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Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Legends of Luke Skywalker (Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi) Hardcover – 1 Nov 2017
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The book looks great in hardcover format, with great art work at the start of the story, and the red blank pages look great. Even the jokes about messing up famous Star Wars quotes and mixing up legends was all good and funny. However out of 5 stories there were only 2 I really liked. Yes I know this was aimed at younger readers but it is Luke so every Star Wars fan would read it.
On the Star Wars universe Luke has become the stuff legend, tails of his exploits have been told so many times and by so many people it is had to tell fact from fiction. One thing remain everyone loves hearing about him.
There was just something missing in this book. It was readable and enjoyable but (maybe I am being greedy) I wanted more about Luke’s journey/training or even adventures. To be honest I am not sure if I liked this book or I am convincing myself I liked it because it was about Luke Skywalker. Though unless I miss my guess I think this might also setup another book in the journey to the last Jedi series. I would give this one 3.5 stars but being about Luke and the Tide story rounds it up to 4 stars.
As such, these stories are presented in such a way that they are framed by interludes involving a small group of young members of the crew of the Wayward Current. As this transport barge makes the long journey to Canto Bight these characters entertain themselves between work shifts with reciting stories that various members of their group have heard or overheard from various, often dubious, sources. Therefore, giving the book a structure somewhat akin to that of ‘The Canterbury Tales’.
This inevitably leads to the stories becoming quite varied in both tone and style depending upon from whom and how a particular story is being related. It also means that the characterisation of Luke is incredibly varied. His portrayal ranges from being seen as a comedy buffoon to evil destroyer of the Empire. In certain stories his characterisation is terrible, but this is deliberate as it is a reflection of how a tale’s particular storyteller views him. Still, though, it can be quite cringeworthy at times.
Unfortunately, all this results in some of the stories being utterly awful; including the first offering, which doesn’t really encourage the reader to continue. It is worth persisting, however, as amongst the bad and the average there are a couple of good stories. The best of which is ‘Fishing in the Deluge’ with its convincing world building and probably the best portrayal of Skywalker. It also possesses vague echoes (as does ‘Big Inside’) of the now non-canon novels that featured Luke searching the galaxy for information on the Jedi and other Force users.
None of the framing characters/narrators are particularly noteworthy. It’s hard to really care about any of them and there is no real storyline involving them. They are just travelling from A to B as they tell and listen to stories. There is some concern with Canto Bight and fathiers but they arouse about as much interest in this book as they do in ‘The Last Jedi’.
Each member of the crew shares a tale about Luke Skywalker, some twisting what we already know in Star Wars lore, some sounding plausible, while others sounding just plain ridiculous!
My favourites are 'Fishing In The Deluge' about the people of Lew'el and their faith in the Tide (a similar power to the Force), and 'Big Inside' where Luke and a young biology student find themselves trapped inside a giant Exogorth (a space slug as seen in 'The Empire Strikes Back'). These stories feel the most authentic, and most likely out of all the tall tales in this anthology, which is probably why they're the ones I enjoyed the most.
I also enjoyed the interludes between the tales. It set up the framework and setting of the Wayward Current freighter really well, essentially giving you another story that weaves in and out throughout the book. The illustrations by JG Jones in between each of the stories are really good too, and sets the tone of what's to come.
The story about a flea that lived on Salacious Crumb in Jabba's Palace, was the weakest out of the lot for me though. Entertaining enough, just a bit too ridiculous and felt out of place.
Overall, it's an interesting addition to the new Star Wars books, with a few tidbits that hint at the Luke to become in 'The Last Jedi'. An entertaining read, but not necessarily an essential one.
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