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Tag Archives: Han Solo

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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Star Wars Episode VIII Wish List (Spoilers? Maybe.)

3 May

April 3, 2016

TOP TEN THINGS I WANT TO SEE IN STAR WARS EPISODE VIII

1- Revenge of the wampa. Remember the wampa ice monster that captured Luke on Hoth? Luke escaped by cutting its arm off with his lightsaber. I want to see the monster, now with a cybernetic arm, come looking for payback. This would explain why no one has seen Luke for years- he’s been hiding from the wampa.

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2- Chewbacca’s pants. Chewie is a giant furry beast. Imagine how bad he must smell when he gets wet. I want part of the next film to be set on a water world, forcing Chewbacca to wear thick rubber pants and wading boots to stay dry.

3- Kung Fu. Star Wars debuted in the 1970’s, an era known for disco, polyester, and Kung Fu fighting. Disco Star Wars was a hit, but there were no Kung Fu fighting Jedi. Time to fix that mistake. Also, they must be badly dubbed.

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4- Finn wearing a monocle. I just want to see Finn wearing a monocle.

5- Time travel. Star Wars has never included time travel. I say it’s about time. (Pun intended.) Now that Han is dead, a grief-stricken Leia travels back in time to bring back a younger Han. Unfortunately she misses the mark by a few years and now Kid Solo is part of the Resistance. Sure he’s only 12 years old, but he’ll grow.

6- A whole bunch of Darth Vaders. Everyone loves Darth Vader. So how about a clone horde of Darth Vaders, each claiming to be the real Vader, all battling themselves? Imagine what a great lightsaber battle 570 Darth Vaders could have!

7- C-3PO’s purple foot. Anthony Daniels was not a fan of Threepio’s red arm, so much so that they had to compromise and return his golden arm by film’s end. I liked the look. It was the most character development the fussy ‘bot had in seven films. I say make it a running gag. In every film, replace some part of him with a different color appendage.

8- Batman.
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9- More Ewoks. Yes, I said more Ewoks. Kylo Ren’s bedroom should be filled with cuddly Ewok teddy bears, all with their stuffing hanging out from one of his angry temper tantrums. Poor kid. He had a rough life.

10- An apology. I still want someone to apologize for Episode I. (Midi-chlorians? Bah!)

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