Monday, October 26, 2015
Major Bad Guy
Just finished reading Tarkin. A nice, lower-key tale meant to fill some gaps in the early life of Tarkin and the early history of the Empire. Backstory for the eventual Grand Moff and another look (from the bad guy's view, this time) of the early days of a brewing Rebellion.
Nate mentioned he couldn't really get into this one, as the opening pages discuss fashion. Tarkin is busy designing a new uniform with his seamstress droid. The story does get more dramatic, eventually, but it essentially revolves around a ship jacking caper, interlaced with flashbacks to Tarkin's youth. [Closed Circuit to Nate: later in the book you get to see Tarkin design a second (or was that third?) military uniform for himself. You don't get to be that dapper without putting in the effort, my man.] This novel was a bit of a buddy story, too, as Vader and Tarkin learn to get along, under the watchful gaze of the Emperor.
One unsettling thing, to my mind, was the opposition was not depicted as clear-cut good. I fear this will be a running theme in the Disney canon; shades of gray. Gritty. Realistic. And totally out of place in Star Wars. I don't think this book made Vader, Tarkin, or Palpatine into friendly characters (thank goodness), but it certainly did not play up the "goodness" of those working against the Empire. Clearly not all opponents of the Empire are good guys, but in this case, we see proto-Rebels who are just not very embraceable as heroes. A bit like my feelings for Kanan in A New Dawn. Hera was great, but Kanan was too mean. And brutal.
Overall, I like the tale, and appreciate the look into the early days of a moon-sized battle station and one of its chief architects.