Not too long ago I got the urge to read a Star Wars novel. I’ve never read one before but I’ve got a friend who has read at least 25 and he’s still reading more. Now, he’s a much bigger fan of Star Wars than I but you don’t read 25 novels if none of the first few are actually good. I must confess I have read a Star Wars novel but it was before I went to high school and I don’t remember much. It wasn’t very big and all I remember about the story was a small group of people who were in a large cruise-like spaceship and there was an attack on the ship. The small group of people we’re going around the ship and, um, doing something? I remember so little from the first Star Wars novel experience that it’s safe to assume I have never really read one.
Since I like Star Wars and I like to read books, I figured I would start with one book or a small series of them (there are many trilogies that have been written in the Expanded Universe) and if I enjoyed it I’ll continue to explore more novels. There was a problem, though. Where should I start? The Expanded Universe of Star Wars is ridiculously huge. There are so many novels and comics and it makes for a daunting task to choose which book to start with. I decided to narrow down the focus. I don’t want to read about stuff that happened thousands of years before episode IV, notably stories set in the Old Republic. That eliminated quite a few books. I also don’t want to read about a Star Wars that is not the Star Wars I know, primarily the movies. I like the world of episodes IV to VI much more than episodes I to II so I decided to look for something that happens between movies or right after.
It seems odd to want to start with a novel that takes placed during or in-between the original trilogy. You would think that my desire to read Star Wars novels is to explore the Expanded Universe but I want my experience to be a pleasant want. I want to like the novels I read. I guess I’m stacking the deck in my favour by exploring something new but still staying in familiar territory. If that goes well then I’d like to explore some more, probably stories that take place after Return of the Jedi.
After reading up on novels online, I figured I knew enough to go browse in a book store and that’s what I did. That’s when I saw it. There was this big leather-bound volume with silver, gold and black art on the front and back covers. It was the collected edition of all three Star Wars movie novelizations. Now this would be a good starting point. You might be thinking, “Why read the novels when you’ve seen the movies dozens of times?” The way I see it, by reading the novelizations I will familiarize myself with the names to people, places, creatures, alien species and vehicles found in the movies and be able to associate the names to the images from the movies. There are so many things shown to us in the movies that aren’t given a name on screen. Because I’m so familiar with the original trilogy I’ll be able to keep track of who is who and what is what. Essentially, it’s a good way to train myself to be a reader of Star Wars novel. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I get go ahead with my reviews for the novels. Part two coming up shortly.