Star Wars: Labor Pains
With the publishing of Star Wars: The Essential Reader's Companion offering overviews of a number of short stories that have been unavailable to the public for quite some time, Del Rey decided that it would be a good idea to allow Star Wars fans to check out the full versions of these original tales online. When I discovered that they had republished them for fans on Suvudu.com, I couldn't wait to check a couple of them out. I started with John Jackson Miller's Star Wars: Labor Pains.
Labor Pains takes place during the period of The Knights of the Old Republic. Featuring former Jedi Padawan Zayne Carrick and his associates, this short story is told in the point of view of one such associate, Gryph. The story relates one of the many adventures of the pair as they attempt to scam a Raltiir art gallery owner into buying one of the eccentric Camper's inventions by claiming it is a piece of industrial art.
This is not your regular action adventure science fiction tale. This is a comedic short story set in the Star Wars Universe. We see things through the eyes of the scammer, rather than the Jedi and are sucked into Gryph's world as he tries to explain the nuances of a successful grift.
Labor Pains is really rather funny and I enjoyed the fact that John Jackson Miller opted against allowing Carrick to save the day buy wielding his lightsaber. This was a tale that relied less on action and more on cleverness. I couldn't help but laugh at Gryph's nonchalant nature toward scamming and his attitude towards having a Jedi partner along for the ride, calling for great compromising in a rogue's world. Kudos to Miller for a fun tale outside the norm of the usual Zayne Carrick comic book realm.