I’m a huge fan of the Star Wars franchise, there I’ve said it so that’s out of the way for this review and all others. I’ve only discovered the Expanded Universe in the last several of years and I devour the books but for me they are solely lacking without the accompanying sound effects and musical score. Thankfully, Audible has a vast library of Star Wars books all with the appropriate sound effects and music so reading, or in this case listening, is a fully immersive experience.
Tarkin by James Luceno explored the life of that character we were all introduced to in Episode IV: A New Hope. The novel fully develops the fascinating backstory of Grand Moff Tarkin. Set between the conclusion of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV, it explores the friendship between Senator/Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vadar and Tarkin. If you’ve watched the Clone Wars familiar faces and characters make appearances in the book.
We all remember Tarkin as that cold, unfeeling heartless Son of Hutt that oversaw the construction of the Death Star, but what we didn’t learn in Episode IV is what made him cold and calculating enough to build a space station capable of destroying an entire planet. Well, wonder no longer the reasons and personages behind his personality are explained. I’m not going to spill the beans about what those motivations are but I will tell you that is a story not unfamiliar to many. That cold and calculating character we meet for the first time on the Death Star is much more complex than a man doing the Emperor’s bidding out of fear of the consequences.
I didn’t warm up to Tarkin as a character or the Empire either for that matter, but I do have a new appreciation for the motivation behind the man. Not that I’d in any way forgive him or the Empire for the destruction of Alderaan but I now understand why he showed no emotion whatsoever.
An easy five out of five stars both for the performance and the writing.