Star Wars has a legion of excellent stories for kids and young adults. Stories of heroes from the movies as well as new characters to inspire real virtues such as courage, faith, friendship, reason and long term thinking thrived in the this world. It’s no wonder as George Lucas was a big fan of using his stories to encourage kids to learn. He even had video games for it. But for here, lets focus on the kids stories in the books.
There are three eras of Star Wars kids stories, the Old Republic, the Rebellion and the New Republic. They basically were written in reverse order, as many of them came out long after the original trilogy and they couldn’t write the Old Republic era until the prequels came out.
The most popular Star Wars Kids books aren’t just for kids.
Unfortunately none of these Star Wars kids series and stand alone novels are currently in print. From Jude Watson’s tales of Old Republic apprenticeships and the aftermath to the Young Jedi Knights era of Luke’s academy, they are popular even with adults. One of the things best about them is how they really delve into the characters motivations and thoughts. Nothing shallow here, how to deal with friends caught in a war, racism (Human race, twilek race etc) tragedy of loss, and the aftermath of slavery are broached. Just because they are for Star Wars kids doesn’t mean they talk down to them.
Jedi Apprentice Series by Dave Wolverton & Jude Watson
These stories were released after The Phantom Menace and star our heroes Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, from the time of their initial teaming up until Obi-Wan is about eighteen. This is our hero Obi-Wan as teen, mostly told from his perspective. Obi-Wan wants to be the best padawan ever. But Qui-Gon has baggage, leftover from a previous padawan. And Obi-Wan has a lot to learn, about the galaxy outside the temple, the Force, and the dark side. Find out how he almost missed out on being a padawan, his clash with Qui-Gon over being ordered to leave friends in a war, and the long term consequences of some of his choices.
Jedi Apprentice Special Edition 1 & 2 by Jude Watson
These two novels introduce a story with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan during the Jedi Apprentice time period and continue with Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker. The first involves the aftermath of tragedy detailed in Jedi Apprentice 4 and 5, and the long term results. The second involves pursuit of a Sith artifact. The differences in the relationships of the two duos are obvious. These were a lead into Jedi Quest. Yes, Jedi Apprentice was a lead in to a whole slew of spin off Star Wars Kids stories.
Jedi Quest by Jude Watson
This hardcover novel is the story of Anakin building his first lightsaber and confronting a specter of his past. He and Obi-Wan must go on a mission to guard a ship against pirates who take slaves. Naturally, things go wrong. Anakin is forced to confront the scars of his past, and Obi-Wan has to realize that he hasn’t even begun to plumb the depths his padawan’s feelings. This adventure reunites Obi-Wan with friends from the first series. It also has a comic adaptation, which doesn’t quite match all the descriptions though the story itself is accurate.
Jedi Quest Series by Jude Watson
Sometime after Anakin builds his lightsaber, the open hearted boy Obi-Wan had taken in is now set apart by his gifts, isolated and lonely. As Anakin and Obi-Wan go through hair raising adventures their bond grows deeper but now without friction. Anakin does make new friends, and a rival, Ferus Olin. But the dark side is rising, and the Chancellor has taken a special interest in him. We see growing up as a late comer Jedi from Anakin’s point of view as well as Obi-Wan’s struggles to learn to be a Jedi Master.
Legacy of the Force by Jude Watson
Spanning four generations of Jedi apprentices. This story starts when Dooku is a boy at the temple and is the only place we have an adventure with Dooku and Qui-Gon as master and apprentice. All four generations have something in common, a young man by the name of Lorian Nod. It ends during the Clone Wars.
Secrets of the Jedi by Jude Watson
Talesin Fry is a genius child, inventing gadgets and circumventing security for fun when he gets in over his head. Two Jedi teams are called to the rescue, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, with Adi Gallia and her apprentice, Siri. Secrets will be revealed. Later we move on to a future adventure where Padmé joins Obi-Wan, Anakin and Siri in a mission involving the outcome of these events, which could affect the war effort.
Ominbus : Secrets of the Jedi, Legacy of the Force & Last one Standing by Jude Watson
This combines the two previously mentioned books, originally released in hardcover. It also features a short story of Obi-Wan Kenobi right after Revenge of the Sith. The story takes place between the short story Incognito and the novel Kenobi as he begins life in exile on Tatooine.
Boba Fett by Terry Bisson & Elizabeth Hand
This series is a bit shaky in spots, but still a good view of young Boba Fett’s adventures. After his dad is killed, the boy has to escape the Jedi and establish himself in a very hard galaxy. There are admittedly some contradictions in this (self contradictions that is). But Boba makes new friends and old and its a step toward the calculating hunter he becomes. He has an objective after all, taking down the Jedi who slew his father!
The Last of the Jedi by Jude Watson
This series is set soon after the Empire rises. Ferus Olin, Anakin’s childhood rival, is on the run from the Empire and a leader of a resistance group. He has no idea the Sith are the enemy, until Kenobi shows up to save him at the last moment. Obi-Wan has his own mission, and is in a hurry to get back to it (even if it means sitting in exile for nigh on twenty years.) Ferus decides his best goal is to help the surviving Jedi escape. With the aid of a young orphan named Trever, and new as well as old friends, he has set himself an impossible mission.
Rebel Forces by Alex Wheeler
Soon after the destruction of the Death Star our heroes are still working against the Empire. Han and Chewie are still one foot in and one foot out so to speak. An enemy Imperial who also hates Vader has a goal of capturing Luke Skywalker and using him against Vader. Two old characters from Jedi Quest and The Last of the Jedi Series are back in this. There is speculation that “Alex Wheeler” is “Jude Watson” but we don’t know for sure. This Star Wars kids series does cross over into the prequel era by using the surviving characters of Jedi Apprentice, Jedi Quest and the Last of the Jedi series.
Galaxy of Fear by John Whitman
Tash and Zak Arranda are orphans being raised by their shapeshifting uncle Hoole. They have a passionate hate for the Empire since it destroyed their homeworld of Alderaan and their family, while they were off world. Between Hoole’s travel and secret missions, Tash’s natural draw toward information on Jedi and Zak’s pain at losing his parents, they are constantly winding up in dangerous places. They also encounter many a famous character from Luke, Han, Leia and Chewie to Lando, Thrawn and even Jerec. Galaxy of Fear was meant to be a scare series for kids, and it does a good job as our young heroes face their own fears.
Junior Jedi Knights by Nancy Richardson & Rebecca Moesta
This one isn’t quite as popular with adults but its still a good introduction to young Anakin Solo. He is ten years old and going to Luke’s Jedi Academy for the first time. There he makes a new friend, Tahiri. They soon have adventures, supervised often by the Jedi Knight Tionne, and R2-D2. They face Anakin’s doubts regarding his heritage and face other challenges involving friendship and acceptance.
Young Jedi Knights by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta
This by far one of the most popular Star Wars kids series, it even got the omnibus treatment (we can only wish the others got that!) Jacen and Jaina Solo are teens and going to the Jedi Academy. They make new friends and face new enemies, for just because the Empire has an official peace treaty, doesn’t mean there are no hold outs who miss their past glories and their dark leader. While it doesn’t delve as much into character development as the Jude Watson books, we do get some serious issues here mixed into fun adventures.
These stories are not the only ones that were written for kids and teens, just the most popular. If you want to know about your favorite characters like Obi-Wan, Anakin and new ones as well, these are the Star Wars kids series you are looking for. Everyone is in character, no alterations, just younger versions who will grow into heroes (or villains, or both!) Other stories, such as the untitled series by Paul Davids and Hollace Davids did not have the staying power when the choice was made to make all one continuity.