Way back on Force Friday (September 4) there was a trio of YA books released as part of the "Journey to The Force Awakens" line, each one spotlighting one of the original trio of heroes. This one was definitely my favorite, followed closely by The Weapon of a Jedi. Leia's story, Moving Target, wasn't bad it just wasn't as much fun as these two were.
"Han Solo and Chewbacca the Wookiee team-up for an all-new adventure in this thrilling upper middle grade novel. Set between Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the story follows everyone's favorite pair of smugglers as they fly the Millennium Falcon on a top-secret mission for the Rebellion. Hidden in the story are also hints and clues about the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, making this a must-read for fans old and new!"
That last sentence there was an exciting thing at the time, but really there's not much tying any of the books to the movie. All three of the stories take place during the original trilogy time but are bookended by characters closer to The Force Awakens time period telling the story through flashback. Out of the three, this is the only one that would give you a glimpse of the character in their later years before seeing the movie.
The best use of a Force Awakens character was in Luke's story where they introduce Sarco Plank as a capable bounty hunter. You might know him as the figure you've been seeing for months that maybe had a blink and you'll miss it cameo in the movie.
But I'm really here to talk about Han. What makes this my favorite story out of the three is that it's the Han Solo we originally fell in love with way back when. The story takes place just after the Battle of Yavin so we're getting the scoundrel Han who isn't quite convinced he should throw in with the Rebellion yet.
Greg Rucka does a great job characterizing "classic" Solo. Despite it not being a full length novel, he manages to work in a new person from Solo's past, an interesting female Imperial officer, and a shootout with bounty hunters. Not only that, but the story moves quick and there's never a dull moment. In short, it's the kind of Star Wars adventure you want!
One thing I learned a long time ago is not to ignore a book just because the intended audience is young. I never felt like it was aimed at the 10-14 crowd. A good story is a good story! If you're yearning for "the good ol' days" of Star Wars, absolutely check these three books out.
My only complaint about them is that they're under 200 pages.