I’ve been reading quite a bit of Star Wars books lately. I plowed my way through the sparse series that took place 1000 or so years before the movies and am now working my way through the many, many books that are set in the decades after Return of the Jedi.
For the most part, they’re are pretty good. It’s interesting how they incorporate the main characters and their kids with the minor characters from the movies. The universe building is wonderful. I love that. The stories are hit and miss, with one story arc taking up as many as nine novel. The character building is also great as each novel takes place over the course of only a handful of months.
The writing, however, is sometimes not so great. The writers seem to think that the reader will forget that this takes place in space and that Jedis exist. Some constantly remind you of both. I get it. We’re in space and Jedis have special powers. You don’t need to tell me that the Navy is a “Space Navy.” And I honestly do understand that when someone plants an explosive that ignites when hit by a ship in space is a mine. I don’t need to be told that it’s a “space mine.”
I also fully understand that when a Jedi pushes someone without using hands, he’s using the force. You don’t need to refer to it as a “force push.” The same goes for “force choke,” “force wound,” “force grip,” and “force whirlwind.”
But oh my does it sound nifty and cool. See?
Jedi Master Luke Skywalker’s force hunger sense was tingling. More than anything in the whole wide galaxy, he wanted space french toast. And so he force mixed the space batter and, using his jedi powers, he dipped the bread into the galactic bowl. With his force powers, Luke force toasted the space bread. It was as good a breakfast as the nerf sausage and mynark eggs Han and Lando the Space Pimp were eating.
But still, these are great books. I’m currently working my way through Legacy of the Force. They’re sad and heavy and really well done. Some authors eschew the use of “space” and the overuse of “force ______.” And to those authors (like Karen Travis), I send a hearty force hug. Thank you for writing such good space books.