glove of Darth Vader – Without three sentences, this summary could never achieve perfection. – @Havac

The Lost City of the Jedi – Some men just want to watch Yavin burn. – @darth fluffy

Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor – The ultimate Star Wars pulp adventure, now with bonus literary quality. – @Havac

X-Wing: Rogue Squadron – Rebels need something uplifting so they revamp an X-wing squadron starring a sexy ex-cop, a traitor no one will recognize because they are all males who think only with a lower extremity, a species we’ve never heard of, canon fodder and an XO who may or may not be brainwashed. – @s65horsey

X-Wing: Wedge’s Gamble – The Mothmatist’s guide to installing democracy by unleashing deranged convicts in civilian centres, highjacking a weather control station and destroying the local water supply because all Imperials are war criminals who must be stopped. – @Grand Admiral Paxis

X-Wing: The Krytos Trap – Ysanne Isard attempts to forcibly segregate Corran from the storyline, and fails. – @Havac

X-Wing: Bacta War – X-wings vs Super Star Destroyer: Ensuring a decade of Fleet Junkie arguments between minimalists & maximalists while the rest of fandom just giggles about otter loving pilot and his rash. – @AdmiralNick22

X-Wing: Wraith Squadron – Ackbar makes a bet with Wedge… he soon realizes that it was, indeed, a trap. – @fistofan1

X-Wing: Iron Fist – Mon Remonda: the little fish that could. – @cavalier_one

X-Wing: Solo Command – You can’t look dignified when you catch on fire, fall in love, take shots at the one you love or smother Ewok food on your naked body. – @Runjedirun

The Courtship of Princess Leia – Mon Mothma wants Leia to marry Fabio because of his Amazon-sex-fantasy homeworld, so Han freaks out, kidnaps her, and drags her to the other, even more blatant Amazon-sex-fantasy planet, while Luke comes to the self-resurrecting rescue after dealing with Fabio’s cougar mom; also, there’s an Imperial warlord who would become awesome and important as soon as someone else wrote him. – @Havac

Tatooine Ghost – Hey, do you remember all those things and people from the prequels, because Troy Denning sure does, and now it’s time for Leia to meet and/or look at them! – @Havac


Heir to the Empire – Luke Skywalker is introduced to Mara Jade and hot chocolate, but is unsure which of the two is more likely to burn him. – @GrandAdmiralJello

Dark Force Rising – Ackbar is arrested, and though he told them that it was a trap, nobody believed him. – @GrandAdmiralJello

The Last Command – Jacen and Jaina make their first and only Bantam appearance without getting kidnapped, the Rebels play their trump Karrde, and Rukh makes an artistic statement. – @GrandAdmiralJello

X-Wing: Isard’s Revenge – Not only did Isard magically escape death . . . so did her clone, so now here they are lamely popping up in a sort of extended single-book epilogue several years later so we’d have an excuse to see the Rogues get promoted after The Thrawn Trilogy — but at least this time all the Rogues can get in on the fake-Corran-death action. – @Havac

Dark Empire – Palpatine returns with a strategy nobody ever expected — super weapons — but even more unexpected is that these huge war machines have a hidden flaw! – @GrandAdmiralJello

Dark Empire II – Veers was the very model of a modern major-general,
perfecter of the walker found in many a Kenner haul,
but though Julian Glover and Guy Siner (he of the ‘little tank’)
played him it could not save Max from an insulting loss of rank:
in a brief break from aping its predecessors’ every trope
Dark Empire II sent now-Captain Veers off on a forlorn hope –
yet though said comic brought Maximillian to an unworthy end
it balanced books by showing his son Zev rescued by Salla Zend; [1]it balanced books by showing his son Zev rescued by Salla Zend
it balanced books by showing his son Zev rescued by Salla Zend
it balanced books by showing his son Zev rescued by Salla-Salla Zend
having first lost his legs to a kamikaze Klivian,
thereafter got no respect (much like a masterminding Snivvian),
and his First Film Guy Killed In Book spot challenged by Janson, you all
might spare a moment’s thought for an unhappy major-general. [2]and his First Film Guy Killed In Book spot challenged by Janson, you all
might spare a moment’s thought for an unhappy major-general

Empire’s End – Palpatine’s plan to become a baby is foiled first by Han shooting first, then by a floating potato of a Jedi eating his spirit or something. – @Todd the Jedi

Crimson Empire – A story based on the assumption that the silent red guards of the Emperor are the best of the best of the best badass ninjas in the Empire, before we find out all they really do is stand beside doors and get punked by Yoda. – @AdmiralWesJanson

Crimson Empire II – Kir Kanos could have just sat this one out, because Xandel Carivus was doing a fine job running his traitorous movement into the ground on his own. – @GrandAdmiralJello

Crimson Empire III – Even Kir Kanos is sick of fighting the Empire in the name of the Empire by now. – @Havac

daalaThe Jedi Academy Trilogy: Jedi Search – Presidential candidate Natasi Daala kicks off her bid for leader of the free galaxy with her first public relations tour, but a number of serious gaffes at early campaign stops and alleged links to groups manufacturing weapons of mass destruction limit her prospects in this first Presidential race. – @Grand Admiral Paxis

The Jedi Academy Trilogy: Dark Apprentice – Despite early setbacks, Presidential candidate Daala makes an absolute killing at her campaign stop on the rural electorate of Dantooine, but her surprise visit to the safe Mothma-seat of Mon Calamari to shore up her “tough on Rebels” credentials draws immediate protest, with local news sources reporting that a Mothmatist protestor threw an entire star cruiser at her in protest of her policy of indiscriminantly killing everything. – @Grand Admiral Paxis

