Star Wars March Madness: Six Seeds

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 sixth seed in the Luke Skywalker bracket:

Michael Reaves

reaves

Michael Reaves is an interesting addition to this tournament because he got his Star Wars start writing television. The Ewoks and Droids cartoons were a important part of my childhood, not to mention the only Star Wars we were getting in the middle to late 1980’s. Reaves would write episodes for each series and not that I can recall anything but the major plots and characters of any of (I am in fact old) I still remember both series fondly.

His first Star Wars Novel was Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter. This book was published in 2001 in between the releases of Episode One and Two.A major flaw of the prequel trilogy is the secret of Darth Sidious and all Star Wars media released at this time was forbidden to reveal that not so clever secret. This book contains the most overt acknowledgment of that simple fact. The novel might be my favorite prequel era work, and its told in two parts both of which are very intriguing.

medstar

Next up Reaves would team with Steve Perry for the Medstar Duology. I have not read these books but I am a huge fan of telling Star Wars stories in new ways and with characters that are not in the films. Or stories that take characters from the background of the films and give them something interesting to do. I think Medstar had the potential to be the X-Wing series of the prequel era and since I am a big fan of both these writers I bet that I will very much enjoy these books when they work their way to the top of my to read pile.

From there Perry and Reaves would co-write the Death Star novel. This is not my favorite work as I found the device used to tell the narrative stale. Not everything can land for everyone and even though I enjoy both of these authors this is a low point for both of their Star Wars resumes.

I am not a huge fan of the prequel era works especially mostly because by the time we get to Lucasfilm producing Star Wars: The Clone Wars we encounter a load of continuity problems created as George Lucas crafted the story for that series. For the most part the post Return of the Jedi continuity is maintained. With the Clone Wars multi media project a lot of that work gets lost. The prequel era is a mess and I bet that is why Disney has so far mostly stayed as far away from it as they can.

Reaves next work runs afoul of changed continuity. Coruscant Nights would be the next series he worked on, and he would write the first two editions of this series by himself. The first book, Jedi Twilight, is set in the months after Episode Three which of course is post Order 66. Jedi Master Even Piell is the main character and the problems start is that character is killed off at the height of the Clone war. Little details like that bug the crap out of me and it is the main reason I have avoided this series.

The second book of the series, Street of Shadows, is basically a murder mystery with the character Jax Pavin becoming the central character. There are more continuity errors here as the book depicits the death of Padme Amidala as happening before Palpatine declared himself Emperor. This kind of stuff drives me crazy and maybe it shouldn’t and maybe it can be explained but it is the story team’s job to insure this kind of stuff does not happen. someone here really dropped the ball.

The third book sees Reaves team up with Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff. Patterns of Force is notable in that this is probably the first time a character in the Star Wars universe comes to find out that Darth Vader was once Anakin Skywalker. The audience knows this to be fact but that does not take away the drama from characters in universe discovering this secret. Star Wars Rebels did this very well when Ashoka learns this truth and I hope that this book does as good a job dealing with this topic.

Reaves and Bonhhoff would team up again to write Star Wars Shadow Games which tells the some of the back story of Dash Rendar the fan favorite character from Shadows of the Empire. I have not read this book either but it is in my to read pile.

thelastjedi

This writing duo would team up again for their next project. The Last Jedi was to be the fourth Coruscant nights book but wound up being a stand alone follow up to that series. Once more the story centers on Jax Pavan and the resistance group Whiplash.

I always though that the Star Wars team did a better job with their timeline and continuity than say the Star Trek universe of shows, movies, and books. However, once The Clone Wars started changing what had already been written I gave up on that idea. It is really shame that a lot of Reaves’ work is diminished in my view because Lucasfilm would go on to change it. That is sloppy to me and it offers little encouragement to go back and read these books.

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Star Wars: Darth Maul, Shadow Hunter (Star Wars – Legends)

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