It was pure chance that put the best book in the Expanded Universe and the worst one next to each other in the Waru Express reading list. It was also a blessing because after rereading The Crystal Star? I don’t think I could’ve kept going on this project without Starfighters of Adumar being there to hug me and tell me that everything’s going to be okay. So with no further ado, let’s talk about the Best and the Worst that the Expanded Universe has to offer.
The Crystal Star
This book has the distinction of being so awful that I had managed to block everything about it from my memory (except the existence of Waru) until the other night. For those of you who joined me on my livestream, you got to witness my descent into madness. I believe Brian noted that the Waru Express finally broke me around 9:16 EST. There was drinking, there was cursing, there was defeated sobbing. There was also the world’s worst Han Solo impression and some singing and some off-color jokes. And then more cursing and more drinking and more pleas to be released from my agreement to read the book. But most importantly, there was Waru. He loves you. (Editor’s Note: This was a terrible idea and I regret everything. The hangover was terrible) Continue reading
Ahhhh the Thrawn books. Honestly, is there anything more classic than Zahn’s trilogy when it comes to the Expanded Universe? If you’re here for the snark, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer because between these three books and another X-Wing novel? I have nothing but praise this go-round. (Shocking, I know.) (Editor’s Note: Can we all pause for a minute and appreciate that we’re getting Thrawn in Rebels in less than two weeks AND that we’re getting shiny new covers for this trilogy? HOW COOL IS THAT?)
Heir to the Empire
One of the first things that occurred to me while I was reading this book is how much the Star Wars universe owes to Timothy Zahn. There is so much about the universe that I just take for granted that I’m now realizing/remembering is all thanks to Zahn. Coruscant? Zahn. Personalities for character who really only cameoed in the films but are integral parts of the EU? Zahn. Bringing Wedge Antilles to the forefront? Zahn. Introducing the best character ever, aka Winter? Zahn. I mean, I’m not saying that Zahn is god but the amount of canon he contributed is amazing. (Editor’s Note: This is moderately entertaining to read now that I’ve met Tim multiple times over the past few years and have moderated panels with him etc.)
What I love about this book and the entire trilogy is that the story still clearly feels like Star Wars but still has its own tale to tell. It’s not a rehashing of the Emperor or Vader because the villains have their own motivations and characterizations. (I’ll save my ‘Why I love Pellaeon’ ramble for another post.) Thrawn is most certainly his own character who takes a very different approach to winning the war than any other Imperial we’ve seen before. It’s pretty cool that he can study art and figure out how someone will react. And then you have C’boath who is just bonkers. His original model wasn’t much of a charmer to begin with so this probably shouldn’t be surprising. Continue reading
I’ve finally reached the first batch of X-Wing books and there was much rejoicing! Obviously we here at Tosche Station are very pro-X-Wing books and I always enjoy getting to read them again. So sit back and enjoy me gushing about the first four books focused on the flyboys and flygirls of Rogue Squadron as they do the impossible which is absolutely what they do best.
I love these books. I really do. But WOW IS CORRAN HORN AN ARROGANT PAIN IN THE BUTT in this book. I do like him as a character especially with some of the character development he’s gotten over the years but he is infuriating to read about in this book. The arrogance and the monologuing do get a bit old after awhile. At least I know he gets better. Corran will always have some of that arrogance because that’s just who he is and I appreciate that but it’s at an all time high here. (Editor’s Note: NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR DEAD DAD, CORRAN.)
I do enjoy reading this book though because it’s a solid read that offers both a good story and some great characters. It simultaneously tells the story of the squadron’s reassembly and also sets up the overarching plot for the next three books. (Editor’s Note: But it’s also the weakest of Stackpole’s initial Rogue run.)
With the exception of certain arrogant Corellian and a certain Bacta Queen-who-was-clearly-a-traitor-the-whole-time-in-retrospect, the characters are rather enjoyable! (Okay, maybe I was a little harsh grouping Corran with Erisi there. That was mean, I’m sorry, Corran.) I always love getting a chance to look into Wedge Antilles’s head and Stackpole does such a good job of it. I also enjoyed getting to meet such great characters like Tycho Celchu, Mirax Terrik, and Gavin Darklighter. Poor Tycho though. Like his backstory wasn’t already tragic enough without adding in the ‘he might be a traitor’ thing. At least Mirax gets to balance it out by being sassy. Continue reading