Star Wars – Fate of the Jedi: Conviction by Aaron Allston (Random House, 2011) Allston makes little allowance for the passing of time, allowing (grandparentally) old favourites Han, Leia and Luke to nimble about the Star Wars Expanded Universe, having adventures just like they did back in the day. As non-demanding escapism goes, it’s not bad.
Tag: Star Wars
Star Wars Downunder
Star Wars Downunder dir. Michael Cox (2013) [http://swdufanfilm.com/] This 30-minute fan film is a parody, conflating Star Wars, beer commercials and cringeworthy Australian stereotypes. Given the excellent production values, it seems a shame that Cox and company didn’t stick with just the first two, omitting the slang and silly voices.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story dir. Gareth Edwards (2016) Vader seems oddly diminished and the Ewok-on-a-hot-tin-roof scene-cutting may bamboozle new viewers; but other than this, Rogue One is rousingly true to the sea change of ’77: SF, action, drama, comedy. Alan Tudyk steals the show as the mordant, Marvin-like droid K-2SO.
Star Wars – Aftermath: Life Debt
Star Wars – Aftermath: Life Debt by Chuck Wendig (Del Rey, 2016) Wendig writes in the present tense (a corollary of his game design work?) and in an oddly chummy manner. His characters have proper Star Wars personality, yet the story — nominally Han Solo’s liberation of Chewbacca’s home world — jinks evasively before making planetfall.
Star Wars – Battlefront: Twilight Company
Star Wars – Battlefront: Twilight Company by Alexander Freed (Del Rey, 2015) Though somewhat removed from the main Star Wars narrative, Twilight Company offers both well-written military SF and a gritty rounding out of what has been shown of the Rebellion circa The Empire Strikes Back. Alexander Freed imbues his company with case-hardened fatalism.
Star Wars: Bloodline
Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray (Del Rey, 2016) With much of the Star Wars expanded universe now rendered non-canonical, Claudia Gray’s novel — a serious backstory to The Force Awakens, focussing on Leia’s political struggles within an ailing New Republic — subtly apprises readers of what is, and is no longer, recognised.
Star Wars: Kenobi
Star Wars: Kenobi by John Jackson Miller (Del Rey, 2013) Better known as a graphic novelist, Miller on this occasion does it all with words, drawing us into the deserts of Tatooine where unfolds both an absorbing standalone western and a bridging story between Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan and Alec Guinness’ Ben Kenobi.
Star Wars – Fate of the Jedi: Backlash
Star Wars – Fate of the Jedi: Backlash by Aaron Allston (Ballantine, 2010) Aaron Allston was always one of the more competent Star Wars novelists, and makes a fair job of balancing action adventure and political intrigue (albeit sometimes in skittishly small sections) forty-plus years after A New Hope. Han, Leia and Luke all feature.
Star Wars – Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void
Star Wars – Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void by Tim Lebbon (Del Rey, 2013) A surprisingly engaging two-for-one intertwined quest set in Star Wars prehistory: trainee Je’daii Lanoree (present tense) tries to save her brother from falling to the evil clutches of Forcelessness, while Je’daii Ranger Lanoree (past tense) must then deal with what he’s become.
Star Wars and History
Star Wars and History ed. Nancy R. Reagin & Janice Liedl (Wiley, 2012) This collection of academic articles, ostensibly undertaken in close collaboration with George Lucas, purports to show the manner and extent to which Star Wars draws on real history. In truth it clutches at loose parallels, showing little or no evidence of causation.