What does it say about me that the bits of STAR WARS: LIFE DEBT I liked best were those focused on the Empire?
I found myself drawn into this tale of those born to rule, who thought they had a right to rule, but now find that slipping away from them and desperately try to stop it. Increasingly worried individuals with no clear path on how they can stop it, and – with The Emperor himself dead – no guiding light.
Of course, I remain on the side of The Rebellion, but the parts of this book which really intrigued me are the ones with the guys in the black leather uniforms, who are flailing around in thus new universe but – let’s be fair – remain the baddest of bad guys. What does that say about me?
In my review of the last book, I said the parts I liked least were the ones concerning a minor character from the films. Here we actually upgrade to major characters from the films: Han Solo, Princess Leia and Chewie, and correspondingly I found myself letting out a sigh. They’re entertainingly enough drawn as characters here, but their chapters still felt a lot like fan-fic to me. What I really enjoy is Wendig’s ability to throw a light on other parts of this universe, to take on characters and themes that the films (even now) have never bothered with.
And that’s why I found the imperial stuff so interesting. It’s not just how inherently fascinating to me the fall of dictatorships are – and it’s not that I’ve started to bond with the Empire – it’s that Wendig has taken some cardboard bad guys and given them rationale and motivation beyond just being evil. Because, most importantly, he understands that they think they’re the good guys.
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