I’ve finally made it through the Battle of Endor. The Emperor is dead, the Rebels have won, huzzah! (Cue everyone who knows otherwise laughing hysterically.) Cue me also laughing hysterically because even though I’ve read through thousands of chronological years in the Expanded Universe, I’ve still only read 45 out of 130 books on my list. Send help. Please?
Tales of the Bounty Hunters
“Bounty Hunters. We don’t need that scum.” WELL SAID ADMIRAL PIETT.
Okay, okay, I jest. Mostly. This book is actually something that I would like to see more of in the Expanded Universe albeit with different characters and I’m thrilled we’ll be getting it with the digital novellas. It’s five stories of about 70 pages each and they are essentially character studies for each bounty hunter. If we could get these about members of Rogue and Wraith Squadron, I’ll be happy. (Have you figured out my preferred characters yet? If you have, you’ve probably also figured out my cunning plan to talk about my desire for more Rogue/Wraith short stories until Del Rey notices.)
The stories themselves are fine, I guess? None of them really thrilled me but then again, I don’t really care about most bounty hunter characters. I do, however, want to know if there are any other smugglers in the galaxy aside from Han Solo and Han Solo Light/Dash Rendar because the books I’ve been reading lately make it seem like there aren’t. But there really should be because I’m really not sure how Han had enough time to do all the things he’s supposedly done and tick off all the people he supposedly has.
I think my favorite of the stories was probably the one with Bossk although Zuckuss’s does get bonus points for using Toryn Farr. Boba Fett’s story amused me because it spends a solid couple of pages on Han Solo trying to figure out the best way to cause trouble and get thrown in jail for a few days because he’s bored. (Let’s have a moment of silence for all the previously canon material about him that got blasted to smithereens by Attack of the Clones though. Honestly, I’m more amused by how he was written here than anything else.) Nothing else about these really stands out to me though. Except that Dengar is just… sad. In multiple meanings of the word.
Shadows of the Empire
I’m actually okay with admitting that I had fun rereading this book. Is it the best written? Nah. Does it have its issues? Of course. But it’s an entertaining read and I actually enjoyed reading it. Even though the book was clearly meant to bridge the gap between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, I actually thought the plot moved along at a nice pace and didn’t feel entirely like it was meant to connect the dots. I also enjoyed getting to see how Lando integrated into that friendship group between the two films. Basically, it was nice seeing the team work together in their quest to save Han and the galaxy.
My biggest quibble with the book is something that just felt odd to me. I don’t buy that Boba Fett went on a tour of the galaxy with Frozen!Han before collecting his bounty from Jabba. I mean really, Perry? Other than that though, I enjoyed the read. (And yes, for those playing along at home, I did finally remember why I’m supposed to care about Dash Rendar once they introduced him. I still don’t really care about Ginger Han Solo though. Not even when he supposedly dies. Sorry.)
The one area where I wish other writers would take notes from Steve Perry is in the clothing department. He’s one of the few Expanded Universe authors who actually describes what his characters are wearing with more detail “Uhhh it was a grey jumpsuit”. It may not seem like much to some readers but to those of us who makes costumes? This is pure gold. Stop judging Leia, Chewie. A girl can appreciate some gorgeous designer clothes even when her sorta boyfriend is locked in carbonite. And now I want to know all about the fashion world in the Star Wars universe. I’m not even joking in the least.
No matter what you think of this book, I think that we can all agree that it is worth it just for the part where Princess Leia knees that slimy sleaze ball Xizor in the balls. I mean COME ON. How is that not awesome? He is one of the villains that I absolutely despite because he is just that much of a bad person and therefore his death is all the more glorious. But still not as glorious as Leia kneeing him in the balls.
Return of the Jedi
Spoiler Alert: The Rebels blow up the Death Star and the Emperor dies.
Again, I don’t have much to say about this book. It’s way more fun to cheer when the Rebels win on the big screen. Have you noticed a pattern with my “reviews” of the Original Trilogy novelizations yet? I will admit that I enjoyed this one a little bit more than the other two although I don’t think Leia cried nearly as much in the film as the novelization says she does. I definitely cracked up at how Chewie’s speech was represented because I’m 80% sure that he just keyboard smashed it.
By the way? This book ends as follows: “The Empire was dead. Long live the Alliance.” It’s funny because it’s wrong. Okay, I’m done being a smart alec for now.
AND THAT’S IT. WE’RE PAST THE BATTLE OF ENDOR. AMNESTY WEEK CAN BEGIN. As much as I know that all of you, especially my fellow staff writers, are enjoying my descent into madness, I need to take a break. I won’t be reading any Star Wars books for the next week so it’ll probably almost two before you get another one of these posts. (Tragic, I know.) The Waru Express is officially paused.