Poll: Which Star Wars Book(s) Do You Want to Jump from Page to Screen?


To celebrate the re-release of Heir to the Empire, your friendly bloggers here at Unbound Worlds held a little movie casting game. Now that I think about it, there are plenty of other standalone novels and series that would be cool to see on either the big or small screen. Given that it started as a film, Star Wars has always been an incredibly visual experience, but with such talented authors mapping out the Expanded Universe, printed stories of the galaxy far, far away often have cinematic qualities. Star Wars fans love the communal experience of sitting together in a theater and watching the events of “a long time ago” unfold in front of them. With Episodes VII-IX nowhere in sight, I thought it might be fun to scout the vast array of Star Wars literature and pick the story that could best make the jump from page to screen.

After much deliberation, I’ve narrowed down the list of page-to-screen candidates to the five books and series listed below. Which would you prefer to see made into a movie or TV show? (Obviously, this poll, like the Heir to the Empire casting game, is just for fun.)

The X-Wing series

Many fans cite Michael Stackpole and Aaron Allston’s nine-book series (which will grow to ten with the release of Mercy Kill next July) as their favorite EU stories. They appeal to classic trilogy fans who enjoyed the movies’ starfighter combat and wanted to see more of Rogues like Wedge Antilles and Wes Janson. There might be too many books for the entire story to become a movie series, but I’d love to see a TV show based on the adventures of Rogue and Wraith Squadrons. Space combat is obviously a focus of the books, but there would be ample opportunity to explore cool new planets and experience life at “ground level” in the fledgling New Republic.

Red Harvest

Who doesn’t love a good horror movie? As we approach Halloween, let’s think about how cool it would be to bring the goriest and creepiest Star Wars novel to the big screen. Set in the very Old Republic, the book follows a Sith Lord on a demented mission and a Jedi from the Agricultural Corps whose unique gift makes her the only person who can stop him. With its mix of ritual sacrifices, mad-scientist experiments, a zombie apocalypse, and good old-fashioned lightsaber dueling, Red Harvest is unique enough to take a fresh approach to cinematic Star Wars, yet still grounded in the galaxy far, far away that appeals to average fans.

The New Jedi Order series

The Expanded Universe’s longest novel series also features some of its most dramatic moments, from the deaths of Chewbacca and Anakin Solo to the torture of Jacen Solo to the invasion of Coruscant. While you could never fit the major events of the NJO into even five or six movies, I could see the story of the Yuuzhan Vong War play out over the course of multiple seasons of a weekly TV series. Each stage of the war could get its own season. The Yuuzhan Vong themselves would look amazing on-screen, and their organic ships, armor, and weapons would evoke memories of War of the Worlds and Independence Day. This gritty, battle-centric series would feature side-stories focusing on the nature of the Force and the struggle of the Solo family.

Shadows of the Empire

Given that the introduction to the Shadows of the Empire trade paperback describes the multimedia project as “Everything but the movie,” I just had to include this book on my list. Like the X-Wing series, Shadows of the Empire is immersed in the Original Trilogy era, but even more so, because it’s bookended by The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. By combining Luke, Leia, Han, and other familiar characters with all-new heroes and villains like Dash Rendar, Prince Xizor, and Guri, Shadows of the Empire bridged the gap between the OT’s latter two installments while embellishing on such compelling sub-plots as the galaxy’s criminal underworld and Darth Vader’s pursuit of his son.

The Republic Commando series

Even though Karen Traviss’ books about Delta and Omega Squads were more science-fiction than fantasy (as opposed to the films themselves), her collection of clone commando war stories has a devoted following among EU readers. The soldiers’ camaraderie would hook viewers in the same way as Band of Brothers, encouraging them to come back week after week for more pulse-pounding Clone Wars drama. Given the success of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Cartoon Network, I’m confident that a live-action series set during the same war and focused on Traviss’ two clone squads would be incredibly popular.

Okay, there are your five options. The poll closes next Friday, November 4th at 11:59pm ET. As they said in The Phantom Menace: “Vote now! Vote now!”

  • [droid]

    No! Maker! No books on a screen!

    Why no? Because a book is a book, not a movie or a screenplay. It’s the Altered State of Consciousness.

    Yes, I voted Republic Commando. Because, there was no option “no more movies”. And because, Republic Commando is the closest to our galactic.


  • Nerf herder

    I voted the X-wing series. Just make sure you get Wraith squadron in there too.

  • Shadows of the Empire would probably make for the best movie, since it has a plot that fits a movie’s length and level of complexity well, and it has a good balance of action, suspense, and comedy. Red Harvest would get my next vote.

    X-Wing and Republic Commando could make for some interesting TV series – RC might work well as an annual mini-series (remember when networks would do those?), and X-Wing could work as a regular scripted series.

    Trying to fit NJO into a movie or TV series would be tough… there’s so much going on there.

