Star Wars: Last Shot by Daniel Jose Older
This book was a delightful, unexpected surprise for me. I admit, it took me a bit to get into it. I started it back in April when it first came out (and I will be the first to admit, I surprised myself when I showed up at Barnes & Noble *on release day* to buy it). But the promise of a non-binary character, a hacker Ewok, an enlightened droid, and a Han/Lando buddy-cop-across-the-universe story was just too much for me to resist.
Now, it’s gonna be REALLY hard for me to talk about this book without getting spoilery, so I’m probably just going to keep this one short and do some quick blurbs about what I loved, what confused me, and what it’s making me look forward to…
- The Characters. And by that, I mean aside from the obvious. Of course I love seeing Han and Leia and Lando and Chewie, but the new characters who were introduced were fantastic. Especially Peekpa. And L3. And Taka. Okay, all of them.
- The Depth. Like I said in my intro, I expected this to be a Han/Lando buddy-cop-across-the-universe story. I didn’t expect to come across passages that would shake me to my very core and make me spend not-insignificant amounts of time considering the human condition. Passages like:
“And anyway,” L3 went on, “who is the Maker but our own selves, really? Sure, some guy in a factory probably pieced me together originally, and someone else programmed me, so to speak. But then the galaxy itself forged me into who I am. Because we learn, Lando. We’re programmed to learn. Which means we grow. We grow away from the singular moment of creation, become something new with each changing moment of our lives – yes, lives – and look at me: these parts,” — she ran her hand along the mesh of wiring and the rebranded astromech of her midsection — “I did this. So maybe when we say ‘the Maker,’ we’re really referring to ourselves. Maybe we’re our own makers, no matter who puts the parts together.”
- The Time-Hopping. THIS IS NOT A FAULT OF THE BOOK! The time-hops were actually extremely well done, and if I hadn’t (1) taken SO DAMN LONG to finish, and (2) been more well-versed in Star Wars canonical timeline, this wouldn’t have been an issue for me at all. However, I kept going days (sometimes weeks) between reading sessions, and it took me a bit to remember where I was and what had happened when. Again, not a fault of the book or the writing, but a reason why – perhaps – should you try to pick up this book you might want to commit to reading it quickly and straight through so you don’t get confused like I did.
LOOKING FORWARD TO:
- Unca Wanwo. Okay, now, this is pure desire and speculation on my part, but hear me out… In this book, we see Han and Leia with their two-year-old son, Ben. Poor, sweet, loving little Ben. Ben well before he turned into this:
And one of the things adorable toddler Ben does is excitedly scream “UNCA WANWO” every time he sees Lando Calrissian. Like, I cried the first time it happened because it was so cute and, also, having seen the recent movies, so damn heartbreaking. Screw Uncle Luke for what he did. Unca Wanwo would not have messed up that badly.
So, here’s my point… Billy Dee Williams is coming back for Episode IX. Lando will be in Episode IX. I think Unca Wanwo is who is gonna kick Ben Solo’s ass back from the Dark Side (especially since his parents and his good-for-nothing Jedi-trainer uncle are now dead).
YOU CAN DO IT LANDO! SAVE BEN SOLO!
Have you read Star Wars: Last Shot? What were your thoughts on it? Share in the comments or tweet me @ThatColette.