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Tag Archives: Darth Vader

My Review of Star Wars: Tarkin, by James Luceno

25 Jan

January 25, 2019

In Star Wars, Grand Moff Tarkin was played by Peter Cushing. He’s easily my favorite character, more villainous in the film than Darth Vader. He’s also played by one of my favorite actors, so when this book came out I went against my better judgement and read a Star Wars novel. I’m glad I did.

I give Tarkin 5 stars, but bear in mind, this 5 star rating is not the same 5 stars I give Flowers for Algernon. This is 5 stars as far as Star Wars books go, a totally different scale. Flowers for Algernon is a triumph of literature. This is a good read.

I generally dislike Star Wars novels. This one, though, breaks the mold. It is more sci-fi than fantasy, ignoring all the Jedi mumbo-jumbo nonsense that other books get bogged down in. In fact, being from the bad guy’s point of view, this has a nicely negative view of the Jedi. It reads more like the old Alan Dean Foster novels, like Splinter of the Mind’s Eye or the original Han Solo novels. It bridges the gap to the New Hope era, disposing of The Clone Wars and entering the better era of Star Wars. If  you need a movie reference point, consider this as happening just before Rogue One.

Peter Cushing

Some reviewers don’t care for the plot, which they dismiss as Tarkin and Vader chasing around some random disposable rebels. They miss the point. This book is all about the backstory. You learn a lot about Tarkin and what molded and motivates him. You also learn a bit about The Emperor and Vader too. The main plot is really just the skeleton that the meat of the backstory hangs on. This is a character study / biography of Grand Moff Tarkin, and as such it works. The novel also explores the relationship between Tarkin and Vader, and for all those who wonder why Vader would take orders from anyone besides the Emperor, let alone someone who isn’t even a force user, this book explains.

The writing is also well done. In fact, just compare it to the two excerpts of novels by other authors that follow it in the paperback edition. Not only is neither the least bit interesting or original, but their writing is clearly not as good. James Luceno may be the only Star Wars writer today worth reading.

 

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Another Star Wars Rant

15 Aug

August 15, 2016

This is it. Just what the world needs. Another Star Wars rant.

The new Rogue One trailer came out and I’m getting excited again for Star Wars. Mainly, I’m excited because George Lucas has nothing to do with it. He struck gold with A New Hope, topped himself with The Empire Strikes Back (though there is plenty of credit to go around) and should have stopped there, but Return of The Jedi is still pretty good.

The prequels not only suck but are totally insignificant. There is nothing in them you need to know. You can watch the original trilogy and have all the info you need. Remember, Lucas made the story he wanted to tell in the first three films. Everything else is just background. And the Clone Wars cartoon? That’s a whole other kettle of fish. I’ll discuss that if I ever get around to my “the Jedi and Sith are insignificant to the world of Star Wars” rant.

This rant is pretty simple. This is about how Lucas totally screwed up the Jedi uniforms in The Phantom Menace. And I’ll let pictures do the talking for me.

JEDI OUTFITS

In A New Hope, Obi-Wan is wearing simple desert garb, just like Uncle Owen and half the planet wears. But in the prequels, we find out that Obi-Wan, a Jedi in hiding, someone Darth Vader would dearly like to find if he’s alive, was hiding out while wearing his Jedi outfit. Seriously? In hiding but still in uniform? 

But check this out. That’s never what a Jedi outfit was supposed to look like. Luke, who declared himself a Jedi, wears a Jedi outfit in Return of The Jedi.

jedi outfit 2And he wore it in front of Yoda, who surely would have told Luke he was dressed like a Sith Lord, not a Jedi.

But for no good reason Lucas screwed things up right in the very first shot of The Phantom Menace.

Rant over. I’m right. George Lucas is wrong.

Always.

two jedi

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