Publisher: Del Rey
Author: James Luceno
Released: November 4th 2014
Tarkin is set after A New Hope, but before Revenge of the Sith, though there are some flashbacks to Tarkin’s past, which occurred well before A New Hope or even the construction of the Death Star. This is a great read if you’re looking for some insight into Tarkin’s character, or even just a chance to read more about any of the Star Wars antagonists (I promise you, that while his name is the title, other ones are a part of the story).
Tarkin has long been an interesting character for me. Where many of the Star Wars antagonists are angry and hot tempered (for lack of a better description), Tarkin is cold and calculating. In many ways that makes him more of a danger (though that’s not to say I’d prefer to face Vader). I loved the chance to get more of a character study for Tarkin, and was beyond joyous when that also included some of Tarkin’s childhood. It was more than I could have hoped for.
During the events in Tarkin, we see Tarkin and Darth Vader team up to try and take down and manage a group of Rebels. I’ll admit that while I adored every minute of this novel, I had to constantly stop myself from rooting for the Rebels (the good guys, so to speak); because let’s be honest here, what are the odds that things are going to go well for them, when the whole story is being told from Tarkin’s perspective?
Having a bit of additional perspective on Darth Vader and Darth Sidious was a bonus, in my opinion. I certainly wasn’t expecting anything other than just Tarkin, based on the title (though the description does imply otherwise). Seeing all of the planning and plotting that goes on inside the Empire was intriguing to say the least. Frankly, if Sidious didn’t have all of his men actively trying to one up each other, I’d be wondering how they got anything done over there (one can only imagine how many delays occurring when a backstabbing occurs on the regular).
I found this to be a compelling read, though I’ll admit there were times that it was a little on the slow side. I really enjoyed Luceno’s writing style on the whole, and am glad that he’s been brought into the fold. I can’t wait to see what he produces next for Star Wars.