Star Wars is, without a doubt, one of the most influential cinematic universes in the world. It has inspired multiple generations of fans and has spread far and wide from the big screen.

Since the release of the original trilogy, hundreds of novels have been written to expand the known Star Wars universe. From exploring the origins of the Jedi order to zombie storm troopers aboard a derelict star destroyer, no stone has been left unturned in the ever-growing expanded universe.

So, in honor of Star Wars Day (May 4th), I wanted to share with you some of my favorite Star Wars novels. I limited my list to five, but I could’ve added so many more — if you have a favorite novel, please share it in the comments!

Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber

When the Imperial prison barge Purge—temporary home to five hundred of the galaxy’s most ruthless killers, rebels, scoundrels, and thieves—breaks down in a distant part of space, its only hope appears to lie with a Star Destroyer found drifting and seemingly abandoned. But when a boarding party from the Purge is sent to scavenge for parts, only half of them come back—bringing with them a horrific disease so lethal that within hours nearly all aboard the Purge die in ways too hideous to imagine.

Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn

It’s five years after the Rebel Alliance destroyed the Death Star, defeated Darth Vader and the Emperor, and drove the remnants of the old Imperial Starfleet to a distant corner of the galaxy. Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting Jedi twins. And Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of Jedi Knights.

But thousands of light-years away, the last of the Emperor’s warlords, Grand Admiral Thrawn, has taken command of the shattered Imperial fleet, readied it for war, and pointed it at the fragile heart of the New Republic. For this dark warrior has made two vital discoveries that could destroy everything the courageous men and women of the Rebel Alliance fought so hard to build.

Aftermath by Chuck Wendig

As the Empire reels from its critical defeats at the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance—now a fledgling New Republic—presses its advantage by hunting down the enemy’s scattered forces before they can regroup and retaliate. But above the remote planet Akiva, an ominous show of the enemy’s strength is unfolding. Out on a lone reconnaissance mission, pilot Wedge Antilles watches Imperial Star Destroyers gather like birds of prey circling for a kill, but he’s taken captive before he can report back to the New Republic leaders.

Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry

Shadows of the Empire illuminates the shadowy outlines of a criminal conspiracy that exists in the background of the events in the movies, ruled by a character new to us. Prince Xizor is a mastermind of evil who dares to oppose one of the best-known fictional villains of all time: Darth Vader. The story involves all the featured Star Wars movie characters, plus Emperor Palpatine and, of course, Lord Vader himself.

X-Wing Rogue Squadron by Michael A. Stackpole

They are sleek, swift, and deadly. They are the X-wing fighters. And as the struggle rages across the vastness of space, the fearless men and women who pilot them risk both their lives and their machines. Their mission: to defend the Rebel Alliance against a still-powerful and battle-hardened Imperial foe in a last-ditch effort to control the stars!

BONUS: 5 Minute Star Wars Stories by Lucas Film Press

Blast off into hyperspace with these eleven action-packed Star Wars tales! Jedi Master Yoda has a lightsaber showdown with the dreaded Count Dooku; Luke Skywalker and the Rebels race against time to destroy the Death Star; and the brave Rey makes a new friend when she meets the droid BB-8. Each of these stories is the ideal length for reading aloud in five minutes–perfect for galactic adventures at lightspeed.

Your younglings will love this one!

What do you think of the list? Are there any Star Wars novels would you add? Let me know in the comments!