Rapid Fire (Book) Review - Star Wars: Tarkin!


In Realm Beyond Sight's "Rapid Fire Review" I hit the good, the bad, and try to get out before the review becomes too long winded. In this new review I take a look at the book Star Wars: Tarkin by James Luceno.

Star Wars: Tarkin takes place between Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: A New Hope and is a great addition to the Star Wars canon. It is written in such a way that regardless of your Star Wars allegiance (Rebels or Empire), you find yourself rooting for Tarkin and Vader to succeed. In this way the novel is well written. James Luceno does a great job at developing the character of Wilhuff Tarkin and putting some great overall details into the novel. He even manages to fill in a few canon knowledge gaps along the way. For example, you find out that the Emperor took resident in the old Jedi Temple on Coruscant which explains why it is still standing at the end of Return of the Jedi. I quite enjoyed this book but do have to say that in the beginning, the story jumps from present day Tarkin to younger Tarkin and at times does so without warning. It took me a moment sometimes to realize I was reading about a different time period in his life, so that wasn't too fun. That said, the book shares a whole knowledge of Tarkin (history, personality, and intelligence) that was never touched upon in the films and therefore you may not have known was there. You learn about Tarkin's childhood through flashbacks and how he became a strong individual and tactician. You also learn that Tarkin is incredibly smart. Besides being a tactical genius, he was able to figure out who Darth Vader is and put together what really must have happened when then Jedi went to arrest Chancellor Palpatine. He even put it together that the Emperor and Darth Vader were in fact Sith (who to the general population were thought to be extinct) and furthermore was smart enough to keep all this to himself. The novel wasn't all positive notes though. I personally thought the story slowed down at times when it was focused on the enemy. I just didn't find those characters as deep or captivating as Tarkin or Darth Vader. The story shines however in the moments where you see these two, Tarkin and Vader, working together. Seeing their relationship grow was very fascinating. Overall, it was interesting and fun to see things from the Empire's point of view and to see that Tarkin wasn't "evil". He was a military man through and through. It just happened that he was on the side of the Empire. You'll also find out the significance of Tarkin's title of "Grand Moff". This is a well written novel that I would definitely recommend to Star Wars fans, especially if you want to dive deeper into a great character.

Rating: Highly recommend! 

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