Walk the ancient streets, meet the colorful characters, and uncover the secret history of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the upcoming expansion to the Disney Parks experience!
After devastating losses at the hands of the First Order, General Leia Organa has dispatched her agents across the galaxy in search of allies, sanctuary, and firepower – and her top spy, Vi Moradi, may have just found all three, on a secluded world at the galaxy’s edge.
A planet of lush forests, precarious mountains, and towering, petrified trees, Batuu is on the furthest possible frontier of the galactic map, the last settled world before the mysterious expanse of Wild Space. The rogues, smugglers, and adventurers who eke out a living on the largest settlement on the planet, Black Spire Outpost, are here to avoid prying eyes and unnecessary complications. Vi, a Resistance spy on the run from the First Order, is hardly a welcome guest. And when a shuttle full of stormtroopers lands in her wake, determined to root her out, she has no idea where to find help.
To survive, Vi will have to seek out the good-hearted heroes hiding in a world that redefines scum and villainy. With the help of a traitorous trooper and her acerbic droid, she begins to gather a colorful band of outcasts and misfits, and embarks on a mission to spark the fire of resistance on Batuu – before the First Order snuffs it out entirely.
Writer: Delilah S. Dawson
Cover Artist: Darren Tan
Publisher: Del Rey
Page Count: 400
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Warning! If you’ve not read Delilah’s other book, the excellent ‘Phasma’ story then you should – a lot of the characters and plot in this book hark back to events from that story and will therefore make more sense when reading this one. Plus it’s a really good book.
With the Disney Star Wars era well and truly stepping up to a new level, 2019 has seen the Galaxy’s Edge park expansions open in both California and Florida and for Delilah S. Dawson’s latest book, the Black Spire outpost on Batuu is the backdrop for the continuing story of rebel spy Vi Moradi.
I say continuing as the book picks up several months after the events in her previous book, ‘Phasma’ where Vi is captured by the First Order’s Captain Cardinal (a possible inspiration for or from the Sith Troopers from The Rise of Skywalker?) In that story Cardinal tortures Vi in order to get her to tell him all she knows about the elusive Phasma, and right at the end of the book rather than leave him to die aboard his Star Destroyer she rescues him and takes him back to the Resistance.
‘Black Spire’ starts out with Leia dispatching Vi to Batuu in order to investigate it’s potential as a Resistance outpost and recruiting centre, but teams her up with the now-rehabilitated Cardinal (going under the name of Archex), and an ever-so-slightly sarcastic droid, reminiscent of Rogue One‘s K-2SO.
Hampered from the outset, they crash on Batuu and the equipment they are supposed to use to build their base is quickly ‘acquired’ by local underworld gangsters, mostly in the employ of Oga Garra, the owner of the local cantina and pretty much the ‘Jabba’ of Black Spire outpost.
Once Vi establishes a network of friends within the outpost, she tackles Oga and embarks on a mission to retrieve an artefact from an ancient settlement, in return for some of the equipment Oga’s thugs had collected following the crash. This part of the book had a real Indiana Jones/Lara Croft feel to it and in much the same way as these characters, you get the the impression that Vi is an old hand at such escapades.
As the story moves on we get more varied characters added to Vi’s fledgling rebellion as the First Order tightens it’s grip on the outpost in an attempt to pressure Vi to come forward to protect the locals. Her relationship with Archex/Cardinal is also intriguing as she struggles to trust her former captor, but perseveres thanks to Leia’s initial insistence that they would be a great team.
Overall I enjoyed the story, but my biggest issue was that the book felt like it was more of a travel guide and advert for the Disney Park than a story set in the same location. We get beautifully described walkthroughs of the outpost and the traders within, but instead of being the usual ‘ordered a drink at the bar’ we instead get ‘decided to try the Rancor ale, a lovely local brew dark in its colour’ or ‘the colourful cocktail, with a slightly sour taste’. Ronto Roasters is described in such a way as to make your mouth water with anticipation of one of their Ronto Wraps, and indeed the wishing tree sparked such an influx of guests leaving their wishes on the tree Disney were overwhelmed, and this has now apparently been changed to only allow the “residents of Batuu” to post wishes there.
We also get the droid depot, toy shop, outfitters and Savi’s workshop all mapped out as if you were reading a review of the park and not part of a story. I’m presuming that this was a requirement Disney put onto Dawson, and not of her choosing as for me it does take away from the excellent plot, characters and introduction to the the world of Batuu.
I’d really like to see more done in future with Vi as she is a really strong character, maybe a Disney+ show or special (or appearances in another broader series), as she clearly has many adventures under her belt, in much the way Jyn Erso or Cassian Andor have.
So a great story, and fun read, but I feel that the marketing of the park could have been dialled back to let the story and characters shine through, whilst still creating the interest in the locations.
- Hardcover Book
- Dawson, Delilah S. (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 400 Pages - 08/27/2019 (Publication Date) - Del Rey (Publisher)