Star Wars Timeline FAQ

General Information

I began this project around January of 2000. My goal was to construct a "reader's timeline" for folks like me, who enjoy reading Star Wars materials in chronological order as if you were peeking in on the Star Wars universe as it unfolds. At the time, the Star Wars Expanded Universe had hundreds of pieces of literature, much of which overlapped, and I felt it would be something interesting and useful to do (or at least, something that would keep me from being bored, which it has). With the rebranding of the Expanded Universe to "Legends", and the creation of a single Canon on 4/25/2014, I divided the timeline into a Legends timeline and a Canon timeline. The former will be maintained as an historical curiosity for those readers who are interested, and I will continue to add those items I've collected over time that are of the former Expanded Universe, but its maintenance comes after the canon timeline, and I will not be adding any "new" Legends works, should any be released.

Both timelines are, so far, based on materials that I either own or have direct access to, so not everything that's ever been published will be found here. The timelines only include literature (books, comics, kids books, e-Books, and short stories), not video games, TV episodes, or movies that have not been adapted into literature. In the meantime, if you're looking for an excellent complete timeline of events for either Canon or Legends, I strongly recommend Nathan Butler's Timeline Gold, easily the best and most complete there is. I use it as a resource for my timelines, particularly when there are no chronological 'hints' in a given book or comic. Some might say that it forms the backbone of my timeline, as I frequently use it to narrow down suspect dates. Other good timelines and resources may be found at Once upon a Galaxy.

So, what's a "Reader's timeline", anyway?

So far the timelines I've found on the Internet outline when events occur, but don't always tell a reader which book or comic to read those events in and/or in what specific order to read them. For instance, a typical timeline might state that the events of Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones occur at 22 years BSW4 (Before Star Wars, Episode IV), and might even give a brief synopsis. Most will also cite the movie, book and comic book as covering these events. The best ones, like Nathan Butler's Timeline Gold (in my opinion the gold standard of Star Wars timelines), will also have entries in this period for overlapping materials, such as the Legends kids' book Boba Fett: The Fight to Survive by Terry Bisson. These timelines don't always indicate which portions of the Episode II novelization to read before reading portions of Fight to Survive (i.e. Chapters 1-2 of Ep. II, then Chapter 1 of Fight to Survive, then back to Ep. II Chapter 3). This is what I mean by a "Reader's timeline". The idea is that the user can read the litereature like one big book/comic. If you've found a complete timeline like mine, please let me know. In addition, my timelines don't cite events, only the literature in a reading order based on when they occur, meaning it's smaller, mostly spoiler free, and more direct than most other timelines. The focus isn't so much on exact placement of works by year, more than a chronological sequence for reading.

What do you mean by "mostly spoiler free"?

There are no (or at least very few) summaries of literature in the timelines that could cue a reader in to plot twists and turns. However, flashback scenes, particularly those in comics, are placed in their chronological order when possible and could effectively spoil a story by revealing things prematurely. My goal is to make the timeline an accurate portrayal of events as they would unfold if you were watching them. This approach unfortunately does not always preserve plots or prevent spoilers.

How do I contact you regarding the timeline?

I can be reached by e-mail at . Please use the words "Star Wars" in the subject line to get my attention. You can also send me tweets on Twitter @ReadersTimeline.

You have separate timelines for the various movie adaptations in Legends, but why not in Canon?

When originally integrating the Episode II material in the Legends timeline, I noticed that only the comic was out of order compared to other materials to be integrated, and the other books could fairly easily be integrated if comic scenes were juggled around. At that time, I hadn't considered integrating the 'junior novelizations' by Scholastic or 'kids books' as I call them. There's really nothing childish about them and I've discovered they tend to follow the movies more closely than the official 'adult' novelizations, which seem to touch more on character and plot development. As such, I started integrating those adaptations with the adult novelizations as best I could... and that's where the problem began. The various novelizations obviously don't have the same scene structure, as they're interpretations of the screenplays by different authors, aimed toward different reading audiences. In many cases, the scenes of one adaptation may overlap 2 or 3 other scenes in another adaptation. My attempts at complete integration are admittedly sloppy. This is why I had separate timelines each for the novelization, comics and kids book adapations, plus a full integration of each.

For Canon, the adaptations are all fully integrated to match the order of events as shown in the films. Maintaining timelines for each adaptation type was redundant and difficult to maintain, so I chose to remove those, keeping only the consolidated timeline.

Why don't all of your dates match the timelines printed in the latest novels and published chronologies?

For the most part, I try to stay true to these "official" timelines, but in some cases they appear, at least to me, to be blatantly in error. For instance, The Comics Companion by Dark Horse Comics indicates the Legends comic The Fall of the Sith Empire occurs at 4,990 BSW4. I seriously doubt 10 years passes in the comic. 1 year maybe, but not 10. It just isn't feasible to me so I've kept it at the most logical position I could. That's only one example. Generally, I base an item's placement on references to other established events and/or notes within the sources themselves which seem to definitively position their reading order, though in some cases, several other sources will place an event to a different given time. In that case, I may go with those sources if it makes more logical sense. A good example here is the Legends comic Jango Fett: Open Seasons #3, in which the Battle of Galidraan is shown in a flashback. The comic states in the flashback that it was "12 years before the Battle of Geonosis", definitively placing it at 34 BSW4, however The New Essential Chronology places the Battle of Galidraan at 40 BSW4, and the more recent Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force, as well as references in The Cestus Deception, place it at 44 BSW4. These dates obviously conflict with the story as printed, but point to it being closer to 44 BSW4, making it a more likely date. Given this information, and the fact that moving it from 34 BSW4 to 44 BSW4 doesn't have a negative impact on other references (actually a positive impact, since it fixes what would have been a math error in The Cestus Deception), I chose to move it. All in all, please keep in mind that this timeline is meant to be more of an order in which to read the events and not a definitive "this event happened in this year" guide.  I use the "SW4" dating system for both timelines because it's easier to classify events in relation to the whole movie than to the Battle of Yavin itself. If my timeline were for placing events into a given point in time instead of a given "event order", the "BY" system would work best. The years themselves are actually irrelevant to an event order, as event A will always occur before event B, be they seconds or years apart.

So what series are you working on now? / How are you planning the project?

For the Canon timeline, since I effectively came in at the start, I thought I'd be able to add items fairly quickly as I acquired and read them. Things rarely go as planned. Mass-releases of new works, combined with personal events, have put me behind. I'm working to catch up as I have time. The Canon timeline always takes priority over the Legends timeline. As for the Legends timeline, I have a backlog of notes that I'll work on typing and adding to my master documents for that timeline when I'm up-to-date with the Canon timeline. Once I'm caught up on those notes, I'll work on reading and adding Legends items I acquired before the Legends/Canon split. Because my primary focus is on canonical stories, I will not add new Legends items, should any be published. Only additions to the Canon timeline will be announced on Twitter.

Want to know more about what I'm working on, as it happens? Follow ReadersTimeline on Twitter

Timeline intro page and disclaimer