Tales From A Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens
Tales From A Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens
- High Noon on Jakku
- The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku
- The Face of Evil
- All Creatures Great and Small
Disney-Lucasfilm Press released four eBook short stories tying into Star Wars: The Force Awakens with each focusing on side characters from the film. Written by Landry Quinn Walker, a new author to the Star Wars galaxy, the four stories are grouped together as Tales From A Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens. It’s an interesting nod to the old short story Tales of anthologies and for those who are curious, there is a print version set for release in April which will include two more stories. From western to horror, each of the four stories has a different taste of storytelling and lots of glimpses into the new elements of The Force Awakens.
First up is “High Noon on Jakku.” It stars Constable Zuvio, the odd looking alien with the eternal grimace and covered mouth. As the title indicates, the story goes for a western vibe, which I’m a huge fan of. However, of all the stories, this is the one I felt was most suited to younger readers rather than older fans. In the story, Zuvio has to deal with a bank transport being robbed and a gang of renegade droids. There’s not much development for most of the droids, and the one droid who does get some attention isn’t the best antagonist. Part of that is because the droid in question is going against its programming, but it’s also a matter of how they story is played out. If more time would have been spent on making the droids true villains, giving them some more distinct and developed personalities, it would have made Zuvio a more interesting and competent character. As is, it’s okay, but it could have been better. On the plus side, we find out Zuvio’s species, why he wears a mask and squints all the time, and that he works with his two cousins at Niima Outpost. Throughout the four stories, there are lots of name drops for new species, towns and planets, which is pretty cool. I give this one a two out of five.
“Do not wait for opportunity to strike. Steal it instead!” –The Book of Hondo
“The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku” easily wins for best Star Wars title ever. There’s also a fun inclusion at the beginning of the story from “The Book of Hondo.” It’s only one line, quoted above, but it sets the vibe of the story. It’s about pirates, comedy and chaos. In this swashbuckling adventure filled with colorful characters and sudden ends, we get to find out about the red armored character known as the Crimson Corsair, aka Sidon Ithano. With his ragtag crew of aliens, they go up against Weequay pirates, biker gangs and even an one-eyed Ortolan in a souped up sandcrawler. While the characters are very colorful, don’t get too attached to any of them as most of them die in very comedic fashion. It’s kind of a funny story where anything bad that can happen will happen. Aside from the missile that has some rather wild freezing abilities, it’s a fun story and I give it a four out of five.
“The Face of Evil” stars the funny looking muppet characters we first saw in the San Diego Comic Con Star Wars behind-the-scenes video. It’s the character standing with Warwick Davis. In this story, we learn the aliens are called Frigosians and there are two of them: Thromba and Laparo. They’re also mad scientists who live in Maz Kanata’s castle. They get an unexpected client in the form of a wanted smuggler who is on the run. From there the story takes on a heavy Frankenstein horror vibe with a touch of The Twilight Zone. The result is that this was my favorite story of the bunch. It’s definitely worth the $2 and I give it a five out of five.
The remaining story is “All Creatures Great and Small.” It stars Bobbajo, the alien revealed on stage at San Diego Comic Con with all the birdcages on its back. Surprisingly, this story turned out to be really good. You see, Bobbajo himself is a storyteller in addition to being a crittermonger. He tells a tale that will have some fans tearing out their hair. According to him, he was the one who blew up the Death Star. Is it a lie? Is it an embellishment? The author doesn’t say but it works out well. It’s a head scratcher with no clear answers, but a fun one nonetheless. I give it a five out of five as it’s both an enjoyable story and it’s also one that makes you stop and think about the possibilities of truth and its importance.
So four stories at $2 a pop, roughly an hour of read time for each, but is is worth it? For those who can’t wait, go ahead and grab them. They’re packed with neat details on new species, planets, towns and character names. With the variety between the stories, you’re sure to find some you like better than others. Also keep in mind that you’ll have to wait all the way to April in order to get these in print with the two additional stories. If you have the patience, you’ll be better off waiting, but for those who need their Star Wars fix now, it’s a fun assortment of stories. Personally I’d recommend reading the preview samples that are available for free on whatever eReader you use. Check them out, see if the samples catch your interest, then jump in and get them. None of these characters are going to be essential to film, so it’s not like you’ll be missing out on anything. However, these stories do shed light on the characters which will help enrichen the film. It’s a give and take with waiting and money. Do you want to spend more and read them now, or wait and save some money? Obviously I went with option one because I’m a Star Wars addict. Overall the four eBook stories are good and average out to a four out of five metal bikinis, though I think the $8 price point for all four is a bit high. This would have been a lot better value if they packaged them together for $5 since most of us will be buying the complete collection in April.
Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.