Star Wars AliensStar Wars: The Force Awakens is now on home video and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is still eight months away, but Star Wars fans can quench their thirst for more stories with a new collection from Disney/Lucasfilm Press. Under the banner Tales from a Galaxy Far, Far Away comes the first in a series devoted to the non-human characters of the new Star Wars universe, Aliens Volume 1 by Landry Q. Walker. This hard cover book collects six short stories and focuses on some of the supporting cast of Episode VII.

While I consider myself a Star Wars fan and have seen each film more times than I care to admit, I had never read any books from the expanded universe. While Aliens Volume 1 is recommended for ages 8 to 12, I found that it presumes your knowledge of the Star Wars universe is expansive. For example, it will list a type of droid or alien race without much description as if you know what they are. If you asked me to list more than six types of aliens from Star Wars I would be lost. And my knowledge of droids is limited to R2 units, protocol droids and BB's, so I found myself using Wookiepedia (a lot) while reading this.

What surprised me the most about Aliens Volume 1 was the diversity between each short story. Literature fans will discover a classic western, a Sherlock Holmes-style detective piece, a tall-tale fable, a Mary Shelly-style horror, a modern catfish tale and a pirate swashbuckler, all told within the context of the Star Wars universe. Four of these stories were previously published separately as digital exclusives, part of the "Road to The Force Awakens" series. As a result, all of the aliens found within these pages are from the most recent Star Wars film.

"High Noon on Jakku" takes you back to where The Force Awakens began on the remote desert planet, but before the events of that film. When a banking ship is robbed, Constable Zuvio discovers that his droid friend may be responsible. Could the droid have acted alone, or is there a greater evil behind the heist? In "A Recipe for Death," fans get to meet Strono Tuggs, the head chef at Maz Kanata's castle. When his sous chef is murdered, he holds a contest to try and discover the killer. It's a fun mystery with a twisty ending.

Bobbajo, the first alien from The Force Awakens that J.J. Abrams teased to the public while filming, becomes the star in "All Creatures Great and Small." When a slave ship arrives in a Jakku town he passes through, he releases the creatures from his cage while distracting the scared citizens with a story about the battle of Endor. But nobody believes his tall tales about how his caged critters helped take down the Death Star.

When a wanted criminal takes refuge in Maz Kanata's castle, she makes a grave mistake when she agrees to allow two Frigosian surgeons to give her a new face. "The Face of Evil" is a suspenseful thriller that will forever change the life of the main character who misplaced her trust in two furry aliens. This was my personal favorite of the six short stories.

Unkar Plutt, the junk boss of Jakku, meets his soul mate in "True Love"... or does he? When the hologram of a female crolute contacts him, the two begin to develop deep feelings for one another. But things prove too good to be true when his love turns out to merely be a program designed to steal from Jakku's most wealthy resident.

Lastly, the new Star Wars universe meets the old in "The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku." After discovering the whereabouts of a lost ship with some important cargo, several teams of space pirates race through space after it. But with the Crimson Corsair leading his own ship, can the others stand a chance at recapturing a relic from the Clone Wars?

Each story is unique and I thoroughly enjoyed each one. A little research revealed that some of these alien creatures will be familiar to fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, while the majority of them are new, having made their first appearances briefly in the background of The Force Awakens. If you're a Star Wars fan hoping to learn more about the world in which Rey, Finn and Poe live, look no further than Star Wars: Tales from a Galaxy Far, Far Away - Aliens Volume 1.