The Jedi Academy Trilogy: Champions of the Force – Despite a crippling loss in the Cauldron Nebula primary and the explosive resignation of her campaign manager, Captain Mullinore, New Order Party presidential candidate Daala still refuses to concede defeat, but the influence of third party spoiler candidates such as Kyp Durron cause her to lose the caucus in her own home electorate of the Maw in a such a massive landslide that political pundits sarcastically remarked that the only way that she could ever win an election was if another Sith miraculously assumed the Presidency and somehow managed to make her look compassionate and competent by comparison. – @Grand Admiral Paxis

I, Jedi – I, Corran Horn, am such a cool guy that I can be a Jedi, and I can be a cop, and I can be a pilot, and I can be a husband, and I this and I that, ’cause I’m Corran Horn. – @Todd the Jedi

Children of the Jedi – Tale as old as time… true as it can be… barely even friends, then somebody takes over the body of your young Jedi pupil and becomes your girlfriend, unexpectedlyyyyyyyyyyyy. – @Ulicus

Darksaber – Durga tries to find Pre Vizla’s Darksaber, but fails, deciding to create his own super sized version, which too fails — Anderson also fails at storywriting. – @JackG

Jedi Academy: Leviathan – Outer Rim: Kaiju vs Jedi. – @AdmiralWesJanson

X-Wing: Starfighters of Adumar – The Essential Guide to Laughing Out Loud in the Star Wars EU – @Todd the Jedi

Planet of Twilight – A book about a formidable library of Huttese pornography and unsuitable for children under 18. – @Zorrixor

The Crystal Star – Nothing says Star Wars like naked centaurs, golden blobby gods, Hitler Youth parallels, and stellar astrophysics that make no sense! – @Todd the Jedi

The Black Fleet Crisis: Before the Storm – Leia gets drawn into the political web of one of the best villains ever; while Lando, Lobot, and the droids have the best random, unconnected sci-fi exploration plot ever; and Luke goes off on a pretty dull hunt for his mother that we don’t know yet is total garbage, but at least it gets him out of his super-mopey Jedi midlife crisis where he tries to be a hermit and give up on life at age 35 . . . ever. – @HavacThe Black Fleet Crisis: Shield of Lies – Somehow this will all make sense even though this book consists of three incomplete short stories. – @DarthRelaxus

The Black Fleet Crisis: Tyrant’s Test – Lando saves a species, Luke discovers some sort of weird feminist pseudo-Force cult instead of his mom and figures out how to get involved in the other plots, we get the most genuinely menacing villain scene ever, Etahn A’baht kicks the Yevetha’s ass, Chewbacca reaches his moment of ultimate literary triumph, and the Imperials save the day. – @Havac

The Corellian Trilogy: Ambush at Corellia – The only thing we remember about this book is the part at the end of every single Bantam book where Anakin breaks that one droid. – @GrandAdmiralJello

The Corellian Trilogy: Assault on Selonia – With the Corellian system still under the dome, Luke harnesses the power of arguably pointless cameos in order to break inside, reasoning that if he has all these old girlfriends he might as well use them. – @Big Fat’Lya

The Corellian Trilogy: Showdown at Centerpoint – If you’re not satisfied that the villain gets to live and they don’t blow up the superweapon-of-the-week, let me tell you about a little series called Legacy of the Force… – @Todd the Jedi

The Hand of Thrawn: Specter of the Past – With the introduction of Ponc Gavrisom, the New Republic finally has a level-headed, logical, good-natured politician that isn’t Leia, Mon Mothma, or Ackbar…and he is subsequently forgotten and never used again. – @Revanfan1

The Hand of Thrawn: Vision of the Future – There is a diplomatic crisis that is resolved without galactic war thanks to Leia, Lando, Karrde, and Pellaeon; Luke and Mara learn about a whole new galactic faction and a whole new threat out in the Unknown Regions (and have the weirdest instant romance ever) that sets up the potential for awesome future stories; the Empire is defeated through reform and peace rather than war; and there are SOONTIR FELS EVERYWHERE — what’s not to love? – @Havac

Union – Reading Union will just make reading Sacrifice that much more infuriating. – @LarryG



Stay tuned for the conclusion in Volume III: the New Jedi Order and beyond!

1 it balanced books by showing his son Zev rescued by Salla Zend
it balanced books by showing his son Zev rescued by Salla Zend
it balanced books by showing his son Zev rescued by Salla-Salla Zend
2 and his First Film Guy Killed In Book spot challenged by Janson, you all
might spare a moment’s thought for an unhappy major-general

7 thoughts to “The Star Wars Expanded Universe: The Pithy Reader’s Companion Vol. II”

  1. Hey, I’m contributing to this site!
    But where is Bib Fortuna and the Rise of the Dark Falls? I thought its timeline placement was during the New Republic era.

  2. “I, Jedi” should have been, “I can fix the Jedi Academy Triology and the Lando-Mara affair, because I’m Corran Horn.”

      1. … and awesome? I will have to reconsider everything you have ever written now. I think I want to go home and rethink my life.

    1. I know you’re just joking, but seriously–I don’t get people’s objections to that. Does Mara need to be virginal to be good enough for Luke, or is it just Lando people are bothered by? Either way it seems like a big can of worms to open up over one little scene.

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