Tag Archives: Tarkin

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.

 

Rebel Base Brooklyn

8 Sep

September 8, 2015

Brooklyn New York is known for many things. In fact, if it were a city of its own and not a borough of New York, it would be America’s fourth largest city by population. It would be the third largest if you went by sheer density of hipsters.

Famous icon: The Brooklyn Bridge.
Famous residents: Isaac Asimov, Mel Brooks, Mr. Blog.
Famous food: The Hot Dog was born in Coney Island at Nathan’s in the 1870’s. (So was the panhandler, but that wasn’t until the 1970’s.)

But there’s one thing Brooklyn has that hasn’t been widely publicized. During the rebellion against the empire, Brooklyn was home to a secret rebel base.

I’m not talking about the Revolutionary War, I’m talking about the Rebellion against the Galactic Empire. I’m talking Star Wars.

rebel restaurant

This restaurant is in my neighborhood, a few blocks from the secret base of Mr. Blog’s Tepid Ride.

This restaurant’s symbol is very, very close to the symbol used by the rebels in Star Wars.

logo infringement

Is it a coincidence? Probably. While the restaurant has been there for years, and the symbol was always used on the long white sign, the big symbol below the awning is fairly new.

It looks so much like the symbol the rebels used in Star Wars that, if the rebels had a maritime division on the oceans, the one on the left could be their symbol. It looks very much like the rebel logo with some waves added.

And while I won’t go so far as to call this place it a “wretched hive of scum and villainy,” there was a drunk laying face down in the street in front of it last week. Right in the middle of the day at 4:30. Thanks Mayor Di Blassio, That’s a first for this neighborhood!

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