Tag Archives: sci-fi

Millennium Falcon

I’m not entirely sure why I bother to review Star Wars books at this point, except that it’s expected of me to review everything. It’s just, the context is pretty small, or something. Nonetheless, I’ve typed this much, so I may as well finish up! Millennium Falcon performs a few duties for the Extended Universe. Primarily, it puts together a history of one of the most famous starships in science fiction from before the days when Han Solo owned her (starting with a fairly cheesy Christine-on-the-assembly-line homage and, thankfully, improving from there). Secondarily, it provides a plot hook for a treasure hunt, and then places the Solo family on that hunt as a way to heal some of the still painful wounds brought about by the most recent Sith assault on the galaxy. Lastly, and probably most importantly to the ongoing storylines, it sets up the newest political threat to the Jedi Order, albeit behind the scenes and in throwaway moments.

The book itself was good but not great. I can’t really recommend it as a standalone, and if you weren’t planning to read it in that sense, you probably will regardless of anything I say on the topic. But the secondary characters were all pretty decent, and the stories-within-the-story format reminds me a lot of World War Z.

Return of the Jedi: Infinities

I know it seems like I should be a long way behind, but I’m not. No movies in an Age, one of my books vanished (and has since been replaced, but I’m in the middle of another books right now, which is huge and comfort material, because I wanted to turn my brain off for a bit), I’ve been playing Final Fantasy (and sure, doing well, but the end is days off yet at the minimum). However, I have read several comics lately, and I think I’m willing to review them. So, there’s that.

I was out looking for issues of Serenity, and I came across a 4-part Dark Horse offering, Return of the Jedi: Infinities. A minor change during one of the Jabba’s Palace scenes launches an alternate history of Episode VI. I like Star Wars, and I like alternate history, so I went for it.

Here’s the thing: it’s got flashes of unique vision, although a lot of the story seems to involve moving the chess pieces around such that the characters wind up in essentially identical situations, only slightly more bleak about it, for maximum angst. Which isn’t that bad in itself, except that the closing scene of the story is complete cheese, both on paper and in the execution. I didn’t buy it a bit, put the thing down in disgust, and may have been scarred for life if only I wasn’t aware of the awesomeness of other comics that are available these days. (Such as that Serenity I mentioned, once the third issue comes out and I finish the story. Or Sandman.)

The Joiner King

Apparently, there are new Star Wars books set later in the continuity than the New Jedi Order stuff (which has ended, so that partially explains that.) I read it between two weeks and a month ago. I wonder, therefore, if I can remember the title. …and, as it happens, I did so while explaining myself just now. It’s the Dark Nest trilogy, with this particular first book being called The Joiner King.

Even after over a decade of books detailing the rise of the new generation of characters, I’m still only minimally attached to them. It didn’t help my enjoyment of the book that a lot of what happened revolved around pheromones changing peoples’ brain chemistries such that they act in new and unexpected ways. I’m not going to come out and call it a sloppy plot device until I see how it plays out over the next couple of books, because, right, trilogy. Nevertheless, it tainted an otherwise fairly decent story. Standard adventury goodness, some rehashing of the Jedi trying to find their way in a changed galaxy and the government trying to find its way in a new galaxy, but those parts worked despite being rehashed, because the galaxy is more fundamentally changed than it was even after the fall of the Empire.

My favorite part was incidental so far, involving Luke’s discovery of some old recordings of his father and mother in Artoo’s memory banks that the droid keeps trying to prevent him from seeing, for reasons unknown. Because, like I started to say before, I’m mostly still interested in the original characters, 10 years on or not.

In sum: Interesting main plot conceit. Tantalizing side story. Character Template Modifications of Weirdness +2. Decent new characters. (An Ewok with a death mark on his head in multiple systems; cheesy, but it makes me giggle.) It’s not bad Star Wars, but I’d claim that most bad Star Wars has been stamped out these days. Not brilliant Star Wars, either. If you were already going to read it anyway, still do; if you weren’t, I’m not here to change your mind.