It is finally March and that means it is time for brackets. All kinds of brackets from College Basketball to dessert toppings and everything in between. With that in mind this blog will be doing a Star Wars authors bracket.
I am taking on the Vince McMahon role for this endeavor. That means I picked the authors who I felt most qualified to be considered. I don’t think I made any huge omissions but some of you may…This is the 32 authors I think have had the most impact on the Star Wars book universe and more importantly have entertained all the Star Wars book readers. They will be broken into four brackets; Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Yoda, and Grand Moff Tarkin. The Authors have been seeded 1 through 8 again most due to my own personal judgement while taking into consideration how the authors works are viewed by the readers at large.
With that being said I give you the fourth seed in the Darth Vader bracket:
Steve Perry earns a four seed on the strength of his novel Shadows of the Empire. He earns a place in the Darth Vader bracket because he co-wrote the novel Death Star. He has also written some of the other stories surrounding the main cast of characters and plot points of the Expanded Universe.
Shadows was the famed movie without the movie project that came out in 1996 to keep the Star Wars momentum up as it became apparent that Episode One was not going to be feasible for a 1997 release. So they schedule the Episode 4 re-release for 1997 and made the debut of the book Shadows of the Empire a huge event. This book had every piece of marketing that one would expect from a big budget movie release. It made fan favorite Dash Rendar a household name and gave us a video game that is still much beloved. There was even action figures for this book.
The novel takes black between Episode Five and Episode Six, and begins around the time of the Battle of Hoth. Our heroes are trying to chase down Boba Fett and get Han Solo back and end up in a battle with the Empire and are assisted by Rogue Squadron. We are introduced to the head of the Black Sun organization and in EU canon he takes the credit for killing Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. This book also tells the story of the Bothans helping to get the plans for the Second Death Star so it is sort of the Rogue One of its day. Perry would also write five issues of the Shadows of the Empire: Evolutions comic series published by Dark Horse comics.
Perry would be hired for the Clone Wars multimedia project and he would team up with Michael Reaves (who may make an appearance in this tournament) to pen the Star Wars Medstar duology. Battle Surgeons and Jedi Healer are two Star Wars books I know nothing about. I know some of the characters introduced here turn up in later works by both of these authors. I have a hard time with the prequel era books that has been medically diagnosed as a severe Jar Jar Binks allergy (I still love ya, George).
Reaves and Perry would team up again on the Death Star novel. The PC term to insert here is this is not my favorite EU novel. Put let’s be really honest this book is a hot mess. It fits nowhere in the EU continuity and leaves the super fans very confused. For most of us we read these novels not in chronological order but when they were released so some of the bits of plot threads get lost. When one sits down to read them in timeline order the flaws of this book really stick out. Most notable the fact that there is no mention of the Death Star’s role in The Force Unleashed novel.
On the whole the idea of this book is a cool one. They want to tell the back story of scenes in Episode Four the most of us know by heart. However reading scenes I have literally been watching on the screen my entire life is tedious at best. On top of that reading a book about a bunch of people that we know are going to die is the definition of pointless. Not like watching a movie about a bunch of people we think are gonna die….and…no spoilers.
On the strength of Shadows along Perry gets a four seed. Maybe I knocked Death Star a little too hard but it was a neat idea to try and I guess for me it just didn’t land and I don’t think he should get dinged for trying something.
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Shadows of the Empire (Star Wars)
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