Star Wars: TK-146275
Author: Sylvian Neuvel
The Star Wars world is backtracking, recreating storylines and striving to fill in gaps where the new canon left off. Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened up the opportunity to tell all new tales regarding things that took place after the Empire was defeated in Return of the Jedi. But for some reason, lately, we are also getting some new stories that took place long before the events of Return of the Jedi ever happened. Enter TK-146275.
In this tale, set some time around Tarkin becoming a Grand Moff, a dying stormtrooper looks back on what made him join the Empire in the first place. Thinking back to the day when a Rebel supply raid caused the death of his sister on his farm at Eriadu when he was twelve, he realizes that this was the moment when he decided he wanted to kill Rebels. He went to the academy and fought his way through, because this revenge was the one thing he lived for over all else.
And then it happened - on the planet Lothal, the stormtrooper's commander began killing citizens one by one in an effort to discover who had attempted to steal a shipment of Kyber crystals. Unable to stand the senseless killing, a shopkeeper attempts to end the slaughter and the stormtrooper kills him. He soon finds himself staring into the face of the shopkeeper's twelve year old daughter who has just shot him. The stormtrooper sees the look in the girl's eyes and realizes that this is the same look he had in his when his sister was killed. Ironically, this stormtrooper has just spawned a Rebel who wants nothing more out of life than to kill Imperials.
I really liked this story. Star Wars: TK-146275, written in the point of view of one seemingly insignificant stormtrooper reveals how easily a warring faction can create an enemy soldier out of a traumatized youth. The tale is a refreshing portrayal of the enlisted stormtrooper...a humanization of the enemy, so to speak. Well, written and different from what I have read before, I have to commend Sylvain Neuvel, a name I haven't heard in the Star Wars Expanded Universe before, for a job well done.