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May the Fourth Be with You! Celebrate Star Wars Day with 6 Epic Space Reads

It’s shaping up as a big year for pop culture. Avengers: Endgame closed out a saga of heroes; the eighth season of Game of Thrones will be the last verse in (the TV version of) this song of ice and fire; and perhaps most epic of all, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will complete the legendary saga. Spanning nine movies and nearly four decades, the film will be the last chapter of this particular story. And while there’s still plenty of other stories to tell of a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, on this Star Wars Day, prepare to fill the void by searching your feelings, and then adding these fantastic sci-fi reads to your TBR.

The Stars Are Legion

The Stars Are Legion

by Kameron Hurley

If you like the “war” part of Star Wars, then you’re going to want to get a copy of The Stars Are Legion. Zan has no memory of who she is, but she is told that she is one of the few who will get away from the dying Legion ships and onto a new one, the Mokshi. However, the hard part is trying to actually find a way inside it as a war between two families rages on for control of the new ship. At the same time, Zan’s friend Jayd is trying to navigate the complex feud, and find a way to save everyone. From the unique (but absolutely terrifying) alien monsters lurking in the shadows to a total upending of typical tropes of women in sci-fi, many fans have found this read to draw them into a world they never knew they wanted to explore.

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Saga Volume 1

Saga Volume 1

by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples

If you love family drama in the middle of an epic war across space that has a number of complex and compelling characters, then there is no other series better to fill your Star Wars craving than Saga. This comics series, which spans several volumes and compendiums, is about two soldiers from opposing sides of a galactic war who fall in love and, despite being told they are two different species, have a child together. This child, however, poses a threat to those in power, and so the little family has to go on the run, making friends and fighting foes along the way. What makes this graphics series truly special isn’t just the fantastic art, but also the care with which a whole cast of characters is depicted, where we get a good look at not just the main players but the worlds they come from.

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Space Opera

Space Opera

by Catherynne M. Valente

So this one might be a little more Hitchhiker’s Guide than reminiscent of Star Wars proper, but hear me out. If you dug the fish-out-of-water aspect of Luke Skywalker’s story from the original trilogy, you might find that itch similarly scratched by Space Opera. One day, Earth is visited by an alien species that informs its inhabitants that if they want to prove their sentience and not be destroyed, they have to take part in a galaxy-wide singing competition—think Eurovision but with aliens. According to said aliens, Earth’s only hope is Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeroes, a now broken up glam rock group that must come together and fast if they want to save the world, with the power of music. Pop culturally savvy, emotionally powerful, and an interstellar journey to destiny, this is going to check off a lot of “must haves” on any Star Wars fan’s list.

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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

by Becky Chambers

One of the best parts of Star Wars is the dynamic of a group of heroes flying across space, getting into misadventures while trading witty banter and fighting off the odds. Becky Chambers’s space opera The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet gives us just that, even the curious and eager protagonist. Rosemary Harper finds herself on the Wayfayer, a ship that has seen better days, along with a crew of misfits who bounce off each other as they work on various jobs around the galaxy. While getting into fights, risking life and limb, and coming together as a family, these intrepid voyagers make their mark. And, if you’re looking for a story that prominently features LGBTQ characters and throws out the gender binary, then this is the sci-fi adventure you’ve got to get your hands on.

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Do You Dream of Terra-Two?

Do You Dream of Terra-Two?

by Temi Oh

A little more science fiction than science fantasy, Do You Dream of Terra-Two? will appeal to Star Wars fans who are looking for a little more realism. Ten people—four veterans and six highly trained teens—embark on a twenty-three-year journey to Terra-Two, a hospitable planet that could act as a second Earth. However, as they set out to potentially find a new home, the crew contemplates their place in the universe, and what their new destinies will be if they can get where they are going. But what if they weren’t chosen for how excellent they are? At once a beautiful character study and a high-stakes space race, this novel will have you asking what exactly makes a hero, much like Star Wars does.

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Leviathan Wakes

Leviathan Wakes

by James S. A. Corey

One of the best parts of Star Wars is that there’s so much world to explore, and so much media that you can do it with. For fans of long, epic sagas, the Expanse series is going to be your next obsession. The first book, Leviathan Wakes, sets up a time in which humanity is split between Earth, Mars, and Jupiter, with a slow expansion outward. The story focuses on Jim Holden, an ice miner who uncovers a huge secret, and Detective Joe Miller, who is on the hunt for a missing girl. As the two characters’ paths cross, both find themselves involved in conspiracy and government intrigue, and determined to make a difference out beyond the stars. Besides there being eight full books in the series (with the ninth on the way), there are also prequels, novellas, and an upcoming short story collection. You can also watch Syfy’s adaptation of the story, The Expanse, giving you even more ways to enjoy the series!

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A reporter by trade, Sara Roncero-Menendez is a lover of horror, sci-fi, and all things pop culture. From indies to classics to even the strangest genre pieces, all movies, TV shows, and books are fair game for a binge-fest. Follow her on Twitter @sararomenen or at her website, www.sara-roncero-menendez.com