Last month I wrote a post which recommended the Han Solo Trilogy as good background information for players and GM's running an Edge of the Empire campaign. In this post I'm going to recommend two more trilogies and a standalone novel, with the prior being quite old and the latter very new.
The novel Kenobi, by John Jackson Miller, was published back in August. It tells a story of Obi-Wan shortly after he settles on Tatooine to watch over Luke Skywalker. I'd been looking forward to this book for a while because I think this is an intriguing time period in the Star Wars galaxy and because I enjoyed the author's work on the Knights of the Old Republic comic series. In spite of my high expectations, I was not disappointed. This story focuses not on Obi-Wan as much as it does on the inhabitants of a remote outpost on Tatooine, presenting interesting new characters and involving them in engaging conflicts. I think it provides good inspiration for an Edge of the Empire campaign because it tells a story on the fringe of the galaxy and keeps it compelling. For my part, I'm tempted to run a campaign on the desert planet just such a ragtag, realistic and fun community of beings.
Next is the Lando Calrissian trilogy by L. Neil Smith. I have to admit that Lando is my favorite character, and I was fortunate that friends of mine shared these books with me when I was in junior high school. These are the novels that introduced sabacc. What is more, they present the larger-than-life adventures of an itinerant gambler and his droid sidekick. Now, I know that the style of the books is not for everybody. In some ways, they feel more like episodes of Star Trek than Star Wars spinoffs. After all, Lando encounters three different lost civilizations, and he wins and loses multiple unimaginably large fortunes. Even so, I think they provide an interesting description of day-to-day life in the Galaxy Far Far Away. What is more, they show a GM just how to introduce, develop and eventually resolve and ungoing conflict with a worthy nemesis.
Finally I come to the books that, in my opinion, best encompass the feel of an Edge of the Empire campaign. These are the novels of the Han Solo Adventures by Brian Daley. In these three books the author strikes the perfect balance of scope and scale. While the exploits of Han Solo and Chewbacca the Wookiee aren't ones that affect the galaxy as a whole, they are exciting and relevant. Nothing overshadows the importance of the events in the original movie trilogy, but there are enough chases, combats and character interaction to keep any group of players happy.