The Star Wars Expanded Universe has some great Star Wars stories. Though no longer canon, these Legends stories heavily influence the new Star Wars canon and are still great to read.
There are many Legends stories written over the last 20 years. Though this is not an exhaustive list (by far). But I’d argue it’s perhaps the best of the EU.
Timothy Zahn Novels
For many fans, myself included, Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn novels are the EU. The storyline and characters that Zahn created were the cornerstone to all other EU novels. His books introduced Leia and Han being married, having three Force sensitive children, and struggling to build the New Republic.
The characters Mara Jade and Grand Admiral Thrawn are among the most beloved of any Star Wars characters (canon or otherwise). Thrawn is such a powerful character that he has been made canon and integrated into the Rebels series and a new canon novel.
|Heir to the Empire||Timothy Zahn||1991|
|Dark Force Rising||Timothy Zahn||1992|
|The Last Command||Timothy Zahn||1993|
|Hand of Thrawn Series|
|Specter of the Past||Timothy Zahn||1997|
|Vision of the Future||Timothy Zahn||1998|
|Additional Zahn Books|
|Fool’s Bargain||22 ABY||Timothy Zahn||Feb 2004|
|Survivor’s Quest||22 ABY||Timothy Zahn||2004|
|Outbound Flight||27 BBY||Timothy Zahn||2006|
|Allegiance||0 ABY||Timothy Zahn||2007|
|Choices of One||0.7 ABY||Timothy Zahn||July 2011|
|Scoundrels||0 ABY||Timothy Zahn||Jan 2013|
Stand Alone Novels of Note
There have been several stand-alone novels of note over the years.
Some of the best have been Shadows of the Empire, Kenobi, and Plagueis. Shadows tells a story set after Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi involving Luke, Leia, and Lando infiltrating a criminal syndicate. Kenobi tells the story of Obiwan’s early days in isolation on Tatooine, detailing his struggles as one of the only remaining Jedi. Plagueis tells the story of Darth Plagueis and his training of Palpatine.
|Darth Plagueis review*||67-32 BBY||James Luceno||Jan 2012|
|Kenobi||19 BBY||John Jackson Miller||Aug 2013|
|Shadows of the Empire||3-4 ABY||Steve Perry||May 1996|
Darth Bane Trilogy
The Darth Bane Trilogy serves, in many ways, as the handbook to the founding of the Sith order. Darth Bane becomes the Sith Lord who creates a set of principles to assure their order continued with only the strongest allowed to continue the order. His main claim to fame is the creator of The Rule of Two that permeates all of the Sith tradition.
|Star Wars – Darth Bane: Path of Destruction||1000 BBY||Drew Karpyshyn||September 26, 2006|
|Star Wars – Darth Bane: Rule of Two||1000-990 BBY||Drew Karpyshyn||December 26, 2007|
|Star Wars – Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil||980 BBY||Drew Karpyshyn||December 8, 2009|
The X-Wing novel series features the exploits of Rogue Squadron (and Wedge Antilles). It has created its own following of readers and features on aspects of the Star Wars Saga not involving Jedi and Sith.
|Rogue Squadron||Michael A. Stackpole||1996|
|Wedge’s Gamble||Michael A. Stackpole||1996|
|The Krytos Trap||Michael A. Stackpole||1996|
|The Bacta War||Michael A. Stackpole||1997|
|Wraith Squadron||Aaron Allston||1998|
|Iron Fist||Aaron Allston||1998|
|Solo Command||Aaron Allston||1999|
|Isard’s Revenge||Michael A. Stackpole||1999|
|Starfighters of Adumar||Aaron Allston||1999|
|Mercy Kill||Aaron Allston||2012|
Dark Lord Trilogy
|Dark Lord||19-18 BBY||James Luceno||November 22, 2005|
|Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith||19 BBY||Matthew Stover||April 2, 2005|
|Labyrinth of Evil||19 BBY||James Luceno||January 25, 2005|
The Old Republic
The Old Republic Novels are stories based on the MMORPG of the same name. The detail the back stories of many of the game’s characters and timeline. It particularly features Revan, one of the most popular EU characters.
|Fatal Alliance||3643 BBY||Sean Williams||July 2010|
|Deceived||3653 BBY||Paul S Kemp||Mar 2011|
|Revan||3954-3950 BBY||Drew Karpyshyn||Nov 2011|
|Annihilation||3640 BBY||Drew Karpyshyn||Nov 2012|