I’m willing to bet a lot of lapsed Star Wars fans have come back to check out Squadrons, loved the game, and then found themselves completely lost in terms of where to start with the rest of the Disney-era canon. We’re about eight years into Disney’s stewardship of the franchise, and it can be overwhelming knowing where to begin, what’s worth watching or reading, and what has the strongest ties to Squadrons, specifically.
So consider this a fun list of recommendations — along with a bit about why each one matters. If you enjoyed Motive’s new game, there’s plenty more great stuff out there. Hope this helps.
Commodore Rae Sloane
When the game starts off, we’re introduced to a new character named Lindon Javes. But he’s seen walking alongside and talking to a woman — Commodore Rae Sloane, an Imperial officer whose story is just one meaningful entry point into the “new” Star Wars chronology.
If you’re looking for a single book to get you back into the larger world of Star Wars fiction, pick up John Jackson Miller’s novel A New Dawn, which marks Sloane’s first appearance. It leads into Disney’s animated series Star Wars Rebels — a good place to go after you’ve finished New Dawn — as well as tying into the Aftermath trilogy, set after Return of the Jedi.
General Hera Syndulla
A New Dawn also introduces another fan-favorite character: Hera Syndulla, with whom you spend a bit of time in Squadrons.
Syndulla’s name gets called out over an intercom in Rogue One, and you can spot her starship in the ad-hoc fleet accompanying Lando Calrissian in The Rise of Skywalker. But most of her story can be found in Star Wars Rebels. The four-season show is not only a great way to follow up your Squadrons playthrough; it’s also essential to Star Wars lore.
You’ll get a nice origin story for Wedge Antilles in Rebels, too.
Starhawk-class battleships and the New Republic
Lindon Javes is sort of the central figure in Squadrons, and his significance to the larger canon is that he’s the one who prototyped the Starhawk-class battleship. This is another tie to Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy, which features Javes’s warships in the second and third entries — Life Debt and Empire’s End.
By now, you’re probably at least aware of The Mandalorian, the live-action Disney+ series. It’s a fantastic tale that stands pretty well on its own, but it also offers a great sense of what the galaxy’s like in the wake of the Empire’s defeat at Endor.
Other Star Wars canon essentials
If you’re feeling a little chaotic but just want more of that warm, fuzzy feeling a good Star Wars game can bring, I’ll offer a list of several writers whose books and comics should top your reading list.
First of all, I’d recommend any comic written by Jody Houser — particularly her Age of Republic one-shots about characters like Darth Maul and Count Dooku. But Squadrons fans will be thrilled to hear she’s written a miniseries called TIE Fighter, which is a perfect companion to the game. The TIE comic is said to pair nicely with Alexander Freed’s Alphabet Squadron novels, as well.
Whether you’re a Vader fan or just want to read something critical to the greater Star Wars continuity, read everything you can get your hands on by Kieron Gillen and Charles Soule. Each of them did their own multi-volume Darth Vader comic run, and they’ve written plenty of other great stuff that complements both the films and video games.
Last but not least, you must check out Claudia Gray’s Bloodline and Ken Liu’s The Legends of Luke Skywalker. Gray’s novel and Liu’s metafictional short-story collection are easily my favorite of the Disney-era Star Wars books, each as rich and reverent as Matthew Stover’s beloved Revenge of the Sith.
That should keep you busy. See you in the Zavian Abyss.