Alexander Freed discusses his Alphabet Squadron trilogy, recently concluded with the release of Victory’s Price, with The novel ends with the Battle of Jakku. What was it like to bring Alphabet Squadron and Shadow Wing into the final battle between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance?

Alexander Freed: Going to Jakku was something we’d discussed from the planning stages of the trilogy. With a story centered around the final days of the war, it only felt right to be there at the last battle. But Jakku had already been lovingly detailed in other sources (the Aftermath trilogy, Lost Stars, and Battlefront II among them) and finding a new angle on it — something that wouldn’t feel like a repeat — was tricky. Much like finding a fresh story in the Battle of Hoth or at Endor. It’s doable, but you need to weave through the known events, adding to the pattern without disrupting what’s there.

From a tactical standpoint, Shadow Wing’s role in the battle involves bringing all its new experiences to bear — Shadow Wing has learned to fight like rebels even as the rebels have learned to fight like a New Republic. Emotionally, though, this is the final confrontation between Alphabet and Shadow Wing; in the shadow of a cataclysmic event, they find that they’re uniquely bonded, even as they try to kill each other. The title of the novel, Victory’s Price, is right on target for this part of the lives of these characters. Why did you choose to write about the cost of war, and surviving it, as a major theme of this book?

Alexander Freed: “The cost of war, and surviving it” is as good a way as any to describe the central theme of the trilogy. In large part it appeals to me because it’s not something Star Wars often has a chance to showcase — we see a lot of war stories, to be sure, but for the most part we see the key victory that turns the tide and then leave the aftermath to the imagination.

The Alphabet books seemed like an opportunity to talk about what it means to go from a rebel underdog to an agent of a galactic government; to go from dreaming of being a hero to facing the looming realities of civilian life; to go from fighting Imperials to potentially living alongside them after the enemy has finally surrendered. Victory’s Price brings all these themes to a head. I can only hope I did them justice, especially knowing their relevance to our real world.

Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy (Book III: Lesser Evil)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Zahn, Timothy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages - 11/16/2021 (Publication Date) - Del Rey (Publisher)