Go/No-Go – Star Wars Rebels: Servants of the Empire book series

nasa-mission-control-3Welcome back to Go/No-Go, Tosche Station’s regular feature where we offer our spoiler-free opinion as to whether or not you should spend your hard-earned money on a book, film, or other entertainment. Today on the launch pad: the Star Wars Rebels: Servants of the Empire book series by Jason C. Fry. This four-book tie-in to Star Wars Rebels is made up of Edge of the Galaxy, Rebel in the Ranks, Imperial Justice, and The Secret Academy, each of which Nanci has discussed individually. But now that the last book is out, how do we feel about the series as a whole? To mission control for the verdict!

CAPCOM Shoshana: I really enjoyed this series. It’s well-written and well paced, it has great characters (Merei 4 lyfe) who grow and change over the four books, and it gives a window into how the Empire impacts and changes communities. And, perhaps most importantly of all, it respects the readers. This series is not afraid to tackle difficult questions about authority, freedom, the greater good, and sacrifice and it doesn’t try to provide an easy answer where there is none. It is much more complex than I expected going in. Oh, and the main character is a person of color, which is fantastic and I would love to see more of in science fiction, especially sci-fi for younger readers. And, while it does tie in to the Rebels TV series, it is a separate story that you do not need to watch Rebels to enjoy, though watching Rebels could give you more perspective on certain referenced events. This series is great for adults, middle-grade readers, and people in between. I give Servants of the Empire a GO.

TELMU Nanci: This series is the best. Go read it. Oh, you wanted something more elaborate than that? Okay. If you overlook Servants of the Empire because they’re kids books, you are an idiot. These four books have the best exploration of true totalitarianism and fascism I’ve read in Star Wars. You want to know what it takes to make people turn against the Empire? You want to know what happens to those who do? You want to know what happens to those who don’t? You get it all right here. Not only that, but Jason Fry has created a cast of incredibly memorable characters. It’s easy to feel attached to Zare Leonis, being that he’s in a few episodes of Rebels, but the original characters are also excellent, with Merei Spanjaf quickly becoming one of my favorites. I can’t say enough about how good this series is. I give Servants of the Empire a huge GO. I promise, you won’t regret it.

Flight Director’s Ruling: Launch conditions have been met and then some. Star Wars Rebels: Servants of the Empire is a resounding Go.