Star Wars Books: Youtini Academy

If you love Star Wars books like I do, you may have heard of Youtini, a website that makes it a little easier to understand the world of Star Wars books, both Legends and Canon. It has timelines for both, descriptions of books, articles, podcasts–everything you might need if you want to explore the world of Star Wars books, which can be, let’s face it, a little confusing sometimes. Definitely check it out if you haven’t already.

Recently, I learned that Youtini was going to start an online course about the books, both Legends and Canon, starting on May the 4th (for a fee of $57, which I eagerly forked over, lol). This course would talk about Star Wars publishing, the difference between Legends and Canon and the best books of each to start with, best stand-alones and series, and a special unit on The High Republic. Excuse me, what kind of bliss is this???

While I feel fairly confident in the world of Canon (and prefer it, for the most part), I don’t want to exclude Legends and would like to learn more about it. Legends seems like this huge beast that I can’t quite wrap my mind around, lol. That doesn’t mean I haven’t read some Legends books: Kenobi, in particular, is a favorite; Razor’s Edge, Rogue Planet, and some Clone Wars-era books. Everything up to Return of the Jedi seems “safe” to me; but it’s after ROTJ that the two timelines diverge greatly, and I’m afraid of getting the two timelines tangled in my mind, lol.

I’ve read the quintessential book Heir to the Empire, which is a classic and kicked off the golden age of Legends; it introduces Thrawn as the new villain after the defeat of the Empire. I read it way back when it first came out in 1991, and probably its two sequels, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command. There was no other Star Wars out there, and I was thirsty! And the books were fine, but they didn’t really snare me like they did a lot of people, I don’t know why. Dozens of other Star Wars books came out after that over the years, and maybe I read a few, I really can’t remember, but I lost interest. Maybe I had other things going on in my life, maybe I was obsessed with other things at the time, who knows.

Thrawn is a common thread between Legends and Canon.

Anyway, I recently re-read Heir to the Empire, and it was rather fun, but found it difficult to get into the second book. Or maybe I was just distracted by Canon books coming out at the time. But I do want to re-read them all, and possibly more Legends books that take place after ROTJ. With Thrawn making his live-action debut in Ahsoka, I’d like to get to know “Book Thrawn” a bit better. That includes the Legends books and the new Canon Thrawn books. I tried to get through the first Canon book, titled simply “Thrawn,” but couldn’t finish it. It’s weird, because I love the character in Rebels!

But I want to give all these books another chance. As we’ve seen with Thrawn, and plenty of other examples, characters and ideas in Legends haven’t simply been thrown away–they’ve been making their way into Canon in many ways. The Legends books are important. For me, I tend to view the Legends books as an alternate universe of Star Wars–kind of like the Marvel alternate universes in “What If…” It’s not that it didn’t happen that way, it just happened on a different timeline, a different parallel universe. That’s how it makes sense to me. Han and Leia had three kids named Jacen, Jaina and Anakin; Luke married Mara Jade and had a son named Ben. Just in an alternate universe.

Anyway, that’s my Legends story, and I’m very excited to learn more about it in this course. I’m about halfway done with the lessons (little 5-10 minute videos) and am enjoying it immensely. You can also chat with other members about the course or the books or just all things Star Wars. If you’re a big Star Wars book fan, you may not want to miss it! Click the link at the beginning of this post and you’ll see it at the top of their website.

Are you a Star Wars reader? Are you a Legends fan or a Canon fan? Or love both? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

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