Saturday, November 26, 2011

Interlude: Star Wars Tales Vol 3

A friend lent me Star Wars Tales: Volume 3. Like the name suggests, this is a collection of short tales (about 20 in total) set in the Star Wars universe. My friend told me this was his favourite of the three volumes; having only read this one, I can't really say if he's right or not. But there were some really great stories here.

This volume opened on a high note with "Resurrection." A secret sect of Dark Side Followers have resurrected Darth Maul. Darth Vader agrees to duel him to the death; the winner will clearly be the better apprentice for the Emperor.

"Hate Leads to Lollipops" was cute but just okay. "The Rebel Four," a parody of the Fantastic Four, was incredibly funny (in a very morbid way).

I enjoyed "Trooper," the story of the Stormtrooper who is chosen to go first when they board Princess Leia's ship at the beginning of A New Hope. "Skreej" was a funny story about the man who was supposed to be working as a guard with the Hutts. He wakes up with all his stuff gone, so he tries to track down what happened to him (and where his stuff is). "Nameless" was the story of why Darth Maul has a double bladed light sabre.

I think one of the funniest stories was "A Wookie Scorned." This one takes place after the Battle of Endor. Han is supposed to be helping Chewie fix their ship, but he keeps disappearing to "debrief" Princess Leia.

"Free Memory" was an interesting story. C3P0 wants a technician to free up space on R2D2's memory banks. The little droid doesn't appear, so C3P0 goes to find him, and in the process finds out what R2D2 has stored inside him.

"Prey" was another interesting story. Tarkin hires Boba Fett to go after a treasonous pilot. Vader believes the Empire should show no weakness and hunt the pilot on their own. So Vader follows Fett, leading to an awesome showdown between the two.

"In the Beginning" is the story of the card game where Lando lost the Falcon to Han. "The Princess Leia Diaries" was another really funny story, telling how wild Leia was as she grew up on Alderaan.

"Tall Tales" had a gang of aliens sitting around telling each other what they knew about the rebellion. It was pretty funny (and a good example of how stories change as gossip spreads them). "Ghost" was a strange tale of a younger Han going on a treasure hunt; he finds a jedi knight instead. "A Day in the Life" was just okay. It's a short story of Wedge a few days after the Battle of Endor. It started out pretty good, but I didn't like the way it ended.

"A Jedi's Weapon" was an interesting romp. On a diplomatic mission, Anakin Skywalker loses his lightsabre and attempts to get it back.

The last really funny story was "The Revenge of Tag & Bink." They left Boba Fett for dead and he's going on a personal bounty against them. And everything leads to the sarlacc pit.

"Once Bitten" was a strange story that didn't seem to fit with the others. While heading to Alderaan. Obi-Wan tells Han Solo a story of him and Qui Gon Jinn trying to help a jedi, but facing off against Aurra Sing, the jedi assassin. The story ends with Obi Wan asking Han Solo for something to help with Luke's lightsabre training.

Everything ended on a low note. "The Duty" is the story of a jedi knight defending the last of the padawans from Darth ader. Knowing he can't defeat Vader, the jedi makes a deal with the dark side.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading the Tales. They were a varied bunch of stories that were fun to read. If you're a fan of Star Wars and get a chance, you should definitely give this a read!

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