  • Elvis Marmaduke

    I voted new jedi order series, but you’d need like 30 movies hahaha

  • For me, it would be the Han Solo Trilogy (the original Brian Daley one). Classic stories that really captured the gritty nature of Solo’s underworld adventures and dealings, in a world without Empire, Jabba, any of those links. Pure Solo, and pure smuggling (which influenced my own writing greatly).
    The X-Wing books and comics would make the perfect template for a TV series, that would be fun and exciting, and of course Filoni has GOT to treat us one day to a Shadows of the Empire TV special. If they can do Padawan menace, I’m SURE he can make this happen for us fans. Would love to see some Galactic Civil war era adventures (although quite how we ignore the Luke fancying Leia scenario I’m not entirely sure…:-p )

  • BTW, when I say ‘they’ in reference to Padawan Menace I don’t mean Dave and the TCW crew, I mean ‘they’ generically, as in LFL (just to clarify)

  • Guxman

    NJO is the perfect series to go on TV. Tons of action, multiple ground and space battles, drama, love, a bit of humour, classic SW elements combined with all new things… It would be spectacular!!!

    I also would like to see the Legacy comics series, but that would be more difficult to understand to non-followers of the UE. And I still prefer NJO.

  • Jon

    Why not just make up a new series and have it based after the NJO or before. Avoid the books. Add to the legacy.

  • The Thrawn trilogy that starts with “Heir to the Empire” was too obvious? Should have been on the list, hands down the writing that is closest to Star Wars. These books could easliy make the jump.

  • JediGirl

    It would be really cool to see the Jedi come back with Luke at the lead so deftly New Jedi Order.

  • Ideally I want NJO movies, but realistically X-Wing movies make more sense.

  • Sam

    NJO, for sure. “Traitor” specifically. That book kicked so much ass!

  • Keywinter

    From this list, I would choose Republic Commando. Great books.
    I also wouldn’t mind seeing the Darth Bane books.

  • Easy. Republic Commando would be a big hit and target the teen and adult male audiences, the guys that are playing all these first-person shooters.

    An HBO style TV show about the Commandos would be awesome.

  • I’ve thought the X-wing Squadron format would be perfect for television, and have been saying so for a while. I think it could work around and through the books series. It’s got the best shot at diversity. It’s funny. It would have dog fights.

    With that said I think the NJO would be fantastic as well. Jaina, Jacen and Anakin, Jag, Tahiri, Zekk, Lowie, the Yuuzhan Vong, plus the Big Three. Plenty of shows/movies follow book series, and the conceit is everyone knows what’s going to happen. They still have enormous followings. The opportunity to bring more people into those books would be fantastic.

  • Martin

    I picked the x-wing books, but would love a CGI New Jedi Order series like trailers for the old republic. Surprised they didn’t have Jedi Academy trilogy which could also be combined with I Jedi and the Jedi academy game with jaden. Drew’s Darth Bane trilogy would Los make a wonderful movie trilogy as we have never had a bad guy focused film.

  • Bohmfalk

    I voted X-Wing series, because it’s my best choice up there. However my first choice for a SW book as a movie would be Shatterpoint.

  • Definitely the X-Wing books! There’s nothing like seeing those old X-Wings (and the newer vessels) in action against the remnants of the Empire…

  • Alex

    X-wing all the way.

    NJO would be ruined on screen. I don’t think justice could be done to the Yuuzhan Vong. And trying to condense that many books into a few movies or what have you… subtleties would be entirely lost and it would just jump from major event to major event and lessen the emotional experience, I imagine.

    But I would LOVE to see the Rogues re-take Coruscant on screen. That would make a wonderful movie. 😀

  • Cathalson

    It was a toss-up. I voted Shadows of the Empire, but now I’m thinking X-Wing. I like the idea of X-Wing as a TV (and/or webisode) series.

  • Greedo_uk

    Legacy of the Force or Jedi Academy – why were they not included…. ? Best of the books by far, mind you Death Troopers was a great read too

  • Miba

    I voted for Red Harvest because it would be the hardest to mess up. I hate tv and turning books into movies is almost as bad. I seriously don’t trust tv and ever since Clone Wars I’ve started turning to other fandoms after nearly 20 years as a SW fan. If they make more tv shows I think I’ll start crying. Anyway, anything with the main three would be hard to pull off, especially Shadows of the Empire. Anything as long as the NJO and X-Wing books would be hard due to length cause they’d have to cut and chop so much. I hate Karen Traviss. So…. that leaves Red Harvest as the most likely to not destroy everything we know and love about SW. …that is if Clone Wars has left us anything TO love about it.

  • Noname1

    Thrawn Trilogy. Absolutely.

  • Noname1

    Thrawn Trilogy.

  • Jeff

    ANYTHING Star Wars by Timothy Zahn. The Thrawn trilogy, the Hand of Thrawn duology..

    Nobody captures the SW universe quite as well in print as Tim.

