The Han Solo Adventures: Han Solo’s Revenge

October 27, 2017 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

revengeThe Han Solo Adventures: Han Solo’s Revenge by Brian Daley

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Han Solo at Stars’ End was an entertaining, if flawed, novel, though it was much better than L. Neil Smith’s Adventures of Lando Calrissian. For one, Daley has a better understanding of the characters he’s writing; for another, the story feels like it belongs in the Expanded Universe, while Smith’s novels felt like they had been retconned to fit in with Star Wars. One thing I have to credit both authors with is the lightheartedness of some of the scenes; so many of the EU novels take themselves so seriously it’s hard to imagine there being any “walking carpet” scenes in them, but Smith and Daley both made sure to include them.

Han Solo’s Revenge is a slightly better story than Stars’ End, thanks to Daley giving us more depth to Han Solo and Chewbacca. Han is most remembered as a rogue, a miscreant, a space cowboy, but his character arc in the movies makes him very much a hero. Daley chooses to examine Han’s penchant for lawlessness, making him much more a man who does work for payment instead of morality. This isn’t to say he’s remorseless or without a moral compass, but we see more of that side than we do in the movies. True to the movies, though, Chewbacca is the more moral of the two characters, driving Han to do the right thing even when he’s reluctant. It suggests that the longer the two hang around each other, the more heroic Han will become. It segues well into the stories of the movies.

One thing I like about Daley’s books is he pays attention to the kinds of details usually important to science fiction, but overlooked in the Star Wars universe, like planetary gravity and atmosphere. They change from one planet to another, and the characters note the need for breathing gear or lighter steps. This is a big plus for me. I’ve grown accustomed to Star Wars eschewing these necessities, but it’s nice when an author gives it its proper due.

While I wouldn’t put Daley’s books in a top ten list of EU novels, they’re still solid reads. I’d place them a little beneath A.C. Crispin’s take on Han’s earlier life, but they do give us additional insight into Han as a character. For that, I’d recommend them to readers looking to learn more about a character they already love.

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