Star Wars: Tarkin
Author: James Luceno
Published By: Del Rey Books
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I’ve been wanting to get my hands on Star Wars: Tarkin for some time now, but didn’t have the chance to purchase it when it was first released. I finally got the chance to pick up a paperback copy at the local Barnes & Noble. But would this book yet again change the continuum of the Star Wars storyline?
The novel opens between the events of the Clone Wars and Death Star. Moff Wilhuff Tarkin is heading up the construction of the Emperor’s soon to be most dreaded weapon, a weapon whose concept was created on the planet Geonosis before the end of the war. The Death Star is nowhere near completion and doesn’t even look like the dreaded battlestation that wiped out Alderaan in A New Hope.
But the battlestation will never reach this stage if outside forces have their way. There are those who oppose what the Emperor is doing…who want to see him derailed. But the Emperor has a vision that most cannot see. He has decided to bring about this vision by forcing Vader and Tarkin to ignore their differences and join together for a common cause – destroying all resistance to his rule, including these undercover raiders who are using antiquated Clone Wars technology to prevent the construction of the Emperor’s most ambitious project.
James Luceno reveals what makes Tarkin tick by fleshing out his backstory. He reveals the events and actions that shaped who Tarkin became without softening things and trying to make his character endearing to readers. Tarkin is a harsh, arrogant and cold man, but also a shroud operator and events from his past made him that way. We also learn just how Palpatine figured into Tarkin's career very early on, molding him politically into the man he wanted on his side, hoping to create a team of his apprentice and Tarkin.
Though the read will enjoy learning the backstory of Grand Moff Tarkin, they will probably find themselves rooting for the "dissidents" for their early sparks of rebellion against the Empire. The impetus behind this rebellion is well-rooted in today's history with allies turned enemies based on the actions of certain leaders.
Star Wars: Tarkin was an excellent read that fits well into the Star Wars continuum, both new and old. A fast read, it's definitely well worth adding to your Star Wars book collection.