Story: Han Solo and his co-pilot Chewbacca run afoul of the Corporate Sector Authority when they try to hook up with a pirate outfit in order to repair the Millenium Falcon. Unfortunately, the proprietor, Doc, has disappeared. But his daughter, Jessica, an old flame of Hanâ€™s, makes a deal to do his repairs for free if he can rescue her father. They must team up with a pair of droids and variety of others who have also lost loved ones to try and penetrate the Authority and rescue the missing people.
Review: “Han Solo At Starsâ€™ End” marks the beginnings of the â€œHan Solo Trilogyâ€, set in the years prior to the original Star Wars. It sees Han very much in â€œscoundrelâ€ mode, often thinking about himself above all others. Of course, his heart of gold shows through, too, but for the most part, it is his more ruthless nature that is on display here.
Daley has a good handle on Hanâ€™s basic characteristics and the dialogue seems on target. The use of the Corporate Sector Authority instead of the Empire seems an odd decision. I have to think that it was dictated by Lucasfilm for some reason, since there is no fundamental story-related justification for it to be anything other than the Empire.
If thereâ€™s a big negative, itâ€™s that the supporting cast is mostly stock character-types, with little to distinguish them from thousands of aliens before and since. I particularly disliked the droid tandem of Bollux (yes, thatâ€™s his name) and Blue Max. Neither acts like any droid seen in Star Wars and, franky, goes against basic droid behavior established in later films. And I have to take Daley to task for writing a â€œdress up as entertainment to infiltrate the fortressâ€ sequence. Thatâ€™s one cliche Iâ€™d be happy to never see again.
Still, “Han Solo at Starsâ€™ End” has a fast-paced and exciting plot and doesnâ€™t do too much that actually contradicts true Star Wars canon (like most EU books). This is one that all Star Wars fans can enjoy. If you like the Expanded Universe, thereâ€™s plenty of new characters and places that have since been embraced by more recent EU materials. If you donâ€™t (like me), thereâ€™s no attempt to shape the Star Wars universe into something itâ€™s not.
Author: Brian Daley
Publisher: Del Rey