STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS has pretty much conquered the world at this point. The eagerly anticipated movie turned out to be as good as we hoped. Fans being fans, the search began in earnest to find out more about the central characters from the movie- Finn, Rey and Poe.
Fortunately for us, this isn’t Disney’s first time dealing with the eager hordes. They have prepared the way with a clever (and rather) short prequel novel dealing with the back-stories of the various heroes. STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS: BEFORE THE AWAKENING is an anthology that gives us an insight to the heroes of the movie.
Finn’s story is the one that received the most interest. Partially this is because we don’t know anything about the character before the movie starts; he doesn’t even have a proper name when the film begins. Rucka’s short introduction to what Finn did before he became Finn sets out what the life of a First Order Stormtrooper is like. This tantalising set-up for Finn has also lead some to read further into scenes from the movie, which is entirely what this book is for. Like all of the stories here, it cleverly integrates with the movie as a whole.
Rey’s story is pretty much designed to underline her key qualities; she’s brilliant, brave, clever and incredibly lonely. It’s the longest story in the book (almost a novella in length), and gives us a really good idea what liFe on the desert world of Jakku is like. It’s also the most somber story and the most engaging throughout. Much like the movie, it’s impossible not to really like this version of Rey.
The final tale focuses on Poe Dameron. He’s a pilot first and foremost, and BEFORE THE AWAKENING delivers us a full on tale of fighter pilot fury. Not only do we get a cracking little story about Dameron’s youth, we also get to learn just how good he is when piloting any sort of space ship. Fans of the ships of Star Wars may get a thrill out some of the craft Poe gets to use in this story, the rest of us will simply be thrilled by the action.
Overall, a cracking read. A little simplistic, and older readers may find themselves wanting more, but worth your time.
STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS: BEFORE THE AWAKENING / AUTHOR: GREG RUCKA / PUBLISHER: DISNEY LUCASFILM PRESS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW