With recent events leading to a backlog of recorded episodes and episodes to record very soon, Star Wars Beyond the Films‘ Nathan P. Butler will be posting short, non-spoiler reviews for new releases. Spoiler-filled discussion will follow in the weeks thereafter on the podcast. (In the case of minor releases, that discussion may be kept for a Year in Review series of episodes.)
The Perfect Weapon by Delilah S. Dawson (ebook, 2015)
Relased with little fanfare and no physical form, The Perfect Weapon, Delilah S. Dawson’s ebook entry into the recent Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens product line, is rather easy to miss. The question this raises is whether those who missed it should indeed seek it out.
The story features bounty hunter Bazine Netal, a character seen lounging in early EW The Force Awakens images as the woman in silver and black, complete with black lipstick and fingertips. (No, not fingernails. Fingertips.) The extent to which she will play a significant role in The Force Awakens is currently unknown. She could be extremely significant or just another background character like so many of the denizens of Chalmun’s Cantina (yes, Chalmun owns it in Canon, thanks to The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy) that were fleshed out extensively in the Legends Continuity.
The Perfect Weapon sees Bazine take a mission from a mysterious employer (complete with Mission: Impossible style exploding mission delivery). She and a student of her former teacher (Orri Tenro and Delphi Kloda, respectively) are in a race against a competitor to recover a sealed metal case that was known to have been in the possession of former stormtrooper Jor Tribulus. The mission takes them to a bustling city, into an insectoid alien hive, and into direct confrontation with a (somewhat) unexpected rival.
The story is pretty straightforward, hitting the expected beats (including the identity of her rival), but the primary focus for most readers is in learning more about this new The Force Awakens character, In that sense, the story succeeds in giving us enough background to get a feel for the character without going into so much depth as to feel heavy-handed.
I would imagine that we will have a better sense of how important (or not) the story is in the grand scheme of the Story Group’s canon once TFA hits theaters later this month. For now, I am pretty sure I know what is in the story’s McGuffin (the case), but if I’m right, I’d prefer not to spoil it for fellow fans.
The Perfect Weapon is a solid introduction to a new character whose overall importance to The Force Awakens is not yet known. Unlike so many of the stories marketed as part of the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, though, this story does indeed feel like it is part of that journey by being set closer to the film (albeit at an unspecified date) and potentially having a direct impact on the film’s story (depending on what is in the case). For $1.99, it is well worth checking out.
Recommended for: Those who are curioius about new characters appearing in The Force Awakens in the same way we had curiosity about the patrons in Mos Eisley or Jabba’s Palace.
Not recommended for: Those looking for epic conflict or numerous twists and turns. This is a short fiction piece, after all.
A NetGalley digital review copy was provided for this review, but I did also purchase a copy on my Nook.
POST-TFA EDITORIAL ADDITION
It is interesting that Bazine actually has a brief speaking role in the film, rather than being an unspeaking background character like so many others. That said, Maz’s comment in the film about having the item in the case (which was what I had thought it was) for “ages” would suggest that this story takes place quite a while before TFA, rather than shortly before the film as originally believed.Powered by Sidelines