Happy weekend, my friends!
Just a few things this week. I’ve finished the YA book Before the Awakening, by Greck Rucka, and it was actually a lot better than I was expecting, to be honest. It consists of three short stories, each one focusing on the three sequel trilogy leads: Finn, Rey, and Poe. The stories take place just before the events of The Force Awakens, and we get a little glimpse of what these characters were doing just before the film.
Nothing revelatory here: Finn is training as a stromtrooper with the First Order and is beginning to have some doubts; Rey is on Jakku and finds a crashed ship she decides to fix up and sell to Unkar Plutt for rations; and Poe goes on an exciting piloting adventure in his first foray in the Resistance. They’re fun little stories that gives us a little more insight into these characters and where they’re at emotionally at the beginning of TFA. I enjoyed it.
As I await the next new Star Wars book (Queen’s Hope, on April 5th), I was casting around for an adult Star Wars novel to read to get me by until then. As I was scrolling through some canon books I haven’t read yet, I realized I just wasn’t interested in them (at least at the moment). I enjoy a good Legends book now and then, and thought it might be time for one of those.
One in particular (or rather, one trilogy) that I’ve been avoiding in Legends is the original Thrawn trilogy, and the first set of books that came out after Return of the Jedi. Not because I don’t like Thrawn; on the contrary, I think he’s a great character. I’ve tried to read the new canon Thrawn books (well, at least the first one, simply called Thrawn) but I couldn’t seem to get into it. I think it’s because in these books, Thrawn is the protagonist. But I like my Thrawn as the antagonist–the bad guy.
So I decided to read Heir to the Empire. I’d been avoiding it because, unlike some of the prequel Legends books I’ve read, this one diverges radically from what is now considered canon. Taking place five years after the Battle of Endor, Han and Leia are married, and are expecting twins, a girl and a boy. Luke is involved in the New Republic trying to establish itself on Coruscant. It’s a whole new set of events, and I wanted to get a handle on the canon first before I dived into this. I consider Legends an “alternate universe” version of Star Wars, kind of like the Marvel What If? idea.
Strangely enough, I did read this book when it first came out in 1991. I was starving for more Star Wars, and wanted to know what happened after Endor. Funny thing is, I couldn’t remember a thing about it (it was over thirty years ago, I guess, lol), except that it had Thrawn in it, and Leia and Han had twins. And Mara Jade, who I remember not liking very much at the time. I might have read the second book in the trilogy, but I really can’t remember. It all just seemed so weird to me, lol. But I figured this time, with the perspective of time and all the Star Wars I’ve ingested over the years, it could be interesting.
Anyway, I’ve read about a quarter of the book so far, and the verdict is…I’m loving it!
It’s quite entertaining, and fun, and well-written by Timothy Zahn. Thrawn is great as the bad guy, although a very interesting one, and it’s much faster-paced than the new canon book Thrawn (I couldn’t finish that one). I love that we get Luke, Han and Leia front and center going on adventures together. I find the idea of the twins fascinating (and the sequel trilogy characters Rey and Kylo/Ben were modeled after them, I believe). There’s just a lot to love here, and I can’t wait to read the rest of it! Then onto Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command.
I’ve also been reading the High Republic comics: the Marvel series and the High Republic Adventures. I wanted to get more of the High Republic story that I’d been missing from the novels. And they’re great, but I was surprised by how unprepared I was to read comics.
What I mean is, I’m a book reader, and I’ve never in my fifty years read any comics, or any graphic novels, for that matter. And I found it–disorienting–trying to read comic panels. It was kind of overwhelming, at first. A lot of things are going on visually, and I had a hard time deciding what gets read first, and which way to go, and taking it all in…it definitely has all your brain cells firing at once! I love, love, love the images, though. A very different experience than reading a book, which is a very orderly process. But I’m getting used to it! I’ll probably write about them in next week’s High Republic Wednesday.
That’s it this week. What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!