With a backlog of recorded episodes and episodes to record very soon, 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 thereafter on the podcast. (In the case of minor releases, that discussion may be kept for a Year in Review series of episodes.)
The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku by Landry Q. Walker (ebook, 2015)
In April 2016, a new anthology – something Star Wars fans have long been hoping for – will be released. The book, Tales from a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens will include six stories, four of which were recently released as separate ebooks, months before seeing physical print. Unlike in previous anthologies, all of the stories in this new tome will be written by a single author, Landry Q. Walker. Each story will feature alien characters from The Force Awakens. This review focuses on one of the four stories released in December 2015.
The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku
Sidon Ithano (AKA the “Crimson Corsair”) and his first mate, Quiggold, appear in The Force Awakens as the duo with whom Finn intends to leave Takodana. That makes them the characters with the greatest impact on the film among the characters featured in the Tales from a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens ebooks released in December 2015. That gives this story a tiny bit more gravitas, since we might actually have wondered about these characters when seeing the movie in theaters. (As Dennis Miller once said and I am fond of saying, this makes them the valedictorians of summer school, the most notable of a rather lackluster lot.)
The story is a sort of pirate chase. A Separatist ship carrying a valuable cargo for Cound Dooku crashes on Ponemah late in the Clone Wars, and in the era prior to The Force Awakens, its location is discovered. Varioius gangs and pirate crews race to get to the ship first and obtain its contents. We follow Ithano’s team, as they race against rivals old and new, facing a sandstorm and more, only to find that the prize is not quite what they expected.
This is a fast-paced tale with some intriguing twists, especially in the revelation of what the valuable cargo on the ship turns out to be. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say that the revelation has a strong tie into the sixth season of The Clone Wars and makes me wish we had seen see more of Ithano’s crew in The Force Awakens.
The story includes a fair amount of humor. With its fast pacing and amusing moments, it has the feel of a Pirates of the Caribbean film, just without as outlandish a lead as Jack Sparrow.
It is the longest of the ebooks in this series with the longest title as well, and it just might be the story that will have the most “mainstream” appeal to Star Wars readers.
Does the Label Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens Actually Fit the Story?
Unfortunately, like most stories in our “journey” to the new film, this story has no real relevance to the movie at all. Like with other stories in the line, this is a Tales from Mos Eisley (et al) style short story to give us an adventure for some of the aliens seen on Takodana in The Force Awakens. Unlike the anthologies of the 1990s though, no attempt is made to actually tie the actual story into the film beyond shared characters. The label simply does not fit the content.
The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku is a fun read, and it sparks enough interest in the reader to foster a hope for further stories of the Meson Martinet‘s crew. This is definitely one to check out, especially for fans of The Clone Wars.
Recommended for: Those looking for a fun romp with ties into The Clone Wars.
Not recommended for: Those looking for something that truly ties directly into The Force Awakens or those who greatly disliked The Clone Wars.
A retail purchase ebook (on Nook) was used for this review.