Monday, February 19, 2007

Han Solo and the Novels I Should've Read By Now

Now that my daughter is all jazzed up on Star Wars (and, man, is she ever), I'm finding a lot of her innocent, youthful enthusiasm washing up on me. The waves are familiar, long-forgotten and oh so very welcome. May 19th 1999 be damned, I love Star Wars again.

It's interesting, all the ways in which your life changes when a child enters your life.

Anyway, I chanced to start looking through some of my old Star Wars stuff as a result of Lily's excitement. Lots of old RPG stuff, yes, but novels and such as well. I have very few of the novels published in the 90's, though I used to own a number of them. I never read them, though, because they never quite grabbed me. After the Zahn Trilogy wrapped up, subsequent books felt...stale. I remember reading a few chapters of Truce At Bakura and saying, out loud and to no one in particular, "Is this a TNG novel?!" Never went further than that, and that book is gone.

But I still have my Han Solo novels.

Back in '79, Brian Daley landed a gig writing some novels about Han and Chewbacca in a kind of Star Wars sub-setting called the Corporate Sector. They took place before Ep. IV (I feel kind of weird calling it that), and featured new villians, new characters, new bad guys...all kindsa cool stuff.

Not an Imperial in sight, too, which makes it interesting.

I'd never read these books, either, because I'm terrible about having boks I never read. I decided that I needed to read one, though, so I grapped up Han Solo's Revenge, the second of the books, and plunged in.




Breakneck pace, exotic locations, flamboyant characters, fancy flying, a swoop chase, gunfights, space pirates, popping dialogue...this is Star Wars. From start to finish, a bust-'em-up good time.

I just started the first book, Han Solo at Stars' End. So far, it's good stuff -- it opens with a chase scene, and Solo busts the sensor dish off the top of the Falcon right on page 4. It's pure, distilled crazy space opera fun, uncluttered with Yuhzan Vong (or whatever) or Midichlorians or Gungans or that crap about moons falling on people.

I am back in my element, and I thank my daughter for pulling me along.