Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Before the Awakening

In my previous post, I mentioned a complaint with Episode 7: It feels cut off from the rest of the Star Wars galaxy and leaves a lot of unanswered questions. As expected, new novels are beginning to fill in some of those gaps. Take, for instance, Before the Awakening.

This book presents three new long stories, one for each of the characters pictured on the cover. Finn's tale presents a glimpse into his training as a stormtrooper, as well as into other activities of the First Order. It gives hints into the unusual qualities that cause him to make the decision in the film that draws him into the action. Rey's story shows more of what life is like for her on Jakku, but suffers from the fact that one pretty much knows how it's going to end.  Of them all, Poe's tale is my favorite. It includes details from his life growing up on Yavin IV (tying in nicely to the Shattered Empire comics), as well as how he moved from the New Republic to the Resistance--and clarifies some of those organizations' relationships with each other. It also presents a rousing adventure, and one that helps clarify the picture of what RPG scenarios in this time period might look like.

All in all, I recommend the book for a good, quick read.


1 comment:

  1. I just finished this quick read, too. I like these stories in the "Journey to the Force Awakens" line of (Young Adult?) books.

    Ranking the three tales, I think they appear in order from weakest to strongest: Finn's tale was decent, Rey's tale was much more engaging, and Poe's tale was probably the best, as I am a sucker for all the trappings of the Galactic Civil War, including starfighters, space battles, and good bad guy fodder.

    Some thoughts:

    Good stories, quick reads. I really liked spending more time on Jakku with Rey. It was also fun to cruise around with Poe, engaging TIE/fo right and left.

    The non-Captain "Captain Phasma" is still a strange character (more on this later, when I discuss the FA novelization and the Visual Dictionary).

    The entire First Order is just a bit too well equipped for my taste. They have technological marvels everywhere you look: and this from a rag-tag splinter group hiding out in the hinterlands.

    I can't quite believe that they invented a new X-wing (the T-70) AND a newer X-wing (the T-85). At least that writes the sad E-wing out of existence (hopefully).