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Star Wars: Death Star
Michael Reaves and Steve Perry
Del Rey, 367 pages

Michael Reaves
Michael Reaves is an Emmy-award-winning television writer, screenwriter and novelist. He has written for Star Trek: The Next Generation and Twilight Zone and was a story editor and writer on Batman: The Animated Series and on Gargoyles. He's had more than 13 novels published, including The Shattered World, Darkworld Detective, Street Magic and Night Hunter. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.

Michael Reaves Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Star Wars: Darth Maul - Shadow Hunter
SF Site Review: Voodoo Child

Steve Perry
Steve Perry was born in 1947 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana He has lived in California, Washington and Oregon. He is married to the former Dianne Waller, Executive Director of the Columbia River Channel Coalition. Before turning to full-time freelance writing, he held a variety of jobs, including swimming instructor and lifeguard, hotel gift shop and car rental clerk, martial arts instructor, private detective, Licensed Practical Nurse and Certified Physician's Assistant. They have two grown children and two grandsons.

Steve Perry Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Windowpane

Past Feature Reviews
A review by David Maddox


"This station is now the ultimate power in the universe."
Star Wars: Death Star Chilling words for the most destructive battle station ever to threaten the Star Wars Universe. The Death Star's name says it all. A weapon of unimaginable proportion that can destroy entire planets in an instant. How could anything stand against such a construct? But how did this monstrosity come to be? And what of those that helped build it?

Veteran Star Wars novelists Michael Reaves and Steve Perry unveil the complex history behind the Empire's greatest and most horrific creation. At first, the idea of a novel about the Death Star may raise a few eyebrows and not necessarily in a good way. As with most additions to the Expanded Universe, the story doesn't center around the well-known Star Wars cast, like Luke, Han and Leia, but is told from the perspective of a collection of various characters who all find themselves linked to the station's construction either by chance or desire.

Beginning with the major construction of the station, the story's timeline follows the initial tests, the maiden voyage and flows right through the events of Episode IV: A New Hope. This is what really makes the book intriguing, all the well-known events from the first film are presented from a different perspective.

Having no real central character, the tale jumps between a myriad of beings from the station's head gunner to surgeon Kornell "Uli" Divini (who made an earlier appearance in Reaves and Perry's MedStar II: Jedi Healer), the base's bitter archivist as well as a hotshot TIE Fighter pilot. There's a Marine sergeant who is a master of Teras Kasis and a Twi'Lek pub owner, her bouncer and an escaped convict. Of course there are some recognizable characters such as Grand Moff Tarkin and Admiral Daala. Darth Vader has several choice scenes as well.

The central character names are enough to confuse anyone (which is probably why most Lucas Books have started to add a Dramatis Personae at the start of each book), but suffice to say this particular EU cast does manage to not only hold the reader's attention, but one might actually find themselves cheering for them.

What makes the novel work is the realization that the reader already knows the outcome of these events, but not quite from this certain point of view. Much like Tales of the Mos Eisley Cantina and Tales from Jabba's Palace, the events of Episode IV: A New Hope affecting these secondary (and sometimes tertiary) characters can actually be riveting. Particularly as the story Obi-Wan and Vader's classic light saber battle seen entirely from Vader's perspective.

Overall, Death Star becomes more than just a throwaway addition to the Star Wars Expanded Universe. It serves to create a layers of new tales on top of something already known, making it seem as fresh as the day the reader first heard the phrase:

"That's no moon. It's a space station!"

Copyright © 2008 David Maddox

David Maddox
Science fiction enthusiast David Maddox has been many things, including Star Trek characters and the Riddler in a Batman stunt show. He holds a degree in Cinema from San Francisco State University, and has written several articles for various SF sites as well as the Star Wars Insider and the Star Trek Communicator. He spends his time working on screenplays and stories, acting on stage and screen and giving tours at Universal Studios Hollywood.

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