Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Luke Tells Us a Story

Just finished reading "Heir to the Jedi" by Kevin Hearne (2015). Set just a bit after the destruction of the first Death Star, this novel follows Luke on a series of side treks, biding his time until The Empire Strikes Back, I guess. Fan favorite R2 is there, so that's good. Although Luke can't innately understand his hoots and bleeps yet, so that's too bad.

The delivery of the story is a bit odd: first person, past tense. Luke is telling us what happened. I did not find this as distracting and jarring as Aftermath's present tense (and punctuation soup served with random word salad).

Heir was a  decent read. It seemed a collection of side trips, sometimes with different genres applied. One such trip is a sci-fi horror episode seemingly out of character with Star Wars in general. Others seem a bit pointless, like going to Rodia to look at a catalog of weapons the Alliance might purchase.

Luke comes across correctly, as I see it, even if we're oddly lodged in his head the whole time. A love interest is found, lightening the proceedings, and lost, providing some tragedy and depth as well as returning Luke to "single" from "it's complicated". A tricky story to write, as you know where the main character has to end up in less than 3 years time. He can't do anything here to outshine his performance in the movies, either.

As for the strange parts: many mentions were made of "noodles". Luke seemed to be eating noodles, moving them or his fork with the Force, and spilling noodle broth on himself on every other page. Also overdone was the word "nerf". We had nerf nuggets, nerf steaks, and nerf...noodles. This is a common problem with Star Wars writers, in my opinion. They overuse a few key words or aliens or whatever. Many excessive mentions of "rancor" were seen as well. I'd say a good goal to shoot for would be 50% old words and 50% new in this regard.

More blood! More gore! Again with the out-of-character Disney Star Wars fixation on graphic violence! Head shots are incorporated into every fight scene. Luke gets sprayed with brain matter at least twice. Slugs are shot into heads, through eyes, etc. Calm down, Disney. I don't get why new Star Wars needs to be so dirty, gritty, and realistic. Give it a break...this is fast and loose space opera, not Band of Brothers!

I am glad I read this one for the sake of completeness, but I'm still on the fence as to whether I'd add it to my "preferred canon". The love interest character may push it over the edge, as I am a hopeless romantic. To sum up: definitely not as bad as I thought it would be. High praise, indeed.

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