I have embarked on a quest to read through the Star Wars Expanded Universe once more. Be sure to check the linked text there to see other posts in this series. Here, we go back to the future past to see the origins of Han Solo with book three of the Han Solo Trilogy, Rebel Dawn by A.C. Crispin. There will be SPOILERS in what follows.
Rebel Dawn picks up with Han Solo on his quest to acquire a ship. Of course, he gains said ship through gambling… against Lando Calrissian. Millennium Falcon, acquired. The rest of the plot follows interactions between Han and Bria, his old lost love from the first book in the trilogy, along with Chewbacca and Lando. The growing tensions leading towards a Rebel Alliance are laid out alongside conflict between the Hutts.
Crispin once again does a fantastic job writing the characters in believable ways with realistic motivations, demeanor, and dialogue. Each character feels unique with his or her own motivations and subtle actions to distinguish them from each other. This is particularly interesting when it comes to the Hutts. Crispin makes each Hutt unique in both personality and motivations. She did a fantastic job simply making the Hutts seem like a complete people group, as opposed to just inventing some characters and putting Hutt skins on them, Crispin’s writing presupposes and provides a whole background world from which the Hutts spring, thus giving them much more depth than if she’d simply done it the other way around.
Another interesting part of the novel is that it gives insight into how the Rebellion began. Imperial atrocities are hinted at alongside the activities of characters like Bria who are working to undermine the Empire in whatever way they can. Thus, the stage is set in these novels for the Original Trilogy.
There are two primary downsides to Rebel Dawn. The first is that, like the previous two books, while Crispin is extraordinary in her capacity to portray characters, she does very little to describe the locales in which the characters operate. There are a few exceptions, of course, like Cloud City, but overall the locations are just the blank canvas on which the characters operate. The other problem is that the book seems pretty rushed towards the end as a lot of loose threads have to be wrapped up while also having to skip ahead to the “present” time of the Original Trilogy. It just doesn’t wrap up as nicely as the other two books in the series.
Rebel Dawn is an excellent read that fills in a lot of backstory for Han Solo and Chewbacca, as well as for Lando and even in a very small way for Leia. Not only that, but it gives a lot of interesting detail about the lives and practices of the Hutts as well as giving background for how the Rebellion got started to begin with. I recommend it highly to those who love Star Wars.
+Great character development
+Ties back into the Original Trilogy
+Plenty of intrigue
+The Hutts are extremely interesting
-Minimal description of locales
-Seems rushed at points
Best Droid Moment
Droids were too rarely mentioned to have one 😦
Grade: A- “Another solid entry in the Star Wars universe from Crispin.”
J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason– Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!
Reading through Star Wars: Expanded Universe– Here you can read other posts in this series (reviews of other EU books) and make suggestions about what I should include in my reviews.
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There are other posts on science fiction books to be found! Read them here.
[…] Rebel Dawn by A.C. Crispin– The Han Solo Trilogy concludes with a book that brings Han and Chewbacca all the way up to the events of “A New Hope.” Can it stand up to the rest of the trilogy? […]
Being a sci/fi fan, from, possibly, the late forties, I have found far more interesting the fact that we might have already gone to the stars beginning in the sixties, if not earlier. The physicist at the University of Mexico,, Alcubierre, set forth a theory for faster than light travel in 1995. NASA is making eperiments with that theory and reporting some favorable results so I understand. But even more interesting is the fact that the late Ben Rich who was head of the Skunk Works of Lockheed and produced the stealth airplanes said to some alumni of UCLA in 1994 that, if E.T. were to come to us and ask for help in getting home (another Galaxy(?)), we could take him there. That much is on the internet, if it is to be believed.
More interesting to me is that in the late forties or early fifties seven people were working in a cotton field in Arkansas, when three flying saucers floated overhead about a thousand feet up. The sky was blue, a quiet workday afternoon. the suacers were one above the other. Naturally, the people in the field were excited, but one who had been a trained military observer and had sever on the intelligence staff of Macarthur in World War I( never said one word about it. His silence was deafening. A few years later I was standing on the front porch of our home one evening about 9-10:00 o’clock, watching a strange star in the western sky, changing colors. It was not far from the Evening Star which was not changing colors. That strange star held my attention for a few minutes. Then I heard a jet going overhead from North to South (military in those days), and the strange star speeded up its color changes and then took off angling upward and away from the horizon, traveling at a speed I had never seen before or since. Suddenly it blinked out.
Years later I used synthetical principles of reasoning and extrapolation plus the works on Nikola Tesla and T. Townsend Brown, and others to come to the conclusion that likely by the early sixties we were going to the stars. Reality, if what I have surmised from a ream of facts is true, is more interesting than science fiction in one sense.
I think the Bible indicates that man will populate the stars, as our Lord speaks of the angels gathering the elect from one end of the (definite article in the Greek) starry heaven to the other (Matt. 24:31).. Other verses indicate a better future than we have expected along with awakenings that could last for a thousand generations.