What are the ethics involved in humanizing the Empire? Does Star Wars need to be a more nuanced universe, or are the black-and-white morals of the original and prequel trilogies preferable? And is now the right moment for that nuance? These were the questions that plagued me as I listened to the latest Star Wars novel: Christie Golden’s Battlefront II tie-in, Inferno Squad.
Beth Revis had a tough job in writing Rebel Rising, the YA novel chronicling the life of Jyn Erso prior to the main narrative of Rogue One. She not only needed to craft an engaging and exciting story, one that fit into the ever-widening new canon of the Star Wars universe, but she also needed to create a character arc for Jyn herself which both ended with Jyn being an angry, sullen, bitter person who wanted nothing to do with the Rebel Alliance (or, really, anyone or anything), but which at the same time was narratively satisfying. How do you craft a character arc that ends with the Jyn Erso we meet at the beginning of Rogue One and not have the entire thing feel like a let-down and a bummer, or like anything more than an extended prologue to the film? Can you even do such a thing?
If you’ve listened to the Thrawncast, you know that I’m a big fan both of the character Thrawn and of Timothy Zahn’s writing in general. It was like Christmas when it was announced that not only would Thrawn be coming to Rebels, but that Timothy Zahn would be returning to the world of Star Wars literature to write a new novel featuring everyone’s favorite Chiss.
It’s a year later now, and, here at Tosche Station, at least, we’ve all been pretty happy with Thrawn’s portrayal on-screen in Rebels. How, then, does Timothy Zahn’s new novel Thrawn hold up? Is the magic still there? Is Zahn’s re-introduction of Thrawn to the Star Wars canon awkward, or hindered by trying to fit him into existing continuity? And how does the audiobook — narrated by Mark Thompson, the same performer who recorded the first unabridged audiobooks of the original Thrawn trilogy — represent Zahn’s characters and story?Continue reading →
At long last, the trilogy that began with Aftermath, the flagship title in Lucasfilm’s Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens publishing endeavor (man, remember that?) has come to its conclusion. By now, no doubt many of you have already voraciously consumed Chuck Wendig’s novel Empire’s End, but for those of you waiting to hear what the audiobook version narrated by Marc Thompson has on offer, I’ve got you covered.
We’re less than a month out from Rogue One and discovering just what a non-Saga, “anthology” Star Wars film looks like. Lucasfilm seems to be dipping its toe in the non-Saga pool gently, giving us a story — the theft of the plans to the first Death Star — separate from but still intrinsically linked to the original Star Wars film. In the meantime, to whet our appetites and give us some backstory for the characters we’ll meet in the film, Legends and Tarkin alum James Luceno has brought us Catalyst, the story of Galen Erso and Orson Krennic (Mads Mikkelsen and Ben Mendelsohn in the film, respectively) and how their unlikely friendship led to the development of the galaxy’s most powerful weapon.
Random House has consistently released audiobook versions of the novels in the new canon, and Catalyst is no exception. Catalyst is performed by Jonathan Davis — not the lead singer of Korn, but the veteran of more than four hundred(!) audiobook recordings, over of thirty of which were under the Star Wars banner.
So, how does Catalyst work — as a stand-alone novel, as a film prelude, and as an audiobook production? Read on to find out!Continue reading →
Yesterday the official Star Wars site posted an exclusive three-and-a-half minute excerpt of the audio version of Kevin Hearne’s upcoming novel Heir to the Jedi. Listen to the excerpt, read by Marc Thompson, here and read Bria’s spoiler-free review of the book here.
Heir to the Jedi will be released in hardback, ebook, and audio formats next Tuesday, March 3.
Time for another Tarkin excerpt, though this time in a different format. The official Star Wars blog has posted a preview from the audio version of James Luceno’s upcoming novel, read by Euan Morton. Listen to it here and check out Bria’s of the book here.
Tarkin will be released in hardback, ebook, and audiobook formats on November 4.
Curious about the Scoundrels audiobook? Random House has released a preview for your listening pleasure.
Jabba the Hutt has placed a bounty on Han Solo’s head. Not a great situation for the gruff captain of the Millenium Falcon to be in, especially just after he was integral in the blowing up the Death Star, and he needs help. Sure, his heroics earned him some credits but those are long gone and now he needs help. Luckily, a mysterious stranger approaches Han with a less-than-legal way to pay off his debt. Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian and seven other rogues join together to attempt to infiltrate the ultra-fortified stronghold of a Black Sun crime syndicate underboss and crack the galaxy’s most notoriously impregnable safe. Written by Timothy Zahn, a fan-favorite writer of Star Wars novels, and read by Marc Thompson, this Ocean’s Eleven-type tale is sure to adventure worth taking.
To listen, click the media button below! Head to the Random House page if you’d like to purchase a copy.