Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Review: Star Wars: Tarkin

Star Wars: TarkinStar Wars: Tarkin by James Luceno
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My first foray into the post-EU era reboot of the Star Wars novel series. Since this is "official" canon now, it's even more interesting to get a look into the backstory of Grand Moff Tarkin.

Overall, the story is pretty basic. Nothing special, other than that it's Star Wars. There's not a lot of adventure, though there are some battle scenes. The big draw here is the character development of Tarkin himself, the Big Bad of the very first movie. This was Star Wars when it was simply Star Wars. There was no New Hope, no Jar-Jar Binks, and no Ewoks. There was one movie, and Disney did not own it. It was so cool to see Peter Cushing as this villain, as anyone watching movies in that era knew him from horror movies.

My favorite part of this book was seeing the relationship between Tarkin and the other Big Bad Villains, Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine. We get to see the dynamic between them, most notably that between Tarkin and Vader. For years I wasn't sure the pecking order of the Emperors top two minion/henchmen, but this book sets that straight.

We also get to see some of Tarkin's role in the Clone Wars, and in the early days of the Empire. We got to see how he interacted with Count Dooku and the Separatists. Though I always thought that was the main weakness of the prequel series (besides Jar-Jar), it was interesting to see how he and Dooku related. As a side note, I would have loved to see that part filmed, with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee talking over ideologies.

On the audio, I was impressed with the reader, Euon Morton. His narration was pleasant, and his character voices were spot on for the most part. I also liked the addition of the Star Wars music and the occasional sound effects. My favorite was Darth Vader breathing in the background as he listened to Tarkin tell a story of his youth. It made for great atmosphere without being too much.

So this was a good book to read/listen too. Not the best of the Star Wars novels, but it's a great character insight. Best of all, no Jar-Jar.

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