  • I’ve wanted an X-wing TV series forever. Doesn’t even need to follow the books.

    But of the ones not on the list, I’d love a series set at Luke’s Jedi Academy. And an animated Thrawn Trilogy.

  • I voted for the New Jedi Order series but I would also love a movie adaptation of the Thrawn trilogy,the Jedi academy trilogy,Legacy of the Force and the Fate of the Jedi series.

  • Linzero

    I am such a fan of the Republic Commando series that I had to give it a vote. I would love to see more of those characters, and maybe get a few loose ends tied up from the books!

  • Ryan O’Dowd

    WHY was the Bane trilogy not on this list? There’s a great 3 movies to be made. “Martin” is correct, a bad guy driven film would be great for the franchise! Finding a giant actor/ getting someone to bulk up for the role would make him the next generation’s Vader, except Bane is truly evil!

  • Dan

    Um, Hand of Thrawn Duology would easily make the best movie (probably need to be a trilogy for movies).

    NJO awesome as a show on HBO

  • oxward321

    What about Shadow Hunter or Clock of Deception? I’d LOVE to see more Qui-Gon and Maul! Give me that era of the Star Wars mythology. I grew up with Luke and the Rebels, I’ve had enough of that time line. The Republic era , between Episodes I-III, is FAR more interesting!

  • nick korkos

    i choose x wing because its a awesome book series by both aaron allston and michael stackpole and id also love to see the old republic book trilogy and darth bane trilogy hit the movie screen as well

  • Fenrir767

    I voted X-Wing Because as much as I love the others the X-Wing series has both the familiar and the new. It could either be made as movies or a TV series and it would captivate the audience that loved parts of Battlestar Galactica. It has the perfect setting and the most accessibility to non fans. Personal preference though would be the thrawn trilogy though if it could be done properly!

  • skyjedi

    Thrawn Trilogy, dark empire. Obviously not on the list.

    How about canonizing Mara Jade Skywalker for starters in the film Canon.

    Han gets Leia. what does Luke the main hero get?

    Nothing but the lonelyness of a monk and hermit, wow what a great ending to the saga.

  • Ryan

    I want a trilogy of the Darth Bane books. That would be AMAZING!

  • Guxman

    And it would also be great a TV show of the comic series SW Legacy. Or even better, a nice, epic, long videogame (and when I say epic and long, I’m thinking of somethinf like Final fantasy 7 or so). That would be such a fantastic thing.

  • Landon

    The X wing series would be sweet. I can see it as a fantastic TV Series. The Hand of Thrawn Duology would be make good movies. The New Jedi Order, Legacy of the Force, and Fate of the Jedi are all fantastic and would help make more fans of SW but there is so much going on in all of them that it would be tough to turn into movies. The Darth Bane series would be awesome!!

  • They come from books and other forms of written material. I would love to see The Courtship of Princess Leia, I love that book a lot and it has a lot of action in it.

  • Dark Forces series to the Theater before they bring anything else from the Star Wars universe.

    Kyle Katarn’s character is exactly the type of character Star Wars fans really want to see in the movies. Here are several reason’s why Dark Forces would be the best of all the stories:

    1.) Because you can make the movie darker, more serious, and bring more realism into it. The same way that the modern batman movies (i.e. Christopher Nolan’s) were adapted from the comics.
    2.) Kyle’s character starts out just like a Han Solo type figure. And in this case, could be casted formerly the same. Take a cocky/serious/action character like Jeremy Renner (/Hurt Locker, The Town), or a Mark Wahlberg (/Four Brothers, Shooter).
    3.) The character and personality of Kyle Katarn never changes, but his abilities and purpose do. He develops into manhood through enlightenment, and fights against the worst of odds. These are all the things that people want to see in a masculine type of protaginist in a story.
    4.) The love story can exist in the theatrical version between him and Jan Ors, his pilot.
    5.) The progression from pirate to jedi to political figure can be established the way most men enjoy seeing the progression of a man’s life.
    6.) It takes place during the best political arena of the Star Wars timeline, the Republic’s Rebellion against the Empire run by Vader.

    I could go days for a million reasons why this would make the best movie, but my 4 points above should make it clear enough. There has to be SUBSTANCE behind the story in order for it to be any good. You can’t just lop some cool action shit together and hope for the best, or it will be ruined much like the modern SW movies that were put together on high hopes of family entertainment.

    You want an epic movie? Then go for the epic plot…. The one that focuses in more on one character, a protaginist. Like novels, it will be followed by more people. It would also be a breath of fresh air for people who are not entranced in Star Wars, and it would bring in far more revenue if you focused on one character like Kyle and his progression through the SW universe. It has not been done yet, and it needs to be.

    Easily 3 movies like the Matrix sequence.

    However, I will not accept it being done unless it is put together by someone like Christopher Nolan, JJ Abrams, or James Cameron. Anything less is a farce, and it would ruin the chance to turn a great story into a great movie for future generations.


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