My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is another of the fill-in sort of stories we’ve been seeing in the Star Wars universe the last few years. This one gives us some backstory on Han Solo- where he came from, how he got to where he was when Luke and Obi-Wan found him, his friendship with Chewbacca. It’s a pretty decent addition to the group of films that are a sort of side dish to the main stories.
We meet Han as a troublemaking street orphan on Corellia, planning his escape from the petty thieving life he’s been part of. He plans to take his love interest with him, but they are separated before she can make her escape. Han vows to come back for her. He joins the Imperial Army, hoping to become a pilot but ends up as in the infantry. He hooks up with a team of pirates, led by Woody Harrelson in a role that seems tailor made for him. He also meets Chewbacca here. Their mission to steal a valuable cargo for a major crime syndicate goes awry, and Han learns that the girl he left behind is now a lieutenant for the crime boss. The crew promises to make up the lost cargo, and hire Lando Calrissian and the Millenium Falcon for a promised cut of the profits.
There is a lot of good, fast-paced action in the film. The storyline and Han’s history are woven through pretty well. It captures Han’s charisma and rougishness well. There are a number of interesting tidbits that were fun to learn. The film almost never lags or slows.
Characters are well-written and acted. As noted above, Woody Harrelson is fun and quirky. Alden Ehrenreich is credible as Han Solo, and comes across just as snarky and self-possessed as Harrison Ford’s version. Paul Bettany is cold and ruthless as the crime boss. Emilia Clarke has a steely presence that fits what her character grows into. And Phoebo Walter-Bridge completely steals the movie at times with her hilarious android/activist role.
Some probably don’t like the movie any more than they did the other side stories, but I thought it was well-written and acted, it gave some insight into one of Star Wars more popular characters, and, above all, it was entertaining and fun to watch. Definitely a good choice.
Medusa “Deuce” Grainger is smart, confident, and as good a pilot as she is a poker player. A freelance shuttle jockey working for an independent terraforming company, she’s left her former life, and her father, behind. Mostly.
Now, her AI has downloaded another Personality off a wrecked ship, and he’s acting oddly ever since. Someone wants to sabotage her friend’s company out of business, evidence of tampering is being corrupted, and people have died. With an investigation looming that could shut down the company and cut off her main source of income, it’s up to Deuce to figure out what’s going on, and how all the pieces fit the puzzle. Along the way, she reconnects with an old friend and discovers someone is stalking her. Deuce will need to connect all the dots fast, because more lives are at stake than anyone suspects.
Learn more here.
After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here
A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.
A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final environmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.
In a world reeling under the effects of severe climate change, food shortages are common, and arable farmland is scarce. Unscupulous distributors like Beni Oligowma take advantage of the shortages for their own gain. When a promising new technology for growing food even under the harsh conditions is unveiled, grocery store owner Frank is determined to see that everyone is able to benefit from the results, not just the Benis of the world.
Feed My People is a short story, set in a dystopian science fiction world, and is free. Learn more here
Demon hunters Johnny and Cerise travel to the small town of Carroll Fork where they find a demon-possessed thrift store, a sweet old lady who is more than she seems, and an army of underworld inhabitants. Can Johnny and his trusty yo-yo save the town from a devil of a problem?
Five and Daemon, the Yo-Yo Files #1, is a short novelette in an urban fantasy setting, with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here
Things have been quiet. No demonic possessions, no otherworldly intrusions, nothing. And then Lucifer shows up in Johnny’s living room, claiming that two archangels are missing, and something is definitely not right in the heavenly- and other- realms. Saying he has nothing to do with it- this time- he asks Johnny and Cerise to help him find out what’s happening, and who is behind the disappearances. While they are trying to do just that, Lucifer is devilnapped by a larger-than-life serpent. He manages to get a clue to Johnny before he disappears. Johnny and Cerise are left to puzzle out the disappearances and try to find the missing angels. Oh, and stop what could mean the ultimate destruction of pretty much everything.
Snake’s Alive, the Yo-Yo Files #2 is an urban fantasy novelette with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here.