Earlier this week the latest Star Wars novel was released and I’ve been busy reading through it, well, listening to it on audible while I’m at work anyway.
Last Shot by Daniel Jose Older is a Han and Lando story that mostly takes place about three years after Return of the Jedi but features multiple flash backs, Lando’s take place some time before the events of the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story movie and Han’s take place in the time between that movie and when we first meet him in the Mos Eisley cantina.
I’m a bit over half way through the book but I’m already really enjoying it, it is definitely one of my favourite of the new canon books. Early on we get a good look at what life in ‘peace time’ is like for the two former heroes of the Rebellion. Both have retired from military service since the Empire was finally defeated at Jakku and are trying to figure out what comes next. Lando has moved back to Cloud City and is running a droid company, Han is struggling to be a father to an infant Ben Solo and husband to an extremely busy Liea who is helping rebuild the Republic.
I won’t go into any plot details here but suffice to say that a problem from both the former smugglers past has come back and they have to put together a new crew and sort it out, once and for all.
The characterisations of both Han and Lando is great, it is never a carbon copy of the movies but it feels very accurate to where these characters would be at any particular point in their lives. In the ‘present day’ story they’re close friends who have a lot of respect and trust for each other but they also bicker a lot still too and often withhold information from each other if it makes them look bad or implicates them in a problem.
We get a good look at them both in their younger days though and I’m sure this is much more akin to what we’ll see in the movie; Lando is clean almost to a point of obsession and cares way more about his style than he does later. Han is caught up in a scheme that isn’t going well with a character first introduced in the Marvel comic run, Sanna Starros.
There are a few other new characters introduced in the novel, most of them are part of the crew Han and Lando put together to help complete their task. There is a young pilot who is masquerading as Han Solo in order to get work, an Ewok hacker (yup.) who only comes along if Chewie does too because she’s infatuated with him, Chewie obviously gets involved and leaves the quiet life he’s been leading with his family on Kashyyyk and there is also a Gungan prison officer who shoots Han down when he tries to talk to him like an idiot and explains that not all of the species talks in the way we remember Jar Jar did.
The flashbacks are a little smaller with new characters. As I said earlier, Han and Chewie are partnered up with Sanna helping flesh out her back story and we get a good understanding of L3-37 in Lando’s flashbacks. I’m way more interested in seeing this character in Solo now, she has a lot of personality and isn’t simply the comedy relief muscle like K-2SO was in Rogue One.
We’d heard that she was a droid that had upgraded and put herself together but the fact that she is a self motivated droid rights activist. Something about that idea is really interesting to me and I’m wondering if it’ll make the film or be a character detail left to the book.
I’m looking forward to finishing the book and I’m even more excited for Solo to come out, I really really hope it’s good. I’m driving up to London tonight to see the pub Sara has been covering so I’ll get a chance to listen to a bunch more of it then.
Not sure what time I’ll be putting up an update tomorrow but it’ll be when we get home and about whatever we get up to in the big smoke. See you then.