Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space: The Steal (or The Heist) – A Beyond the Films Review

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Star Wars Beyond the Films‘ Nathan P. Butler is now posting short, non-spoiler reviews for many new releases. Spoiler-filled discussion will often follow in the weeks or months thereafter on the podcast. 


steal

Adventures in Wild Space: The Steal by Cavan Scott (softcover, 2016)

The Steal is book #3 in Adventures in Wild Space, though technically the fourth entry in the series if one considers the essential prelude book, The Escape, from World Book Day. You can find my previous reviews of The EscapeThe Snare, and The Nest here on SWR.

It should also be noted that Adventures in Wild Space is a series currently exclusive to the UK and Ireland. However, a U.S. release is coming later this year. In that release, The Escape will be included in the first numbered book in the series, The Snare.

Adventures in Wild Space

Adventures in Wild Space (by Cavan Scott and Tom Huddleston, each writing separate books) follows Lina Graf (age 10), Milo Graf (age 9), their droid CR-8R (Crater), and their Kowakian Monkey-Lizard (Morq) as they face off with the Empire (in the person of Captain Korda, an officer with a metal jaw akin to Darth Malak in Legends or Jaws in the James Bond franchise). Their goal is to save their parents, a pair of explorers who have been taken captive by Korda. The Empire, it seems, wants their exploration data about Wild Space as it expands.  It is under that premise that a half-length junior novel (The Escape) and now four full-length junior novels (The SnareThe Nest, The Steal, and The Dark) have been released.

The Steal (or The Heist for its upcoming U.S. release)

The end of The Nest left Milo, Lina, CR-8R, and Morq on their way to Lothal, the true source of the transmission that they tracked to Xirl in that rather lackluster (and unnecessary) tale.

As if to make up for the disappointment of The Nest, the awkwardly-named The Steal introduces some new elements into the Story Group’s Star Wars canon, while entangling our Adventures in Wild Space heroes with characters familiar to fans of Star Wars: Rebels.

Stalked by a bounty hunter known as “the Shade,” who has been hired by Korda to recover CR-8R and the navigational data he holds, the Grafs arrive on Lothal just three months after the Empire was welcomed to the planet. They encounter criminal Cikatro Vizago, who at this time is not a crime boss in his own right but working for criminal mastermind Rask Odai, a Mon Cala.

Their clash with the criminals while in search of the source of anti-Imperial transmissions (tracked since the end of The Snare) lead them to new allies, including a rebellious couple (with a particular baby born on Empire Day).

The story plays out with one major twist that the reader will likely suspect but not know for certain prior to its revelation, and the book provides the first true cliffhanger ending since The Escape (unless one assumes that a cliffhanger can just be “and they zipped off into hyperspace!”).

The Verdict

The Steal is Cavan Scott’s third entry in the series, and it is the book that firmly entrenches Adventures in Wild Space into the broader mythos of the saga, particularly Rebels. The Shade makes an intriguing adversary in cahoots with Korda, and the tale feels like solid story progression and a return to the series’ main plotline after the odd detour of The Nest under Huddleston.

Those who might have been a bit wary of a children’s series from “across the pond” should find The Steal a relief and intriguing enough in its glimpse into Lothal only a year or so after Revenge of the Sith to consider checking out the series when it hits the U.S. later this year.

Recommended for: Those interested in the continuing adventures of the Grafs or a glimpse into Lothal about 13 years before Rebels begins.

Not recommended for: Those trying to jump into the story here to see Lothal, rather than following the earlier adventures in the “serialized” series (except perhaps The Nest).

The copy used for this review was a retail purchase.

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