Book Review: Star Wars – Catalyst (A Rogue One Novel)

4th February 2017

Star Wars: Tarkin coverAn excellent prequel to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which bridges the gap between the Clone Wars era and Galactic Civil War era in a convincing and satisfying way.

Why I chose to read it?

I chose to read this novel hoping that it would add some new insights into any future experience of rewatching Rogue One while also proving to be a very interesting story in its own right.

Plot

The plot for Rogue One was excellent and aside from shedding new light on the wider Star Wars canon immediately before and during the Galactic Civil War era, it also was an engaging, immersive and enjoyable story in its own right. I think this was evident in the writing style which while not explaining the Star Wars universe for us, presented it in a way which could be engaging for readers who may not be passionate fans of the franchise while not explaining it all thoroughly. Most of the key points in the back story were implied, rather than explicitly stated which I believe worked best.

Characters

I loved how this novel showed us a backstory on the relationship between Krennic and Galen, and how Galen’s work had created friction with his marriage and family life. We see Krennic slowly become more calculating and manipulative as the story progresses – he is initially presented as an old friend of Galen with his agenda but also looking out for Galen where he can and transforms into the cold hearted villain we see in Rogue One.

Overall verdict

Pros:
– Excellent characterisation and a realistic backstory
– Consistently engaging
– Ties content of prequels and original trilogy together very well
– Sheds new light on the characters of Krennic and Galen, and their relationship in Rogue One
Cons:
– Was oddly paced from time-to-time
My score: 9/10

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