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Last Shot: A Han and Lando Novel (Star Wars)
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Discussions for 2018 > Last Shot: Candidate for Worst Ever Star Wars Novel?

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message 1: by DiscoSpacePanther, Grandmaster of Intergalactic Funk (new) - rated it 1 star

DiscoSpacePanther | 52 comments Mod
I've just finished Last Shot: A Han and Lando Novel and feel almost personally insulted by its poor quality - not just the writing, but the fact that it doesn't appear to have had proper editorial oversight at all. It is almost as if Lucasfilm/Disney knows that novels will sell, and just approves any kind of shovelware that falls across the publishing desk.

Maybe I'm being too harsh. Are there any other dissenting opinions out there - what are your views on what makes a notably bad Star Wars novel, and what Canon or Legends books do you think are the worst offenders?


message 2: by Pete, Last of the Mandalores (last edited Aug 03, 2018 02:01PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Pete Hale (petehale) | 96 comments Mod
It wasn't that bad to me. Yeah, it wasn't GREAT and to me its better than Splinter of the Mind's Eye and Aftermath. But you're not the only one. What is it you didn't like? For me it was some of the dialogue.

Splinter of the Mind's Eye's close to the worst SW book I've ever read. I saw you gave it 3 stars.

Also, thanks alot for starting the first non-me discussion!


message 3: by hyperspace (new)

hyperspace | 7 comments Lucasfilm has a hard time finding quality authors. Even worse they rehire people like Wendig, Acker/Blacker, and Whitta.

I haven't read Last Shot yet, so I won't comment on Jose Older, but reception has been mixed to put things kindly. I think one issue with the adult novels is that Del Rey pushes some very unnecessary restrictions on their authors. In a recent Tim Zahn interview, he reveals that he wished for Thrawn Alliances to be prequel era only. Del Rey insisted that Vader should be in the story, so they compromised on both eras. You see this multi era structure in many works: Rebel Rising, Catalyst, Alliances, Thrawn, Tarkin, and from what I've heard it's especially an issue with Last Shot. I think it's an unnecessary formula and authors should be left to write what they wish.


message 4: by Pete, Last of the Mandalores (new) - rated it 3 stars

Pete Hale (petehale) | 96 comments Mod
Bryson wrote: "Lucasfilm has a hard time finding quality authors. Even worse they rehire people like Wendig, Acker/Blacker, and Whitta.

I haven't read Last Shot yet, so I won't comment on Jose Older, but recept..."


You are very right, Bryson. I think writers need more freedom to use what they want with the story group saying "this book already did that" or whatever, like in the rare old days of Zahn and Luceno.


message 5: by DiscoSpacePanther, Grandmaster of Intergalactic Funk (new) - rated it 1 star

DiscoSpacePanther | 52 comments Mod
Bryson wrote: "Lucasfilm has a hard time finding quality authors. Even worse they rehire people like Wendig, Acker/Blacker, and Whitta.

I haven't read Last Shot yet, so I won't comment on Jose Older, but recept..."


What you say about Lucasfilm interfering with the story sounds very plausible based on Last Shot - the novel felt very much like a first draft that the author repeatedly got bored with, and then tried to spice up.

Sentences like the "swamp fart" one absolutely reek of placeholder-that-the-author-plans-to-fix-later, and I suspect that the movie release date deadline had something to do with that.

That doesn't really excuse the poor story concept though - unless the idea was foisted upon Older by the story group.


message 6: by DiscoSpacePanther, Grandmaster of Intergalactic Funk (new) - rated it 1 star

DiscoSpacePanther | 52 comments Mod
Peter wrote: "You are very right, Bryson. I think writers need more freedom to use what they want with the story group saying "this book already did that" or whatever..."

Thirded - if the author has a good idea and they can pull it off, then ideally they should be given free rein, and the story group should just be there to ensure consistency with the wider universe.

Sadly, commercial considerations drive franchise publications, and Last Shot, like The Ruins of Dantooine has no real purpose other than to promote the movie/videogame, and it shows.

That's not to say it can't be done well, though - Republic Commando: Hard Contact and X-wing: Rogue Squadron are a testament to that.


message 7: by DiscoSpacePanther, Grandmaster of Intergalactic Funk (new) - rated it 1 star

DiscoSpacePanther | 52 comments Mod
Peter wrote: "Splinter of the Mind's Eye's close to the worst SW book I've ever read. I saw you gave it 3 stars."

I fully admit that my rating of Splinter of the Mind's Eye was made with my nostalgia goggles fully on.

It is an... odd Star Wars story - but that is an artifact of when it was written. At that time, the only other Star Wars stuff was the very first movie (and its novelisation) and probably some of the Kenner action figure line.

To our eyes, it seems weird that Luke would show romantic interest in Leia - but you have to remember that this was nearly five years before it was established that she was his sister (instead of Nellith being his sister as was Leigh Brackett's original conception), and it makes sense from the way their relationship was portrayed in Star Wars.

Also, it was conceptualised when Lucas didn't know if Star Wars would be successful enough to get a big-budget sequel, so the idea came from the story ideas for a low budget movie.

I've only read it twice, though - once in the '80s and once in the early 2000s, so I may have to revisit my rating if I read it again in the future!


message 8: by Pete, Last of the Mandalores (new) - rated it 3 stars

Pete Hale (petehale) | 96 comments Mod
DiscoSpacePanther wrote: "Peter wrote: "Splinter of the Mind's Eye's close to the worst SW book I've ever read. I saw you gave it 3 stars."

I fully admit that my rating of Splinter of the Mind's Eye was made with my nostal..."


Read my review-there it has my problems (it wasn't the sister-brother thing that bothered me the most.)


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