Viva las Canto Bight! No, that is basically all this book is. Canto Bight seems to just be Star Wars Vegas. Great works of art these stories are not. Each one just seems to be about some general characters, who will never be impactful in the series again, in a big casino city type setting. If you removed the sci-fi bits from the book, this could have been a Las Vegas, Reno, etc. story.
Rules of the Game, the first story, follows a schmuck and a not so nice man. The schmuck repeatedly states he has worked at his job for over a century. So, this guy is at least 100 years into his adulthood. Apparently, wisdom does not come with age for his species; it is a miracle he survived the story. Despite that, everything just works out and there is a happy ending because…reasons?
Wine in the Dreams had some of the more interesting characters in the book. The protagonist was clever, and the twin sisters were cunning while the villain was ruthless. Not stereotypically so and that made their characterizations work. The issue is more the premise. This whole battle of wits is over…drumroll…a bottle of wine. Granted wine snobs can be kind of crazy, but usually not life and death crazy. Nor does brewing wine seem important when a WAR is brewing.
Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing was the best of Canto Bight’s four stories because it felt like it actually mattered. A man’s daughter gets taken by the mob, but they underestimate him, and he goes after her. So, Liam Neeson this alien masseuse/former badass manages to raise a little hell and all turns out well. As just a story, this one was good. But like the rest of the book it is still a one-shot thing that does not contribute to the rest of the franchise as a whole.
The Ride was also fairly entertaining, #2 in Canto Bight. The lesson of the day here is: Whenever you gamble, my friend, eventually you lose. Except when you do not, because sometimes luck can straight up outdo The Force. Also, all the stories are intertwined kind of but not really or something like that…being #2 in a book overall rated 2 stars really is not saying much. Maybe Canto Bight (the city) will at least play an important role in The Last Jedi.