Star Wars' greatest advantage is its universe. You don't need Luke to love Jedi. And you certainly don't need C-3PO to love droids. Star Wars is a living, constantly changing franchise set over the course of tens of thousands of years.

So it shouldn't come as a surprise that some of the greatest stories in the Star Wars franchise aren't actually the main movies. Sure, the first two and a half films are some of the best in movie history. But given the reigns, a few lucky writers, cartoonists, and game designers have managed to capture the best aspects of the series without any of the trade negotiations.

7. The Novelizations of The Movies

Hear me out. While most sci-fi novelizations take scripts and dumb them down for kids, the Star Wars novelizations actually expand on the events of the movies. They honestly read like George Lucas told not-crazy people what he wanted the stories to be and then said not-crazy people went, "Okay, time to make this not crazy."

I especially recommend giving the prequel novelizations a try. They fix the greatest mistakes in science-fiction history. C3PO isn't an idiot in the prequel novels. Anakin's character fluctuations are explained and smoothed out. Jar Jar isn't racist anymore, although that's just because you can read him in a voice that doesn't make you feel bad about your country's history.

Almost everything that made the prequels terrible makes more sense and is delivered cleaner in the novelizations.

6. Tales From Mos Eisley Cantina

It's easy to forget that, in a franchise where space wizards and sexy star pilots battle for the fate of the galaxy, there are still people who just get drunk in bars.

Tales From Mos Eisley Cantina takes the wretched hive of scum and villainy and makes it as sad as a real bar. The band doesn't want to be playing there. Greedo is just a putz who was tricked into getting shot by Han (YES!). And remember that bartender who hates droids so much? Well, he discovers he likes droids for a super creepy reason (spoiler alert: don't drink anything in that bar).

Best of all, you find out the genre of music the Mos Eisley band is playing is called "Jizz." Really. And that musicians who specialize in Jizz are called "Jizz-wailers." Which is just the best anything ever.

5. Death Troopers

It's Star Wars with zombies. Next!

4. New Jedi Order series

The New Jedi Order series is everything the prequels isn't. It's dirty. It's emotional. It's mean. While phonies were getting their pod-racing fix in the theaters, real Star Wars fans got to read about a fan-favorite character dying when he got hit in the face by a planet.

In a lot of ways, the New Jedi Order series felt like a clash between the fantasy/sci-fi of Star Wars and modern sci-fi. The series' villains, the Yuuzhan Vong, are a garish, inelegant race immune to the magic of The Force.

Imagine Jedi fighting the Zerg and then hold onto that thought as you hit Amazon immediately.